Sunday, April 19, 2015

An even greater Temple

“Dude, I totally respect your beliefs, I’m just not into organized religion.” said the laid back Californian when I tried to strike up a conversation about God along Hollywood Boulevard. That was several years ago, but I keep hearing that same line over and over until now.

What sounds like reasonable points of view are usually just excuses people give to avoid the deeper issues of the soul. Evil attacks them, but they’re afraid to confront it or even admit they need deliverance. Deliverance only takes hold when there’s repentance, and repentance means submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The line against “organized religion” is persuasive – I’m against religiosity too. But what most people really mean by it, is that they don’t want a God who has spoken through His infallible word about eternal truths that can’t be escaped. They’d rather make up their own convenient and changeable “truths” and call themselves enlightened and open-minded. 

If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny, that limited beings like us assume we can create our own gods. We can barely figure out our own lives much less invent a deity that keeps the entire universe in perfect balance. Everything around us proves that He is a God of order, who has a perfect plan to defeat evil and create perfect communion between He and us. That communion, or oneness, is directly linked to the building of His Church. Not a physical building, but each of us who are truly His.

Most Christians know the story of the veil in the holy of holies that was ripped in two when Jesus was crucified, and the Holy Spirit baptizing us means that now our bodies are to become the holy of holies, the true temple of His presence from now on. But something even more beautiful is to be made of His Church, the interlinking and joining of forces and faith of all of His people. We become His temple, His home. We are to be fitted together as living stones, living building blocks that individually carry the flame of His Spirit, but together form a greater temple. That means we need each other, none being better than another, and none created to “go it alone.” Just like Romans 12 teaches about the Body of Christ, Ephesians 2 teaches us about being building blocks of His temple. It’s organized, but it’s not religion.  

For those who think that just staying home and watching your favorite preacher on TV is as good as coming to church, or golfing with your buddies to “commune with God,” you’re never going fulfill your purpose on this earth or experience the real power of faith. We’re called to be filled with His Spirit, and then be built together as one, just like the Father, Son and Spirit are one. Even with the people you don’t quite know how to get along with, or don’t speak the same language with. If each of us is busy doing what God urges us to do daily, to fight the devil and to live by faith, and then spreading that great news of victory to every one else, we’ll automatically be bound together as a family, as a beautiful temple of living stones. His glory will come and fill us in a way never before seen in history.   

…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:20-22 NASB)

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