The presence of the old testament Temple was vital to right standing before God because it was a visible demonstration of the grace of God, the government of God and the glory of God
The grace of God
In the Temple day of atonement the two identical goats were seen as part of the same sacrifice. One animal to make atonement to God and the other to carry away the sins of the nation. Christ’s once for all sacrifice did just that by making a “guilt offering” and a “sin offering” taking away our sins and making an atonement towards the offended holiness of God carrying his own blood into the presence of God as our great high priest. (Isaiah 53:10,11)
The temple format ensured that because all was done according to His word they had confidence before God as a people, but how much greater confidence can we have when we realize that Gods Son has “once for all ” paid the price of sin
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
As long as Jesus lives – that sacrifice remains before God
One mocker shouted to the man preaching on the street asking if Jesus could change his water into wine BUT the evangelist man replied that Jesus did better than that for him by changing wine into furniture.
As the Temples of the Holy Spirit, Serious Christians know the reality of the grace of God, and there is no greater testimony than what God has done in the life of a believer. People need to know the grace of God and the only way they will see it is in the temples of the holy spirit who follow Him steadfastly in life
We need to have an experience of the grace of God in the temple of our own lives, the presence of that eternal “Once for all” sacrifice in whom we are complete before God.
The government of God
For the Jewish nation the existence of the Temple meant that God was with them.
Everything that happened in the Temple was governed by God – the form, the furniture, the rituals and rules, ALL was governed by God and the people knew that while the Temple stood they were in unbroken covenant with God.
Jesus was “cut off” in AD30 and one generation later in AD70 the temple was destroyed by the Roman Emperor’s son, Titus. But the Spirit of God is now living in EVERY believer who is SERIOUS about following Jesus and have put their complete trust in Him. The Temple was deeply symbolic to Jews and it was for this reason that when Israel recaptured Jerusalem they wept when they came to the western wall which was the foundation of the Temple after almost 2000 years. Today they call this the Wailing wall.
The great purposes of the Temple of course was for sacrifice. People would bring animal sacrifices to God, whole burnt offerings where the body was burned, peace offerings and guilt offerings where part of the body was burnt and the people had this in their annual routines, but one of the great truths declared by Samuel after Saul’s disobedience was
1 Samuel 15:22 …”Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
Today there is a bizarre brand of Christianity that floats about that is simply not serious and tries to embrace Gods grace and rejects Gods government. As the temples of God today we are called to let people see that government of God in action. The best advert for Christianity is a surrendered life and in church circles today there is a desperate need to see the government of God. We love to hear about the “Grace” of God but we are not so sure about the “Government” of God. We love the Sacrifice that the Lord Jesus made for us to bring us to God but we shy away from the obedience that demonstrates Gods government in our lives.
We are called to show a serious Christianity that not just accepts the sacrifice of our Great God and King Jesus Christ – but a Christianity that embraces the government of God in our day to day life.
The glory of GOD
When they completed the project seriously and built the temple doing everything in order and when they had gathered to glorify and commit themsleves to God, the Bible tells us that the glory of God filled the house.
2 Chronicles 5:14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.
Serious Christianity is not about “doing” its about “being”, the glory of God was manifest because of God’s will, it was the will of God to demonstrate his presence and its unavoidable for it was nothing to do with man.
When we receive the grace of God and make some firm choices about the government of God in our lives we can be sure that we will know the filling of the glory of God. Such is the confidence of Serious Christians, that no matter what I do each day I am confident that the glory will be with me so that whatever need I have and whatever situation I come into Gods glory is with me and HE is setting the agenda of my life
Why bother?… well because simply put EVERY problem in our sick society is a visible demonstration of the LACK of SEROIUSNESS of the church. WE are called to be Salt and Light. Salt preserves, salt purifies, but salt also poisons and Jesus says if the salt loses its savour (influence) it is useless and is as well being thrown out. Today sadly our hedonistic society has no higher purpose and no sense of Government, and man will always be incomplete, purposeless and without destiny until his ways and life is governed by God.
Alexander Tyler, 1750 The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years…Historically, these civilizations go from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again into bondage…
The reason Britain has lost its way as a nation is that the CHURCH has lost its way and lives that demonstrate the government of God in the midst of the land are missing and in effect there is no temple and no connection to God. In Britain we see empty and unfulfilled lives. Sadly we see suicide at the highest level it has ever been – even though we have welfare, medical support, social services, housing, etc. and know more than ever about life, we find ourselves empty and devoid of purpose.
YET – When the temple stood people knew the government of God. It was a permanent reminder that God was with them and a connection to their roots of the Old Testament. We need to understand that as the temples of God we are to serve as demonstrations of the government of God even while in the midst of a nation that is dedicated to the never ending pursuit of pleasure.
Why does the world need Serious Christians? Essentially because eternity lasts and according to Jesus, Hell is real.
Part 1 – Building the temple
Part 2 – The Right Foundation