Today’s sermon focuses on Exodus 14:1-16, 21-28. My aim is to share that through baptism we can have victory over the enemy in our lives.
“Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses: “Order the Israelites to turn back and camp…Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused … After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!’
So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander… so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance.
The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops… As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them.
They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt?
We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’
But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. … all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord!’
… Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. But just before dawn the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion.
He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. ‘Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!’ the Egyptians shouted. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!’
When all the Israelites had reached the other side, the Lord said to Moses, ‘Raise your hand over the sea again. Then the waters will rush back and cover the Egyptians and their chariots and charioteers.’
… The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. … Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.” (Exodus 14:1-16, 21-28)
There are two ordinances which Christ instituted and established for His Church.
One of those is communion and the other is baptism.
This morning I want to share a few thoughts on the ordinance of baptism.
The reason why we baptize people is because that’s exactly what Jesus told us to do.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
One of the marks of a disciple is their willingness to be baptised.
Baptism is a bit like marriage.
People want the benefits of marriage and not the commitment of that relationship!
So many people want the benefits of a relationship with Christ but are not willing to commit to a relationship with Him.
Jesus commanded it and the early church practised it.
When Peter preached to the crowd in Acts 2 they asked ‘what do we need to do?’
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)
….and the Bible says that some 3,000 were baptised that day
What is the significance or purpose of baptism?
Some people see baptism as
– a ritual
– a religious ceremony
– a traditional observance
that needs to be followed.
If that’s all baptism is then we have missed the true purpose for baptism.
There is more to baptism than just getting wet.
Baptism speaks to us about a number of things:
1. It speaks to us about commitment to Christ, as our Lord and Master.
Baptism is a public declaration of our faith and commitment in Jesus Christ.
It’s a public commitment to serve Jesus Christ all the days of our life
– It’s a covenant
– It’s a commitment
2. Baptism speaks to us about forgiveness.
The Bible speaks about sin as a stain and forgiveness is spoken of as cleansing and washing.
Just as dust is removed from the body through washing, so our sins are washed away by Jesus who died for us
3. Baptism speaks of the new life that we can have in Christ.
It speaks of the death burial and resurrection of Christ.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)
Just as Jesus died on the cross we die:
– We die to our past
– We die to sin
– We die to our old life
When we go under the waters it is a representation of our death and burial of our old life.
The as we come out of the waters it represents as resurrection:
Just as Jesus rose from the dead we too rise up to new life
– A life that wants to please God
– A life that wants to live for God
Baptism speaks of the new life we can have through Christ.
This morning I want to speak of another purpose for baptism and that is baptism speaks of
4. Baptism speaks about our victory and deliverance.
Baptism speaks to us about the fact that we can
– Have victory over the enemy
– Be delivered from the past
– Be delivered from sin
Satan has no longer power over our lives.
So many Christians go through life struggling, struggling
– with the same sins
– with the same problems
– with the same thoughts
– with the same worry and depression….
and they feel like they never make any progress.
So many people give their life to Christ but never experience the fullness of what that represents.
There is a story about a Japanese soldier who came out of the jungle in 1982.
He had been living in the jungle for 37 years, since the end of World War II.
The reason was he didn’t believe the Japanese had surrendered and the war was over.
For 37 years he lived like a prisoner when he could have lived in freedom.
For 37 years he lived a life of hiding when he could have experienced the freedom of life
So many Christians are like this man who never experience the life God has called them to live.
They live as prisoners to the past and to sin and to habits that they can’t break free from.
The Apostle John said:
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8)
Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work yet so many people fail to experience the reality of that.
One of the ways that victory can become a reality is by getting a deeper understanding of baptism.
In order for us to get an understanding of this principle we’re going to look at a familiar story in the Old Testament.
It’s the story of the deliverance of the people of Israel out of Egypt
– For 400 years the Israelites were slaves in Egypt
– The Bible says they cried out to God
– God raised up Moses to lead the people out
– Moses goes to Pharaoh and says let my people go
– Pharaoh says no and there are the ten plagues
– Finally he says yes
– The Israelites leave Egypt and as they leave Pharaoh changes his mind
Now the Israelites have a problem
– Before them is the Red Sea
– Behind them is Pharaoh and his army
They have nowhere to go, they seem doomed and destined to go back into slavery.
We know the story God made a way through the Red Sea
– Which the people of Israel crossed
– Pharaoh and his army were defeated
and the people of Israel were delivered.
Now this is a story of deliverance for the people of Israel but more than that it’s a metaphor for the life of the believer:
a) Egypt is a type of the world
b) Leaving Egypt is a type of redemption
c) Pharaoh is a type of the enemy who wants to enslave us
d) The crossing of the Red Sea is a type of baptism
Look at what Paul says in Corinthians,
“They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life.” (1 Corinthians 10:2, MSG)
It’s as they went through the Red Sea that the enemy was defeated and they were delivered.
Friends, baptism speaks to us about the victory we can have in our lives:
- From the past
- From sins
- From Satan
As we go through the waters of baptism.
Just as the people of Israel were delivered as they walked through the Red Sea.
We too can be delivered as we decide to walk through the waters of baptism.
When Moses and the Israelites crossed over they sang a song,
“I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.” (Exodus 15:1)
“Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.” (Exodus 15:6)
Some of you here today you have given your life to Christ … you have as it were come out of Egypt.
