DATE: 14th March, 2021
THEME: ACCEPT JESUS AND LIVE
Psalter: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
PREPARED BY: OSOFO YAW DODD
The motivating factor behind God’s redemptive plan for every man and woman is His love for us. “GOD IS LOVE ”. (1 John 4:16) and “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8) It is not enough to know that Jesus Christ died on the cross. We must believe that He died on the cross in our place for our salvation. We must believe He loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives in His testament that came into effect when He died on the cross. This is what makes the cross so unique.
God is the giver of life. In the beginning “the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature”. (Gen 2:7) Man was created in the image and likeness of God with a godly nature. When Adam yielded to sin he died and lost God’s image and likeness and with it his godly nature. When man disobeyed God he made the choice to depend on himself and not God and God honored his decision. Reliance on self is sin and “the wages of sin is death”. (Rom 6:23) All of us have inherited Adams sinful nature for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Christ died on the cross that we might live. On the cross Christ was made sin with the sin of the whole world, PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE and paid the price for our forgiveness. Christ died to restore our godly nature and save us from destruction.
- THE CASE OF THE VIPERS (Numbers 21:1-9)
In this text, we are told that “they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom,” v. 4. The Israelites were forced to go this way because the Edomites would not grant them permission to cross their land. This forced Israel to walk through a terribly harsh desert area. It was MOUNTAINOUS, ROUGH, and DESOLATE. The people didn’t like it. Verse 4 says “the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.”
Their frustration over the path they were being forced to walk, brought to the surface other COMPLAINTS they had in their hearts. In verse 5 they voice several complaints. In response to their complaints, God sent judgment upon Israel in the form of “fiery serpents.” Yet, along with the punishment came the PARDON.
This passage is a harsh look at the consequences of sin, but it also illustrates the LOVE and GRACE of God for the lost. This passage, though ancient, is a vivid illustration of what Jesus did for sinners on the cross.
When speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus used this event as an illustration of His Own death for sinners on the cross at Calvary, John 3:14-15.
A. ISRAEL’S SORROW
When you have been bitten by a deadly snake, there are only two things you can do: You can sit and die, or you can get up and do something about it. The Israelites chose to do something about the situation. They took three steps that every person has to take if he is going to be cured of the snake bite of sin, and escape the fiery judgment of hell.
a. There Was CONVICTION – “Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, ‘WE HAVE SINNED.’” No matter what else you do, until you get to that point in your life where you are willing to say, “I have sinned,” you will never be saved.
b. There Was CONFESSION – The people went on to say, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you.” True conviction is always followed by full confession.
c. There Was CONTRITION – The people went on to say, “Pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people.” The final step is when you realize that your only hope is God. When the sinner comes to see his lost condition, and confesses that need before the Lord, the sinner will be at a place where he will turn to the Lord for the help he needs.
B. ISRAEL’S SALVATION
Incredibly the cure for this serpent problem is not a pill or a potion. THE SOLUTION IS A BRASS SERPENT RAISED UP ON A POLE. There are some precious truths I want you to see in that brass serpent.
i. There Is The Provision Of God – Who came up with a plan like this in the first place? Verse 8 says, “Then the Lord said to Moses.” The plan of salvation is God’s idea, and God’s idea about salvation has never changed. In Num. 21, Looking to a substitute provided by God saved them. Looking to a Savior, Jesus Christ, provided by God saves us. The only difference is, in Numbers 21 we see a picture of the Lord Jesus, but in the New Testament we see Him!
ii. There Is The Power Of Grace – I want you to see something about this wonderful salvation.
● It Was Dependable – Everyone who looked, lived.
● It Was Individual – Everyone had to look for themselves.
● It Was Instantaneous – The people who looked at that serpent did not have to wait, pray, or pay for this salvation. THE MOMENT YOU LOOKED WAS THE MINUTE YOU LIVED.
● It Was Invaluable – The healing God provided through that serpent was free, readily available, sufficient, and it would work for anyone.
- GOD HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU ABOUT LOVE (John 3:14-19)
God’s love is always PURE, always HOLY, always SEEKING what is best for the object it loves. His love is given freely without the hope of desire for anything in return. God loves, because He is love! His love is never ending – Jer. 31:3. His love is always given first, 1 John 4:19. His love is precious beyond words!
- PRECIOUS PROMISES TO THE SAINTS (Ephesians 2:7-10)
a. A New Destination – This verse reminds us that one of these days, we are going to finally be home in glory!
b. A New Designation – These verses tell of the only way of salvation. It is through faith and grace alone!
c. New Direction – After Jesus comes in and saves the soul, He changes the life and sets the sinner on a new path. He saves us to put us to work for His glory!
Now there are some lessons we need to glean from this passage about our relationship with the Lord Jesus, and how we are to be saved, and what we ought to do after we’re saved.
▪ We Must Look To Jesus For Salvation – Think about it. The only condition placed on these people was simply to look. The Israelites could have tried all kind of homemade remedies.
The people who died did not die just because they had been bitten. Ultimately, THEY DIED BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT LOOK, v. 8.
▪ We Must Lift Up Jesus –Listen to what Jesus Himself said about this story in John 3:14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” If Jesus Christ was lifted up on the cross to pay for our sins, and if He is the only hope we have of salvation, don’t you agree with me that we ought to be lifting up Jesus so that others might hear about Him and be saved?
Where does this sermon find you today? Have you been bitten by the serpent of sin? Can you feel its poison working through your system? If it does, let me tell you that you do not have to die without Jesus. You do not have to live one more minute as a slave to sin and his power. I am here today to invite you to look and live. Look to Jesus and and be free! Enjoy the SERVICE. Stay Blessed
OSOFO YAW DODD
CALVARY METHODIST CHURCH