Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleLiberty From Taskmasters
Bible TextExodus 5:3-6:1
Synopsis Before we will rest in Christ alone, we have to be brought to see our bondage and utter helplessness to save ourselves. Listen.
Series Exodus 2016
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: Liberty From Taskmasters (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: Liberty From Taskmasters (128 kbps)
Length 44 min.

Series: Exodus

Title: Liberty from Taskmasters

Text: Exodus 5: 3-6: 1

Date: April 23, 2017

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


The message of the gospel is the good news of liberty from bondage and rest in Christ.


Proposition: But before we will rest in Christ alone, we have to be brought to see our bondage and utter helplessness to save ourselves.


We come into this world in bondage to the law and to our sin-nature, under the power of the devil. 


One, we are sinners so we cannot establish the law in perfect righteousness. Christ alone has established the law in righteousness for his people and his righteousness is given to us through faith in him so that we establish the law through faith.


Romans 3: 30: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the [Jew]…and [Gentile] through faith. 31: Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law [through faith in Christ].


Liberty in Christ and rest is when God makes his child cease trying to “establish their own righteousness” and makes them willing to “submit themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom 10)


Two, this liberty is accomplished when Christ frees us from our sin-nature, making us to be born-again, bringing us to the end of ourselves, and making us cast all our care on Christ


Three, only then are we snatched from the power of the devil into the liberty and rest Christ gives.


Subject: Rest from Taskmaster’s




Exodus 5: 3: And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.


This is the gospel we are taught when God begins giving us liberty and rest in Christ.


God’s people are given liberty because Christ comes to us; we could not go to him we were in bondage; God comes to his people—The God of the Hebrews hath met with us.  God is specifically, distinctly and savingly the God of the Hebrews.  The Hebrews are God’s elect out of every nation on earth, Abraham’s spiritual descendants.


Galatians 3:7: Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8: And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9: So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.


Philippians 3:3: For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.


The God of the Hebrews met with us when the Son of God came down, dwelt among us and redeemed his people by his righteousness.


1 Timoth 3: 16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.



The God of the Hebrews meets with us when the Holy Spirit quickens us to life and begins drawing us to himself, as we see pictured here.


When born of the Spirit, Christ calls us to walk in newness of Life—let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert.  Christ arose to newness of life after three days. When Christ resurrects us in the new birth, Christ becomes our Life and makes the believer walk in newness of life.


Romans 6: 6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7: For he that is dead is freed from sin. [justified] 8: Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10: For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.


The chief sin Paul speaks of is turning back to the letter of the law, to dead works. He tells us that in Romans 7,


Romans 7: 1: Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2: For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband…4: Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5: For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6: But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.


When God quickens us to walk in newness of life, he teaches us to come to him by faith in Christ—and sacrifice unto the LORD our God. All who the LORD our God accepts, come to him only in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We come resting in Christ the Righteousness of God alone. Christ is the only righteousness with which God is pleased.  Christ is the only righteousness in which God will accept me, the sinner.


But if we come with works of our own for acceptance with God, we shall perish under the just judgment of God—lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.


This is the gospel God begins teaching us when God begins to deliver us from the bondage of the law, our sin-nature and the devil into the liberty of Christ.




Exodus 5: 4: And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? [then he said to the elders of Israel] get you unto your burdens. 5: And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.


Pharaoh and his taskmasters pictures satan and his preachers in will-works religion. Satan and his will-works preachers hate the gospel of liberty from the law and rest in Christ.


Pharaoh was not in bondage (so he thought). Pharaoh was a man who had others in bondage.  His taskmasters laid heavy burdens on others. So when Pharaoh heard his slaves were the LORD’s people, this was not good news to Pharaoh. Satan and his preachers keep other religious sinners in bondage therefore they hate the message of rest in Christ. Christ said,


Luke 11: 46: And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.


So when the devil and his taskmasters detect God is delivering one of his children from their bondage, it is not good news to them. Their preachers confront Christ’s minister, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? I have had that happen to me.  They say to the one God is callingget you unto your burdens.  They try to prevent rest of their slaves from hearing the gospelBehold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.  It is because will-works religion has no idea that the good news of the gospel is rest in Christ from all the very works of bondage which they keep sinners entangled with.


Notice, the word “rest” from their burdens. What does that mean—rest from our burdens? What is this rest that Satan and his taskmasters of will-works religion hate so? We find the word rest used for the first time in Genesis 2.


Genesis 2: 2: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.


