How to be People of God | Dr. Chip Bennett

5 months ago

How To Be People of God

Exodus Week 1 

So, we're going to start a brand-new series, this weekend, called Exodus. I want to go ahead and let you know that this is going to go all the way into Christmas. And you may go, “Chip, Exodus is not the same story as Jesus' birth.”

Okay. When we get to Matthew during Christmastime, and we read Matthew 1-2, you will realize that you have never read that the way it should be read because of what we're going to do before all of this stuff, before we get into the Christmas season. Why do I say such a thing? I say such a thing because there's such a thing that you and I know — you know this, I know this. We know it, but we don't often think about it. We know that when we read a book or when we go to a movie or when we're at a theater or wherever we're at, there is a backstory that, if misunderstood, keeps us from understanding a lot of the subtleties and complexities of the actual story itself.

Now, I had to sit around and think about something that I thought most of us could remember. Some people that are younger might not quite remember this, but if you're 35 to 40 and older, you definitely will remember this. If you're a little bit younger, you probably will remember this. But I think all of us remember the phenomenon that swept through our country and through the world: This movie called Star Wars. I was very fortunate when I was eight years old. I got to go to Lexington, Kentucky and see Star Wars for the first time, at eight years old, in the movie theater. And it was cool. Me and my dad would travel and go. I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Those were formative movies in my life.

But you know this, and I know this. If you would've taken a friend to Return of the Jedi, and they had not seen Empire Strikes Back, or had not seen Star Wars, they probably would've enjoyed the movie. They would've thought the Ewoks were cute. They would've thought all of those things were great. But the bottom line is they would not have had the same meaning out of that movie that they would've had, had they seen Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back because that backstory sort of helps us to understand what's going on in the actual story that we're reading or watching. And where that comes into play massively is in the Bible.

And here's the reality. I don't want anybody to feel bad. I'm not trying to give anybody a hard time. I’m not trying to be snarky or anything, but let's just be honest. Most people do not know the Old Testament very well. And because we don't know the Old Testament very well, what happens is when we come to the New Testament, we read, and we get something out of it — and I'm not saying you shouldn't read it. I'm not saying you shouldn't be reading it every day. You should be doing that, but you're missing, and I will be missing, some of the subtleties and complexities that are going on because the New Testament writers assume that you and I know the backstory. And if we don't know the backstory, then we may miss certain things.

Oftentimes, people will say to me, “Chip, how do you read the Bible? Where are you getting this stuff and understanding?”

A large portion of it is that understanding the backstory helps to sort mine out and tease out what's going on in the New Testament. So, what we're going to do over the next several weeks is we're going to go back into the Old Testament, and we're going to look at what is if not the major theme of the Old Testament, definitely one of the major themes of the Old Testament. It's a story of the Exodus.

The story of the Exodus permeates all of the Old Testament. The prophets use the language when they speak. The psalmists will use the phrases of the Exodus. You see it all through the Old Testament, and you see it all through the New Testament. If many of you all were here, you probably remember that, not so long ago, we did a whole series on the book of Galatians. One of the premises that I made in that series is that the book of Galatians was retelling you the story of the Exodus. In other words, these books are constantly going back to this backstory. And we may think we know it. We go, “Well, they were in Egypt, and Charlton Heston was there, and I think there was the wilderness or something. They were walking in circles. I think that's where NASCAR got started. Then there was Sinai.”

We say, “Yeah, I sort of think I know the story.”

Well, let me just raise a couple of things to get us sort of thinking so that you'll go, “Wow, there's a lot here to know.”

And I'm going to tell you, I mean, I never ever, ever start a new series not excited. I mean, I would never come out here and go, “Yeah, this is going to be a terrible series. I'm think I'm going to just unveil this for the next six weeks on everybody.”

We'd never do that. I'm always excited. But this one is special because I think there's a depth here that I hope and pray we will be able to glean. And I really think it will make a difference as we go through this. But let me just get you thinking a little bit. So, let’s talk about the exodus a little bit.

First of all, the deliverance from Egypt was more than just a historical event. And you would say, “What do you mean by that, Chip?”

Okay. Let's go to the cross. If I told you the cross was a historical event, you would say, “That's right.”

And if I said, “That's all it is,” you'd go, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. No, no, no. There's so much more depth to the cross than just the historical event.”

