Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Exodus 3: Sermon Applications

THE LORD DRAWS NEAR.

1) FIRST, THE LORD DRAWS NEAR BECAUSE HE HEARS US. Exodus 3:1-9

Application: Consider in your heart God’s transcendence and immanence.
Westminster Confession of Faith XI
The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.

1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.

i) It shapes our worldview. Van Til’s diagram. (Large Circle= God; small circle= man... great distance between beings. Double bars= covenant).
ii) It retains the ‘Godness of God’.
iii) It humbles us.
iv) It encourages us.
v) If denied, it destroys us. It is denied everywhere today. Even those claiming to be ‘Christian’ deny one or both aspects of this.

2) SECOND, THE LORD DRAWS NEAR TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO US. Exodus 3:10-15

Application: Some theology in Exodus 3:

(1) God is unknowable (apart from His self-revelation) and incompressible. There is a mystery to the divine name here. In a sense, it hides more than it reveals. Phil Ryken says: “Who is God? God is who he is, and that’s all there is to it.” In revealing himself God ‘condescends’, steps down to our level, puts it in baby talk so that we can “get it”. But even in doing this it hints to us there is more to God that we can ever grasp or know. Although in a relationship with God, we can truly know God, we will never fully know God as God knows Himself. The finite cannot contain the infinite. The infinite can be revealed to the finite but never exhaustively made known.

Have God lost His mystery to you? Do you find Him containable or manageable? It is idolatry to ‘contain God’ in this sense.

(2) God is eternal and unchangeable.

(3) God is self-existent and self-sufficient.

(4) God makes His name known. God memorialize Himself to us. We can never and must never think of God apart from His covenant to us. We know God because of what He has done in history. He reveals and He redeems. I CAN KNOW GOD. I CAN DRAW NEAR TO GOD—only and always because God makes Himself known in a covenant that climaxes in Christ. Only because God draws near to me in Christ. God heard my affliction and came down in Christ Jesus.

Some take the ‘unknowable God’ and say it is wrong to every say anything about God. They would say ‘to make a statement about God puts him in a box and that is idolatry’. Yes the infinite cannot be contained. BUT if God has limited Himself in some way by revealing Himself—to not think that way about God is idolatry.

(a) If God has spoken about God then it is idolatry if I do not believe and repeat what He has said about Himself. IF He has spoken then I am obligated to pattern my thoughts about God after what He has said.
(b) I know God as the “I AM” because that who He said He is.
(c) Truly seeing the ‘I AM’ means I cast off all other false gods. There can be no rivalry of gods… if I ‘get it.’

God doesn’t draw near out of some self need. It is no comfort to us if God “needs” us. If God was dependent upon us for self-fulfillment—what hope would there be? If I somehow complicated ‘God’ then what we would have would be no God at all.

Instead—it is incredible comfort to think about a self-sufficient God. His might and His power can free His people. God as independent has all the resources, strength and power to deliver, heal and bring comfort. It brings God joy to give to us but not from out of any lack of joy that He might have. It brings God glory to deliver but not out of any lack of glory. As the “I AM WHO I AM”—He is sufficient in Himself; He is independent. He has every ‘resource’ that we might need.

If God was dependent in anyway on anything, he would not be mighty to save. He could not comfort us. If God ‘drew near to us’ like some kind of clingy co-dependent—it would not be ‘good’. It would be no help. It would be no deliverance. We do not complete God, God completes us.

The best thing we could ever have is an independent God who draws near because He has chosen to make covenant promises that guarantee to us that He is dependable.

3) THIRD, THE LORD DRAWS NEAR TO DELIVER. Exodus 3:16-20

Application:
(1) The question that we are forced to ask: who has the mighty arm? Ultimately it is God. The fact that He is the “I AM” guarantees that His arm is mighty to save. God is independent. His power is completely His own. Pharaoh’s power is only that which as been delegated to him. This is true of every power, principalities, ruler, authority, and false god—any power we perceive in them is only delegate power. THE LORD GOD HAS NO RIVALS.

God is God alone.

You need to put off any false rivals that you hold on par with God—whether it is family, friends, government, famous people, money, sex. All those things that we look to for security or fulfillment or joy can become false god’s if we do not draw near to God alone as the only place to find true security, fulfillment and joy.

God will take those false gods and humble them under a mighty hand if we do not draw near to Him.

(2) Take communion:
i) Treasure the “God with us”
ii) Treasure the “deliverance of God’
iii) Communion Symbolize God’s ‘nearness’ which comes in Christ on the cross. He is near as a human being—blood and a body. He is near as a Savior and Mediator. He is reconciling the ‘spiritual’ distance caused by our sin.
iv) We can draw near to God because He has drawn near to us first.

James 4:8 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

No comments:

"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...