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Summary: THE THREE MEN THAT WE ARE GOING TO STUDY TODAY HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON. THEY ALL BEAR THE NAME JOSEPH. EACH JOSEPH HAS A DIFFERENT VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY BASED ON THE TIME HE LIVED AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT HE LIVED IN.

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THE STORY OF JOSEPH

JOHN 19:38-20:10

THE ENTIRETY OF WORLD HISTORY, FROM THE TIME OF CREATION TO THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD, HAS TWO BASIC DIVISIONS. THE LIFE OF CHRIST BECOMES THE DIVIDING POINT AS HISTORY IS VIEWED AS EITHER B.C. OR A.D. THE CROSS STANDS AT THE CENTER OF THIS GREAT DIVIDE.

TODAY I WANT TO EXAMINE THIS DIVIDE BY LOOKING AT THREE INDIVIDUALS WHO LIVED AT DIFFERENT TIMES, OBVIOUSLY HAD DIFFERENT ROLES TO PLAY, BUT WHO WERE VITAL IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIANITY. THESE THREE INDIVIDUALS WILL SHOW US DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS OF THE GRACE WE ENJOY TODAY.

SOME PEOPLE PLACE GREAT IMPORTANCE ON THEIR REPUTATION, AND WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT IF THEY DO IT, IT WILL BE DONE RIGHT. THERE ARE OTHERS WHO AT THE MENTION OF THEIR NAME SEND SHIVERS UP YOUR SPINE, AS YOU DON’T TRUST THEM AT ALL.

THE THREE MEN THAT WE ARE GOING TO STUDY TODAY HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON. THEY ALL BEAR THE NAME JOSEPH. EACH JOSEPH HAS A DIFFERENT VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY BASED ON THE TIME HE LIVED AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT HE LIVED IN.

POINT ONE: JOSEPH: GRACE PREDICTED

THIS FIRST JOSEPH LIVED SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS BEFORE THE CROSS. HIS STORY BEGINS IN GENESIS CHAPTER 37. THIS JOSEPH STARTS OUT FULL OF GUSTO, INTERPRETING DREAMS FOR HIS BROTHERS AND FATHER. THE BROTHERS BECAME JEALOUS OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER AND CHOSE TO SELL HIM INTO CAPTIVITY IN EGYPT.

DURING THIS TIME NOT MUCH IS SAID ABOUT JOSEPH’S SPIRITUAL CONDITION, BUT IT WOULD SEEM TO BE ANYTHING BUT GOOD DURING THESE EARLY YEARS. HE DID NOT MIND THE ATTENTION HE GOT FROM HIS FATHER OVER HIS OTHER BROTHERS, AND HIS SELFISHNESS WOULD GET HIM INTO BIG TROUBLE.

IT IS IN EGYPT THAT WE LEARN OF JOSEPH’S SPIRITUALITY, AND OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

GENESIS 39:2-4:

THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH SO THAT HE PROSPERED, AND HE LIVED IN THE HOUSE OF HIS EGYPTIAN MASTER. 3 WHEN HIS MASTER SAW THAT THE LORD WAS WITH HIM AND THAT THE LORD GAVE HIM SUCCESS IN EVERYTHING HE DID, 4 JOSEPH FOUND FAVOR IN HIS EYES AND BECAME HIS ATTENDANT. POTIPHAR PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND HE ENTRUSTED TO HIS CARE EVERYTHING HE OWNED

JOSEPH’S SUCCESS FOLLOWED HIM EVERYWHERE HE WENT, EVEN WHEN HE WENT TO PRISON.

GENESIS 39:21-22:

THE LORD WAS WITH HIM; HE SHOWED HIM KINDNESS AND GRANTED HIM FAVOR IN THE EYES OF THE PRISON WARDEN. 22 SO THE WARDEN PUT JOSEPH IN CHARGE OF ALL THOSE HELD IN THE PRISON, AND HE WAS MADE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THAT WAS DONE THERE.

THROUGHOUT JOSEPH’S ENTIRE LIFE GOD SHOWED BLESSING ON HIM. AS THE PRIME MINISTER OF EGYPT, TO BRINGING HIS FAMILY TOGETHER GOD HAD GREAT AND MANY BLESSINGS FOR HIM.

I WANT TO SUGGEST TO YOU TODAY THAT THIS JOSEPH CAN REPRESENT: GRACE PREDICTED.

THE PEOPLE OF JOSEPH’S DAY HAD TO LOOK FORWARD IN FAITH TO THE CROSS, JUST AS WE HAVE TO LOOK BACK TO IT IN FAITH.

THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS AT THE TIME OF THEIR DEATHS WERE OFTEN SAID TO BE GOING WITH THEIR FATHERS. CONSIDER THE DEATH OF JACOB, JOSEPH’S FATHER:

GENESIS 49:33: WHEN JACOB HAD FINISHED GIVING INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS SONS, HE DREW HIS FEET UP INTO THE BED, BREATHED HIS LAST AND WAS GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE

WHAT WAS HAPPENING HERE IS THAT THEY WERE RECEIVED INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD, BASED ON THEIR FAITH THAT WAS PRACTICED IN THEIR OBEDIENCE TO THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM. GOD WAS NOT INTERESTED IN THE ANIMALS USED IN SACRIFICE.

ISAIAH 1:11: “THE MULTITUDE OF YOUR SACRIFICES— WHAT ARE THEY TO ME?” SAYS THE LORD. “I HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH OF BURNT OFFERINGS, OF RAMS AND THE FAT OF FATTENED ANIMALS; I HAVE NO PLEASURE IN THE BLOOD OF BULLS AND LAMBS AND GOATS.

THE SYSTEM JOSEPH LIVED UNDER ALLOWED THE ISREALITES TO SHOW THEIR FAITH THROUGH THEIR OBEDIENCE TO THE METHOD AND STRUCTURE OF THE SYSTEM.

THE SYSTEM WOULD BECOME A PREVIEW OF JESUS DEATH ON THE CROSS.

AS THE PERSON OFFERING THE SACRIFICE BY TOUCHING IT AT THE TIME OF DEATH CEREMONIALLY PASSED ON HIS SIN TO THE SACRIFICE, WHO PAID HIS PENALTY, SO ALSO, WAS OUR SIN PASSED ON TO CHRIST AT THE TIME OF CALVARY, AND THE PENALTY FOR SIN BEING DEATH, SAW JESUS DIE IN OUR STEAD.

PEOPLE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT LIKE JOSEPH LOOKED FORWARD TO THE TIME OF THE MESSIAH. THEY KNEW IT WOULD COME THOUGH THEY DID NOT KNOW WHEN.

WHEN THEY WENT TO THEIR DEATHS THEY DID NOT GO AS MEN WITHOUT HOPE. THEY KNEW THEY WOULD BE GATHERED WITH THEIR FATHER’S IN GOD’S PRESENCE.

THEY LOOKED FORWARD TO THE CROSS TO SETTLE THE ISSUS OF SIN FOREVER. THEY WERE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH, THROUGH THE GRACE OF GOD, BUT AS WE LOOK BACK TO THE CROSS TO PAY OUR SIN DEBT FOREVER, THEY LOOKED FORWARD TO IT FOR THE SAME REASON.

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