Same thing here. Oftentimes, we just think that's a bit of history. No, no. There's so much depth and complexity to the story of the Exodus. That's why the whole Old Testament is sort of moving with that whole story, and all the different parts that you read, because there's more to it than just a historical event. Definitely a historical event, but far more to it than that. And you may go, “What is more to it?”

That's what we're going to try to do over the next several weeks. Secondly, the people who were delivered were the people of God. So, you might think, as we think, as sort of normal Christians, “Well, the people that needed to be delivered were the Egyptians. The people of God, what were they delivered from? If they were the people of God, then they were God's people. Why did they need to be delivered? What’s going on here?”

And if I were to ask you why they were delivered or what they were delivered from, you may honestly go, “Yeah, I've really never thought about the depth of what that might mean. The people of God need saving too? The people of God need deliverance too? From what? I thought that Jesus paid it all. So, what would I need to be delivered from? What would that look like in my life?”

Not only that, but the scriptures that record the Exodus story and its implications were written for the people of God. They weren't written for the Jebusites, for the Canaanites, and for the termites or something like that, right? They weren't written for them. They were written for the people of God. Actually, scripture is written for the people of God. And maybe, just maybe, when we take our Bibles out and we try to read it to one of our friends who’s not a believer, maybe that was never the intent for that book in the first place. Maybe there's more going on here. Why were these stories written to the people of God? Why were they written to you and I? What does that mean? And why is that important?

Not only that, but if the subtleties and complexities of the Exodus story are not properly understood, then the story can actually be changed, it can be compromised, it can be messed up. And maybe we start to say things about the story that the story actually doesn't really talk about. And so, when we read the Exodus story, and you read all throughout the Old Testament, there's this really large theme that the prophets continue to say to the people of God, that the writers continue to gesture towards, and it's something that we really need to pay attention to. It’s that we tend to forget what God delivered us from and what God delivered us for. We tend to forget it. Oftentimes, we don't even know what He did, but if we do, we tend to forget it. Let me read that again. We tend to forget what God delivered us from and what God delivered us for. And if you don't realize that, if we don't realize that — if you and I don't realize that that's part of the problem in the whole Old Testament, that the people of God just forget — they forget what God did, they forget that He delivered them, and they forget what He delivered them for, and they end up being something different than what God had originally called them to be and what He had delivered them for. They forget. So, the prophets come along and go, “Do you not remember? What has happened? How did you end up here?”

And what happens in the Old Testament is when we don't realize that the people of God tend to forget, we also miss the cycle of what happens in the Old Testament. When the people of God forget, what happens is they have a cultural accommodation. They become like the people they're a part of. Rather than being the people of God that were delivered for a specific purpose, to do a specific thing, they end up sort of aggregating their culture with who they are, and it becomes a corruption. It becomes a misplacement of what God actually had called them to be in the first place.

You see it in the Old Testament. They serve idols. We don't serve idols. Nobody's meeting you outside with a golden calf or a piece of wood, saying, “Bow down in worship this,” but oh, do we have our idols that we put more allegiance to them than God. And yet we convince ourselves that God is behind our allegiance to those idols. So, what happens is when the people of God forget, and there's a cultural accommodation, we allow something other than God's Word to be our guide. What happens is we go, “Well, yeah. I know that that's what God said, I know that that's what He did, but I don't feel that. I feel like that's just unfair.”

Or, “We know more than God. I mean, yeah, He took us out of Egypt, He delivered us. Yeah, He did those things, but we've learned more. Now we've hung out with the Canaanites, and we sort of understand their world. We understand. God maybe didn't know what was going on here, but we do now. So, we sort of understand a little bit differently.”

Or maybe we just go, “I don't know. I’ve got this idea of love and I just want to love everybody. I don't really care that God sometimes sees love as snatching people out of the fire. I was going to do my own thing.”

Or maybe just compromising. What happens is, when we culturally accommodate, we actually lose what it is that God delivered us from and delivered us for. And if we don't know any of this, then we probably wouldn't read the Old Testament in the way the Old Testament should be read, or even the New Testament, and we miss out on why all these epistles in the New Testament are saying, “Hey, don't do this. It's got to be this way. You shouldn't do this because God's called you to be a witness in the town.”

