Summary: Christians are the temple that God cares about today... The Lord has given Christians their Spiritual gifts, talents and all the resources they need to be a temple of worship that expresses to all who see their lives that they are children of God sold out
Turn Your Bibles to 1 Chronicles 29:16
Title: A Thanks Offering
Theme: What Do Christians have to Be Thankful For?
Introduction: Our opening text today is something that every born-again Christian should take to heart. (Thru the Bible) Everything Christians have is given to them from God, it is freely given and therefore they should be bound in their hearts to use it for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Bishop Patrick said it well; “we ought to acknowledge God in all spiritual things, referring every good thought, good purpose, and good work to His grace, from who we receive it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
Listen as I read 1 Chronicles 29:16, “O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.” Pray!
Proposition: I would propose to you that Christians are the temple that God cares about today, for 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 17 says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” The Lord has given Christians their Spiritual gifts, talents and all the resources they need to be a temple of worship that expresses to all who see their lives that they are children of God sold out to the cause of Christ and enjoying the abundant life promised by Him.
In this country the entire nation celebrates Thanksgiving in November. Some celebrate by busily preparing food, watching football and gathering with family. None of these are bad in themselves. However, Christians have a greater blessing in the opportunity to give thanks to God. Whether people in this world want to recognize it or not, everything they own is given to them by the Lord and there is going to be a day when all will give an accounting.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what do Christians have to be thankful for?
Transitional Sentence: There are four things that the Holy Spirit of God wants to give Christians not only revelation of but illumination that causes them to say yes this is true, this is why I am what I am. This is the reason for living today. The first is thing that Christians have to be thankful for is God’s saving grace.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This is one of the great evangelistic summaries in the Word of God. F.F. Bruce so wonderfully points out, “This is the watchword for the reformation theology: ‘By grace alone, through faith alone, to God be the glory.’” The Bible teaches that everything Christians have comes by grace. “Grace” (charis) here affects man’s sinfulness. It not only brings forgiveness to repentant sinners, but also joy from the Holy Spirit and heartfelt thankfulness to the Lord Jesus. This grace changes repentant sinners into new creations without destroying their individuality. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary)
Man cannot earn God’s approval. This grace comes as a free gift through the sacrificial price Jesus paid on the Cross of Calvary. If this salvation could be earned by living out the law of God, by giving one’s time and money and life to the work of God, it would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” This grace is a gift to a people who did not deserve the giving. The Lord gives this grace only because it is His character, it is who He is.
Trying to fully explain this grace is like trying to pick up a horse and hold him in your lap. However, the Word of God is filled with Biblical accounts that give a picture of the Lord’s grace. One beautiful picture is found in 2 Samuel. It is the story of King David extending loving kindness to the crippled son of Jonathan, allowing him to eat at his table just like one of his sons, and making sure his needs are provided for. (2 Samuel 9:9-11)
As we look at this truth I want us take time to look at it in spiritual allegory perspective as well. In Galatians 4:24 the Apostle Paul saw an allegory between Hagar and Sarah representing two covenants. Much of Jesus’ teachings were done in allegories, parallels between the temporal and spiritual, the earthly and the heavenly. One may exhibit features which serve to illustrate the other. However, one must try to take caution in spiritual analogies and not let one’s imagination take away from spiritual truths. In this light we may regard King David’s conduct toward Jonathan’s crippled son as an illustration of the King of Zion toward those who have been crippled by sin’s debilitating power. (Swindoll; The Pulpit Commentary; Thru the Bible)