Jun 10 - The Power Of A Superhero

The Power Of A Superhero

June 10, 2018

Exodus 19: 1-8

If you drive down the road over the bridge and up the hill and turn right at the cop

shop, you're almost there. A few more feet and you have arrived at the place the magic

happens! 6448 Gollege Rd. Right at the bottom of the hill there was the gathering. The

daily battle of good versus evil! It was there in the late 70s and early 80s we as local

kids would get together and with our capes and masks go into the forest behind the

house to make battle. To write the wrongs in our universe and in our neighbourhood!

The epic battles that would happen are legendary, we had set up tree forts kind of like

stark towers, and rope swings so we can fly through the city Spiderman, or Superman,

or controlled falling like Batman. The battles were epic. Sometimes the battles were

real when the older kids in the street would join in and those villains would try and

destroy the peace we had fought so hard for on Gollege Road.

One day those bullies had cornered a helpless victim and were trying to hurt it and yes

even kill it. Like Captain America I jumped in to the rescue running like nothing could

stop me, I reached in with my vibranium shield for protection and I rescued the

helpless victim from certain death. I cradled him in my arms and wanted to make sure

he could get a good recovery, so I went to the safest place I could for him to find

healing. I took this helpless gardener snake to my mom's flower arranging supplies and

turned it loose in that safe place.

That evening as I was reading my comic books upstairs lost in the world of

superheroes I heard a scream, a bloodcurdling scream and I knew there was trouble.

Mom had found the snake in like the flash I was running for my life.

Most people loved to imitate superheroes in their youth or at least watch or read the

cartoons and now watch the epic movies especially the new creations by Marvel

comics universe. Why? What's the attraction? Alex Alonzo editor marvel comics said

“they are not rooting for the powers or the costumes, they are rooting for the person

inside the tights with Spiderman there rooting for the kid from Queens who, when he is

not saving the world, has to scrape to make rent; with Captain America they are rooting

for the 98 pound weekly who through the miracle of science, was granted muscles that

finally match the size of his heart.” Superheroes are “models for life; people who rise

above their personal baggage and insecurities to face great challenges and do great

things”

The Bible is the foundation of all superheroes and for the next 8 to 10 weeks we are

going to look at the super heroes of the Bible. We will have multiple speakers over this

series featuring some of your favourites, Mike Mitchell, Pastor Kurt Friesen, Pastor

Sharon Berg, Ben Coles, And myself. We will be looking at and learning from the super

heroes of the Bible, David… Esther… Joshua… Elijah … Moses… Daniel… Rahab…

Mary… Paul… Peter just to name some of the possibilities of ordinary people, 98

pound weakling's so to speak that became superheroes for God. And we will unveil the

secrets and discover their strengths and power. While the search committee prayerfully

sorts through the applications makes a recommendation to the board and to the

congregation on who should be our new lead pastor, I will be filling in as the interim

lead pastor.

Before we can look at the superheroes though we need to look at their source of

strength. Exodus 19 the second easiest book in the Bible to find. Turn there if you have

your Bibles this morning. If you don't have your Bibles I want to encourage you to bring

them each week as we are going to be spending lots of time in them over this series

and the next series. If you don't have a Bible or would like one that you can write in, we

have some inexpensive Bibles available at the information booth for purchase for $10.

You can also use an app on your phone or your iPad to look up Exodus chapter 19.

I want to give you a summary to where we are in this passage before we get going.

And in the summery of where we are going to see a God of Power and compassion, a

God of Grace and mercy but also a God of Judgement and wrath revealing his Power

and abilities ….

The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. Moses was told by God to go to Pharaoh and

demand that he let his people go free. Pharaoh said no, so God sent 10 plagues water

was turned blood, loss of crops, Locust, flies, frogs, death of livestock and then

eventually the death of the firstborn of every person in the country finally pharaoh set

them free. 1 million slaves are now set free and they find themselves trapped at the

Red Sea and God parts the sea and they walk through on dry land they then witnessed

God drown their enemies in the sea behind them. Then he leads them to Mount Sinai

to where he is going to talk to them. Where he is going to show up!

400 years of slavery and now they're free… probably how Pastor Spencer felt on

Wednesday morning when he woke up to find himself retired.

