This is the sermon for Sunday, February 3rd, 2008.
GOTTA HAVE FAITH PART 10
Moses’ faith – a self denying faith
Last week in our series, “Gotta have faith,” we looked at 4 examples of faith. They were: Isaac’s faith – a faith that looked into the future; Jacob’s faith – a worshipping faith; Joseph’s faith – an undying faith; and Moses’ Parent’s faith – a loving fearless faith.
Today we are going to look at Moses’ faith – a self-denying faith.
Denying ourselves can be a very difficult thing to do. For example: I know that I desperately need to lose weight, and I will wake up in the mornings and make up my mind to not eat as much, but something happens during the day. My stomach tries to take over, and usually quite honestly, I let it take over. Why? Because I love eating. And not only do I love eating, but I love eating food that is not good for you. Hamburgers, French Fries, Chicken Fried Steak, Mexican Food, and the list goes on and on. When I do give in, I feel horrible about it, and then the next day, the cycle will often times repeat itself.
How many of you have every experienced something similar? Oh, it may not be with food, but it could be with things, hobbies, habits, grown-up toys, and the list could go on and on.
One thing I want us all to learn about the Christian faith – it is a faith of self-denial. A faith that humbles itself before God and before the world.
German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazis because of his testimony [and because he was a spy for the Allies], made this statement: “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” To follow Jesus no matter what the cost — that’s the way of the cross.
The death that I’m talking about this morning is to our ruler-ship over our own lives. The death is to our desires and longings. Those who die to these things are made alive in Christ.
This is what we will learn from the life of Moses. He had to constantly deny Himself to follow after the Lord God. Let’s look at our text this morning and see what God would teach us through it.
1. The first thing we notice from this passage is Moses had a sacrificial faith.
Hebrews 11:24-25 CSB – 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter 25 and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin.
A. If you will read Exodus 1-2, you will see that Moses grew up a member of Pharaoh’s household.
He was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. I did a little research and found out that this was a legal term. Moses wasn’t the only one who had it. There were others who because of gifts and talents were literally adopted into Pharaoh’s household and they would have the title behind their name of who adopted them. In Moses case he would have been called: Moses, the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Pharaoh’s family was one of opulence, popularity, and great fan-fare. Moses probably would have been the Paris Hilton of his day. What do I mean by this? Paris Hilton is famous because of her granddad – she was born into it. Moses would have been famous because of his grand-dad – Pharaoh.
B. Moses made a choice by faith.
By his chose, he refused the life he grew up in and chose to suffer with the children of Israel.
C. You see, life is about choices.
You can blame your parents, upbringing, culture, or whatever else for your problems. Or you can choose to enjoy sin, your culture, your background. Or you can choose to submit to God, not letting your past, your culture, your upbringing dictate your life.
A great example of this would be James Robison. You see, he was a product of rape. His mother didn’t love him. He grew up as a teenager and would just as soon shoot you as to look at you. He was rough and had every right to be angry. But God got a hold of him and touched his life…God changed him. Now as you watch his program, you see a man who is humble before God and others. A person with a tender heart. You see, that is what self-denial does.
D. The point of all this is Moses by faith sacrificed everything he knew.
2. Moses’ faith was also an expectant faith.
Hebrews 11:26 CSB – For he considered reproach for the sake of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.
A. After Moses surrenders to God – his attention changes.
He is looking toward the reward, and ultimately, he is willing to suffer for it if need be. What was the reward – the promised land?
No, because Moses only saw it, he never entered it. Notice it says in v. 26, “for the sake of the Messiah.” I feel that Moses was in reality looking toward the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, as the ultimate fulfillment of the reward. I feel that Moses had an encounter with the coming Messiah in the burning bush that radically changed his life forever.
Exodus 3:1-6 CSB – 1 Meanwhile Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 Then the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. 3 So Moses thought: I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up? 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!” “Here I am,” he answered. 5 “Do not come closer,” He said. “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then He continued, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
B. What can we learn from Moses?
That faith requires individuals to put their own desires and agendas aside for the sake of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
3. Moses’ faith is also one that perseveres.
Hebrews 11:27 CSB – By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for he persevered, as one who sees Him who is invisible.
A. We have evidence of his faith persevering for a few reason listed here in this passage.
He left Egypt behind. He was not afraid of the repercussions of his leaving. He was certain of what he could not see, His calling was from God.
Hebrews 11:1 CSB – Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
B. Our faith perseveres much the same way.
We leave our sinful lifestyle behind (forgetting the past). We don’t fear the anger of the enemy for following Christ. We are certain that God is real and He will reward our seeking of Him.
Hebrews 11:6 CSB – Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
4. Finally, Moses had a saving faith.
Hebrews 11:28 CSB – By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
A. Moses believed God’s message of salvation to them.
It is symbolized in the Passover.
B. Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb.
1. He shed His blood for us (Penal Substitution).
2. God’s anger was satisfied by being placed on Jesus at the cross (Propitiation).
3. By His death, He has removed our sins from us (expiation).
4. His righteousness is given to us and we appear before Him as spotless (Justification).
For those of you who don’t know, what I just explained to you is what is called, “The doctrines of the Cross.” All of this He has done for us and it becomes a reality when we put our faith and absolute trust in Him and His finished work.
How can we apply what we’ve just learned this morning?
• Don’t let your past dictate who you are in Christ – forsake it and give it to Him.
• Expect and believe that God can and will change you.
• Persevere in the midst of persecution from the enemy.
• Focus on Jesus and the cross – where our victory lies.
Maybe you are here this morning, looking down on yourself and blaming your past, or your background for your present condition. Stop it! Give it to Jesus. Focus on Him and what He’s done for you at the cross.
Next time we will look at Israel’s faith – a delivering conquering faith.