God’s Temple: The Church

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Posted by Dan Jarms on April 16, 2023
God’s Temple: The Church
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Main idea: Four realities about the local church that compel you to faithfully minister the Gospel

  1. The church is God’s temple.
  2. God’s Spirit dwells in God’s people.
  3. God will destroy anyone who destroys a local church.
  4. God’s church is holy.
  • Automated Transcription
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    Good morning faith Bible Church. It's good to see you all. First thing I want to do, just encourage us all to thank John and the music team. And all the people tech and all that. Who made last week happen. It was a fantastic week of celebration. So John, thank you for that. Everybody. Give them thanks. Are our our tech guys just had so much to deal with last week and they were flawless? Good job, Jeff and your team back there. So we're so he's like, Oh, I have plenty of flaws. I know, I know, I know. You might have I didn't notice any of them. So I'm really thankful for that. A couple of family things to say before we get started. First of all, you prayed for us for wisdom about our children's ministry. And we have had Joe Swanson as an interim in children's ministry, working part time in that for a little over a year. And we have unanimously decided as elders to bring him on full time as our full time, he is our children's ministry director. And Joe has, if you don't know his story, we'll get a chance for you to hear a little bit more of a story of full time missionary missionary pilot transition to with a master's in biblical counseling to full time missionary counselor trainer. And he was at mediation for a while in the counseling side of things and then helping pilots get ready to go. That shifted a little bit. And He then started part time here. And that shifts a little bit more one of the things that he's going to do. He's got his MA in biblical counseling, and he's going to take about five classes at the seminary for the pastoral ministry classes. So he is getting retooled for all of those things. We're really, really grateful for Joe and Christie and their kids and the fact that they're with us, and that they're going to give a ton of energy to our children's workers and trainers and to our parents and family. So I'm very happy about that. Another family item has to do with an engagement. And I'm really excited about this because we've been I've been friends with this man for a while and we're now doing their premarital Joe swart, asked Grace Timberlake to be his wife. And she said, Yes, they were in first hour or the second hour. We know they they're out. But if you see them, it's very, very exciting. Joe's just as all kinds of service related things here around the church, I'm so grateful for them. We're going to do a new member recognition after this, because the sermon is going to fit really well with new member recognition. So that's coming up after the after the sermon. Let's stand for the reading of God's Word. As you're standing, turn to First Corinthians chapter three, I'm going to read 10 through the end of the chapter, our verse that I'm going to expound on that I'm going to look at today is just 16 and 17. And if you look at it and say, there's just two verses, this should go quickly. You know me better than that. Part of the reason why there's only two verses because this is some some fundamental doctrine that is really important for us to see. So let's, let's take a look at this passage. First Corinthians three, starting in verse 10. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder, I laid a foundation, someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay straw, each one's work will become manifest for the day that as a day of judgment will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has, has done. The work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss though he though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly With God for it is written, He catches the wise in their craftiness. And again, the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise that they are futile. So let no one boast and men for All things are yours, whether Paul or a palace or surface or the world, or life or death, or the present or the future, all are yours, and you are Christ. And God and Christ is God's, this is the word of the Lord. God we say thank you not remotely, not not as a rear mirror, recitation. Lord, we are thankful that you have revealed yourself to us through your son in your scripture. And thank you for what you are building this, this thing called the church, which is your temple where you dwell and you are dwelling here by your Spirit. And so we would pray that you would use your word by your Spirit, illuminate it to help us see how important the church is and how important it is to you and your plans for this world and the age to come. I pray as men and women go out to hang door hangers today, knock on doors and see if anybody's interested in spiritual conversations. Let people know about us here. Prepare people's hearts, to be ready to engage with conversations. Because we want you to do a saving work not only in our five minute circle, but in the five minutes circle of our homes where we live wherever we are in the region. We want you to give us opportunities to boldly speak the gospel and in the church. Help us be faithful ministers of the gospel of Christ to build each other up so that the church would glorify You. Christ's name we pray, amen. You may be seated. Well, knowing is better than feeling when it comes to a grease fire on the stove. When do you think if you're guided by your feelings in a grease fire, what might you be tempted to do? Throw water on it which would immediately make the water evaporate, grab onto the grease and make a big explosion. Knowing is better than feeling in a grease fire, there's actually a better way to put it out. Knowing is better than feeling when it comes to the local church to Corinth was a grease fire. If we're gonna use a metaphor. The church's witness was at stake. Their effectiveness was at stake. They had bought into the idea that popularity within the church and control in the church was the most important thing to do and participate in jealousy and rivalry recreating factions in the church that's part of this very chapter that we're in. There were quarrels and power struggles, and the church had been set on fire for going to use that picture. They relied on Christian celebrities, worldly wisdom, worldly power plays to get preeminence in the church. So Paul comes to a point in the letter where he asks a question, do you not know? The answer was certainly yes. It's a rhetorical question. Designed as a rebuke. In fact, the church has enough fires going on that he's going to do this nine more times after this passage 10 times into chapter nine. He's gonna say Do you not know

