April 14, 2018

We Are the Temple of God's Spirit

 

INTERESTING FACTS : "WHEN YOU ARE READING A BOOK IN A DARK ROOM, AND COME TO A DIFFICULT PART, YOU TAKE IT TO A WINDOW TO GET MORE LIGHT. SO TAKE YOUR BIBLES TO CHRIST." -- ROBERT MURRAY  McCheyne
 
DAILY READING : 1 KINGS 6 - 7
 
TEXT : 1KI 6:1  AND IT CAME TO PASS IN THE FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTIETH YEAR AFTER THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WERE COME OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, IN THE FOURTH YEAR OF SOLOMON'S REIGN OVER ISRAEL, IN THE MONTH ZIF, WHICH IS THE SECOND MONTH, THAT HE BEGAN TO BUILD THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
 
THEME : SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
 
In chapter 6 and 7, we have the building of the Temple by Solomon. It was in David's heart to do this work, but God forbade him. Therefore, David collected the materials and assigned the work to his son. This is a pivotal point in Israel's history, for now the Temple will have a "permanent" place in the city of Jerusalem. No longer will the Ark of the Covenant or the other instruments travel through the wilderness or other cities and towns. It finds an enduring residence in the "city of peace."
 
We, who are the Temple of God's Spirit, will one day also have a permanent residence in the Kingdom of God. No longer will we walk the earth from place to place. Rather, we shall find ourselves always in the presence of God who, Himself is the Glory of Heaven. We are all stones that make up the Temple of Christ's Body. [1Pe 2:4-5  "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."]
 
Therefore, in Solomon's building of an established dwelling place for the God of Israel, we have a picture of the Church. Once the work is completed, and all as many as are ordained to eternal life believe on Christ, we will forever dwell with God who is within and without. Thus, we will no more come and go, but we will abide in the manifest presence of God Almighty - forever!
 
On the specifics of Solomon's construction of the Temple, I submit the work of Matthew Henry.
 
1 Kings 6:1-10
 
Here, I. The temple is called the house of the Lord (1Ki_6:1), because it was, 1. Directed and modelled by him. Infinite Wisdom was the architect, and gave David the plan or pattern by the Spirit, not by word of mouth only, but, for the greater certainty and exactness, in writing (1Ch_28:11, 1Ch_28:12), as he had given to Moses in the mouth a draught of the tabernacle. 2. Dedicated and devoted to him and to his honour, to be employed in his service, so his as never any other house was, for he manifested his glory in it (so as never in any other) in a way agreeable to that dispensation; for, when there were carnal ordinances, there was a worldly sanctuary, Heb_9:1, Heb_9:10. This gave it its beauty of holiness, that it was the house of the Lord, which far transcended all its other beauties.
 
II. The time when it began to be built is exactly set down. 1. It was just 480 years after the bringing of the children of Israel out of Egypt. Allowing forty years to Moses, seventeen to Joshua, 299 to the Judges, forty to Eli, forty to Samuel and Saul, forty to David, and four to Solomon before he began the work, we have just the sum of 480. So long it was after that holy state was founded before that holy house was built, which, in less than 430 years, was burnt by Nebuchadnezzar. It was thus deferred because Israel had, by their sins, rendered themselves unworthy of this honour, and because God would show how little he values external pomp and splendour in his service: he was in no haste for a temple. David's te nt, which was clean and convenient, though it was neither stately nor rich, nor, for aught that appears, ever consecrated, is called the house of the Lord (2Sa_12:20), and served as well as Solomon's temple; yet, when God gave Solomon great wealth, he put it into his heart thus to employ it, and graciously accepted him, chiefly because it was to be a shadow of good things to come, Heb_9:9. 2. It was in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, the first three years being taken up in settling the affairs of his kingdom, that he might not find any embarrassment from them in this work. It is not time lost which is spent in composing ourselves for the work of God, and disentangling ourselves from every thing which might distract or divert us. During this time he was adding to the preparations which his father had made (1Ch_22:14), hewing the stone, squaring the timber, and getting every thing ready, so that he is not to be blamed for slackness in deferring it so long. We are truly serving God when we are preparing for his service and furnishing ourselves for it.
 
III. The materials are brought in, ready for their place (1Ki_6:7), so ready that there was neither hamm er nor ax heard in the house while it was in building. In all building Solomon prescribes it as a rule of prudence to prepare the work in the field, and afterwards build, Pro_24:27. But here, it seems, the preparation was more than ordinarily full and exact, to such a degree that, when the several parts came to be put together, there was nothing defective to be added, nothing amiss to be amended. It was to be the temple of God of peace, and therefore no iron tool must be heard in it. Quietness and silence both become and befriend religious exercises: God's work should be done with as much care and as little noise as may be. The temple was thrown down with axes and hammers, and those that threw it down roared in the midst of the congregation (Psa_74:4, Psa_74:6); but it was built up in silence. Clamour and violence often hinder the work of God, but never further it.
 
IV. The dimensions are laid down (1Ki_6:2, 1Ki_6:3) according to the rules of proportion. Some observe that the length and breadth were just double to that of the tabernacle. Now that Israel had grown more numerous the place of their meeting needed to be enlarged (Isa_54:1, Isa_54:2), and no w that they had grown richer they were the better able to enlarge it. Where God sows plentifully he expects to reap so.
 
V. An account of the windows (1Ki_6:4): They were broad within, and narrow without, Marg. Such should the eyes of our mind be, reflecting nearer on ourselves than on other people, looking much within, to judge ourselves, but little without, to censure our brethren. The narrowness of the lights intimated the darkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the gospel day.
 
VI. The chambers are described (1Ki_6:5, 1Ki_6:6), which served as vestries, in which the utensils of the tabernacle were carefully laid up, and where the priests dressed and undressed themselves and left the clothes in which they ministered: probably in some of these chambers they feasted upon the holy things. Solomon was not so intent upon the magnificence of the house as to neglect the conveniences that were requisite for the offices thereof, that every thing might be done decently and in order. C are was taken that the beams should not be fastened in the walls to weaken them, 1Ki_6:6. Let not the church's strength be impaired under pretence of adding to its beauty or convenience.
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD'S SPIRIT!
 
As mentioned, the Temple at Jerusalem is a type of the Christian where God dwells in the physical body. [1Co_6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?]
 
This is a great mystery, yet the Bible is emphatic when it states under the New Covenant God would dwell inside His people, and not in a physical building. [2Co_6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.]
 
Jer 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jer 31:34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more
 
Eze 11:19  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: Eze 11:20  That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
 
Eze 36:25  Then will I sprinkl e clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. Eze 36:26  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Eze 36:27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
 
1Th_4:8  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
 
1Jn_3:24  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
 
1Jn_4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
 
2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
 
 Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
 
Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
 
With this truth in mind - that is, we are God's Temple and the Triune God dwells in us, let us "walk worthy."
 
Col 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Col 1:12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."
 
Let us also come out from the world and serve Christ.
 
2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2Co 6:15  And wha t concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
 
Further, let "perfect" holiness.
 
2Co 7:1  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Let us be sanctified [ "to separate from profane things and dedicate to God" - Thayer] so we may be a vessel that Christ can use for His eternal purposes.2Ti 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2Ti 2:20  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 2Ti 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
 
For we are honored to not only know God [that is, in an intellectual and formal sense], but also to have Him take up residence inside of us! We are the Temple of the Lord, typified by Solomon's work built in 966 B.C.
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