The Body of Christ
February 5, 2021
In Exodus 19 we find the Israelite being led to the foot of Mt. Sinai, also called Mt. Horeb. This is the mountain where God spoke to Moses from a burning bush known as the mountain of God.
Here God gave his laws to the Israelites to keep their covenant with Him.
Exodus 19: 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." 7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, "We will do everything the Lord has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord .
Out of all the nations in the world God’s covenant was with the Israelites because they were the offspring of Abraham. God saw them as his treasured people and made holy by only serving him. Then God shows himself to the Israelites.
Exodus 20: 18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." 20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
God showed himself this way to test the Israelites to see if they would fear him as their God and keep their covenant with him.
God warned the Israelites not to set a foot on the mountain which was holy because of his presence on it or they would die because of their sins that made them impure. They could not come near to God. God wanted the Israelites to fear him because they were corrupted by the Egyptians in their 400 years stent there.
When God chose Abraham, he made a covenant with him because he was faithful and God kept his covenant with Abraham by being a faithful, ever present, protective, and loving God, which he kept with Isaac and Jacob because of their faithfulness. God was always quick to forgive to those who heartfully repented from their sins as he was when David repented for his adultery and murder and with the evil King Manasseh when he repented in 2 Chronicles 33:12-13.
The books of Kings tell how the Israelites continued to be unfaithful and not fearing God which made God finally bring on his curse in Deuteronomy 29 and sent the Israelite as captives to Babylon. After 70 years they returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple but remained under foreign rulers.
After the passing of 460 years, God sent his Son, and the Jews were still under foreign rule. They dogmatically followed God’s laws and feared him as an unapproachable holy God hoping that God would save them from the Romans and give them back their promise land and they did this not because they wanted God to be their God and they his people. They believed God was their God and they were his people because they were children of Abraham. Jesus told them that was not true, only those who had faith like Abraham were God’s children.
Jesus was sent to save them from their inability to save themselves from their sins and to show his Father not as the God of Exodus 19, but a gracious, loving and forgiving Father who has come to make a new far better covenant with all who put their faith in his Son promising them eternal life.
This is the gospel the apostles proclaimed at Pentecost, 53 days after Jesus was crucified to God fearing Jews in Acts 2. Peter filled with the Holy Spirit told the Jews:
Acts 2: 36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Peter told them to repent from their old ways of seeing a fearful unapproachable God but turn to an approachable forgiving God by believing in his Son. That day 3000 were saved because they believed their sins were forgiven forever and their conscience was finally set free to be with God forever.
This promise is for all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, whose blood covers their sins once and for all, making it possible to be with God forever by making Jesus their Lord and Savior and receiving the Holy Spirit.
The gospel in not telling others to fear God as depicted in Exodus 19. It is proven by God it will not make them want him and be saved. Those who fear God this way demands God’s laws must be imposed on people of this world; it only pushes God away from them.
Acts 17 tells that those who repent are those who want to know God, so they will seek for him and find him through his Son who reveals a loving and forgiving Father who promises them eternal life with him.
The fear Paul tells believers they must have, is to work out their salvation with fear and trembling that their faith is true to Jesus of the Bible.
Jesus did the impossible to save us, so our part is to listen to him as our Father has commanded us to do and to love him by serving and obeying him as our Lord and Savior.
Let us be his church by being his faithful servants to the end. Be safe in Jesus.