    why we don't have factions at the moment of FBC I know the human heart. I know my heart jealousy rivalry. They are common in the hearts of couples, common and friends. And yes, even in the church. That's what Paul's addressing in this larger section. It really begins in chapter one, verse 10, where he is saying that it's been reported to me, this is 111 by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. They each faction up in this chapter that we're in verse three, you are still of the flesh For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way that you're not realizing who you are. You're not putting it into account, putting it into practice. And so here in 16, and 17, where we're going to camp on today, there's foundational truths, both for your Christian life and the rest of the book. This idea that the church is a temple is going to be picked up on multiple times. As we go through the book. The believers that make up a local church are a temple of the living God where His Spirit dwells. God's people gather as the temple and worship and go out in the world to evangelize. And Paul is laying out what is essential to move them in the right direction, identity. Identity, who we are, is foundational to our morals, our ethics, our life purpose. When you think about it, unbelievers are brought by their friends to the gathering, neighbors and co workers. And what do we want them to see? What we want them to see, are loving, unified people who hold up and hold high, the truth of the Scripture, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what Paul wants the church to be doing. This morning, I want to talk to three kinds of people. First, there are those of you who are ministering in the church, you have taken an active role formally or informally, but it's consistent you you set out to do it every week. You seek to serve in the church. And this is Paul's main audience here. Paul says, I, I planted and somebody's building on it. Now I started I laid a foundation and somebody's building on it. And what he wants to say to you is instead of ministering to gain status, or worldly, using worldly or sinful wisdom, where to minister the gospel that for the glory of Christ. Second, some of you are unfamiliar with the Bible, you might be somebody who has gotten door hanger, or somebody knocked on your door and invited you here. And we're glad that you're here. You probably have thoughts about church what a local church is, but you've never heard it from the Bible, why God thinks it's important. And third, there's, there's another set of you here, you have real faith in Christ. But you have trust issues, trust issues with a local church, perhaps you've been steamrolled in a church by the very kinds of sinful powerplays that Paul's talking about here, and you're keeping your distance you'd attend occasionally, or maybe you even attend often. But you're having a hard time committing yourself to the people here to the leadership here. And if nothing else, I hope Paul convinces you that it's worth setting a course to resolve your trust issues. Yeah, you may have been hurt in a church. But what Paul says here is so life changing, that you're not fully realizing what God has given and you're not fully operating to your capacity unless you are in that committed relationship. You're not getting all from God that he has from you. And I would just encourage you maybe by the end of this the only takeaway for you if you have trust issues with joining a local church is a conversation with elders or your growth group leader or one of the pastors. How do I get over that? What do I do? So I want to what I want to look at is about ministering the gospel. I want to look at four realities about the local church that compel you to faithfully minister the gospel in it. The apostle Paul says, I planted Apollos watered, God caused the growth. That's in the greater context. He is talking about all of us being faithful, not using worldly wisdom, or worldly power struggles. He is talking about faithful, humble ministry of the gospel. There's four realities about the local church, then four doctrinal realities that we should look at that compel us to that fateful kind of service. Number one, number one out of four, the church is God's temple. Now I want to tell you, I don't know if I've ever been more brilliant in my outline. This is a brilliant outline. I spent minutes getting it together. Look at it. Do you not know that you are God's temple? All four of them will go that easy for us. Faithful ministering, faithfully ministering the gospel of the church is born out of the knowledge that the church is God's temple. And this is that argument from identity. Everybody lives out that their identity about about how they define themselves. First, let's start with the you who is the you You are God's temple turned back to one, two, and you can see the answer to it. At the opening of the books to the Church of God that is in Corinth That's the you. A church is an assembly. It's not really a location now. I'm a pastor. So sometimes I have to say to the kids, hey, I've got to run down the church to the church, I left my laptop there, I got to do some work. So we think about the place as a church. That's not really proper, in a sense. Because the church is an assembly of people, and they can assemble anywhere and still be the church, but it is an assembly. To the church of God, it belongs to God. And this isn't a specific location in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus set apart, made holy and set for a holy purpose in Christ Jesus called to be saints together sanctified and saints those are similar words in Greek. Together with all those who call, in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours, who is the you it's all true believers who have repented from sin trusted Christ. And now, God has made them a stone or a brick mortared into a building or a structure the temple, you do you not know that you are God's temple? So what's a temple? Now? I probably got to say this because I know there's some visitors but also, this is an American culture that's either largely secular, or if there's any hangovers from Christianity, any left of Christendom, remet remnant, the idea of a temple is is probably foreign to many of you, a temple was a place a special place where God dwells, and his people can approach him for help and worship. Many people treat churches like that I remember one day, when I was a resident here, I was assigned a day where I took everybody who was visiting the church, help them with any needs, and somebody said, I want to see your sanctuary. Well, we have a worship center, and that's, that's fine. So I walked down here, and I thought it was odd. And I opened up that back door over there, and I turned on the light, and he's like, Oh, this is fantastic. And he got down his knees and started to pray. As if that's treating this place like a temple. If you've seen any kind of idol worship or a foreign religion, often there are set aside places so that a person can approach a deity and worship now, this is coming back. Paul is referring not to the idolatry, but he's referring back to the Jewish roots in Jewish history. A temple is a special place where God dwells, and his people can approach him for help and to worship Him. And yeah, it's true. Like we have this kind of discussion about why should a person join a church and somebody often says, Well, I can worship in the mountains, I don't need to go to a church. Well, I hope you worship in the mountains. It's amazing. God made it. So worship in the mountains. But God made you to worship in community.