And sometimes we just forget, or we don't know that this is the cycle. And cultural accommodation leads the people of God to having a lack of depth. And because they don't have any depth, they can't really persevere when difficult times come. Because see, when our anchor is no longer God and His Word, but our anchor is sort of an amalgamation of some of God, some of this, and some of that, what happens is God no longer becomes our anchor. What becomes our anchor is our circumstances, and circumstances create our satisfaction or lack thereof.

And if you look around the American church, it's not hard to see, and go, “Yeah, that's right.”

So many of us are like, “That's the way we are.”

When circumstances are good, we love God. You show up and you raise your hands during worship. But when circumstances go bad, it's like, “Yeah, what happened, man? Where did God go? What went on?”

And we're depressed, funkified, and all the other stuff that we get, but the bottom line is what happens with cultural accommodation is it leads to a lack of depth to persevere. And here's the big point that really is said throughout the Old Testament, and even into the New Testament. What happens is when we forget what God delivered us from, what He delivered us for, we culturally accommodate, and we lack the depth, here's the story: We go back. We go back to the things that God delivered us from, the things that He delivered us for, and oftentimes, we're worse than when we first got set free from Egypt.

That's why we'll see Solomon, the great king, the wise man, what does he do to build his house and to build the temple? He uses slave labor because he's become Pharaoh himself. And scripture is constantly reminding us that the delivered can end up as bad or worse from what they were delivered from in the first place. And so, all of these stories, when we read them and they read us, and when we immerse ourselves into these stories, what they're really asking — and the story of the Exodus is asking this, the prophets are asking the people who have moved away from God this, who have accommodated culture and other stuff. They ask the question, and it's the question that all of scripture is asking. Jesus is asking the question in the Sermon on the Mount. The question is, “Who are the people of God? Who are they? What does it mean to be the people of God?”

And unfortunately, what we do, and we're guilty of this, is we ask that question this way: “Oh, they're not the people of God. Oh, no. They're not. Look at the way they live. They couldn't be the people of God. Oh, they're definitely not.”

When scripture was never written for you and me to read it to project this way. Scripture was written so that you and I might ask the question, “Are we really living as the people of God, or have we forgotten what He delivered us from and what he delivered us for?”

And when you open up that book, Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 10, “Hey, do you remember the people that came out of Egypt? Remember some of them didn't make it? Yeah, you need to pay attention. Take heed. The one that thinks he stand, take heed lest he fall.”

When he says in 2 Corinthians 13, “Examine yourself,” he’s not pulling from whatever. He's pulling from a story, a backstory, of the people of God who can be delivered, who are called to be something powerful, can end up being completely misplaced and misguided. And scripture is constantly bringing us back, asking the question, “What did God deliver me from? What did God deliver me for?”

And we see it, in spades, in this wonderfully grand story of the Exodus. The Exodus is not the originator of the story. The story goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. The story continues with Abraham. But we pick up an Exodus 7:1.

We're told, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I've made you like God to Pharaoh,’”

This is what God wants from His people. He wants us to be His likeness and His image to the world, specifically to the empire. To the world. The world. The system that’s at enmity with God. He wants you and I to be His image and likeness. He created Adam and Eve to be His image bearers, like a reflection of a mirror, that they would reflect God's glory to the world. He told Abraham the same thing.

“I want you to be a blessing to the nations. I’m not asking you to hold it in. I want you to bless.”

And then, here in the story of the Exodus, we pick this up again.

“You're going to be like God, Moses. You're going to represent me to Pharaoh, and your people are going to represent me to the world. And if you don't know the empire, what it smells like, what it looks like, and what it is that I've delivered you from, you really can never be the people that I've called you to be. Because I've called you to be the anti-empire people. I've called you to be kingdom people.”

That's why when God takes them out of Egypt and they end up at Sinai, what does He give them? Ten words. Ten commandments. Why is that important? Because the backstory is that when God created the world, He took it from chaos to good in ten words. Read it. “God said” ten times in the creation account. So now, He has to recreate His people with ten words spoken over them.

“I want you to be different. I want you to not look like the empire. The empire thinks the gods need work to appease them. The empire doesn't care about human life. The empire puts profits over people. The empire is ugly, and you're called not to look like the empire. You're called to look like me.”

