Title: The Awesome Presence of God
Focus: Since our holy God has revealed himself to us and we are still alive, he expects us to respond to him accordingly
Function: To motivate the audience to honor God according to what he does for us
Intro: 1. Last time talked about responding to his holiness 2. Tonight - Doctrine diametrically opposed to doctrine of holiness 3. Presence of God I. God's presence in the Old Testament A. God is holy, can he come to us? 1. No one can see God and live (he is too holy) 2. Is it possible for God to be near and present? B. Paradoxial - Hos 11:9 - "I am God, and not a man, the Holy one in your midst" 1. Josh 1:9 - To Joshua - The Lord will be with you 2. Psalm 116:1-2 - God "inclines" his ear to us C. Some speak of God "condescending" to us 1. God "lowers" himself in order to reveal himself to us 2. God "lowered" himself through "mediation" a. So holy, his presence was mediated b. Symbols of mediation - Angel of Lord (fire, thick cloud) c. Symbol of mediation - Tabernacle (Ex 25:22) D. Moses marveled that God could come so near, and we survive 1. Dt. 4:7; 31-34 - Holy Yahweh called a people to himself!! 2. God came near without destroying them - God wants response II. What kind of response does God want? A. Generosity 1. Ex 23:15; 34:20 - Do not come to him empty handed. 2. Ex 3:21 - God gave coming to us, we should give when coming to him 3. Dt 15:7-15 - Be generous to others because God was generous 4. God's nature affects both worship and life. All life a response to God B. Fellowship 1. God didn't redeem a bunch of individuals 2. Exod 12:1-4 - No individuals, passover a memorial and fellowship 3. Their relationship to God tied to relationship to each other a. Not oppress their slaves, or poor b. Problem in later history - They oppressed the poor C. Singing and praying? Not directly commanded, they spontaneous Ex 15 - First song of praise. Was spontaneous D. So God desires generosity to himself and to others, they tied together III. Symbol of God's presence from Tabernacle to a Temple A. 1 King 8:12-21 - Solomon built a house for God (David's desire) 1. God never commanded them to build a house 2. David wanted to honor God (desire of his heart) 3. God was pleased, and let him do this B. 1 King 8:22-30 - Temple cannot contain God, it just a symbol C. Response to his presence - Prayer, generosity, fellowship, joy (v.62ff) IV. Why so much Old Testament? A. Gal 3:24 - Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ B. My relationship with God drastically improved with Old Testament V. Crisis - God left the Temple (Ezekiel) A. Ezek 10:3-4, 9-10, 18; 11:22-24 - God left, people went into Exile B. Ezek 43:1-5 - God is coming back to fill the temple with his glory C. Did this happen? Will God's glory dwell among his people again? VI. Is God present in the New Testament? A. John 1:14 - Word "tented" among us, beheld his glory (allusion to Tabernacle) B. John 4:20-24 - Worship in spirit and truth. Why, because of where God dwell- C. 1 Cor 6:19-20 - Body is a temple (we are the temple God lives in) D. Once again, God came near, and therefore expects response. What kind? a. Heb 4:14-16 - Draw near to God b. Heb 13:15-16 - Come with a gift (doing good and sharing) (Rom 12:1) c. Heb 10:19-25 - Draw near with a true heart (worship in spirit & truth) - Full Assurance of Faith - Steadfastness in our Hope - Consider one another - Stimulate to love and good deeds V. Still looking forward to his presence: A. Rev 14:13 ¶ And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." B. Rev 7:14-17 - Rest not from serving God but from "labors" (tiresome work) C. Rev 21:22 - 22:5 - We shall finally see his face Concl: 1. Our Holy God has lowered himself and become present, how have you been responding? 2. Do you draw near with a true heart?