    We worship as individuals, we worship in community. I'm gonna do it a jet tour of the Bible storyline on this because the apostle does something that's really profound here, we're going to look at this garden building motif that Paul sets Paul doesn't pick these randomly as to good illustrations for people to connect with. They are good illustrations to connect with God's field, and God's building that comes from verse nine. You are God's field, you are God's building. They're not incidental. The Bible begins with God creating the whole world with a special mountain garden called Eden, four rivers come out of it. Adam and Eve were created in that garden and they were to care for that garden, and they were to be fruitful and multiply in that garden. They were given rules and God met them. They're out of all of the world. There was one special place and God dwelled with Adam and Eve in that garden, until very quickly, Adam and Eve rebelled against God's commands, and wanted their own special place a sought beside God which brought the judgment of God and if we know what happens well if you don't know what happens there community was corrupted, forever trouble and every marriage ever since. The very ground was cursed, in order to walk with God at all. They had to deal with sin. God made the first sacrifice he closed them with clothing. And in order in the sense to protect them from staying in that space forever, he drove them out of the garden, the rest of Genesis and the rest of the Bible speaks of different ways people meet with God. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, they all built altars on mountaintops get up and away out of the world, get alone with God make a sacrifice, because we have to deal with sin, worship God there God communicates. And so throughout Genesis, you'll see high places sacred places where people got up, got away, got out of the world, and met with God. Eventually, God decided to make a permanent place. So if you read through the story of the Bible, this all the way you can just follow those notes on that little sidebar, we're actually in point one, a sidebar. You can just follow it down the list in Leviticus and Exodus. God has very intricate detailed instructions about how to make a dwelling place a tent called the tabernacle a place for God to dwell in. And if you read the details, like I just recently did, and I kind of geeked out about the details. How is the tabernacle decorated? Like a garden. It's the garden temple, where God's glory would dwell. The difference now is because of sin, there not only needs to be sacrifice, to, to acknowledge that we need to deal with sin, there also needs to be a mediator. There was a priesthood that was ordained, that would be the in between with God and man, eventually that tabernacle, which was portable, was put into Israel and Shiloh and eventually that was replaced by a temple, on a mountain in Jerusalem. Solomon orchestrated its building. And if you read how it was decorated, it was decorated like a garden. Gold bronze tapestries, it was the garden temple, out away from the world, a special place and it had a mediator. Now there was a problem with the covenant. While God had set up away from Andrew approach, God, man's heart was corrupt. And so God made a promise of another covenant to come and that Covenant, Jesus came to fulfill, called the New Covenant. And Jesus came to live, and he lived in Israel. He was betrayed in Jerusalem, he was crucified, this is what we just celebrated last week, he was crucified on the cross for the payment of sins, and He was raised from the dead. Not that resurrection means many things. But it means that that payment was accepted. The resurrection in a sense is a receipt of bill payment. God accepted it, sins are forgiven, debt is paid. So with the death and resurrection, we have the first half one full and final sacrifice, and then Jesus raises from the dead ascends to heaven. And there he is reigning God's right hand. And in Acts chapter two, he sends his spirit just as you see killed in and Jeremiah and Joel promised to live inside his people. It's called Spirit baptism. I'll get to that in a second. So according to Paul, who's the garden temple today if you're a believer, you are. You're the, you're the beautiful plants that are growing. You are the bricks mortared into the wall. You are the garden temple. And it's headed for a new Jerusalem. Revelation 21 and 22. After the world is remade after its wickedness, God recreates the world and he brings down a new mountain Garden City in Jerusalem, it comes down out of heaven. And in Revelation 2122 It says there will be no physical temple and it says its temple is the Lord the God Almighty and the Lamb. Now the place to go to dwell with God is to God in Christ face to face, Revelation 22 There's a throne room and rivers coming out and what's growing beside the river trees. It's a garden mountain city and the new heavens and the new earth. This is where we're headed and so far now. You are the garden temple, God's field God's building, growing being built Ephesians 219 through 21 adds a few more things to this metaphorical collage. Ephesians 219 says you our fellow citizens with the saints, and members of the household of God, citizens in a city, House members of a family, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. This is what Paul just said, I laid a foundation others build on it. Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, a Cornerstone, what's a cornerstone, it is a large stone cut perfectly square on all six sides so that the rest of the building can be built perfectly square, and all its corners. Everything is built to line up perfectly Christ Jesus is the cornerstone and out every direction, the apostles and the prophets, and then the believers of all the ages are building this temple.

