Getting Out

The Gospel Coalition Conference 2011


In this 52-minute session, Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and author of The Reason for God and The Prodigal God, preaches from Exodus 14. As Christians, it’s easy to believe the truth about our salvation, but living it is another thing altogether. Tim shows how the narrative of the Red Sea crossing paints a picture of the hope we have through Jesus, and the power of grace.




Tim highlights three points from the passage in Exodus: 

  1. What we get out of: layered slavery.
  2. How we get out of it: by crossing over through grace.
  3. Why we get out of it: through a mediator.

In the first part of the sermon, Tim argued that, even though we know we’ve been set free from the power of sin, we tend to subjectively act like slaves. We go through life still afraid of our old masters. 


Have you experienced what Tim referred to as subjective slavery? Which idols have said to you, “Serve me or die”?
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As you look at the story of the Red Sea crossing, what stands out to you about the Israelites’ comment, “It would be better to serve the Egyptians as slaves than to die in the wilderness”? When it comes to those sins that still try to enslave you, what kind of fear keeps you from standing strong in God’s grace?
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What’s one area in your life where the “layer” of subjective slavery still holds you in bondage? How does Tim’s message change the way you view that sin?
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Tim continued in his second point by highlighting how we escape from bondage to sin: we cross over into freedom through the power of God’s grace. Grace, Tim says, is the means of our freedom, and we bring nothing to the table. God wants us to simply stand and wait, and watch Him work. 

When you look at the struggles in your life, where are you tempted to act? Are there struggles in your life you feel responsible to fix? If so, what are they?
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How did Tim’s presentation of the two different kinds of faith in the Israelites crossing the sea strike you? Would you consider your faith strong? Weak? According to Tim, does it matter? How does that change your view of your own spiritual life?
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Tim concluded that the key to the whole story of salvation is the mediator we have in Jesus Christ. Just as Moses mediated for the people of Israel and turned away God’s wrath, so, too, does Jesus mediate for us and turn away the God’s righteous judgment. Rebelling against God results in de-creation, but Jesus suffered that unmaking so that we could be remade. 

As you look at your life, where have you seen sin result in the decay or disintegration of your life?
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Tim reinforced the importance of realizing that Jesus suffered the unmaking that we deserved. How does Tim’s presentation of that truth change the way you view yourself? Do you have to suffer for your own sin?
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“The more you see what Jesus has done, the more holy you will be.” 

Do agree with Tim’s statement? If so, how have you seen it play out in your life? If not, in what has been the catalyst for growth in holiness in your life?
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The gospel message may be simple, but we all need to remember the truth of grace over and over throughout our lives. We’ve been set free from slavery to sin, crossing over into life by grace, because of what Jesus has done. That’s our story. We need to live it every day. 


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