The Mission of God

May 5, 2024

Book: Exodus

Scripture: Exodus 19:3-8

Sermon Summary:

Have you ever considered the profound impact you could make by embodying the message of God’s will in your daily life? Our latest episode takes you on a spiritual journey, exploring the weighty call to live as modern-day priests in a secular world. We unpack the significance of music in worship and the unifying practice of the Lord’s Supper, inviting you to join a global family of believers connected through a sacred tradition. With instructions for the Eucharist ceremony in tow, we delve into the essence of inclusivity that underscores this practice, and how the New Testament reinterprets Old Testament traditions in light of Jesus’s life and mission.

Navigating the spiritual terrain of our time, we reflect on the timeless narrative of Exodus and its enduring lesson of deliverance and transformation. The episode illuminates the Old Testament’s Great Commission and its profound relevance to us as a chosen nation and a holy priesthood. We draw a parallel between the Israelites’ journey from slavery to receiving God’s law and our own call to obedience. As we discuss the collective commitment to God’s covenant, we invite you to renew your dedication, contemplating your participation in the divine saga of redemption and obedience.

For those graduating and entering a new chapter, our conversation serves as a compass, guiding you through the multifaceted nature of God’s covenant and your role as His ambassador. We explore the transition from old to new covenants, the responsibility that comes with Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice, and the balance between being set apart and engaging with the world. This episode isn’t just for recent graduates, but for all believers seeking to reaffirm their role in God’s redemptive plan. Prepare to be inspired to live out your faith with humility, obedience, and a heart for service, inspired by the Apostle Peter’s teachings.

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Sermon Points:

  • REMEMBER: God calls us to remember all He has done for us.
  • OBEY: God invites His people to a relationship contextualized by a covenant and characterized by our obedience.
  • COMMISSIONED: God commissioned Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament to represent Him to the peoples of the world.
    • We are His treasured possession!
    • We are a kingdom of priests!
    • We are a holy people!

Download a copy of the “Together in God’s Glory” Devotional Book – HERE

Key Takeaways:

  • The sermon emphasizes the importance of living as modern-day priests in a secular world, embodying God’s will and message in our daily lives.
  • It explores the significance of music in worship and the unifying practice of the Lord’s Supper, inviting believers to partake in this tradition that connects a global family of faith.
  • The New Testament’s reinterpretation of Old Testament traditions is examined, particularly in light of Jesus’s life and mission.
  • The sermon draws parallels between the Israelites’ journey from slavery to receiving God’s law and the calling of modern believers to obedience and service in God’s covenant.
  • It provides guidance for graduates and all believers on understanding their role as God’s ambassadors, navigating the transition from old to new covenants and the balance between being set apart and engaging with the world.
  • The sermon reinforces the idea of living out faith with humility, obedience, and a heart for service, as inspired by the teachings of the Apostle Peter.

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Scripture References:

  • The sermon discusses Exodus 19, where the Israelites receive God’s law at Mount Sinai, and the Old Testament’s Great Commission for them to be a holy nation and kingdom of priests.
  • First Peter 2:9 is quoted to affirm believers as a chosen people and a royal priesthood, underscoring the continuity of God’s covenant and commission from the Old Testament to the New Testament church.
  • The importance of remembering Jesus’s sacrifice is reflected upon during the Lord’s Supper, as the elements symbolize Jesus’s body and blood, and the new covenant established through his ultimate sacrifice.


  • The narrative of Exodus is highlighted for its lessons on deliverance and transformation, serving as a reminder of God’s power to liberate and call His people to obedience.
  • The story of Jesus’s reinterpretation of the Passover and establishment of the Lord’s Supper is shared, underlining the new meanings given to ancient traditions.
  • References are made to the personal growth and theological expansion of the Apostle Peter as he embraced his role in God’s redemptive plan among the Gentiles.


Well, today we are going to as I said, we’re going to celebrate the Lord’s Supper today as a church family. It’s always a special time in our church’s life and you know it’s something the people of God do all over the world and have been doing throughout history, and so I’m going to ask our deacons and our ministers if they would to come and take their places where we can share in these elements here in a moment. And take their places where we can share in these elements here in a moment, and just to offer you some instructions. You might be new here with us today, and so we want to welcome you. If you’re a follower of Jesus and you are baptized, you are welcome to take these elements. You’ll notice when they’re passed in front of you. They’re a stack of cups. They’re double stacked. You just take one of those stacks and I’ll give you instructions here in just a moment about how to receive the bread and the juice. There are some gluten-free packets as well in the middle of the trays.