    So what are we all pointing to? Yes, the Holy Spirit dwells us in in us individually. But he also indwells in a special way corporately. So that first Corinthians 14, when we give true worship, orderly worship, our friends who we've invited our children who we bring with us every week with see a loving and unified, doctrinally pure doctrinally sound people worshipping God. Last night, I watched the Warriors Kings game, and the Sacramento Kings won their first playoff game and 21 years, the city was super excited. They're all jumping up and down. And just above the stadium, they had constructed this six beam laser light to go straight into the sky. And at the wind, they punch the giant button and the laser goes up. And if you look outside, you could probably see the laser shining into the sky from 100 miles away meant what a picture it would be, if the way we worship the way we loved was so great that it shot into the sky or shot out so much that people knew it 100 miles away says the purpose of you being God's temple, that the light of Christ, the truth of Christ would be held up and held high. So every genuine Christian has an identity tied both to Christ and His people. And we know lots of examples of community identity. I'm married to Linda, we've been married for 33 years. It's been bliss and growth and an honor. For 33 years. I don't do anything. I don't do one thing that is not attached to my wife. I can't do one thing that's just me. I'm married. Everything I do affects my wife. Everything I pursue affects my wife, I don't do anything without being a husband, to Linda. If you're not married, what about you? Well, I mean, I know every person has a family identity. Little kids growing up, as they grew up, they realize first that their son or daughter than they learned that their brother or sister if they're an only child, they learned that they have cousins, and that that family identity means something and you might be older and single and unmarried and use you still really don't do much without having a family identity. And you said but you don't know my family, my family was horrible. Well, that actually proves my point because you want it to be a good relationship. And you don't have it. There is this inward identity that we have with our community. To play sports, every team has a culture and an ethic that's defined by the identity of the team. So how does this call us to minister the gospel faithfully in the church? Because God's people together are a holy place. God's people together have mutual concerns for each other. They are set apart from cultural worldly concerns. And so we can't go on treating the temple like it's the world it's not the place where I climb a ladder and I get preeminence. So we minister Christ's gospel in Lovings service to the church. How does this call Christians with trust trust issues to work them out?

