Summary: Lifting the Mercy lid to peek inside the Ark proved fatal in the Old Testament. The dangers of removing or setting aside the Mercy covering today and focusing undue attention on the Law instead of Grace. Great sermon when combined with clips from "India
I. INDIANA JONES - RAIDERS OF LOST ARK – Show Movie Clip
II. IF IT WAS TODAY – I WONDER, WOULD YOU TAKE A PEEK?
A. Ark Contained Several Parts
1. The box itself
2. Pure gold mercy seat
B. No Way Man – I Don’t Want To Get Smitten!
C. Ya, Sure – Check Out What’s Inside
1. It no longer holds that “zapping power” – we live in NT times, not OT
2. Inside is the Tablets & Aaron’s rod & manna
3. Zapped, maybe, maybe not
D. Back Then, Very Careful In Handling Of Ark
1. Exodus – even High Priest was not to look on it except one time/year - and then only through a cloud of incense
2. Num 4:19-20 – priests… “shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die."
3. 2 Sam 6:6-7 - And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.
4. It was understood back then, don’t look at ark – like looking at God
E. But In NT – Veil rent with Christ’s crucifixion
1. Divider no longer existed
2. Heaven exposed for all to see
3. God’s throne accessible by all
4. “Come all ye weary & heavy laden”
5. “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace” – Mercy Seat = throne of grace
F. That Being Said, Would You Do It? Would It Zap You Dead?
III. MIGHT NOT ZAP YOU DEAD IN ITSELF, BUT INDIRECTLY ZAPS PEOPLE DEAD DAILY
DAILY PEOPLE ARE TAKING THE LID (MERCY SEAT) OFF THE ARK AND DYING
A. Lid = Mercy Seat Upon Which Blood Of Substitution Was Sprinkled
1. Back then, they had now exposed the stone tablets of the Law which were kept in the Ark and bunch of people died
2. They gazed upon the Ark’s contents – the Law & died
B. Daily, People Lifting Up The Lid, Removing The Lid (Mercy Seat) & Dying
1. Exposing the law – in its rawest form – out from underneath mercy
2. More than a passing glance, a steady fixed gaze on the law
a. living by the law
b. ordering their lives around the law
c. obsessed with the law
d. holding others to the law
3. And dying because of it
C. Legalism Takes The Lid Off The Ark
1. It says Mercy is not enough
2. It says Mercy in insufficient
3. It casts aside Mercy
4. It takes Mercy out of its proper context
D. There’s A Reason Why Law Is Covered By Mercy
1. Man cannot survive Law of God without protection of the Mercy of God.
2. Man cannot survive the Mercy of God that’s not grounded in Law of God
E. Law & Mercy Go Hand In Hand
1. Ephesians 4:15 – “but speaking the truth in love”
2. 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
3. Truth without love = legalism
. Love without truth = permissivism
F. Why It’s So Tempting To Take The Lid Off The Ark?
1. We fail to understand the sacrifice made by Christ – fulfilling the Law
a. Matt 5:17-18 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
2. There must be more…must be more that I must do to be saved.
3. God puts the Law in our heart – inward Law - 2 Cor 3:3 you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
G. Letter Killeth, But The Spirit Gives Life
2 Cor 3:4-6 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
H. How People Are Dying?
1. Conscientious die by the law – can never do enough (like a working itself to death on treadmill
2. Unconsicientious die by the law – self-righteousness – fully stopping short
I. When Relationship With God Becomes Secondary, Death Sets In
1. Approaching God apart from mercy – you will die!