But see, there was a problem. The problem was that the empire and the people of God all had one similar trait, and that trait was what we call sin. And sin kept Abraham and Moses and the people of God from being all that He had called them to be. Which is why, embedded in the Old Testament, Moses says, “There's going to be a day coming. There's going to be a guy that comes. There's going to be a person that God is going to raise up who will be a prophet like me but be way different than me. Better than me, greater than me. In Him, you will listen.”

So, when you go and God says, in the New Testament, “Listen to my Son,” you should hear the echoes of the backstory. This is the one to listen to. And the prophets knew this story. They knew that God, one day — Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos, Jeremiah, they all talked about, “There's going to be a day. Listen, there's going to be a day when the law is no longer on the outside. There's going to come a day when God puts that on the inside. It's going to be a new age. It’s going to be a new dawn. The spirit of God is going to be within us, and we're going to be the people. The dry bones are going to come back together with the breath of God, they're going to raise up into this mighty army, and we're finally going to be the people that go into the world and reflect who God wants us to be.”

Which is why Jesus took them up on a mountain in Matthew 28, because Isaiah talked about the mountain. And He said, “Now, what I want you to do is I want you to go into all the world and be the people that I've called you to be.”

It's why He breathes on them in John. He says, “We're doing this again. I breathed into Adam the gift of life, and I'm breathing on you to go be my people that will reflect.”

And the prophets saw it. He says, “I'm going to make you a light for the nations because I want my salvation to reach the end of the earth.”

And if you were a Jewish person in the first century, you knew this story. You knew the story. You were waiting for the story. You were waiting for God to raise up someone that would bring the real exodus, that would really break the oppression and would send God's people free in moving forward. And they all had their ways that they did it. The Pharisees said, “Oh, well, here's the way we're going to do it. We're going to be the people of God. We're not going to sit with anybody who's a sinner. We're not going to hang out with sinners. We're just going to be holy and righteous, and that's the way we're going to do it.”

The Sadducees said, “Why do that? Let’s get involved in politics. That's what we need to do. Let's get involved in politics. If we're going to be the people of God, we're going to get involved in politics to make this thing happen.”

The zealots said, “Forget that, man. You’ve got to have might. You’d better kill some people and let them know that you’ve got power. Stab them when they can't see you.”

The Essenes said, “We're going to go hang out outside, in the caves, wait until everything sort of messes up, and then we'll come figure this thing out.”

Everybody's waiting for God to do something. Everybody's waiting to be told, “It's time to go home. It's time to be the people of God.”

And so, understanding that when you come to texts in the New Testament where it says, “And leaving Nazareth he [Jesus] went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,”

Listen to what it says. Why did he do this?

It says, “…so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled.”

What is he doing? He's doing what? Isaiah? What did Isaiah talk about? What was he talking about?

He says, “‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.’”

Hold on. We're going to be reaching the Gentiles? Oh, hold on. We're going into all the world? We're going to be that light. He says, “Yeah.”

“‘The people dwelling in darkness seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.’”

And then Jesus says this phrase. He says, “‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

And we read that, and Americans go, “Oh, you're talking about an altar at the church.”

They didn't have anything like that back then. There wasn't an altar at a church like that. There weren’t even buildings like this. He's not talking about that. I'm not saying that you can't say that we should repent, come to an altar and all that. He's not saying that. What he's saying is, “Hey, it's time to stop being the way you're being. It's time to be the people of God. Follow me. Let me show you what it looks like to be the people of God. I'm here to show you.”

Which is why if you don't know those stories, then when you come to John 1 and it says, “Philip found Nathaniel, and he said, ‘We found him. We found the one that Moses, the law, and the prophets wrote about. We found the one. The one that's going to be greater than Moses. We found him.”

You just read that, and you go, “Okay, I don't know what that really means. I don't know.”

No, it's super important. They’re like, “This might be the guy. He might be the one. He could very well be it.”

Which is why when you go to the Mount of Transfiguration, two men were talking with him. Moses and Elijah. The law and the prophets, they're there.

It says, “…who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”

What was He about to accomplish at Jerusalem? Well, His departure. Well, this is what's so sad. Not even knowing the backstory, that's not the word that's in the Greek text. Do you know what the word in the Greek text is? The word is “exodus.” He's there. He's saying, “I'm going to accomplish all that you guys wrote about. I'm about to break this thing open in a way that nobody's ever seen. I'm going to put my spirit inside of my people, and they're going to go into the world and be my representatives because I want people to be my hands and feet. I created the world that way. I'm determined for it to be that way.”

