Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleGod's Way of Building
Bible TextExodus 35:1-39:43
Synopsis Everything that God purposed in eternity for each of his children to do, and collectively as his church, God brings to pass in time by making his people willing to do it. Listen
Series Exodus 2016
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: God's Way of Building (32 kbps)
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Length 46 min.
Series: Exodus 
Title:  God’s Way of Building 
Text: Exodus 35-39 
Date: Dec 13, 2020 
Place: SGBC, NJ 
Proposition: Everything that God purposed in eternity for each of his children to do, and collectively as his church, God brings to pass in time by making his people willing to do it. 
Exodus 25-31 showed us God’s purpose: God gave Moses the pattern of how all things in the tabernacle were to be made. 
Exodus 35-39 shows God bringing his purpose to pass in time: by God’s power and grace the children of Israel did everything as God purposed. 
We can’t go through these chapters verse by verse but we will look at a few verses for now. 
Subject: God’s Way of Building 
Everything that God purposed in eternity for each of his children, God brings to pass in time by making his people willing to do what he commands.  He gives the willing heart.  God gives the provisions.  He gives the wisdom, the direction, the chastening, the power, the protection—yes—everything needed God provides.  Sin is of us.  But God even overrules our sins for the good that Christ is working for his church.  We could sin far more than we do.  But God restrains the sin that does not bring him glory.  So even our sin is used of God to work God’s will.  Nothing is by chance.  All is of God.  Let us bow to God.  Let us wait on God.  God’s will shall be done. 
Exodus 35: 1: And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them. 2: Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. 3: Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
Every chosen child of God is made to begin by resting in Christ.  Before we can enter into God’s service we must first rest from all works by faith in Christ.  God’s eternal purpose is for his Son to receive all preeminence.  God’s purpose is for all our fulness to come from Christ alone.  Therefore service to God begins by resting in Christ in God-given faith. 
We are about to see the children of Israel do all these works to build God’s tabernacle according to the pattern God purposed beforehand.  It pictures God using those he has elected, redeemed and sanctified to preach his gospel through which Christ calls out his redeemed and builds us up together as his church, of whom Christ is Head.  But God begins by commanding they rest on the Sabbath Day.  It declares to us that we cannot serve God until God brings us to rest from our vain works and believe on Christ and his finished work 
Romans 4:4: Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 
Christ is our Sabbath Rest because he justified his ungodly people.  He fulfilled the law for us and so he is the end of the law.  Christ is the end to which the law brings his redeemed and in Christ the law terminates its rule over the believer.  The end purpose of the law is Christ our Righteousness.  God-given faith rests in Christ who justified me the ungodly.  We stand before the law perfect in Christ’s Righteousness and his law demands we go free. 
But all is of Christ’s works.  When Romans 8 says the Righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, it is not by our doing.  The righteousness of the law is Christ.  He fulfilled it.  The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us when the Spirit of Christ our Righteousness abides in us so that we have a new spirit which is alive because of his righteousness and believes on him as our only righteousness. 
What about holiness? God’s elect are in Christ by God the Father’ separating, sanctifying divine election.   We are sanctified in Christ at God’s right hand in perfection.  And with the Holy One abiding in us, Christ makes us holy by his presence.  Nothing is of our person or of our works.  All is of Christ by his grace freely given to us through faith in him.  That is rest! 
This is the seventh mention of the Sabbath, for the first time, God forbids even kindling a fire on the Sabbath Day.  A fire provides light for direction, comfort from the cold, protection from wild beasts, and preparation of food.  A fire provides things we need in this life. 
Christ is not only our Sabbath Rest in that he is our Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption for heaven but Christ is our Light who directs our steps in this life.  He is our Comfort and protection in all trouble in this life.  Christ provides all that we need to live and walk in this world.  All our provision for this life and for the life to come comes from Christ and is Christ. 
Isaiah 50: 10: Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. 11: Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow. 
True rest is knowing that God accepts me in glory in Christ.  Also, in this life, rest is knowing that we live unto God by Christ our Wisdom directing our steps by his Holy Spirit.  Rest is being comforted by Christ and having Christ as our Comfort in all trouble.  It is rest to know we are protected from all danger by Christ our Refuge.  He is feeding us with every sort of provision we need.  That is Rest! 
Psalm 37: 23: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24: Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. 25: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26: He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. 27: Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. 28: For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29: The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30: The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. [why] 31: The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. 32: The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. 33: The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 34: Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:…39: But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40: And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. 
We have not begun to serve God until we have ceased from all our works and rested entirely in Christ for All things for this life and the life to come.  Christ is our full provision, all comes from him, we rest in him. 
Christ gives his people all things to serve him.  Let’s read a few passages to see this. 
Exodus 35: 4: And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, 5: Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; 
It was the LORD’s offering to begin with and was to be given to the LORD with a willing heart.  Christ gave them willing hearts.  Then he lists all these possessions they were to bring.  Then we see that they brought the offering. 
Exodus 35: 21: And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments… 
In fact, they gave too much; look to down to:
Exodus 36: 5: And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. 6: And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. 7: For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Also, the Spirit of the Lord gave wisdom and skill to the workmen to make the tabernacle and its furnishing. 
Exodus 35: 10: And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; 11: The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards,…
He lists all that God purposed to be made which he told Moses in the mount.  
Next, we will see again, Bezaleel and Aholiab, along with the workmen they taught.  These two typify the Lord Jesus Christ who builds his church.  But they also represent Christ preachers in whom Christ abides.  Those they taught picture Christ’s people who have been taught the gospel of Christ and in whose heart Christ rules. 