But you know, a couple of weeks ago the Jews all over the world celebrated the Passover. It’s an annual celebration. Obviously, it harkens back to the story that we’ve been studying in the book of Exodus. Jesus, of course, that final night of his life, is going to reinterpret the Passover and the New Testament. Theologians are going to follow suit and they’re going to reinterpret several things from the Old Testament and give new covenant definition and expression to them. New covenant definition and expression to them. And the text that we’re going to share here in a moment from the old testament is reinterpreted by one of the new testament theologians, and that is the apostle peter.

Peter shares this in first peter 2, verse 9. He says but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, holy nation, god’s special, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 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. The apostle Peter was writing to a majority Gentile church in Asia Minor Today we would call that Turkey to a majority Gentile church in Asia Minor Today we would call that Turkey and the church was primarily comprised of Gentile believers, and so Peter was helping them to understand who they really were now in Christ, because it was Peter’s understanding that the incarnation had changed everything and it was the launching of a new era, that the Messiah had come.

And now this present evil age has now been overtaken, intersected by the age to come. The blessing of Abraham was now becoming a reality, where God told Abraham in Genesis 12 I’m going to bless you, but through you I’m going to bless all the families of the world, and that is going to become a reality through the ministry, the testimony, the witness of the church, and the church would be commissioned, just like Israel was, to go and share this message with the nations. However, in order for that to occur Peter understood and it certainly was taught by the rest of the New Testament theologians that would come with a great cost. It would require the death of the Son of God, and when he would offer up his life as a sacrifice for our sin, we then could be forgiven, we can be cleansed, and then we can be commissioned to be the people of God in our day, and so today we’re going to remember that truth as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. It’s our belief that these elements symbolize for us the very body and blood of Jesus, and so, as you will receive these elements here in a moment, as I give the instructions to do so, I want us to be reminded of the cost of this commission, but also of the calling of it, and that you and I are to live fully into being the people of God in our day, and I trust. It will be a time of commitment for you as you reflect on how God is using you to live out that commission.

Let me lead us in a word of prayer. We’ll ask God’s blessings on these elements and then our deacons will share them with you. So join me as we pray, father, today we are reminded once again Of the cost of our salvation, but also the commission To take the message of this salvation to the nations. And so, lord, we pray your blessings On this bread and this fruit of the vine, that you’ll bless us as we receive it and that we’ll be mindful, lord, of the commission that you have placed on our lives to live fully as your people. May we reflect on that truth as we share in these moments of reflection and celebration today, and we pray that in the name of Jesus, amen. In the name of Jesus, amen.

When we read these words from the apostle Peter, we’re reminded that he was an eyewitness that evening of the celebration of the Passover with Jesus, where Jesus will not only celebrate what God has already done Because it is a time of remembrance, obviously but he would encourage these disciples to peer into the future and he would tell them You’ll do this in remembrance of me, and he would also share with them that one day. He would ultimately share again with us in the joy of a celebration in glory. But until that day comes, we are to participate as well in remembering what the Lord has done for us in Christ. So, with that said, let’s take this bread and be mindful that Jesus took the bread and said it is his body. On that evening, jesus also took the cup and he told these disciples this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Drink ye. And then the disciples went out together Amen and amen.

Our theme as a church is together. Obviously, those disciples had no idea what was about to take place. They are going to reflect on it in retrospect, many, many years later, but this story of the exodus will be one that’s etched in their imaginations, because they were jews who knew full well their history. They also lived under the shackle of the romans, and so they longed for the day when god would set them free. And they, as they followed Jesus, they had to learn that the freedom that Jesus was bringing to them was beyond just the freedom from deliverance from the Romans, but it was a deliverance from our greatest enemy, and that is evil and Satan and sin and ultimately a destiny that is going to be for all of those who reject Christ, of destruction and separation. And so there was great hope in this message of redemption that they discovered in Jesus, and so we’re studying that very story, the book of Exodus, and our theme for the spring is together for God’s glory.

And so I want you to look with me today at what many consider the Great Commission of the Old Testament. I’ve referred to it today as the mission of God. It’s found in Exodus 19. The children of Israel have been delivered from Egypt. We last Sunday morning we looked at this song from Moses where he celebrates the deliverance of the children of Israel. But today, when you come to Exodus 19, you come to the fulfillment of the prophecy that God shared with Moses back in Exodus 3, verse 12. God told Moses I want to use you as my deliverer and you’re going to go to Egypt and you’re going to tell Pharaoh that he’s to let my people go. And then God says to Moses and here’s a sign for you One day you will worship me on this mountain. So in other words, they were going. He was going to have to be obedient to God and live into the future and then ultimately experience that fulfillment. Well, in Exodus three, verse 12, that final you in English is actually plural in Hebrew you all will worship me on this mountain. Well, you come to Exodus 19,.

