Holy Temple or Holy Cow?
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
A temple was a place where people:
1) performed rites of expiation, propitiation and purification
2) meet with God in prayer (communion, blessing, fertility, refreshment, fellowship, help, comfort, justice)
3) commemorated historical acts and confirmed covenants
4) celebrated present acts of blessings, sustenance and deliverance (thanksgiving, praise)
5) received revelation from God (oracles, instructions, directions, solutions)
6) offered sacrifices recognizing divine ownership (and in connection with all of the above)
7) were impressed by God
I. God's Temple is Composed of Living Stones
A. Substance: Be a solid/dependable building block (based on an unswerving commitment to be Christ's disciple)
B. Bottom: Line up and fit in with the stones that support you (teachable, transparent and shapeable)
C. Sides: Be joined closely with the stones next to you to support future stones (Forgiveness, Acceptance, Mutual responsibility, Interdependence/Teamwork, Like-mindedness/Unity, Yieldedness)
D. Top: Bear up/support others (unified self-denial and sacrifice for others' benefit, skill-equipping)
II. God's Temple is a Center of Cognitive Worship
Pagan Worship = emotional, sensual, man-pleasing, pleasurable
YHWH Worship = volitional response to revelation (cognitive content) involving sacrifice
III. God's Temple is Controlled/Inhabited/Filled by the Spirit of the Living God
A. The temple is indwelt only as individual believers are indwelt
Isa 66:1...The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me?...saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.
poor=afflicted, humble, submitted - dependent
contrite=struck, crushed to a powder- no discernable will/identity
trembles=knee shaking terror - instant unswerving obedience to God's word in the fear of God
1Co 6:18 Flee immorality...19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own? 20 for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
B. The entire building is indwelt on the same basis as individual believers are indwelt
2Co 6:16 what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you
IV. God's Temple Reflects the Glory (presence, power, light, rule, etc.) of the Living God
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Which purposes/uses of a temple have the most appeal/value for a modern worshipper?
2. In which of the four dimensions of building blocks do the blocks of BAC need better shaping?
3. Does there have to be an emotional component to worship to love God with all your heart-mind-soul-strength?
4. What are some manifestations of the Holy Spirit indwelling an individual? a Body of believers?
5. What things about a church cause God to look good in the eyes of others in A. D. 1994? In A.D. 94?