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Exodus 4: Sonship Received (3 of 3)

Download MP3 - Dave Bish - Exodus 4 at Frontiers Church Exeter

There is a great revelation of the victory of God Almighty and his firstborn son in Exodus 4. But, don’t miss the impact. The LORD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals to Israel that they are adopted as his firstborn son. A new humanity among all humanity, adopted as God’s firstborn. Is your Christianity good news enough for that?

Our firstborn, Zach, is six weeks old. As our son he has a unique relationship with us, and Biblically speaking as our firstborn son he would be the chief inheritor of our estate. Similarly, God’s adopted firstborn will inherit all of God’s estate.

You know, there are times Zach wakes up and looks around and it seems to me, is overwhelmed by the world – all the colour and noise just engulfs him. At least, that’s my interpretation… Big things do that to us: A pregnancy. An engagement. A sporting victory. A new job. Israel should similarly be overwhelmed by bring call the firstborn of God.

Just as the defeat of Egypt here points to the final defeat of evil by Christ, so this revelation of sonship, points to something greater, someone greater. Yes, Israel is God’s firstborn son, but the True Israel, the True Son of God Almighty is Jesus Christ, the firstborn over all creation, the supreme son, the one to whom all things belong. The son par excellence. Everything is about Christ! All eyes on him. And now look, just as the LORD adopts Israel, so in Christ, we’re adopted as sons. Is your Christianity good news enough for this?

Paul tells us in his letter to the churches of Galatia that a Christian is someone dressed up as Jesus,
so that when the Father looks at us, he sees Jesus. And a Christian is given the Spirit of the Son so that when the Father turns his ear to the Christian, he hears Jesus. So that, to all intents and purposes, the Christian is Christ. Joel Beeke :“the apex of God’s salvation”. You are God’s son, not because of what you do, not because you beat evil, but as a gift because of Jesus. Richard Sibbes: “All things are ours by our adoption, we are Christ’s, Christ is God’s. There is a world of riches in being sons of God. We have the ear of the king of heaven and earth, favourites in the court of heaven.” Let your heart sing, stop to feel the thrill of this. Is your Christianity good news enough for this?

But, look, this is not the kind of revelation that leads us to go searching for a mirror so we can gaze upon ourselves. Instead, this above all else, turns our heart to Christ –

  • to Christ to see his wonders, his healings, his provision for the hungry and above all his resurrection which declares his victory.
  • to Christ to hear his word, in his teaching, in the universe that he created, in the scriptures that testify about him, in the life that he gives his people.
  • to Christ to revel in his supremacy, with an authority that exceeds all the power of Pharaoh and every other dictator. He wipes the floor with all evil.
  • to Christ to rejoice in his grace, that he has given us sonship, he has given us the gift of himself – to stand in him as favourites of heaven.

In this great story, all eyes are on Jesus Christ.

We began asking why should anyone believe that God is really among us here? The 19th Century preacher, Charles Spurgeon asked the same question… “how are we to recognise the presence of God?” "Wh[o] is the Spirit which shall enable us constantly to feel [him]? The presence of electricity is very soon discovered by those bodies which are susceptible of its action. The presence… of iron in a vessel is very soon detected and discovered by the magnetic needle. There is an affinity between them. That [those who aren’t Christians] should not discover God here I do not wonder at: that they should even say, "There is no God," is no marvel, because there is nothing in their nature akin to him, and therefore they do not perceive him. They lack all the affinity that can discover his presence. If you would feel God's presence, you must have an affinity to his nature. Your soul must have the spirit of adoption, and it will soon find out its Father.

Come receive God’s adoption as a son, in his firstborn son and you will know. And you’ll never truly see God anywhere else until you see him in his grace, until you see him in Jesus. We asked, is there good reason to believe God? Yes. God has acted and God has spoken. This isn’t fairies at the end of the garden.

The Apologist Amy Orr-Ewing says she’s a Christian for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s intellectually robust. I agree, it makes sense up here to be a Christian. Her second reason is that it’s existentially satisfying. It thrills the heart. Believe. Believe that the story of Christ, as CS Lewis would insist, exceeds Narnia. The story of Christ isn’t just winter passed and guilt forgiven, its evil defeated and sonship received. How great the grace, how sweet the song!


  1. Amen! Thrills the heart and mind. Thanks for posting that Dave.


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