Exodus 35: 30: And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31  And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;…34  And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.…Exodus 36: 1: Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.  
So by the Spirit of the Lord we read over in: 
Exodus 39: 42  According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. 43: And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.
Now remember who all these people are.  A little before they were murmuring against God and against Moses in the wilderness repeatedly.  When they heard Moses give God’s covenant of works, they boasted they would do all that God commanded.  A little later they had Aaron make a golden calf and danced around it.  After our text, we will see them later doing more sinful things against God and against Moses.  These are ruined sinners, some of whom God chose before the world was made in whom the Spirit of God abode.  But they could do nothing but sin in themselves.  Do you see yourself?  But here we see them doing exactly what the Lord purposed before to be done.  Who made the difference? 
1 Corinthians 4:7: For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it
God uses sinners saved by his grace.  Whatever God purposed from eternity for his elect to give or do in his service, God brings it to pass by his Spirit in them.  These are good works which God before ordained that they would do.  So God brought it to pass according to his eternal purpose. 
All sin comes for our heart of flesh, our sin-nature.  We fell in Adam.  We are born of Adam.  So we are dead in sins with no ability to believe or serve God.  But if God has purposed for his child to live and to give from a willing heart, God first gives the willing heart.  God the Father gave his Son this glory as the GodMan, Mediator, declaring, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” 
Christ declared that all sin comes from the depraved heart of sinners.  But we also read, 
Proverbs 16:1: The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. 
By nature we are full of covetousness and unbelief from our heart of flesh.  Therefore every willing heart is God’s gift.  All preparations of the heart when we obey God in his service—whether praying, preaching in truth or laboring or whatever good thing—is of God who worked in us both "to will and to do of his good pleasure" and Christ gets all the glory.  We ought to work out all our daily affairs with our brethren in fear and trembling because God is working in our brethren and in our midst doing his good pleasure. 
Whatever material thing God purposed from eternity that we give, God first gives it to us.  These folks were slaves in Egypt with no possessions.  They have been travelling through a dessert.  They have not been working at a factory or digging in the ground for gold.  Where did they get all this stuff?  God gave it. 
Exodus 3: 20: And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. 21: And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: 22: But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians. 
The heart God gives is willing and cheerful in serving God because it believes God has provided all in Christ to make me accepted of God therefore I am assured he shall provide all I need in this life.  We cannot give willingly, cheerfully or do anything unless God gives a heart to believe that God has first given all to us and shall continue to provide all for us. 
Otherwise, we do everything grudgingly.  Covetousness is idolatry because it believes daily salvation is in our possessions which we provided by our own hand.  It is the worship of self.  Sometimes God permits us to be overcome with unbelief just to show us that he alone makes the difference, not us. 
When God renews us to have a willing, cheerful heart, he reminds us God has and shall provide all because he has already provided my salvation by his unspeakable gift—his only begotten Son. 
2 Corinthians 9: 7: Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10: Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11: Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God….15: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 
Brethren, this is what God instructs his child by holding us up and by letting us fall.  When a child of God sins, it is our own sinful flesh. But when a child of God serves God as God commands it is all to the glory of God working his full provision in us. 
We are never without sin.  Believers have two natures: a sin-nature and a holy nature.  Therefore, we live unto God from our new heart but we also sin due to our sin-nature.  It is only by God’s restraining hand that we do not sin more.  
That is why God permit his child to fall? It is that God might instruct his child and his brethren this very thing.  Sin is of us.  That is what God reminds us of in our fall and in the falls of our brethren.  But by allowing us to fall then recovering us, God makes us hate our sin.   He makes us watchful.  He makes us constantly look to Christ and utterly depend upon his sustaining, keeping, preserving provision.  Our sinful works which are of us and our good works which are by God, keep us knowing that whatever good thing we do in service to God, God worked it in us and God gets the glory! 
God has put us together with believing sinners to teach us grace in practice.  We learn by our reaction to trials.  Sometimes we do as God commands by God’s grace and power working in us.  But sometimes we act ugly in sin or self-righteousness due to our sin-nature.  By continually chastening and granting repentance and keeping us in Christ, God keeps us remembering we are sinners.  It makes us gracious and merciful and longsuffering and loving toward our brethren. 
When one brother falls, God strengthens the heart of another to be there saying, “Oh, that is me, brother! My heart aches for you. Think on what Christ has done for us. Look to him, turn from this flesh.  I will pray with you.”  The Spirit draws us together with our brethren at the feet of Christ to ask Christ’s presence and power.  God is teaching us to love, to be gracious, to be merciful, to be longsuffering, to believe all things, hope all things, bear all things.  He does it in the face of a trial in which a brother has sinned.  God teaches us to wait on God rather than putting our hand to the ark.  We need Christ to provide.  We know that by God showing us our failures and his full provision. 
When a child of God hears a brother doing some good thing he says, “God be glorified!  What a gracious provision God has made to my brother!  He thanks God for his brother!”  In all things God brings us to thank God and glorify Christ. 
This is certain.  Our Righteousness, Sanctification, Direction, Protection, Comfort, Chastening and every other Provision is Christ.  All is given us from the Spirit of Christ working in us to do exactly what God purposed from eternity to be done.  Therefore he is our Rest!  This is God’s Way of Building his church.  It is so wise.  One day we will see how wise it was!