Sermon Discussion + Prayer: "With Unveiled Faces"
PRAYING THE PASSAGE (Exodus 34:29-35):
The main point of Exodus 32-34 is not the grievous rebellion of God’s people but the gracious character and forgiveness of their God...
Heavenly Father, when I am tempted to be preoccupied and condemned by my sin, or preoccupied and critical of the sin of others, draw me to the many examples of your patience, mercy, and forgiveness – preeminently displayed in the cross of Christ...especially toward me!
And this theme of a divinely appointed mediator standing between the holy God and sinful humans forms the storyline of the Bible and points to the greater mediator to come-the Lord Jesus Christ.
John Piper – “When we see Jesus, we see the glory of God as in no other manifestation...
Father, I thank you that in Jesus Christ I have a loving Savior, a mediator, an intercessor, and an advocate. And therefore, nothing can ever separate me from your goodness, your mercy, your love.
2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another."
And as we behold Him, we are transformed into His image. As we behold Him, we reflect Him. As we behold His glory, we reflect His glory. It is simply but profoundly true for all of us that what we behold we become.
Lord, help us as a church family to more deeply treasure the transforming effects of beholding your glory in your Word – of becoming more humble as we behold your mercy; of becoming more patient as we behold your forbearance; of becoming more fervent as we behold you building your church; of becoming more hopeful as we behold your promises; and of becoming more loving to one another and to the lost, as we behold the cross.
Moses saw the glory of God primarily by what he heard the Lord say not be what he saw.
And this is why we read God’s word to see and savor the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and have our affections awakened and cultivated so that we are satisfied by His beauty and glory.
Lord, as I read your Word, keep me from casual glances at you, your cross, or your throne. Rather let me hear your voice in such a way as to capture my heart with the wonder, majesty, and beauty of your glory, perfections, and holiness.
And we must not overlook what this passage informs us about our growth in the knowledge of God and practice of godliness. This passage informs us that our growth into His image takes place, “from one degree of glory to another” as we behold Him.
Lord, I am confident that you who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6), and that you who sanctifies me completely, will keep me blameless (1Thess. 5:23-24).
Therefore, please show me one practice of godliness I can begin to pursue, by your transforming grace, in order to grow from one degree of glory to another!
OVERVIEW OF SERMON:
God reveals himself to the Israelites in multiple ways throughout the book of Exodus, but in chapter 34, he reveals himself in a new way as rays of divine glory reflected from Moses’ face. The Israelites beheld a fading reflection of God’s glory in the face of their mediator. However, Christians behold the very glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, our mediator. Jesus is the exact imprint of God’s nature, and the promises made in his New Covenant are superior because of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform our hearts. The Spirit of God removes the veil that blinds us to the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. As we behold Jesus, we become like him, and “we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ by hearing God speak as we read God’s Word in dependence on God’s Spirit.”
- How has Exodus 34:29-35 changed your perception of how we behold our God?
- One way we can hear God speak is through reading the Bible. Through the ordinary practice of reading, we get to behold the extraordinary person and work of Jesus Christ. What has God spoken to you in your recent reading of his Word? How has the Bible helped you to behold Jesus in the last few weeks?
- CJ mentioned that, as we behold Jesus, we usually grow into the image of Christ from one degree of glory to another. Where do you see God transforming your life right now by “one degree”?
- Where do you see evidences of God’s grace in those around you as the Holy Spirit transforms them by degrees?
- In proclaiming God’s Word to others (both Christians and the unsaved), we have the joy and the opportunity to help them behold Jesus. From your answers to Question #2, what passage and/or promise from God’s Word will you use to encourage those around you this week?
- Considering the Spirit’s vital role in transforming our hearts, how will you pray that passage for yourself and for those around you this week?
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