He wants to use you and me. But the question is, “What do the people of God look like? Who are the people of God?”

See, understanding the exodus and understanding the story, you might start to see things in the New Testament that you never saw before. Because see, the people of God were living in paralysis. They didn't know what to do. They were hoping somebody would come forth and deliver them, but they didn't know what to do. Rome was controlling them. They were just paralyzed. They didn't know what to do. They wanted to go home. They wanted God to do what He said He would do. Maybe, just maybe, hearing a story, that maybe you've heard over and over again, might have a little bit of a different echo to you when you hear it.

Some people brought to him a paralytic. Now, this guy's definitely a paralytic. This is exactly what happened. This is a person that can't move. All of that's true, but somebody reading this who understood the backstory could relate to the paralytic. He's lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith — in other words, some people that were doing the things that God would want people to do — taking care of people, caring for people, loving for people, being able to do whatever it took to get people to what they needed to get to — He sees their faith and He says to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son.”

If you're reading this, you should expect Him to say, “You're healed.”

But that's not what He says. Why does He not say that? Why does He say, “Your sins are forgiven?”

Because see, sins being forgiven are the things that everybody's looking for. We're looking for the day when Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all these guys said, “There's going to be a new day when sins are going to be forgiven, and God's spirit's going to be with you.”

Your sins are forgiven? They go bonkers, the religious people.

“You can't forgive sins. Who can forgive sins? The only person who can forgive sins is God. Who do you think you are? What do you think you're doing?”

And there's this ruckus that goes on. But then we're told in the text, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on the earth to forgive sin.”

He said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

What might they have heard? Is this the moment? And were told, “He rose…” — resurrection — “…and he went home.”

What was the response? Well, they were afraid. Why were they afraid? What does this mean? Could this mean? What does this mean for us? And they glorified God who had given such authority to men. Would He give authority to men? I mean, obviously, this is Jesus, and this is God. But if Jesus is saying, “Watch how I do, be me to the world, and reflect me to the world,” we might see that this story might have had a really different meaning to the people that originally heard it.

“It's time for you to come home and be the people I've called you to be.”

So, here's what we're going to learn in this series. First of all, we're going to learn, going through this story, what does it really mean to be the people of God? What is it that God really wants you and I to be? Well, He wants us to be His hands and feet. He wants us to be the people that reflect Him, and we're going to see this. But when we read about the paralytic, is it possible, just possible, that we’re paralyzed, under oppression and evil, or that the people of God in today's world are paralyzed? Maybe, just maybe, we need to ask the question, “Do we realize that we've been delivered, or have we forgotten that?”

The people that look as if they're in control in this world — let me tell you, as your pastor, they're not. Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We've been delivered. We've been set free. We don't have to live under that. We don't have to live under the empire. We're not even citizens of the empire. We're citizens of the kingdom. Do we know why we've been delivered? Do we know God set us free? Great question.

The second thing we're going to see is that the Exodus story is a continual reminder that God is more concerned with our identity than our destiny. And see, we've got it flipped. Nothing against getting people to heaven. We're all for that here. We want to get people into heaven. But God is more concerned about your identity. Because if you're one of His people and you've been saved by Jesus' blood, your destiny's secure. He’s not worried about your destiny. He's worried about our identity. Are we being the people that God has called us to be? Which is why this story is so great because Jesus saw their faith. Well, what were they doing? Well, they were living it. They were doing it with the way they treated others. Their faith. Jesus said, “This is the people. This is what I want. I want people that'll get involved in the middle of the muck and the mire, who will be my people and reflect my glory, and who are more concerned about others than they are about themselves.”

Because how we treat people, especially those not like us, is a mark of the true people of God. And listen to me, and listen to your pastor well. Correct living is greater than giving correction. Listen to me. The way we live is more important than the words we spew to other people. Jesus is looking for people who will be lights, not megaphones. There's an effort that's required, and there's an internalization of what we have to think about.

Dallas Willard says it great. He says, “We don't believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.”

Grace isn't opposed to effort. It's opposed to earning. Effort is an action. You can't earn it. But don't ever think that grace doesn't require effort. God wants His people to reflect Him in this world. He wants us to live as lights. He wants us to be the people that people look at and say, “Wow.”