You thought you were free
– free from the sin
– free from the pride
– free from those habits
– free from the hurt and resentment
But somehow those things have continued to hound you.
Listen there’s something deeply spiritual that happens when we get baptised.
It’s a declaration in the spiritual realm that says
– Satan you are defeated
– I’m not going back
– You have no hold on my life
I am moving forward in the Name of Jesus.
As we consider this story of Exodus 14 there are three things that I want you to consider:
Three elements of this story that may be helpful in bringing deliverance and victory in our life.
How do we experience victory?
1. The pursuit of the enemy
The enemy of our soul, Stan, will come after us!
The first element of this story we need to consider is the pursuit of the enemy.
The Israelites leave Egypt and Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues them.
The Bible says,
“When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” (Exodus 14:5)
Just as Pharaoh pursued the Israelites the Satan will come after you.
The day you decide to give you life to Christ he will come after you because he wants you back.
The reality is this:
– God loves you
– Satan hates you
Satan would love to destroy your life, he hates:
– Your joy
– Your peace
– Your marriage/family
– Your humility
– Your ministry
Just like Pharaoh, he wants you back.
He hates it when you repent because when you do that you become even more alive.
Pharaoh didn’t want to kill the Israelites he wanted to enslave them.
That’s what Satan wants to do with us!
Sure you are out of Egypt.
Sure you are saved.
But Satan would love to see us live like slaves!
Two of the strategies the enemy uses to accomplish this is revealed in the story
Look at verse 3:
“Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.'” (Exodus 14:3)
He is going to ridicule you.
Who do you think you are?
Do you really think you can change?
Don’t you remember who you were?
You’re going to fail!
God would never help you.
Sure, you’re redeemed, but you are still aimlessly wandering through the desert.
You don’t know what you’re doing you might as well come back.
The Bible says,
“So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them.” (Exodus 14:6-7)
Pharaoh went with all of his horses all his chariots all his soldiers.
The purpose of that was intimidation and fear.
He comes against us with fear and intimidation he says
– You’re not strong enough
– You’re not going to make it
– You’ll never be really be free
– You have nowhere to go
Why don’t you just give up and surrender!
As you start moving towards God don’t be surprised if you’re met with opposition.
But understand who you are in Christ!
The Bible says:
“Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11)
“Submit yourselves then to God resist the devil; and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Also, in order to be victorious, I want you to notice that God’s power is for us.
2. The power of God to make a way
The second thing we notice about this story is the power of God to make a way.
Moses said to the people,
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
If the enemy, Satan, is coming against us with ridicule and fear and intimidation the temptation is to give in.
Moses says to the people:
– Don’t be afraid
– Stand still
– You will see the deliverance of God
– For the Lord will fight for you
They had come to a place in their life where nothing but the supernatural power of God could help them.
They were cornered:
– Pharaoh behind them
– The Red Sea before them
Sometimes God will send a Pharaoh in our lives,
– a situation
– a circumstance
that will cause us to trust God completely.
We get to the end of ourselves and we say God if you don’t help me I am finished!
It’s in those times that God does some of his greatest work.
The Bible says,
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22)
Notice the phrase all night long.
Some of you are in a night season and it feels like nothing is happening
– You can’t see your way ahead
– You can’t see how you’re going to get out of this
– You can’t see any way through this
BUT don’t despair because God is at work He is making a way.
“This is what the LORD says– He who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:16-17, 18-19)
Some of you are going through a night season in your life right now.
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today… The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
3. Decide to go through the water
The third thing we notice about this story is the Israelites had to make a decision to go through the water.
Here they were standing on the shore of the Red Sea
– Egypt behind them
– Pharaoh breathing down their neck
and they had to make a decision either to walk through or go back.
It’s interesting because some of them said to Moses,
“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?
‘Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-12)
Going back was easy walking through was hard.
….but Hebrews says,
“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land…” (Hebrews 11:29)
Despite all the uncertainty they
– made a decision
– stepped out in faith
– went through the waters
they obtained a might deliverance and an amazing victory.
Baptism requires a step of faith.
Some people say
– I am not ready
– I need to get my life in order
– I need to deal with issues in my life
– I’m scared
– I don’t feel strong enough
Prerequisite for baptism is never perfection it is belief its faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His word!
Knowing that through faith in Christ we can have victory over every attack of the enemy.
Baptism is an important aspect of our walk with God.
It can be seen as a ritual that needs to be followed.
Or we can get a revelation of the spiritual significance of baptism.
That it is a declaration in the spiritual realm that says:
– I am a follower of Jesus Christ
– I am going to serve him all the days of my life
– I am moving forward in the Name of Jesus
– You can chase me, you can ridicule me intimidate me
– But I’m not going back by the grace of God
I’m not going back to:
– the past
– the sin and the habits
– the hurts
– the depression and the worry
through a relationship with Jesus Christ I can be free from all of that and be the person God wants me to be
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39)
There are some of you that are not sure about whether you should be baptised or not
– Maybe you have grown up in church
– Maybe you don’t feel good enough
– I want to challenge you to do so
There are some of you here today who have been baptised but are still walking in defeat.
I pray that you would take some of these truths and receive them by faith and make them a reality in your life.
That the purpose and spiritual significance of baptism would become a reality to you.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on August 24, 2015 at New Life Christian Church.