Text: Ex. 25:21-22

Title: "Where God Meets Man: The Mercy Seat"

Subj: The place where God meets man

Introd: The Bible says, "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

Man longs for liberty! Man fights for freedom! But true liberty is not the freedom to do what you want to do, but what God wants you to do. With freedom comes the responsibility to do right in God's sight "until the stars fall from heaven." That is why God has said it is good for you NOT to do certain things. Therefore, God's "...commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3), but actually liberating.

The Nation of Israel had to learn this truth at the foot of Mt. Sinai. There God gave to His people His perfect standard of holiness and righteousness, which we know as the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments set the standard of perfect freedom, but man's sin-nature caused perfect disobedience to God's law. You see, man goes into bondage, not by obeying God's Law, but by disobeying God and His Commandments. But the Ten Commandments, though a perfect standard, did not have the power to save from sin.

The Bible says, "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

There, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the Nation of Israel also learned that no man can be spiritually free until the blood of an innocent sacrifice is shed. For, "... without shedding of blood is no remission" ("release from bondage, forgiveness of sin") Hebrews 9:22. There is no freedom without the shedding of blood, for God has always required the shedding of innocent blood, as an atonement for sin. First the lamb, spotless and without blemish; then the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, spotless and perfect, had to shed their blood to make a way to a holy God.

The Bible says, "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

Again, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the Nation of Israel learned that the shed blood had to be applied to be efficacious or effective on behalf of the sinner. The blood of the innocent sacrifice had to be sprinkled upon the mercy seat above the ark of the covenant, and it had to be accepted by God as sufficient. Only there would God accept the blood. Only there would God meet with man.

Ex. 25:10-22--"Where God Meets Man: The Mercy Seat"--prayer

I. GOD'S CONDITIONS FOR MEETING WITH MAN (v21)

A. The Meeting is Where God Says, in the Tabernacle (v8)

(Man must go where God has chosen, not visa versa!)

1. In the O.T. God dwelt in the Tabernacle & Temple

Ex 40:34 "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

2. In the Gospels God dwelt in the Person of Jesus Christ

Jn. 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

3. In the N.T. God dwells in the people of God and among those assembled in God's church

Acts 2:1-2,4 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the church) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost..."

4. In the Word

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

God's presence is especially manifested in the place of God's choosing.

The Meeting is Where God Says, in the Tabernacle

B. The Meeting is Where God Says, Before the Mercy Seat (v21a)

1. "Mercy seat" = Used 27 times in O.T. and always refers to the golden cover of the sacred chest (ark), in the holy of holies. The word comes from the root word to 'atone' (cover). The Greek equivalent is usually 'place or object of propitiation' (satisfaction). 'Place of atonement' would perhaps be more expressive. (TWOT, pg 1025).

a. The mercy seat was the only place the blood could be sprinkled to atone for sin

Note: Here, once a year, on the day of atonement, the blood of the sacrificial lamb was sprinkled, by the High Priest, for the sins of the Nation of Israel.

b. Why did blood have to be sprinkled on the mercy seat?

1) Sin separates man from God!

Isaiah 59:2 "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."

Rom 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death ("separation"); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

2) Blood satisfies God's wrath toward sinners!

1 John 2:2 "And Christ is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

3) Blood washes away your sin

"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His Own blood" Rev. 1:5

4) Jesus Christ is that blood-sprinkled mercy seat

"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" Romans 3:25

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His Own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" Heb. 9:12

The Meeting is Where God Says, in the Tabernacle

The Meeting is Where God Says, Before the Mercy Seat

C. The Meeting is Based on What Gods Says, His Testimony (v21b) 1. "Testimony" = reminder, warning sign, i.e.. law of God, tablets of stone a. The 10 Commandments were given to show God's holiness and man's sinfulness. The law was a testimony to them in their duty, and a testimony against them in their sin" (H&S)

Rom. 7:7 "...Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

b. The 10 Commandments were given to show men good works can't save (Islam, cults, denominations/systems are all "works")

Rom. 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

c. The 10 Commandments were given to bring men to Christ

.Gal. 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

d. The 10 Commandments, expanded into the Word of God will be your judge, and God's standard for judging you

John 12:48 "He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

I. GOD'S CONDITIONS FOR MEETING WITH MAN

II. GOD'S MEETING PLACE WITH MAN (v22a)

A. "I Will Meet ("assemble") With Thee" (man will not meet with God)

1. Where God Chooses ("there")

a. Where we recognize our sinfulness toward God

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Rom 3:23

b. Where we recognize our need of a Saviour

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6:23

c. Where we place our faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom 10:9

d. Or where we will be sentenced to eternal Hell fire

Heb. 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"

I. GOD'S CONDITIONS FOR MEETING WITH MAN

II. GOD'S MEETING PLACE WITH MAN


III. GOD'S COMMUNING PLACE WITH MAN (v22b)

A. "Commune" = speak (on any subject, but particularly redemption)

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" Isaiah 1:18

1. Above the Mercy Seat represents the sovereignty of God in salvation

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" Philip. 2:13

2. Between the Cherubs

a) These are the spirit beings that have special reference to God's government, heavenly and earthly, and are guardians of eternal life

"...which things (salvation) the angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12)

I. GOD'S CONDITIONS FOR MEETING WITH MAN

II. GOD'S MEETING PLACE WITH MAN

III. GOD'S COMMUNING PLACE WITH MAN


IV. GOD'S COMMANDMENTS TO MAN (v22c)

A. God's Wisdom Covers "All Things" needful to be known

2 Tim. 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

B. God's Commandments Are Given to Man, Not the Other Way Around!

Acts 17:30 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:"

Concl: Jehovah, the almighty God of eternity, is willing to meet with you tonight! He is here, among His people, tonight! He waits for you above the mercy seat, tonight! The precious blood of Jesus Christ has already been shed, and has been applied to appease the wrath of a holy God on your behalf! God waits, between the mighty Cherubs, for you tonight! They guard the way to eternal life, so come as you are! Don't try to bring your good works, your baby baptism, your church membership! All your righteousness' are as filthy rags in God's sight anyway, so come as you are, sinful and defiled, depraved and destitute. The Lord Jesus Christ is your only hope! Come to the mercy seat and be saved!
 

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