Summary: We are God’s Temple in more than one sense, we do what took place at the Temple, and we are participating in building God’s Temple.
We Are the Temple
Part Two in the Temples of the Holy Spirit series
1. The WWII generation was a special generation, sometimes called "builders."
2. This is the generation that built or purchased our facilities.
3. It began in early 1949, 1954, 1956.
4. After all the sacrifices, work, and toil, the folks who built this facility naturally wanted to celebrate their labors for years to come.
5. And they chose to do so in with proper Theology. On Highland Park Church bulletin shells, for perhaps 30 years, was this statement, "A house for God’s people."
6. And that’s exactly what a church building is. It is not "God’s House," but "A House for God’s People."
7. Is it a big deal if someone calls a church building, "God’s House?" No, it’s not a big deal. But all inaccuracies have consequences. The difference does determine much of what is done in a church building. By calling a church building "God’s House," you are setting the tone that the building is a shrine. By calling it "a house for God’s people," you are accurately reflecting that the building exists to benefit us, not God, though we may use it for God’s glory and for God’s purposes.
8. This is very different from the Old Testament Temple which represented the special presence of God on earth, but not His absolute presence.
9. Isaiah 66:1-2, "This is what the LORD says: ’Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?’ declares the LORD.
10. Matthew 12:6, "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here." The presence of God in Jesus is absolute, unlike the presence of God in the Temple.
11. Jesus is greater than the Temple and Jesus is greater than even the indwelt believer because, " …in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9). God does not simply have His presence established in Jesus as He does us; Jesus is God. Therefore, God is present in the fullest sense in Jesus.
12. The concept of God’s presence is one of relationship. We cannot get more or less of God, but we can have unique relationships to Him. And the New Covenant believer is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit just like the Shekinah glory dwelt in the Temple.
13. The Temple motif is all over the New Testament. This is just another reason why our understanding of the Old Testament greatly amplifies our understanding of the New.
Main Idea: We are God’s Temple in more than one sense, we do what took place at the Temple, and we are participating in building God’s Temple.
Today, we will look at the first two of these three truths.
I. WE Are the Temple
Our church family is the Temple
1. 1 Corinthians 3:9, "For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building."
2. Being a Christian demands that we are become team players in a church family. We are not like spiders with our own individual webs who fend and look out for ourselves; we are more like a colony of bees coordinating our skills for the benefit of the hive.
3. When Christians try to be lone bees apart from the hive, they are fighting what is naturally meant to be. We are God’s fellow workers, not His lone workers. Together we are the building, the Temple.
The universal church -- meaning all true believers -- are the Temple
1. Ephesians 2:20-22, "…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."
2. Not only are we to be connected to brothers and sisters in our church, we are also one with all true believers of all times
3. We need to keep going back to our foundation, the Scriptures, which are the only dependable record of the teaching of the Apostles and Prophets.
4. We are not built upon any church, but the stones in the true temple are those stones who are submissive to the teaching of God’s Word… so we have both a heritage, building upon past believers, but also future, preparing for future believers so they can build upon us!
5. But every generation must realign itself with the foundation of the apostles and prophets. The only sure record of their teaching is the Scriptures. Our faith should not be built upon legends or accumulated traditions. We need to make sure that we are level, because every generation of Christians is off the mark somewhere. Our cultures, eras, and experiences all color our version of Christianity -- and sometimes distort it. Past Christians have embraced slavery or the annihilation of indigenous peoples (like the American Indians). Modern Christians tend to integrate materialism into the equation, for example