December 31, 2017

The Glory Within

I Corinthians 3:16 (NASB)

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

On this last day of 2017, the eve prior to a New Year, I can’t think of a better verse to consider than this. John 3:16 is the verse needed most for those without Christ. I Cor. 3:16 is the verse for those with faith. In our Christmas series on The Glory we have seen The Glory Defined as God’s revealed presence, The Glory Traced throughout the Scriptures, The Glory Departed during Ezekiel’s time, The Glory Returned at the birth of Jesus, and today we close out the series by examining the great truth of The Glory Within.

  1. God’s revealed presence is no longer in material buildings.
    There was a day when that was true. Charles Spurgeon calls those days “Coloring Book” spirituality. The Church of God was in her childhood. She was being taught her A B C’s, reading her picture book, for she could not as yet read the word of God, as it were, in letters. That was the age of the Temple.
    1. The idea that religious buildings are NOT the houses of God is contrary to the way most think.
      The “holy place’ is the sanctuary, or the Temple, or the religious building. But that’s not what Scripture teaches. The Lord does not dwell in this day in a house made by human hands.
    2. Christ ended all the types and shadows of the Old Testament by fulfilling the Law.
      The time of symbols is now passed altogether. In that moment when the Savior bowed His head, and said, “It is finished!” the veil of the temple was torn in two, so that the mysteries were laid open. No longer does God condescend to have a place on earth that should be called His house. To go around and say, “This is the house of God,” or “This is the altar of God,” or of any man who chooses to put on certain robes and ribbons, “This is a man of God,” is an affront to Christ’s work.
      “Wherever I seek Him, He is found, and every place is hallowed ground.”
    3. To wrongly believe that a building is the house of God leads to duplicitous living.
      “The superstitious notion which makes people think that if they go at particular times to these places, and go through certain actions, they have done service for God, leads them to forget, if not altogether to disclaim, God at ordinary times, and in common circumstances” (CH Spurgeon).

  2. God’s revealed presence is now the individual person indwelt by the Spirit of God.
    Our text (I Cor. 3:16) teaches this truth, but we see a foreshadowing of it from the Old Testament.
    “Thus says the Lord, ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,’ declares the Lord. ‘But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word’” (Isaiah 66:1,2).
    1. The humble are indwelt by the Spirit of God.
      The KJV uses the phrase “poor in spirit.” The world says, “we do not want your poor-spirited people. We like self-made, self-reliant men.” But God inhabits the man who says, “I can’t.”
    2. The contrite are indwelt by the Spirit of God.
      Mercy is always at home where there is a sinner confessing sin. Yes, the righteousness of Christ becomes our righteousness, but we are always aware that our personal sins have consequences. When discussing the topic of grace it is often said, “But some take the message of grace too far!” When a person understands that Christ not only died for the forgiveness of their sins, but also rose again to come and live His life in them, grace will always leave a believer contrite over sin.
    3. Those who “tremble at His Word” are indwelt by the Spirit of God.
      If you doubt God’s word, between God and you there is a disagreement, a rupture, a quarrel; and God never will dwell in your soul. The trembler is the one with overflowing emotions.

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.