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You Shall Make Response Before the Lord
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: God calls His people to respond to their deliverance from Egypt and preservation in the wilderness by recounting the story of their salvation and pledging to keep His commandments. Israel’s response is made public by displaying the Law, building an altar, and participating in a covenant ceremony where they call blessings and curses upon themselves. Although the Lord delights to bless His people, the covenant ceremony binds Israel and the Lord together in such a way that suffering and exile will result from breaking their vows. The history of Israel proves the weakness of their commitment, but it also highlights the mercy of the Lord, who restores His people when they return to Him and renews their hearts so they can live for Him again. Israel’s response of gratitude and public promise of future obedience provides lessons for us today as we baptize believers in His name.
01. Baptism is not a ceremony that saves; it is a fitting response to the saving work of Jesus Christ.
02. Baptism is not a private act; it is a public declaration that we now belong to the Lord.
03. Baptism is not merely our commitment to God; it is also a sign of God’s commitment to us.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. The summary of God’s work among His people given in 26:5-9 is short enough to remind God’s people of their history and simple enough to focus on the essentials. What summaries of the gospel message can you find in the New Testament? What summaries (i.e., creeds) of the faith help you remember the content of the gospel?
2. What is the significance of writing the Law of God (Ten Commandments) on stone upon entering the Promised Land? What does this action suggest about the importance of returning to God’s Word time and time again? How do you maintain diligence in reading and remembering God’s Word?
3. Note the frequency of promises from God to bless His people in chapters 26-30. What does this suggest about God’s heart for His people? How are we to respond to God’s blessings, according to the text? In what ways are God’s blessings taken for granted today?
4. What is the outcome for Israel if they choose a different path than that which is set out by the Lord, according to Deuteronomy 27:15-26; 28:15-68? In what ways does the Lord display his divine displeasure today? Do adverse circumstances always imply God’s displeasure?
5. God’s promise of forgiveness and restoration in chapter 30 should encourage every believer’s heart. What other examples of forgiveness and restoration can you find in Scripture? How has the Lord forgiven and restored you since you first gave your life to Him?
For Further Reading: Bobby Jamieson, Going Public: Why Baptism is Required for Church Membership (B&H Academic, 2015)
Ministry Assistant, Communications
Northpoint Evangelical Free Church
988 W Ontario Avenue, Corona, CA 92882