So lets read Exodus 19:1-5 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left

Egypt on that very day they came to the desert of Sinai. After they sent out from

Rafidim, they entered the desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front

of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the

mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendant of Jacob and what

you are to tell the people of Israel: you yourself have seen what I did to Egypt, and how

I carried you on Eagles wings and brought you to myself.

1)Grace is the starting point with every relationship

with God.

Grace is Gods Unmerited/Underserved Favour!

J.I. Packer says (talk about a superhero in the faith)“that Grace is the keyword in

Christianity.”

-So before God gives his people the 10 commandments and the law in the next

chapter he reminds them of his grace here in vs 3-4 and then says it again in 20:1-2

Why/

God wants his people to know that a covenant relationship with the almighty is based

entirely on his grace. It is a relationship we do not deserve but it is given to us out of

Love.

To understand this God who is our source of strength and power in our struggles of

Good vs evil in life we have to understand first of all his grace. Underline vs 4 and just

write grace in the margin. This verse reveals three aspects of God’s grace.

1) Divine Judgement— You have seen what I did in Egypt —as God revealed his

power and broke the country to the point they were going to let 1 million slaves

leave and give them riches if they would go fast. We cannot understand grace

without understanding the need for judgement. People often will say God is not the

judgemental god of the OT he is loving and full of mercy and grace… but God is the

same yesterday today and forever and grace would mean nothing if we did not

understand his opinion of sin, his wrath and judgement.

1) Mountain Line around no one not even livestock are to touch.

2) Multiple times they are told to keep away. Moses got quite a workout.

3) High Voltage God

2) Divine Deliverance —I carried you out on Eagles wings. — The slaves in Egypt

could not escape on their own they were being culled and broken and weakened.

They could do nothing on their own but that is where I love the grace of God

because in his strength I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Grace is a gift and not something we earn. God set them free and he continues to

set people free today from our slavery to sin.

3) Divine Drawing — and brought you to myself — what is your story of God drawing

you to himself? What did he have to do, what Red Sea did he have to part to draw

you unto himself? That is grace you don't deserve him yet he wants you.

We are saved by grace alone into a Covenant/Contract of Obedience

2)God’s plan and promises are always and if/then

statement.

Vs 5-8

Now if (circle that highlight it, Underline it) if you obey me fully and keep my covenant,

then (circle that, highlight it, underline it,) then out of all nations you will be my

treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, You will be for me at kingdom

of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.

God has brought the people out (salvation is a free gift —grace) and He is now offering

them a contract.

God’s Plan and Promises are always an if/then statement

If you walk in obedience Then you will be my treasured possession.

God is offering a Covenant of obedience and God is offering the same covent to us

today, because He is the same yesterday today and forever. And yet we so often accept

the grace part of the relationship with God but we are not so excited about the

obedience. But if we want the blessing God’s plan and promises, royal priest—holy

nation, then we have to obey.

This is the difference between Religion and the Gospel. Religion says, "I obey, therefore

I'm saved." The Gospel says the opposite, this is why the middle of our missions

statement is that we are compelled by God’s love. "I'm saved, therefore I obey." This

may seem inconsequential. But it makes all the difference in the world.

Thinking Religion, never brings a revival, and makes the Christian life heavy,

burdensome and with a false sense of holiness and spirituality like that of the

Pharisees. But knowing the Gospel, brings a continuous revival in our soul all the days

of our lives.

Still, we wonder if Moses is confused by making 2 seemingly opposite statements in

Ex 19:4-5: "God saved you by grace" (Ex 19:4). "But unless you obey, God won't save

you" (Ex 19:5). How do we explain the conditional "If/then" language in Ex 19:5? Before

doing so, let us examine 4 wrong ideas or sentiments that people, including Christians,

have about salvation:

1) We are saved by works. If my good outweighs my bad, I will be saved and blessed.

2) We are saved by faith and works (obedience). This is clearly refuted by Ex 19:4, Eph

2:8-9.

3) We are saved by faith/grace, and kept in salvation by our works/obedience.

4) We are saved by faith, so we don't need works or obedience or the Law.

Basically, all four answers/ideas/opinions are wrong. #1 is perhaps the most common

non-Christian idea. #2 and #3 is the inclination of "legalistic" Christians. #4 is the

sentiment of "liberal" Christians. Other Christians flip flop between legalism and

liberalism. We are "harsh" when we are legalistic and "lenient" when we are liberal.