And finally that day has arrived. The children of Israel have journeyed from Egypt, with their backs to Egypt and their eyes toward the promised land, and they are now at the base of Mount Sinai. They will spend the next 10 months or so here. So they’re going to camp here and spend almost a year where God is going to reveal himself to them, and one of the very first things that happens once they arrive here at Mount Sinai, god calls Moses to himself to share a very powerful message to be shared with the elders, who will then share with the rest of the Israelites. And so let’s pick up that story in Exodus 19, verse 3.

The text says then Moses went up to God and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said this is what you’re to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you’re to tell the people of Israel. You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and I brought you to myself seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and I brought you to myself. Now, if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then, out of all the nations, you’ll be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you’re to speak to the Israelites. So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together we will do everything the Lord has said. So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

As I said, a very powerful encounter between Moses and God, and God begins with Moses by challenging Moses and the people to remember. God calls us to remember all he’s done for us, and so, as they now begin this journey toward becoming a nation, becoming a people, god says here’s where we’re going to start. I want you to acknowledge what I have done for you. And so he spells it out for them. He says I want you to remember what I did to Egypt. Well, what did he do to Egypt? Well, he dismantled the Egyptian worldview in front of the Israelites and he then conquered all of these gods and goddesses, this pantheon of gods and goddesses, in Egypt. Now, not only was that done for the Egyptians, for the sake of the Egyptians, that was done for the sake of the Jews. We don’t know for sure how that worldview of the Egyptians had influenced the worldview of the Hebrews. As I said to’all earlier, all I know is it won’t take long for the Jews to pause and build a golden calf and bow down to it. So where did they learn that? Well, that’s a part of the Egyptian worldview.

And so God is saying to Moses when, just as we start, let me remind you of what I’ve already done. I have dismantled that view and I have set myself up as the only true God. Then he says I carried you out of Egypt on eagle’s wings. In other words, I’m the one that delivered you. You know, you couldn’t have done it on your own. He’s parted the Red Sea. But then he also says I have brought you myself. And so he has rescued and redeemed Israel, so they might live in a relational context with him.

Well, this morning, what we’ve just done is a ritual of remembrance. Jesus told us do this, do it in remembrance of me. And so today we have remembered what God has done for us. God has redeemed us through Jesus, and what has he done? Well, he’s called us to himself and he’s invited us into his plan. Now our college graduates some of them are in this room right now, some of them will be in the next worship service and I just want to encourage our college grads. You are embarking on your life into adulthood and what we would hope and wish and pray for you is that you will find your way on the Jesus way and you will come to an understanding of what your role is in his great plan of redemption, how he’s going to use you, whatever it is you choose to do for a living. We want you to discover how he’s going to use you, whatever it is you choose to do for a living. We want you to discover how he’s going to use you in his great plan of redemption, because we’re all a part of it. So God invites us to remember and then respond. It’s exactly what he did to Israel. Well, what was Israel supposed to do in response? Well, look at what this text says Obey. He says Obey fully.

God invites his people into a relationship that’s contextualized by a covenant. God makes covenants, but it’s characterized by our obedience. God’s a covenant-making God. That’s just how he works. He calls people into relationship with him and then he has a covenant with him. He did that with Noah. Remember when, after he had destroyed the world world with water, he brought Noah into a covenant. He said I’m gonna put a rainbow in the sky and when you see it, you’re to be reminded. I’ve got a covenant with you. I’m never gonna do that again. And that covenant is not just with Noah, it’s with the whole world, it’s with with every living being, because those covenantal regulations and responsibilities are lived out by the people of God, but they have an impact on the rest of the world.

Genesis 12,. God told Abraham here’s my relationship with you. He was still Abraham at the time. Leave where you are, go to a land that I will show you. I’m going to bless you and then, through you, I’m going to bless everybody else. And so that covenantal relationship with God is the context of how we relate to him.

Jesus will come and he will bring forth the new covenant, because the Bible says in Jeremiah that God’s going to bring a new day, and when that new day comes, there’ll be a new covenant. And the new covenant is gonna be written on the hearts of his people, not written on tablets of stone like we’re going to read here in this story in the book of Exodus. God is going to usher into a new day. The Messiah will inaugurate it, and now the covenant will be written on your hearts. And so what does Jesus say at the last supper? He says I’m drinking this juice and it is the blood of the new covenant and then the new testament. Theologians are going to have to interpret that for us. If you want to read probably one of the best interpretations of what that means, read Hebrews 8, where the writer of Hebrews lets us know the old covenant was in effect. Now it has been fulfilled and the new covenant is in effect. And so you and I are the new covenant people of God.

