Summary: Motivation to Christians to keep the faith and a look at the interpretive allusion found in the scripture to salvation as we know it.
Text: Heb 11:27-29, Title: A Life of Faith, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/8/12, AM
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage: The author here is trying to give motivation to the Hebrew Christians to keep the faith, rather than apostatize back to Judaism. He is giving them example after example of people who suffered and people who waited. Moses, having set his eyes on the reward which he could not see, began to walk by that faith. So he made his final break with Egypt as his first step of a new life. The parallels between this and the new birth are amazing. I am not one who goes looking for types and shadows, but when they pop out, I don’t mind seeing the link. Our author and the Spirit choose their words carefully and intentionally, and the depth of the word is incredible.
C. Main thought: so today we are going to look at the interpretive allusion here to salvation as we know it.
A. He made a clean break (v. 27)
1. Moses, after identifying with the people of God, and siding with his people, made the full and final break when he left Egypt for Midian. He never returned to the lifestyle of Egypt. He didn’t act like an Egyptian anymore. When a believer takes on Christ, he or she make a clean break with their old life. They are no longer like the world, they are like Christ. They are no longer slaves to sin, they are free. Believers are new creatures, old has passed away. They were once alive to sin and now they are dead. They once were dead to Christ and now they are alive in Him. Being born again is a specific time of faith in life where on one side was this, and now on the other side was that.
2. Rom 6:2-11, Col 3:3, Gal 6:14, 2 Cor 5:17
3. Illustration: in the movie The Prince of Egypt, after he runs into the desert, he falls and rips all the clothes and jewelry and armbands of Egypt off of him, no longer to be recognized as an Egyptian. When he returns forty years later he is asked what kind of garb he is wearing, because it is obvious to all that he is not an Egyptian.
4. Some of us don’t make clean breaks with our old life. The devil tells us that it is not a big deal to have such and such. This doesn’t mean that you never sin anymore or that you stop every known sin. It doesn’t mean that you want struggle, at times violently, to overcome particular sins. However it does mean that there is a change of sides. The war has begun. What was once loved is now hated. Righteousness that was once despised, now is desired. You have a new master, and have a new allegiance. You may have “always believed,” but now there is ownership. And unfortunately many preachers and Christians don’t share it that way, and we play the ol’ bait and switch on them once they come in. So have you made a clean break with sin in your life? Was there a time when the wall of sin came crashing down? What parts of your life still need to be broken with?
B. He trusted in the blood (v. 28)
1. We have talked about Moses’ leaving Egypt before, but now the author brings up the Passover. Remember, he is trying to strengthen their resolve to persevere in the faith. Reminding them of the Passover would bring up images of slavery, oppression, waiting on the plagues with increasing amounts of persecution, and waiting at night for the Destroyer to come and wondering what was going to happen. During all of that Moses had to trust that God would ultimately deliver the children of Israel, and that he would spare their children. God gave him a plan, and he trusted God and the plan. The plan was the blood of a lamb spread across the lintel and doorposts of the door in each believing family’s home. When the angel saw the blood, he passed over the home. The writer wants these suffering Hebrew believers to trust in God and trust in His plan, and trust in the blood of Christ.
3. Illustration: Martin Luther had a dream where he was being attacked by the devil. The devil unrolled a long scroll containing a list of Luther’s sins, and held it before him. On reaching the end of the scroll Luther asked the devil, “Is that all?” The devil said, “No,” and a second scroll was placed in front of him. When he got to the end of the scroll, Luther said, “Is that all?” The devil said, “No, and a third scroll was placed in front of his face. When the devil read off the last sin, Luther said, “Is that all?” The devil said, “Yes, that’s all.” Luther said, “You forgot something,” The devil said “What?” Luther said, “You forgot to write over the top of each scroll that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, and that Martin Luther is forgiven”