Tag: Ephesians 2;8-10

The God Who Watches Over His Own!

Scripture reading for February 4th:  Exodus 10-12, Ephesians 2

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 12:40-42 “The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.  It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.”

Our salvation and deliverance from sin and death is not an accident.  It did not come from man’s works or schemes, but was a sovereign act of God prepared beforehand and announced through the prophets.  On an exact day predetermined by God, the Israelites were brought out of Egypt through the grace of God by a blood sacrifice.  So Paul wrote to the Ephesians, that God’s grace alone had brought them salvation through faith in His Firstborn Son’s sacrifice.  God watched over it all and now we watch in amazement as He completes the work in us.

Faith Confession and prayer:  I simply rest in the grace given me by trusting in Jesus Christ and His shed blood.  I ask our Lord to guide me daily in fulfillment of the works He also has prepared for me as I wait and watch for the fullness of time and Christ’s return!

 Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

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The Scapegoat

Scripture reading for February 6: Leviticus 16-17

Man is always looking for someone to blame for sin. It was the “woman you gave me” for Adam.  Eve became his “scapegoat”!  It was the “serpent” for Eve that became her “scapegoat”.  God Himself was blamed by both of them as the ultimate problem.  Amazingly, God had already planned to provide a “scapegoat”!

God loves man and worked out a picture of salvation from sin which is recorded in these chapters of Leviticus.  God set apart one day a year when the High Priest could go behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies in the Tent of Meeting.  That day was called the Day of Atonement.  The term “atonement” simply means a “covering”. On this day, the Israelites could have a yearly “covering” for their sins.

First, a bull was killed and the blood sprinkled for the High Priest as a sacrifice for his sins.  Then two goats were brought before the Tent and lots were cast.  One of the goats was sacrificed and the blood sprinkled by the High Priest behind the curtain for the sins of the people.  Everyone waited outside to see if God would accept the sacrifice for sins committed.  They were relieved when the High Priest came out. (Leviticus 16:6-19)

The second goat was then brought forward.  The High priest laid his hands on it and confessed the sins and rebellion of the Israelites.  This goat was then led out away from the camp into the wilderness to a solitary place and left there.  As the Israelites watched the goat bearing their sins disappear in the distance, they were reminded of the sacrifice necessary to bring a covering for their sins.  God provided a “scapegoat” who would take the blame for them! (Leviticus 16:20-28)

God’s point was that sin was costly!  Life is in the blood and blood alone could “atone” for the sins of a rebellious people.  (Leviticus 17:11)  One bull must die for the High Priest and his family.  One goat must die for the sins of the nation.  One goat must be burdened with the sins of the nation and bear it into the wilderness to face the wild beasts and certain death.   This all was an illustration that taught of man’s need for covering from sin and our corporate need for a “scapegoat”!

Jesus Christ came as God’s designated “scapegoat”!  He offered Himself on the cross to make “atonement” for our sins.  He shed His own blood to pay the penalty for our sins, once for all time!  (Hebrews 9:11-14) He bore our sins and carried them away into a place of God’s forgetfulness, never to be remembered again!  (Hebrews 10:17)

Wow!  What we tried to do on our own by blaming others, God did for us by laying our sins on His own Son and sacrificing Him for us! All we can do is say “amen” to God’s work on our behalf! What a loving and giving Lord!

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

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