I find this flip/flop in myself, swaying back and forth from being tough to gentle, and

gentle to tough. I know that I should be both simultaneously by the work of the Spirit.

To understand obedience as a Christian, it helps to understand 2 things:

1) Every relationship has responsibilities. Every covenant relationship has its own

responsibilities, which requires self-denial, submission and obedience to certain

laws. Marriage may be the best human illustration and example. I think Most

couples today take out the most important part of their vows and that is to obey.

The promise to obey is the first promise that hits the cutting room floor but I believe

it it the most important. Obedience when it is love based when it is mutual act of

outrageous loving each other because of the love you have for each other.

Obedient outrageous LOVE COMPELS US to action resulting in more LOVE!

2) Responsibilities are always blessings, not burdens. The most miserable and

unhappy Christians are those who try to have the least possible responsibilities,

with maximum blessings and rewards. The failure of Christians through out history

come from excuses and justification to not obey God's laws and commands. A sad

excuse for disobedience says, "I am saved by grace, not by obedience to the Law."

Such thoughts completely misunderstand the love and grace of Jesus.

To one who knows and has tasted the sweetness of God's grace, obedience is a

responsibility that are simultaneously blessings, the greatest blessings. God's people

do not become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation when they obey. They are

already a kingdom of priests and a holy nation by God's grace alone. Their obedience

is simply their happy life living in gratitude and in response to the grace of God.

Don't ask God to bless a life that you haven't given to him in obedience .

Living with you boyfriend or girlfriend and then pray god would help you in your

relationship. He isn't listening because your not obeying

Having financial troubles and praying that God will bail you out, but you never have

given your finances over to him Your not tithing not giving to the needy. But you can

afford trips and treats. Don't ask him for more till you are obedient with what he has

already given you

Asking God for help at work and yet you have never lived him out in your work place…

You fill in your unanswered prayers here and examine what area of your life might not

be walked out in obedience.

3) Choose to live out God’s Mission

As we experience Gods deliverance and Grace we walk in obedience to his word.

Jesus summed it up Love God and love others.

When we respond to his Grace by our obedience God promises to make us the

following

1) You are a Treasured possession (circle that )

Gods grace made us his treasure, Do we a followers of Christ Treasure him? Mt

6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.….. What do I

treasure things of earth or things of heaven. Is my heart for me alone of for the

things of God and am I backing that up with my wallet.

2) A kingdom of Priests (Underline that) A priest is someone who brings God to

people and people to God. This is a hard job because sinful people don’t want to

come to a holy God. And God can not come to a sinful people without destroying

them. So it is our job to bring the message of grace lived out in our lives. As we are

all priests.

1Peter 2:9-10 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called

you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people,

but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now

you have received mercy.

3) and a Holy Nation (Highlight that). Holiness (being set apart) is not an option 1Peter

1:16 Be Holy because I am holy.

Examine your life and see if you are really setting yourself apart from the world for God.

Entertainment—Lifestyle—Heart—Marriage—language—etc

As I open this series on Superheroes of the Bible and superheroes of faith many of us

feel like little kids in our faith and wonder how as a 98 lb weakling with a big heart how

we could possibly make a difference. As the Battle for Good and Evil rages on all

around us in our jobs, marriages, homes and it appears that the church and that God is

loosing ground how could we possibly take a stand against the evil of the world today?

Iron man Quote ….

Heroes are made by the path they choose not by the powers they are graced with.

We have a choice to make do we choose the plans and promises of our selves or plans

and promises of God? If we Choose God then we have accepted his Grace and now

HAVE TO WALK IN OBEDIENCE

Each one of us can make a difference for God in this community with the power of God

to be superheroes of the faith by accepting his grace and walking in obedience in the

promise and plans that he has for us.

Some concluding questions to ponder:

* Does the grace of God drive your obedience as a Christian?

* Do you think obedience is optional since you are saved by grace alone?

* How are you living out your obedience daily?

* How are you living out your Christian life as a kingdom of priests and a holy

people?

* Is the love, joy and peace of grace the language of your heart?

* Does grace create and cause a continuous revival in your soul?