Last week, we looked at the today’s text under the heading 'Always be in the grace of God.' Today, I have the same title, and I want to look at the contents of today's text.
There is a scene showing God's grace in the scripture. This was what happened when God saved slaves of Israel from Egypt. God has done many miracles through Moses. Especially with the 10 disasters in Egypt, God showed them who He was. Among the 10 catastrophes brought to Egypt, the highlight was the final catastrophe. The first-borns of all creatures in Egypt were to be killed. Though it showed God's judgment, it also showed the grace of God to the Israelites. God has revealed the way to live from the judgment of God.
This was what God told the people of Israel.
‘The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. … Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. (Ex. 12: 5-7, NIV)’
And if there is blood of sheep in the doorframes of the house, it is said that anyone in the house lives. God's Word tells us that the house under the Passover Lamb's blood will be saved from death to life. You have been saved by the blood of the Lamb. This is the grace of God. Whether you lived well or not; whether you are poor or rich; you don’t need to learn a lot of things. It is the only way to be saved when you should be under the blood of the lamb. Those who obey God's Word live, and those who don’t. This was not an expedient secret that was applied only to the Israelites. Anyone who heard the Word of God and were under the blood of the Lamb must escape God's judgment. The day became the Passover.
The Passover was the day when the judgment of God was passed over to all the people who were gathered under the blood of the Lamb, and the grace of God came upon them. All the people under the blood of Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, have been saved, showing that God's judgment passed. Therefore, not believing in the name of Jesus Christ means not merely rejecting Jesus, but rejecting eternal life.
The words of the Apostle Paul and Barnabas to the Jews who were jealous of their envy against their words. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46, NIV)
We see that the Jews who believed in God's choice and in the grace of God rejected not only Jesus Christ, but also, rejected eternal life.
We should be under the blood of the Passover Lamb to have eternal life.
There is a praise of "the blood of the Passover Lamb".
The lyrics of the praise well explain the meaning of God's grace.
The Passover Lamb opened the door to my life.
The power of darkness is not already there.
When the enemy condemns me with the power of the Lord Blood
I can stand righteous. I'm no longer condemned.
I am under the Blood of the Lord. I am under the Blood of the Lord.
I have forgiven my sins. God's mercy was holy to me.
I am under the Lord's blood.
I am under the Blood of the Lord.
Therefore, to be in the grace of God means to remember the meaning of the blood of the first Passover Lamb.
Also, to always be in the grace of God means to remove the yeast. To be always in God's grace, we must remove the yeast in our lives. Yeast makes the bread bloom and delicious. In the Bible, Yeast means sin. The influence of yeast is great even if it is only a little, and it resembles the property of sin so much.
God blessed the people of Israel, and what He commanded was to keep unleavened days.
" For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. (Exodus 12:15)
In the grace of God, we must always do the same thing in spiritual terms. Those who are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ must "remove yeast" to be always in the grace of God. God told the Israelites to eat unleavened bread for seven days. Seven in the Bible means perfection. To be always under God's grace, we must strive to eliminate the yeast in our lives. God has saved the people of Israel in Egypt, that they should know that there was a will of the people to take life and live as a holy people.
God saved the Israelites to worship. In other words, the salvation was an invitation to be holy people. To be in God's grace all the time, we must remove the sinful elements of our lives that lead us away from God. Otherwise, it is always difficult for us to be in the grace of God.
Think about it. If Zacchaeus, who had experienced the grace of God, would live a life of exploiting his cognation again. If the second son, who came out of Jesus' parable, experienced the grace of the Father, he would steal his father's money again, and would go back to the sinful road. If A woman who had been caught and committed an adultery ran back to the scene of adultery. All of these could happen if they do not remove the yeast in their life. This is the case for us. After the Passover grace, remember that there is the feast of the unleavened bread. God's grace is not for the sin. We must have time to engrave the message of God while eating unleavened bread for seven days, which means ‘in our whole life’
God warned those who would eat bread made with yeast in it.
‘For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel (Exodus 12:19).'
This is what I Corinthians 5: 7-8 says.
