Summary: Grow to be like Jesus
A. INTRODUCTION: JOSHUA 18:1-3
1. Put first things first, build your church before building your house.
c. Service. “Israel . . . set up” (v. 1).
d. The word “build” means look after God’s place and needs.
2. The home of the Ark of the Covenant (God’s presence) from 1444 to 1141, i.e., 300 years.
3. What does a home do for you?
a. Peace – relationships.
“The people of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle there. The land was under the control of the Israelites, but seven tribes still had not been given their tribal territories. So Joshua said, ‘Why are some of you waiting to occupy the land, the LORD God of your ancestors has given you?’” (Joshua 18:1-3, ELT)
4. Both the Tabernacle and today’s church follow the same principles.
“Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
B. FIVE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TABERNACLE AND THE CHURCH
1. Both have the presence of God. “The cloud covered the tent . . . the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle” (Ex. 40:34). “The church which is His body” (Eph. 1:22-25).
2. The symbols of redemption.
a. The Old Testament Tabernacle had the altar for sacrifice. “Let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish . . . for a sin offering” (Lev. 4:3, ELT).
b. The New Testament church has the symbols of baptism and the Lord’s Table. “But you were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish” (1 Peter 1:14).
3. Both were the required places to meet God for worship.
a. In the Old Testament. “There will I meet with you and will commune with you from above the mercy seat” (Ex. 25:22).
b. In the New Testament. “The Father seeks worship” (John 4:23). “By a new and better way . . . having an high Priest over the house of God, let us draw near . . . not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb. 10:20-25).
4. Both were the place to bring tithes and offerings.
a. In the Old Testament. “Bring you all the tithes into the store house . . . and prove me now” (Mal. 3:10).
b. In the New Testament. “Now concerning the collection for the saints . . . follow the same principles I gave the churches in Galatia” (1 Cor. 16:1).
5. Both excluded celebrating the symbols elsewhere.
a. In the Old Testament don’t sacrifice just anywhere.
b. In the New Testament don’t celebrate baptism and the Lord’s Table just anywhere.
“But unto the place I shall choose, I will put My name there, and you shall come worship Me there. Bring your sacrifices for sins to that place, also your tithes and offerings . . . there you shall eat before the Lord (peace offering) and fellowship with Me. You shall rejoice in all your labors and your household wherewith I have blessed you . . . take heed that you do not offer your sacrifice offerings in every place that you choose, but in the place I shall choose . . . do as I command you” (Deut. 12:5-14, Amplified).
C. THE CHALLENGE
1. The land was under their control, but not all enemies were driven out. Our Christian life is a picture of conquering the Promise Land.
a. God promises us victory. “Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ” (2 Cor. 2:14).
(1) Are we always victorious over sin?
(2) Are we always “in Christ”?
b. But we never eradicate our sin nature. (1 John 1:8).
2. But many tribes didn’t get a complete victory, just as many Christians allow the presence of sin to defeat their lives. “Benjamin did not drive them out . . . neither did Manasseh . . . Ephraim . . . Zebulum . . . Asher . . . Naphtali” (Judges 1:21, 27, 29-31, 33).
a. Most Christians don’t live in victory. “The good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not do that I do . . . bringing me into captivity to the law of sin” (Rom. 7:20, 23).
b. Living with sin. “Those things I write . . . that you sin not, but if any one sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ” (1 John 2:1).
3. God promised complete victory both to Israel and today’s Christians.
a. Old Testament. “The Lord said, ‘I have delivered them into your hand” (Joshua 10:8).
b. New Testament. “God is faithful who will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape” (1 Cor. 10:13).