    You know that you're out of place. Spurgeon said, way better than I did. With that mortar to picture. Every Christian has to be mortared into a local church. You're saved mortared in. And Spurgeon says, So what do you call a brick out in the field? What's a hazard, you're going to do one of two things with a brick, maybe three, you're going to pick it up and throw it through a window, not helpful, you're going to trip over it not helpful. You're going to stub your toe on it not helpful. The Christian was meant to be in a local church. And some of you have legitimate hurts.

    This call you to connect to a church where you can find a loving community. And if you're not a Christian, if you're not a Christian, you too can be rescued and included in a family, you could be included in a family. So first, you are the church's God's temple. Second, God's Spirit dwells in God's people. Again, brilliant outlining. Don't you know that you are God's temple and that God's the church is God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you. You are God's temple and God's Spirit dwells in you this was that promise that I related to Ezekiel 3625. Jeremiah 31. Joel, chapter two. The problem with the the Mosaic covenant is that people agreed when they had no power to fulfill it multiple times over and over, God's going to say, I want you to be my people. I mean, that's the storyline of the whole Bible. God is making a people for Himself through Jesus Christ for His eternal glory, to dwell with them forever. That's the storyline of what God's doing. And Israel, God rescued them out of Egypt. He said, Okay, I want to be your king, you'll be my people. I've got a bunch of commands. And they're like all that you have said, we will do and except for five minutes from now. And that's the history of Israel. They couldn't do it. And in in that Old Covenant, there was a promise out of Deuteronomy, you know, you need a new heart. And you read through the Old Testament, if you read through the Old Testament, and you're not a not a Christian, you're reading through that. It's like, these are God's people. Really, they're a mess. Always. Yes, because they need new hearts which were promised by the prophets and fulfilled in Jesus. So every person who sees their need of salvation, who knows they're a sinner knows they're going to be judged and calls on Jesus for forgiveness and restoration gets a double blessing. They are restored to Jesus and they're including cluded into Jesus brotherhood. They're included into God's fatherhood or his family, they are adopted in they are built as bricks into the temple, and the Holy Spirit indwells the promise of the new covenant is the God changes hearts. The laws put inside so that we wouldn't obey wheeling the heart is cleansed, away from its defilement.

    All who believe are born again with new hearts and ongoing help of the Holy Spirit.

    So individually, there is a measure of this corporately is the fullness of this. How does this help us Minister faithfully? God is here. God is in us. God is among us. We faithful minutes faithfully, faithfully minister the gospel because God's Spirit dwells in us. We work on our trust issues because God's Spirit dwells in us we work out our commitment issues because God's Spirit dwells in us. And if you call on Christ and trust Christ, this statement here means he can completely renovate your life. Completely renovate your life. Do you feel like your life is hopeless and purposeless and you're powerless to make any change? Call out to Jesus He will give you His spirit and he can make a change in you

    If you are

    God's temple, God's Spirit dwells in you. leads us to the third, God will destroy anyone who destroys a local church. Yes, again, brilliant outlining, follow it. If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. One of the reasons we seek to faithfully minister is born out of the fact that God loves and protects his church, we teach our children when they're very young, to not put fingers or coathangers in light sockets, or in outlets. They're very powerful, but they're very dangerous if you use them wrong way. So there is off for the person who is a faithful minister of the gospel, I think of me our elders who are held to a very high account and we have to give a reckoning an account of all that we've done on Judgement Day, I read this kind of thing go home, I am I being serious about that this week. I'm not gonna mess with God's church. Not we have to make sure we make this connection to what Ian preached two weeks ago before Easter. And if we put them together, there's three kinds of workers. There are faithful workers who build on the foundation of the apostles teaching on Christ. There are careless workers who use some of Christ and some worldly wisdom and worldly power tactics. And then there are destroyers. Those people who through their example through their teaching and doctrine, or through their proud and selfish ambition to actually do harm to the church. We seek the minister faithfully born out of the fact that God loves and protects his church. Faithful ministers of the gospel build on Christ with Christ's words.