When God our Savior finished the first creation, he rested from all his work because there was no more work to be done.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the creator of his people, the new heavens and the new earth. On the cross, he cried, “It is finished!” (Jn 19: 30)


Hebrews 1: 2: [God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;


Our Lord Jesus Christ rested from all his works because he finished the work of fulfilling the righteousness of the law for his people. He finished the work of purging our sins. He finished the work of redeeming God’s elect from the curse of the law. He finished the work of declaring God just and the Justifier of all who believe on Christ. He finished the work of making himself everything his people need to be saved.


Therefore, when God causes us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we rest in Christ from all our works because Christ finished it all!


Hebrews 4: 3: For we which have believed do enter into rest,…


Our spiritual rest through faith in Christ is what the Lord pictured when he rested after finishing the first creation.


Hebrews 4: 4: For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works….10: For he [the believer] that is entered into his rest [into Christ’s rest], he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, [Christ our Rest] lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


An example of will-workers bondage is they try to make that passage mean we must rest in a day. They hate the gospel which declares the believer rests from the bondage of the law in Christ our Sabbath!  It is evident from the context, that the writer is speaking to Hebrews, encouraging them not to turn back to the law but to rest in Christ. That is why he said “Let us labor to enter that rest!”  He is saying to those who were thinking they should be laboring under the law, “If you want to labor, labor to enter Christ our rest!”  This is rest from all the works of the law through faith in Christ Jesus our Righteousness.




Exodus 5: 6: And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7: Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8: And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9: Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.


This is what satan and his taskmasters do when one of their servants begins hearing Christ is the believer rest from the works of the law?  When a poor sinner begins to speak of rest in Christ, satan’s taskmasters laden them with more works to keep them in bondage.  They accuse them as Pharaoh accused them of being idle, accusing us of being antinomians. They say we will destroy evangelism if we rest in Christ. They say that the gospel of Christ will lead to licentiousness if we rest in Christ from the works of the law—in all this they accuse us being idle.  They forbid those God is drawing from saying, Let us go and worship Christ alone, rest in Christ alone.  Satan and his taskmasters order God’s child to disregard the true gospel which they call untrue—vain words. If all this does not work then they whip them with the law and discipline—v14: And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?


Satan and his preachers lay impossible burdens on sinners by telling you to earn a righteousness by your own works, to put away sin by your works, to create a pure heart by your works, to grow in holiness by your works, to please God by your works, to use good works to try to earn a better reward in glory than another, by telling you to focus on yourself and the law and their church rules rather than Christ alone!


It is as impossible to please God by anything will-works religion demands as making bricks without straw!




Exodus 5: 20: And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 21: And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.


When God is drawing his child, Satan will make it so hard on God’s child that satan will even sometimes turn God’s child against God’s true preacher and people.


Things are mighty helpless for the children of Israel at this point, aren’t they?  They heard the good news of the gospel and went to Pharaoh telling him the good news and he laid more burdens on them. The taskmasters beat them and demanded more. They went back to Pharaoh, again he accused them. They went to God’s preachers and they could give them no help


But Pharaoh is being used of God to accomplish God’s purpose of making his power and grace known to his people. (Rom 9: 17, 23-24) God uses even the wrath of the devil to bring his child to the end of ourselves where we see that we can do nothing to save ourselves!




Exodus 5: 22: And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23: For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all. 6: 1: Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go,…7: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8: And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.


It is only when we are brought to behold our total bondage and total helplessness to free ourselves that God delivers his child into Christ our Rest.  God waits to deliver us so that we know that he alone does it all!


Has God brought you to the end of yourself? Do you see there is nothing you can do to save yourself by your will and works? Where did Moses go?  He went to the Lord. Only then did God say, “Now, you will see and know I am the LORD who delivers you!”


If you can do nothing to deliver yourself, Christ says, “He that hath no money; come ye…buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Is 55: 1)  Christ says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11: 28)


Brethren, his rest shall be glorious. (Is 11: 10) What is this glorious rest?


Acts 13: 38:…through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.


Sinner, if you would find the sweet rest of forgiveness of sins—past, present and future—the rest of being justified from all your sins which ye could not be justified by your works under the law of Moses, then heed the word of Christ.  He says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Is 45: 22)


When you look to the beam above my pulpit, you did nothing to look.  Salvation is not by works but by a look.  We believe unto righteousness. Evidence that you believe that beam will hold up that roof is that you sit here under the beam.  The evidence that we have been made the righteousness of God is faith by which we rest from all our works under the blood of Christ. 


Sinner, if God has made you to see your helplessness then cast all your burden on Christ.  Follow him in believer’s baptism. Unite with his people under the sound of the gospel for the rest of your days.  And you will find the glorious rest of free justification from all your sins.  And one day we will enjoy that perfect rest when Christ makes us righteous with no old man of sin in glory!