Summary: Today, believers have a much different way to approach God. The redemptive work of Christ is the vivid picture of the New Covenant, the new promise God has with man. A promise that afford us a much closer and intimate approach and worship of God. Our
INTRODUCTION: All throughout the Old Testament, Man has approached God in various ways. In the Garden of Eden, God approached man. Scripture says that God would walk with man in the Garden of Eden, so man approached God passively. Man was approachable by God. This was due to the fact that Man had not sinned against God, nor was in ANY way unacceptable to God!
1. We see a striking example of man approaching God in the lives of Cain and Able. Scripture tells us that their came a time when both sons of Adam brought their offerings to God. Able and his offering were acceptable. Cain and his were not.
Able came with an offering of sacrifice – one life for another. The way we will all approach God acceptably.
Cain came with an offering of what he had done himself. He sought to approach God, worship God ANOTHER way. A way different than what God expected.
The end result was Cain’s own anger, first poured out on his brother and ultimately directed towards God by his refusal to repent.
2. We see God approaching Noah to prepare and Ark
3. We see God approaching Abraham to go to a land He would show him
4. We see God approaching Moses through the burning Bush
Moses would have the privilege of approaching God at any time. A privilege that would end with him.
5. The incident with the Golden Calf would further alienate the people of Israel from approaching God, as the very abode of God – The Mercy Seat, The Ark of the Covenant would be forever hidden from sight.
6. With the death of Moses, only the high priest could approach the presence of God, and then only one time a year when he came to make atonement for the sins of the people
Approaching God in the Old Testament, through the Old Covenant was a superficial and shallow way for men to worship God. By its nature it was external, distant, and fearful
The nation of Israel received God’s Word on tablets of stone. External!
The nation of Israel dealt with their sin yearly, unable to approach God closely, but through a mediator and a series of veils. Distant!
The nation of Israel often saw the wrath of God on their lives as a result of willful disobedience. Fearful!
Today, believers have a much different way to approach God. The redemptive work of Christ is the vivid picture of the New Covenant, the new promise God has with man. A promise that afford us a much closer and intimate approach and worship of God.
Our passage – Hebrews 12:22-24 gives us a 6 point approach to God that is ours BECAUSE of Christ!
Let look at them together:
• We Approach God SPIRITUALLY
• There were two mountains here
• Mount Sinai (verse 18) and Mount Zion
• The author is drawing a contrast between the two
Mount Sinai was marked by fear and terror. Mount Zion is a place of love and forgiveness.
Mount Sinai is in the desert. Mount Zion is the city of the Living God.
Mount Sinai spoke of earthly things. Mount Zion speaks of heavenly things.
At Mount Sinai, only Moses was allowed to draw near to God. At Mount Zion, an innumerable company, a general assembly is invited to draw near.
Mount Sinai was characterized by guilty men in fear. Mount Zion features just men made perfect.
At Mount Sinai, Moses was the mediator. At Mount Zion, Jesus is the mediator.
Mount Sinai brings an Old Covenant, which was ratified by the blood of animals. Mount Zion brings a New Covenant, which is ratified by the blood of God’s precious Son.
Mount Sinai was all about exclusion, keeping people away from the mountain. Mount Zion is all about invitation.
Mount Sinai is all about Law. Mount Zion is all about grace.
• The Old Testament Believers approached God from the outside and were fearful.
• The New Testament believers approach God from the inside – a changed heart and newness of life
• The Old Testament Saint had a physical place he had to go to worship God
• The New Testament Saint can commune with God ANYWHERE
This does not do away with church worship, but stresses that our worship now is spiritual and internal, not physical and external
• We Approach God AS THE ANGELS
• When we leave this world, we will be perfected as the angels are now
• We will be able to approach God even as the Angels do for worship
• The prophet Isaiah speaks about the closeness angels have to God in Chapter 6