    Why is the church so important to God? I have many answers to that. But here's probably the most powerful one for me, Acts 2028. Talking to elders of the church, the apostle Paul is telling them this. Pay careful attention to yourselves. That is your own heart, your own behavior, your own goals and agendas, your own public teaching what you believe, pay careful attention to yourselves, and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, that Holy Spirit that indwells also makes us overseers. And here is what we oversee the Church of God to care for the Church of God, the Assembly of God. So it's pictured as a flock as an assembly, and here's why it is so precious to him which he obtained with his own blood. This people is blood bought by Jesus. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever would believe in Him might not perish but have everlasting life. God doesn't want them to perish. The fact of giving his son means he wants to keep his people and he will do what is necessary to preserve his church. We find examples of God protecting the worship all over the Bible and Leviticus 10 just after the priests are established in the temple. Two brothers named Anna by who Aaron who is the chief priest had their job going into the temple to make an offering and commentators say they were drunk. Most likely, that's the issue. They were drunk, and they used offerings that God didn't prescribe and God struck them dead at the door opening. God discipline the nation of Israel when they crossed into the promised land because Aiken took idol idols for himself to keep the cash from the gold. God uncovered it struck him down. You think wow, that's the Old Testament man. That's really harsh. Well, in John chapter two, the second sign for sign Jesus turns water to wine second sign. He's at Passover in Jerusalem and the cold courtyard of the Gentiles as part of this big temple project is about the size of a football field. And it's filled with all the money changers and sacrifices so that people could buy them at a high rate really close to the offering. And it displaced any worshipers that wanted to come and what did what did meek and mild Jesus do? meek and mild Jesus wove a really long whip and charged in shouting like Elijah the prophet and scourging and driving that football field clean of its corrupt worship. And John says, why Jesus says, My Father's house shall be called the House of Prayer, and you have made it a den of robbers. Then John says, and fulfillment of the Prophet zeal for the Lord will consume him. Jesus is protective of worship, Acts chapter five and a nice and Sapphira. They wanted to look good, like Joseph, who was eventually called Barnabas, Son of Encouragement. Joseph called Barnabas sold a piece of property gave all the proceeds to the church, because the church had great needs, and he had extra property. And they said, Hey, I wonder what kind of cool name we could get. So they decided to sell a piece of property, but in the process of selling this, you know, Sapphira, we could get a cool name. And we could kind of get away on that Mediterranean vacation. I hear creats. Nice. We don't know what they actually said. But they kept they went to the church and said, Here's all the money from the sale. When they kept half of it. God told Peter that they were lying. First, Anna NYAS was struck dead than Sapphira was struck dead, because God is zealous for the worship of his people. In this very letter, I'll read it when we do communion today. It says some are sick, some are dying, because they are Miss handling the Lord's Supper. Wow. God will destroy those who destroy his temple. In Revelation, two and three, five of the seven churches were warned that their influence would be lost. The imagery and Revelation is lampstand. If they did not repent of their false teaching, and their immoral and idolatrous behavior, God will give out the perfect and appropriate punishment. Those who destroy the church will be destroyed. So believers whose life and teaching become destructive, could actually be struck down by God yet saved for eternal life. God keeps those who are His, but they make a discipline. unbelievers who do this like false teachers could be destroyed in life too, and certainly will be destroyed to final judgment. And here's this glorious reality of where we're all headed. In the new heavens and the new earth and the new heavens and the new earth, there will be nothing accursed. There'll be nothing distracting, nothing destructive, nothing that will cause us or allow us to worship anything other than the lamb. It's a glorious day until then. The response of the faithful in the church is reverence and serving God, by loving and serving others. Reverence for God's justice makes us seek to be faithfulness, to be faithful ministers. And I would say to those who have trust issues in the local church, likely because human flesh is weak, and often neglects trouble that's going on in the church. You're you're stepping back, you're you're you're at an arm's length. But I would want to say, if we all took this seriously. humble service and doctrinal purity would all be our concern. And what you might experience as that person would be a welcome and joyful place in Christ. Please leads us to our final God's churches holy. Number three, God destroys those who destroy His Church, His temple. Number four, God's Church is holy for here he gives the reason why he does it. For God's temple is holy and you are that temple. Unholy ministry and holy people are incompatible. That's not hard logic. unholy people are unholy ministry and holy people are incompatible. If you're a holy person, you should carry out holy ministry. So the holiness of the church drives us to minister faithfully. This is why God won't let us profane the ministry of the church. I mean, it's quite a shocking statement, isn't it? It's quite a shocking statement early on, like, just just look up at three, one, but I brothers could not address you as spiritual people. But as people of the flesh as infants in Christ, you are still of the flesh for a while there is jealousy and strife among you are you're not of the flesh. I mean, he's he's calling those people, holy people, and you're like, that doesn't fit. Because this is an argument from identity. When you profess Christ, when you trust Christ, repent of your sins, you are transformed. And now, the outward behavior, the outward goals that are worldly, are being tossed off, cleansed. One of the pictures that Paul likes to use is the old clothes are being taken off and new clothes are being put on.

