Summary: Travel virtually to Athens, Ephesus, Beth Shean, Corinth and Jerusalem to understand Propitiation through the mind of a Greek man. "The Temple in Me" is the fruit of four trips overseas and months of rewriting.
After reading this sermon you can view pictures of these temples at http://pastorpeter.com. Under SELECTED TOPICS, click on the "The Temple in Me"
The Temple in Me
By Peter Marshall McLewin
Everyday people cross our path, who know nothing of God’s love. They live with an inner rage because they feel that the wrath of God that is on them. They try with all their might to please a God they have never met, and never succeed. They have no peace and know nothing about the presence of God in their lives. They cannot allow themselves to be loved by a loving God. Propitiation is a word that most people never use in conversation. What did the Apostle John want to us to know when he said…
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son,
the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:10
Does John’s statement have any significance to those of us living in the twenty-first century? The answer lies halfway around the world. Journey with me to another time and place.
It has been my great privilege to visit the ruins of some of the greatest temples that pagans have ever built. Come with me to the Parthenon in Athens, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. The Parthenon is still a marvel of architecture and engineering. The proportions of this building with 8 columns across the front and 17 down the side are so pleasing to the eye that they have been duplicated around the world. Across the grand entrance to the Supreme Court of the United States stand eight magnificent Corinthian columns.
The Parthenon was the first building constructed of pure pentelic marble. The tiles on the roof were so pure that sunlight penetrated into its inner chamber, called the naos. The naos housed the massive statue of Athena who stood 45 feet tall. Her golden dress, wrapped around a wooden frame, weighed 400 pounds. Her feet, arms, hands, neck and head were carved out of pure ivory. Her facial features were precious jewels.
But Paul, unimpressed by her earthly splendor, courageously challenged the thinking of the Athenian Supreme Court by saying,
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; …being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.”
Acts 17:24-25, 29
From Athens come with me to Ephesus to the location of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, where the great temple to Artemis was built. The Artemision made the Parthenon look like a matchbox. While the Parthenon had 54 columns, the Artemision stood like a petrified forest, with 156 columns. Bulls by the thousands were shipped to Ephesus and slaughtered on the altar to Artemis. Tragically, no worshiper of this great pagan deity ever left with his sins forgiven. No worshiper ever knew the joy of John’s simple statement, “…this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.”