‘Justified By Faith’, We Are To ‘Walk In Newness Of Life.’
Here, we focus attention on two verses which emphasize the importance of being saved by the Lord and going on to live for Him: ‘when I see the blood, I will pass over you... you must eat unleavened bread’(13,20). In verse 13, we are directed beyond the Passover to Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins (John1:29; 1 John1:7). In verse 20, we have the call to holy living. In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Galatians 5:7-9, Paul uses ‘leaven’ as a symbol of ‘sin’, which holds us back from ‘running a good race’. We are to live as a new creation, who feast on ‘the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’. Forgiveness of sins and holy living belong together. We are not to rejoice in God’s forgiveness and then gloss over His call to holy living: ‘justified by faith’, we are to ‘walk in newness of life’(Romans 5:1; 6:4)
God delivered His people from their bondage (3,14,16). There is, in the Exodus, a great picture of the Gospel, which sets us free. Christ sets us free. He does this by His Word of ‘truth’(John 8:32,36). The Gospel says, ‘Sin will have no dominion over you... You have been set free from sin’(Romans 6:14,18,22). Through ‘the Spirit of God’, we have received ‘not... the spirit of slavery... but... the spirit of sonship’(Romans 8:14-15). Israel’s deliverance from the land of bondage was also deliverance for a new life in ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’(5). We look back in grateful remembrance. We look forward in eager anticipation. We have received ‘the first fruits of the Spirit’. There is more to come - ‘the glorious liberty of the children of God... the redemption of our bodies’(Romans 8:21-23).
Sin may be ‘near’, but God never leads His people into it (13:17, James 1:13). Following Christ means walking a narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). We are surrounded by many temptations. Pray that your feet will not slip (Psalm 37:31; 17:5; 44:18). Sometimes, the Lord leads us ‘by way of the wilderness’- a way of apparent fruitlessness. Why? - So that ‘equipped for battle’, we might learn to serve Him better (13:18). The Lord does not leave His people in the wilderness. Pursued by their enemies (the Egyptians), they were guided by the ‘cloud’ and ‘fire’(13:21-22). God was with them, and He was about to reveal His saving power in a mighty way (13-14). There is judgment as well as salvation (30). Looking to neither the ‘right’ nor the ‘left’, we must look to the Lord (14:21-22). Rejoicing in ‘the great work’ He has done, our faith ‘in the Lord’ grows strong (31).