    You need to act according to your new identity. One of the things I noticed in the is the constant headlines about Prince Harry and his relationship with the British monarchy. The whole system of the Royals depends or spends decades telling their children what their identity is, and then teaching them how to live out of it. The problem between Harry and the British monarchy is he doesn't want to be that kind of royal. And whether he's a whiner, or he's legit, whether you like him, or are disgusted with him is not my point. Not even the standard of the Royals, but you would kind of get the picture, wouldn't you? He has got a royal identity and he's having a hard time living up to its expectations. Now, unlike any human monarchy or priesthood gods, God is holy. He's perfectly loving. He's perfectly just he's magnificently gracious, we love to sing about that he is merciful and that His mercies are endless. His laws are righteous, His rewards are beyond imagination. But we have to get it through our heads when God saves us. We are born again as princes and princesses and part of a we are, as Peter would say, part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation. So our values, our message, our methods, our morals, our to increasingly conform to Christ. We're to grow up into what we are by new birth. And the picture of childhood is you've got it, you've got a child who does all kinds of childish things. And as he grows up, or as she grows up, she matures into what her identity is to be. So there is a reverent response. But that's not all there is. There's not only a reverent response. There's also a rejoicing response. There's a joyful response here. I mean, think of the title that they're given. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. What does that mean? That means that it doesn't matter what kind of sinner you were immoral, a prostitute, a convict, a self righteous Pharisee like kid who's growing up in the church judging everybody, all kinds of sinners, of all kinds that no matter how bad they were, the guy who wrote the book, the letter that we're in, was singularly one of the most righteous people in conformity to Old Testament laws that existed in Jerusalem. And yet, he arrested Christians beat Christians, and stood at approval at the murder of Christians. It doesn't get much worse than that does it? And he's in the temple writing to the believers saying to them, You are God's temple. I mean, here is a joy you go from the muck from the world from its corruption from its rebellion and you are brought in and bricked and murdered into the temple of God, what a joy that means. If you're on the outside of Christianity looking in and your life is a mess. There's a place for you As you trust, Christ repent, start growing and what the gospel means step forward and baptism. join a church doesn't matter what you were before you can be brought in. And for all of us, those of us who would say with the apostle Paul, I'm the chief of sinners. You are now incorporated into God's holy temple. There's rejoicing. So what does that mean? What does faithful ministry of the gospel look like? Let's just think about planting. Here's a planting. Here's a building metaphor. It is spring. Yes, I mean, that is don't look like it. But it is spring. So my granddaughter and I, we plant our garden. She wants tomatoes, and raspberries, and blackberries and blueberries, and strawberries and berries. She, she loves the garden. So we already started to talk about what we're going to plant. So how do you be a faithful gardener or a planter? Well, now it starts by getting your soil ready, putting the proper amendments in and then putting in good seed and making sure you're going to prepare to water it and then making sure that you're going to weed it so that it properly grows, you're going to care for those things. That's what faithfulness looks like in the Christian world, and the Christian world. It means providing careful loving service as people have practical needs. And it always means doing whatever you can to speak gospel truth to help build them up and trust Christ, if they're suffering or they're sending. They need hope, and help and sometimes gentle rebuke, sometimes strong rebuke. But it is not caring about your place or position. It is caring about their growth and you faithfully consider it if you're genuinely a follower of Christ, what I understand are very real and understandable, trust issues. You are still to be a brick and mortar in. And maybe you need long conversations with how to get to the point where you can commit yourself to a local church. Maybe you see Prince Harry and yourself I don't like how all this goes I want to be something different. Well, thankfully we don't have King Charles to answer to. We have King Jesus.

    Knowing is better than feeling when it comes to a grease fire. And when it comes to the local church it's better for gardening. It's vital to the church's life that we take our place in God's temple. The to trust God and be incorporated into it. Let's pray. Father, thank You for what we have been given here. powerful teaching. Now. We pray that you would bring up great conversations today in our groups this week, because we talked about this that we would not be destroyers through our neglect, that we would not be destroyers by our pride and jealousy, but that we would be faithful to build on the cornerstone and build with Christ. It's in his name we pray
Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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