Summary: God dwells in the hearts of His children, not in buildings of brick and mortar.
The Temple of God
March 3, 2013 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: God dwells in the hearts of His children, not in buildings of brick and mortar.
Focus Passage: Acts 17:22-31
Supplemental Passage: And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. (Matthew 27:51 NASB)
I. OT Tabernacle
a. a temporary dwelling place moved about as the children of Israel wandered in the desert
b. the Ark of the Covenant was moved along with it
c. A pillar of smoke led it in the day and a pillar of fire in the nighttime
II. OT Temple
a. David wanted to build a permanent temple; he felt guilty for living in a plush palace while God “dwelt” in a tent
b. God wouldn’t let David build it because of the bloodshed David had caused but told him that Solomon would build it
c. Solomon built a grand temple in 957 BC and it was completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC
d. Solomon said “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 NASB)
e. And God promised: "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NASB)
f. Zerubbabel built a second temple in in 515 BC. It was renovated in 20 BC by Herod the Great and became known as Herod’s Temple. It was completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
g. The Jews are planning to build a Third Temple and have already constructed many Temple implements, but because of the Muslim Dome of the Rock built in 691 AD.
III. NT Temple
a. In the NT, we make a transition from what the temple WAS to what the temple IS
b. This transition is evidenced by: And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. (Matthew 27:51 NASB). And explained further:
c. "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; (Acts 17:24 NASB)
d. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB)
e. Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (2 Corinthians 6:16 NASB)
f. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB)
g. "However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: (Acts 7:48 NASB)
h. The Jews then said to Him, "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. (John 2:18-21 NASB)
Invitation: And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He *said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a ROBBERS' DEN." (Matthew 21:12-13 NASB) Jesus went to dramatic lengths to “cleanse the temple.” Since we are now the Temple of God, to what extent do you go to cleanse your own temple? What corrupt things have you allowed to set up shop in your Temple of God? Once we understand that WE are the Temple, we cannot continue to sin, knowing that the Spirit of God dwells within us? What kinds of things do we do when we aren’t “in church” that we would never do “in church?” What if we realized that we ARE the church?