Grace & Truth Chapel
131 Fardale Avenue ~ Mahwah, New Jersey
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"Delivered at the Red Sea" (posted March 1, 2003)

The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left .
    - Exodus 14:22

He who has died has been freed from sin.
    - Romans 6:7

The children of Israel were not yet redeemed out of Egypt after the blood was sprinkled. There was another need and a different action of God--following up the first, no doubt, but still another dealing of grace necessary to show the deliverance that Christ has really secured for the believer.

The truth of death and resurrection alone gives the believer the measure of the blessing which Christ has really procured; just as in the circumstances here, the Red Sea itself was necessary to give the Israelite his deliverance from the house of bondage.

The New Testament fully teaches this. Take, for instance, the First Epistle of Peter. There we find that we "were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, ... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;" but that is not all. The Spirit of God shows that by Him we "believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Peter 1:18-21).

There you have our Red Sea. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus--putting the people through the Red Sea answering to it as the type in the Old Testament--were necessary to complete the deliverance which God pledged the blood of the lamb to perform. ... He has made peace through the blood of His cross, no doubt (Colossians 1:20); but still the way He brings me into the enjoyment of it is by showing Himself raised from the dead for our justification; and more than this, by showing us ourselves, dead unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There is many a soul in this world striving to be dead to sin, and there is hardly anything that more tries Christian people. They are not surprised, before they are converted to God, that they should have sin; but, after they have been brought to Him, to feel within them the workings of sin alarms them indeed. He does not meet this by turning them back to look at the cross, and by showing them the blood of Christ that was shed for them. The blood of Christ effaces the sins, but it does not meet the question of sin that is working in the believer after he is brought to God. What does? You died to sin, with Christ.

Christianity ... is the application of what God has wrought in the Lord Jesus to all of us--not merely to our sins, but to our sin, to that root of evil within; and just as He has shown me the blood blotting out my sins, so He brings me to see that I am dead to sin.

It is not a question of striving to be different, or seeking to feel this or that, but of believing what God has done for me in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we look at the Red Sea, we can understand how this applies.

There, after the Passover, the children of Israel came into the greatest pressure of trouble. All they felt in Egypt was a little thing compared with what stared them in the face. They had left that land after the blood of the paschal lamb was sprinkled on their doors, but so hard pressed were they now that there was nothing but death before their eyes. They had never, so far as their feelings were concerned, been so shut up to death as then.

And it is frequently so with the Christian. After the soul has been directed to Christ, there is often a coming into deeper waters than ever, and a deeper realization of one's own sinfulness than ever. The sense of sin after we have looked to Christ is far more acute and intense than when we fled for refuge at the beginning.

There was then seen a path of life through death. God was for them; but that was not all, He was against the Egyptians. And so when the Israelites had passed over, and the Red Sea closed upon their enemies and all are dead; then Israel was saved, and it is remarkable that here God uses the term salvation (Exodus 14:13). He does not say salvation on the night of the paschal lamb, but when they have passed through the sea. Salvation is a great deal more than being kept safe. Salvation means that complete clearance from our foes--bringing us out of the house of bondage, and setting us free and clean before God, to be His manifest people in the world.

William Kelly

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