And here in Exodus 19, here’s another expression of the covenant. Now the covenant is going to have to be outlaid. The rest of the book of Exodus, all the way through the book of Leviticus, we’re going to learn more about what the covenant of God is. But the point is Israel is supposed to obey. Well, you and I, we also have that same responsibility. God’s called us to a life of obedience. He’s called us to serve him, to surrender to his will and engage in a life of service and obedience. That’s our responsibility in the covenant and obedience that’s our responsibility in the covenant.

But the covenant includes something incredibly important that I want us to focus on for just a minute today, and that is God’s. People are commissioned people. God commissioned Israel in the Old Testament and the church in the New Testament to represent him to the peoples of the world. As I said, when you come to exodus 19, god is laying out for israel what it means to be a blessing to the nations. That that’s the call to abraham. These are children of abraham. And now here is the commission, the great commission of the old testament. They are to represent him to the world.

Now, what we could do, as we read the history, since we know what’s going to happen to Israel, how well did they do this? Well, it depends. There are seasons where they did this well. They also faced some great challenges in trying to represent God to the world Once Jesus comes. That responsibility has now been given to the church no-transcript, and we’re supposed to represent God to the nations. Well, how are we doing? Well, it depends. Sometimes it seems that we do that well, other times we seem to struggle, just like Israel did. Now God is going to expand this as the Old Testament unfolds and he’s going to stretch the minds, the theological minds of the Israelites. For example, you come to Isaiah 49. And what does God tell Israel in Isaiah 49? I want to make you a light to the Gentiles, so that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. Now, that was a challenge theologically For the Jews, but that challenge was then given to the church.

When you read 1 Peter I love the book of 1 Peter Peter. He was the book of 1 Peter Peter. He was a Jew, remember and he becomes a follower of Jesus and his theology has to be reshaped. And God is going to do it through personal experience, through the testimony of the Holy Spirit and through the admonition of other believers. And so you remember when Peter has that dream. You remember that story and God tells him to eat this food that’s unclean. You remember that story and Peter says well, I can’t eat that food that’s unclean, I’m not going to do that.

He had a sense of what it meant to be identified as a Jew. And then, right on the heels of that, where does God call him? But God calls him to the house of Cornelius a Gentile, and when he gets there he sees the evidence of the work of God. So he experiences this message that the Jews were going to be a light to the Gentiles. He experienced it himself. He saw it. He’ll talk about it later. He said what was I supposed to do? He’ll tell his fellow Jewish Christians what would you have done? In other words, we were there, we saw the testimony of the holy spirit. So we recognize even these gentiles have been brought into the family of faith, and so peter is going to have his theology stretched by experience, by the testimony of the holy spirit. But it’s not inconsistent with what god was about all along. See, that’s that’s the thing. That’s why you have to be careful when you’re interpreting the scripture.

Some people like to take the story of Simon Peter receiving this new revelation and applying it to everything, and they’ll pick things that are still disobedient, as taught in the scripture, but they’ll take it as new revelation. Well, peter is receiving a revelation from God that’s consistent with what God’s already said, because God said back in Isaiah you’re going to be a representative to the nations, to the Gentilesiles, salvation to the ends of the earth. And so Peter’s going to have to come to an understanding of that. And so when Peter starts his letter in 1 Peter 1, here’s what he says. He says I’m writing this to God’s elect Eclectos.

In Greek Exiles, peripademos, pilgrims Scattered. The Greek word is diaspora. Now that, just right off the bat, that lets you know Peter’s theology has really, really grown and he’s understanding what God has done in the new covenant, because he collect us, the chosen ones. That would refer to Israel. The diaspora was actually a scientific word that was used to refer to Israelites who lived outside of Palestine. And and guess what Peter does? He baptizes those words and uses them to talk about Gentile believers who live in Asia Minor.

And then, in a direct understanding of the new covenant, what does Peter do in 1 Peter 2, verse 9? He says this to these Gentile Christians you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, god’s special possession. He takes Exodus 19, 19, baptizes it through the lens of the new covenant and says this is who we are as the church. And so Exodus 19 that we’re reading here is the great commission of the old testament, but it is now directly linked to who we are. We are the new Israel of God, the children of Abraham. We now receive the new Israel of God, the children of Abraham. We now have received the new covenant. We’ve been commissioned by our Lord. So just real quickly, let me remind you of then who we are. I want to make sure you know who we are as a church. We are his treasured possession.