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
Why does the church become corrupt? Is not the church centered on God's grace? Nevertheless, the reason for the corruption of the church is that those saved by the blood of Jesus Christ did not remove the old yeast in their lives. Sin makes it easy to spread like yeast and make you forget God's grace. Therefore, in order to be always in the grace of God, we must live to eliminate the old yeast of malice and wickedness.
Third, to always be in the grace of God is the exhortation to live forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Someone made a huge debt to the king. It was a huge debt of about 10 billion won. He told the king that he would pay the debt a little bit in his lifetime. Then, surprisingly, the king forgave all his debt. He would be grateful if the king might forgive part of the money, but the king forgave all his debt. The man appreciated deeply the king’s grace. How should this person live? If we remember the grace of the king, we should give thanks, praise, and live to them. That would be the image of someone who has been graced.
But the king heard rumors about this man. It was not such good news. A news was told that this man said the vulgar words and sometimes beaten the other person who own ten thousand won to ask to pay. What would the king say to the man who was forgiven? The king said that he didn’t know the grace.
Those in the grace of God must be able to give grace to others also. Otherwise, it seems like a person who has forgotten the king’s grace. It is not that he enjoys the king's grace, but he only used the king's grace for his own needs.
Have you received grace? Then you should give the grace to the others to be always in the grace of the Lord.
This is a true story from Max Lucado's book.
It happened in November 2004, forty-four-year-old New Yorker Victoria. When she drove the car on the way going home, a boy threw a turkey into her car for fun. It was said to be a 9 kilogram frozen turkey. Suddenly it flew into the driver's seat and her life has been changed. She barely survived, but her face was wounded severely in the accident.
After 9 months passed, the young man saw Victoria with a titanium-faced face. The young man was trembling at the chief judge. However, the ruling on this young man was only 6 months of jail term, five years of probation, counseling, and community service.
People were upset about this ruling on the young man. But it was Victoria's idea.
Let’s hear what she said.
In front of the judge and audience, she hugged him and stroked his head. She told the weeping boy. "I'll forgive you. You have to live well in the future." She believed in her grace and made a decision. "God has saved me. I wanted to give him a new chance. "She explained why she forgave the boy.
We are hurt many times in our lives. At home, at work, even at church. Looking at the many hurts, we dream of revenge. So we feel a little cooler. This is our heart, our intention. So it is hard to do like Victoria. But what did the Lord show us? Just as the Lord has given us grace, we must also give grace to others. So that God's grace will fill this space we live in.
Finally, being under God's grace means "acknowledging God's sovereignty in our lives."
The salvation of the Israelites can only be explained by the grace of God. When Peter preached, thousands of people were saved as well. That was the grace of God. When Paul preached, many people believed Jesus Christ as my Lord and God. Would Paul be good at preaching? When people heard his sermon, some understood the grace of God, but some were full of jealousy.
The scripture said those who believed in Jesus like this: “all who were appointed for eternal life believed.”
Do you mean that people have already been settled for eternal life? Some interpret like this, but this means that salvation is the sovereignty of God. It said that our faith didn’t save us, but God saved us. However, it also shows that there is something that people should do.
There is something that God does, and there is something to be done by man.
Now melon and tomatoes grow well in a small field next to the church. It is because God has made the plants grow well. Is not there something else to do? Yes. There are so many things people do. Somebody needs to give water every morning and check for worms.
What will happen if a person does not give water to plants? The plants will dry out and die. What will happen if a person provides a plant food? Plants will get sick. God will grow the plants, but man should sow, water, and take care of the plants. And what we do to watch the plants grow. Spiritually, Paul planted, Apollos watered, God raised.
“All who were appointed for eternal life believed.”
Salvation is God's gift. We can come to the cross of Jesus Christ and enter under the grace of God, but God is the one who gives us eternal life. To be in God's grace is to always acknowledge God's sovereignty in our lives.
It is therefore always important that we are in the grace of God. It is important for us to experience God's great grace deeply and abundantly. To be in God's grace, we must eliminate the leaven of our lives. I pray that you and I will also realize that the grace of God is not our merit, nor our great faith, but God's gift. Amen!