Recently I’ve been getting so much out of North Pine Baptist Church’s series on the Temple and Tabernacle that I’ve made an unofficial transcript of the latest message. I’m sharing it here because of the gospel-soaked, scripture-rich content and the immense good news and practical application that it presents for Christians today.
Morning everyone, good to see you all today. Let’s pray shall we.
Father this morning we continue in this series entitled God in Our Midst and we want to thank you that you are indeed here with us this morning. Lord we are in the presence of a Holy God. This morning as we look at this bronze altar and what it signifies – what it points to – we pray again that you might have grace upon us. That you might help us to understand and grasp in a deeper way the significance of sacrifice; of the sacrifice that has been made for us through Jesus Christ. Lord this morning as we hear from your word we ask that our minds and our hearts would be clear; that they would be attentive to what you have to say to us today. Lord convict us in our hearts, help us to know the very things you want to speak to us about this morning. For you – indeed we know – want to speak to us, and we thank you for that. We pray this morning as we open up this passage together that Jesus Christ might be honoured and glorified. Amen.
Romans 6:23 says this: “For the wages of sin is death”. The wages of sin is death. Wages have featured a lot in the news this week. Those of you who have been across the news this week will know that there has been penalty rates and things like that discussed in the media. When we think about wages we understand them to be those things which are owing to us because of the work we’ve done. We work, we get paid; they’re our wages. But the bible clearly states that when it comes to the things that we’ve done, the work that we’ve done, the sin we’ve committed before God, then we have something owing to us for that. And that is death. We all deserve to die because of our sin.
Puts a real cloud down on everything, doesn’t it.
And you might think this morning as we start off this message and we think about sin and the fact that it deserves death you might think “well you know what, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?”
Last week as we began the series on the tabernacle, we focused on the fact that God is a holy God. That his holiness points to his absolute perfection. His absolute purity. His absolute goodness. His absolute glory. His absolute justice and righteousness. His separateness or his apartness from everything else. Nothing can come even close to this holy God because he is so perfect and glorious and righteous and just. He is so pure. If we liken God in his holiness to the sun, it is both good and terrifying at the same time. It brings heat and light in order for life to grow and flourish, but it also has the capacity to kill anything that comes close to it. And because God is holy, it means that he is like that sun in that he cannot have anything to do with sin, that as soon as we draw close, as soon as sin comes anywhere in the vicinity of God it is consumed by his holy fire. His holiness naturally condemns and destroys sin and anything affected by it.
Well then, how do we ever hope to approach this holy God? How can we ever hope to have any kind of relationship with him? To come into presence? Well we discover how we do that through this imagery of the brazen altar in the tabernacle. This bronze altar. And we’ll see this and what it ultimately points to.