Summary: What is entailed with us being temples of the Holy Spirit?
Temples of the Holy Spirit: Part One
1. Russ Perman tells this story: "Working as a secretary at an international airport, my sister had an office adjacent to the room where security temporarily holds suspects. One day security officers were questioning a man when they were suddenly called away on another emergency. To the horror of my sister and her colleagues, the man was left alone in the unlocked room. After a few minutes, the door opened and he began to walk out. Summoning up her courage, one of the secretaries barked, "Get back in there, and don’t you come out until you’re told!" The man scuttled back inside and slammed the door. When the security people returned, the women reported what had happened. Without a word, an officer walked into the room and released one very frightened telephone repairman. [Reader’s Digest]
2. Those of us who preach the Word often feel like that sister. We are unsure what to do about a situation or how to interpret a passage, so we take our best guess. And sometimes we are wrong.
3. As a result, it can be hard to get accurate teaching on confusing subjects, like just about anything related to the Holy Spirit.
4. This is true with the Bible teaching that believers are temples of the Holy Spirit. Although this teaching is used to promote Christian health clubs, the actual Biblical teaching is much deeper than that. So deep, in fact, that we need to dedicate several sermons to the subject.
5. To understand what it means to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit; we need to begin with Old Testament background. God only allowed one central sanctuary; at first, it was a portable tent-like structure called the Tabernacle. It was then replaced with a glorious building constructed on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem called the Temple.
Deuteronomy 12:4-7 reads, "You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you."
6. There is virtually no connection between the Temple and modern church buildings. As we will see later in the series, it really isn’t right to call a church building "the House of the Lord." It is okay in a figurative sense, just as our praise is not an offering in the sense of killing and animal and roasting it on an altar. But there is an important and deep connection between the Temple building and the body of every true Christian.
7. The New Testament tells us that our bodies are "temples of the Holy Spirit" (I Cor. 6:19).
Main Idea: What is entailed with us being temples of the Holy Spirit?
I. We Are Not Temples Merely Because We Are REGENERATE
A. Old Testament BELIEVERS were also regenerated
B. Jesus and NICODEMUS (John 3:1-10)
(show photo Sunday-Jesus)
Even in the Old Testament, the New Birth is presented as a sovereign act of God, compared to rain (water) and wind (spirit), as just as controllable by human beings (NOT under human control, but divine). Note that both the Hebrew word (ruach) and the Greek word (pneuma) can be translated as wind, spirit, or breath.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
Ezekiel 37:9-10 “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’" So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.”
Also in Ezekiel 18:31, we read, “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?”
Of King Saul, we read in I Samuel 10:6, “The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person....”