Do you know why the world's so messed up? Because we tell them all that they've done wrong, and then they look at our lives and go, “You're hypocrites.”

Different story if all the world saw was what we did. Not our words but our actions, and the way we reflected Jesus in what we did, they might just then say, “Would you tell me what it is that you have? Because I want that.”

Third. What then are the implications? We're going to talk about this in the series. What are the implications of the Exodus story? Well, the big question. What would it really look like for us to be the people that God's called us to be? This is the implication of the story. What does it mean to be the people of God? Maybe, just maybe — and I'll end with this. Maybe you'll hear some of what I said in this, and you'll go, “Oh, wow.”

Because see, the Sermon on the Mount is to the Jewish people who are going about being the people of God in all the wrong way. And what does He promise them? He says, “If you build your oikos…” — it's the Greek word for house, which was the word they used for their temple.

He said, “If you build your house on the sand, it's going to be destroyed, and great will that destruction be.”

Well, that temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Jesus says, “You're not being the people of God in the right way. The right way is to love your enemy. The right way is to take the second mile with that soldier that you can't stand because you're not under oppression. The Kingdom of God has come, and you are free. You are free to love in a way that you could have never even imagined. You're free to be my people.”

And here's what He says. And maybe you'll hear Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Moses in this. He says, “Let your light shine. Let your light shine. The great light. Let your light shine before others.”

So that you can condemn them? So that you can criticize them? So that you can tell them how they should have voted? So that you can tell them all the things that they do wrong?

He says, “No, listen to me. Let your light shine so that they can see your good works. And when they see what you do, they will give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

It's time for us to be the people of God. We're being gripped by all kinds of other cultural forces and forced into all of these things. We are not bound to this world. We have been set free from this world. We are here to represent and to reflect King Jesus in everything that we do. And this is what it looks like. We've had so many letters, so many things that came in. It's funny because the religious people that don't like that I would shut down a campus to serve people, they can go somewhere else because the people that I'm concerned about are the people that are on the outside of the church, who don't know Jesus, and I want to shine a light so that they can see good works.

If the lady ever sees this sermon, I'm going to feel so bad. I couldn't quite read the words. I had somebody else read it. I think this is written in tongues, and I don't have the gift of interpretation. I knew what it said, but I couldn't read it well. So, I said, “Can you type this out for me so I can read it to the church?”

I want you to hear what it means to be an intentional neighbor. I want you to hear what it means to be a light.

“Dear precious, blessed Grace Community Church, intentional neighbors. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't live at the Villaggio, but I have several friends that do, and I heard that your ministry graciously provided them with a fantastic aid of hurricane debris cleanup, and I wanted to convey much thanks and appreciation of you. What a monumental task, accomplishment, and blessing amidst the dark days plaguing our world. Thank you for shining so brightly.”

See, this is what we're after. She doesn’t live there. She heard about what happened and responded to it. Hear me. Hear my heart. If we can just zip it, and we can just live it, there is no telling what God may do through His people. And I want us to be those people. I want us to be those people that know this story. Not just know it so that we can tell people, but we know it and it's changed us, and we understand why God delivered the children of Israel, why the people of God had to be delivered. And we're going to look at that over the next many weeks, we're going to see how Jesus is the fulfillment of all of that, and it's going to be beautiful.

But I asked the band to sing one particular song in closing, and I want to make it a prayer. I want to make it a moment with God. And listen, if you're here and you don't know Jesus, if you've never known Jesus and you're like, “Hold on, this doesn't sound like normal church stuff or whatever,” let me tell you something. Jesus ain't like the normal church stuff. Jesus is Jesus.

He stands alone. We sometimes can make Him look differently than what He is. Let me tell you, if you're here and you're like, “Man, that's sort of what I'm looking for,” it's exactly what all of us are looking for. This might be the moment where you just say, “Hey, Jesus, I want to know You.”

Let me know. Grab me at the end. Say, “Hey, I want to pray. I want to know Jesus.”

We'll get you baptized. We'll get you moved in. We'll get you going. We'll get you being an intentional neighbor, shining like a light, and all that. But for most of us in here who are believers, this is a clarion call. It's a clarion call, in the world that we live in, that we're so distracted, and we get so accommodating to so many other things. It's time to cut through the noise and just be the people that God has called us to be.