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Summary: Too many people today are trying to substitute easy and convenient religion for Spirit led sanctification. How does Jesus feel about that?

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EASY RELIGION

Jn. 2:13-22

INTRO. The Bible records a visit by Jesus to the temple at age 12 (Lk. 2:42); and then again at age 30 (text). (See 2:12) The Passover was a commemoration of the Exodus.

In N.T. times the Passover sacrifice was ritually slaughtered in the Temple. A company bound together by some common tie, such as Jesus and His disciples, could celebrate as though they formed a family unit.

Jesus did not repudiate the taking of this feast even though I Cor. 5:7 says, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."

I. CHRIST’S ANGER AT MAN’S ATTEMPT TO INTRODUCE EASY RELIGION.

A. "Temple" has reference to the outer courtyard surrounding the temple.

1. No one could enter the Temple without witnessing the noisy, bargaining merchants and their animals.

2. The animals were a necessity for the prescribed sacrifices. The worshipers, however, ought to have brought their own sacrifices instead of waiting till the last moment to buy them. They were more concerned with ease in their religion than they were with the desecration of the temple.

B. The money changers.

1. Outside the temple area they used Roman coins. Since these coins had on them the effigy of the emperor, they could not be offered for any purpose in the temple courts as this would constitute an act of desecration. So to make it easy for the worshipers, the money changers, for a percentage, changed their money.

2. Of course, the worshipers were anxious to have little coinage to offer -- "Let’s get by with the least possible." Easy religion was what they were after. Just as many today are looking for the smallest coin or a mere dollar bill to put in the offering.

3. Jesus obviously disapproved (describe). It greatly disturbs Jesus when we make His worship easy and convenient in disregard of the sacredness of His House being a House of Prayer.

II. MANY TODAY WANT SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT SACRIFICE.

A. (Phil. 2:3) - "In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

B. Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

C. The master must be the servant and the first must be last.

D. You can’t learn the Word of God unless you study, and you can’t study unless you put aside all else.

E. It is the same with witnessing, ministering, tithing.

F. The measure of true spirituality is the amount of sacrifice that goes into your worship and your witness.

III. MANY WANT VICTORY WITHOUT CONFLICT.

A. The Word of God is likened unto a sword for a very good reason. Heb. 4:12-13

B. Jesus’ ministry was one of conflict. His atoning death was one of conflict.

C. Eph. 6 lists the Christian armor because if we are to ever experience the victory there must first be conflict.

D. Paul knew well the conflict that comes with living a life for Christ.

1. Rom. 7:15-25

2. The holiness of God is confrontational because of the sinfulness of man.

E. Note "overcometh" in Rev. 2 & 3.

{"overcome" = to conquer, prevail, get the victory}

IV. MANY WANT PROGRESS WITHOUT EFFORT.

A. There can be no growth, no progress without effort.

B. I Pet. 2:1-2

1. "Lay aside"


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