Summary: We are God’s temple. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. What God expects us to be being the Temple of His Presence?
Theme: THE TEMPLE OF GOD MUST BE
Text: Matt. 21:12-16
B. In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul said that our “body is the temple of God.” This is one of the most wonderful pictures given in the Scriptures depicting our relationship with God. We are His temples.
C. The first thing that would come to our mind when speaking of a temple is that, it is a place where God’s presence is. Isn’t it very wonderful to think that God’s presence is in each of us? It is the most marvelous reality of the Christian life.
D. Now I understand that God has a twofold objectives of salvation:
1. first, to bring us into His heavenly home. This is the future of every Christian;
2. second, to make us His temple where His presence dwells. This is the present reality of every believer’s life.
I.Q. Now in respect to this reality, what does God expect from us being His temple? What is His desire for us? On the other hand, having His presence in us, how would it affect our behavior, our lifestyle, our disposition, and in our response to circumstances?
T.S. Let us answer these questions by studying the passage where Jesus is found cleansing the temple of Jerusalem.
1. this incident happened after the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. He went directly to the temple.
2. the feast of Passover was about to be celebrated, so there were probably not less than a million Jews coming in the city of Jerusalem.
3. Christ was indignant to see the condition of the temple –it was full of filth, material and moral garbage. God was so hurt! Israel failed God of His purpose to them; she always had. Likewise, we always failed God in His expectations of us.
WHAT DOES GOD WANT US TO BE BEING HIS TEMPLE?
I. HE WANTS US TO BE A TEMPLE (OR A HOUSE) OF PURITY.
1. in verse 12, Christ casts everything that brought moral filth to the temple (read and comment on the passage).
2. His action would have appeared radical, and yes, sometimes, God should be radical to take those toys of sin that we failed to lay aside because we like them, because we are fond of them. I don’t know what toy of sin are you playing now: is it a habit, a thing, or even a person?
3. In this action of Jesus, we can surmise that God demands purity, not just 98% but 100% purity. 100% seems unattainable, but let’s just bring our lives into submission to God and He will do that.
4. Purity comes as a result of the act of consecration. Consecrated things are deemed pure, and to be used for sacred purposes only. If those government vehicles ay may tag na “for official use only”, each of us should bear a tag on our body “for God’s use only”. Pls. reflect yourself with this simple question: How did I use my body?
II. HE WANTS US TO BE A TEMPLE (OR A HOUSE) OF PRAYER.
1. verse 13.( read it )
2. For many people, prayer is –flattering God with few words of praise; telling Him their circumstances (as if God doesn’t know); bombarding Him with requests, and acting desperate for Him to bless.
3. But prayer is not that. It is not informing God our problems, our needs. He knows everything! It is, however, recognizing the true worth of God in our lives. That’s why prayer is more than simply communicating God; it is worshiping God. Why you pray and how you pray reveal the measure of your understanding and faith in God. Oh how many of us limit God by the way our prayers were made.
4. The true essence of prayer is total surrender. The problem of a lot of us is that, we want only the blessing of God but failed to surrender our life totally to Him.
5. Illustration: a very beautiful cap.
6. We always ask God to bless us but don’t allow Him to interfere with our decisions and we ignore His restrictions over us. We didn’t adjust our lives to God.
7. We were so impressed when someone said: “Prayer changes things”. But there is better than that. It must be the goal of all personal and private prayers. The statement is “Prayer changes me.” We pray and anticipate changes to happen on others’ lives or on things we’ve prayed for. But did it do something on your life? How does your prayer affect you? We prayed that people would be saved and this church would be filled with people, but we didn’t evangelize! We prayed for more funds and we don’t give. Where’s the answer, the change, that we want to see happen?