Now, this was a powerful statement when it was first uttered, because God says this the whole earth is mine. That’s probably one of the most radical declarations in monotheism in all of history. I mean, because these people lived in a polytheistic world. The idea that there was only one God was a foreign concept, even the many of them. And so God says I want you to know the whole earth is mine, so there are no other gods, I’m the only one. And so, but out of all the people in the world, I’ve got a special relationship and the whole earth is mine. But I’m calling you to be mine in a very special way. And so who are we today? We are his treasured possession, and the reason that God has chosen us is so we can just enjoy it and just live off the fat of the land and just look down our noses at all those who aren’t us. Right, that’s what we’re supposed to do. Just take in the joy and the beauty of being the church and just not worry about those who aren’t in the church, and just look at them and say, man, wouldn’t it be good if y’all could be with us? Is that right? That wasn’t even right for Israel.

Why would God do this? Why would God call people to himself? Well, he tells us, you’re going to be a kingdom of priests. In other words, we’re all going to be a light to those outside of this relational context with God, israel to be a light to the Gentiles. Now, the church is supposed to represent God to the world. Well, how do we do that? We do it the way they were supposed to do it. We receive the message of God, we live as examples before others so they might be drawn to him, and we also do something that they did. Now it’s a little bit different. They’re going to receive the oracles of God. They’re going to receive what we you and I they would call the scripture. So one of the ways they’ll be a kingdom of priests is they’re going to take the treasury of God’s knowledge and record it so that everyone else can have it. You and I now shepherd that truth, and so our responsibility is to carry the truth of God’s scripture to our world. That’s how we are priestly in our functions, and we do it all together and we represent God to the world. We represent the world to God. We come before the Lord as intercessors. So when you hear God say you’re a kingdom of priests, that is a missionary God. That’s the missionary heart of God.

Redemption is the central activity of the mission of God. If you wonder what the mission of God is all about, it’s about redemption. It’s about reclaiming everything that’s been lost. It’s about restoring everything that’s been broken. It’s about resurrecting that which has been put to death by sin. It is about God’s power at work in the lives of real people, and you and I are the emissaries of it. We, today, are the kingdom of priests, and so that means you have a priestly function. You represent God to your world and your world to him.

But then notice also he says in order to do that, though, we have to be holy people. You can’t do this if your life is marred by unholiness. You just can’t. You can’t. You can’t represent God to the world if you’re ungodly. It’s just, it’s impossible. And so that means you and I have to be God-like in holiness. We’ve got to be separate from the world. It’s so much easier to just fit in, it just is.

And so I’m thinking about our college graduates. Think about our college graduates today, in the world that they are now walking into, how much power and force is on them to just fit in, just do what everybody else does, just view the world the way everybody else views it, just act like everybody else. That’s the pressure it’s always been on the people of God. But God’s people are to be separated. We saturate the world with our presence, but we’re separated from the world by our holiness. It’s a tension that we have to learn how to do. It’s nuanced, it takes time, and we’re guided by the context of our relationship with God.

And so my question to me and you is how are we doing? How well do you identify as the people of God, and how well are you living into this calling from God, this commission from God, to be a kingdom of priests, to represent God to your world? How is God using you to represent him every day, his interests, his will, his message, his truth. How is it alive in you and how are you sharing it in a priestly way with others? And how concerned are you about those who have yet to find this truth, and are you intercessing on their behalf before the lord? Because that’s our priestly duty also, you and I as the church, we have a huge task, and so let me just challenge us.

Today, we start by remembering. Remember what jesus has done for us, remember who he is. He gave everything he had, and as we remember, we respond by living holy lives and being a kingdom of priests. What I would say is may that be so. Let’s pray together.

Father, today we, first of all, we just want to thank you as we remember.

Just like the Israelites were called to remember, we are as well, and we want to thank you for what you’ve done for us. I want to thank you for the life of Jesus and for his example and for the witness of the Holy Spirit and for your love for us. I want to thank you for the testimony of the scripture that we have truth in front of us to guide us, and so, lord, you’ve equipped us to carry out this calling to be this kingdom of priests, to be this holy people, to live into what it means, to be your treasured possession in relationship with you for a purpose and a reason. So, lord, I pray that you’ll ignite in us this mission call and you’ll find us humble and obedient, with an attitude of service and surrender to you. And we trust, god, that we’ll see you use us in our world each day, regardless of what we choose to do for a living, that we’ll see ourselves on assignment from you, and we pray that in Jesus’ name Amen.