Summary: What would our lives look like if we didn't put limitations on what God could do?

I. Context

A. Near the end of the Babylonian Captivity.

a. Both Israel and Judah fell into sin.

b. God allows them to be overrun by, initially, the Babylonians.

c. Jerusalem destroyed, the Temple burned to the ground, most of the Israelites scattered or carried off into captivity.

d. God decreed 70 years (basically a whole generation)

e. Now the 70 years are drawing to a close.

B. God looks upon his people with mercy.

a. 1:2 – “Return to me and I will return to you.”

b. A God who longs for a relationship with his people.

c. A God who does not delight in evil but delights in good.

d. A God who does not want to punish sin, but must.

e. A God who loves his people in spite of the pattern of rejection and apostasy which has defined their existence.

C. Zechariah prophesies the return to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the city.

D. The vision of a man with a measuring line (a tape measure).

a. One little problem – How do you measure the walls of a city that has no walls?

b. The man’s vision is too small.

c. He was thinking brick and mortar, but God’s vision is too big for brick and mortar.

d. He was thinking of the physical confines of a space, but what God is going to do can’t be confined to a space.

E. Notice the 4 elements that make up with God says he is going to do amongst his people.

a. He will build a city without walls (room for unlimited growth)

b. A great multitude will dwell within (there’s no number for that)

c. God will be a wall of fire without (there’s no need for walls when God is your protection and your strength).

d. God will be the glory within (the splendor, the world will know what is happening there).

F. This was only partly fulfilled in Zechariah’s day.

a. Jerusalem was indeed reinhabited.

b. The Temple was rebuilt.

c. The city was filled.

d. Israel was restored, but not to the glory Zechariah prophesied.

e. The reason is because Zechariah was talking about more than Israel.

f. He’s prophesying spiritual Israel.

g. The spiritual Israel that will not be able to be contained within walls.

G. The church

a. The city without walls is the church

i. Jerusalem=the church

ii. On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

iii. A church bought by the blood of Christ

b. The great multitude within is the harvest of souls

i. Those bought by the blood of Christ.

ii. The temple is our heart, and we together are a city without walls.

iii. The bride of Christ.

c. The wall of fire without is the consuming fire that both protects us and refines us.

i. It is interesting that at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came as tongues of fire.

d. The glory of God within is the indwelling Spirit who binds us together as believers.

i. He is our glory; we have none on our own.

II. Application

A. To the church – A Church Without Walls

a. Is our vision limited to the brick and mortar?

b. Are we trying to measure something that has no walls?

c. What do we allow to limit us?

d. What limits us from being all God wants us to be?

e. If God is our wall of fire without, and our glory within then what holds us back.

f. We are only limited by the limits we place on ourselves.

g. Is it money – He owns it all!

h. Is it resources – He will provide!

i. Is it fear – Jesus said fear not!

j. Is it lack of vision – Where there is no vision the people perish!

k. Do we see ourselves as a city without walls?

l. Or are we constantly pulling out a measuring line?

m. What kind of church do we want to be?

i. Do we want to be a church that measures itself by what we think we can do?

ii. By what we think will fit in our budget?

iii. By what we don’t think we can do?

n. Or do we want to be the kind of church that says, God what do you want us to do.

i. And if what God wants is bigger than what we have, we trust that God is big enough to provide for the vision he gives.

o. If God is really on our side then what can’t we do if he is in it?

p. Are there any measuring lines we need to get rid of?

B. To You and Me – A Life Without Walls

a. I think one of the greatest misconceptions about faith is that when you come to Christ you step into a box full of limitations.

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