(October 1st Back to the Building Slide)
Good morning everyone!
My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor of Renovation Church.
Well, we are just 14 days away from finally being back in our building!!!
We have one more Sunday here next week, and then we’re back on October 1st!
And let me say a few things about being back.
The building is not done
We still have 6 months more of construction.
We’re just at the point in the construction process where we can get back in to have services.
So, we’re pumped to be back, but obviously there are going to be limitations because we’re not even halfway done with construction yet.
Let me go over a few of those limitations so you’re prepared.
The biggest setback we’ve had in construction is around the seating for our new elevated seating areas in the back of the Worship Center.
The seats themselves have been significantly delayed in the supply chain, and they aren’t supposed to arrive until shortly before Christmas.
However, the back of the room is bigger now before you hit the elevated seating area, so we can fit almost 100 more chairs on the floor, and they have allowed us to put regular chairs in the first row of the elevated seating.
But it’ll be a couple of months before that section is filled with chairs.
Also, when we were previously in the building, we had 6 kids rooms.
Now, we have 5
And 2 of them are smaller.
So in light of those limitations, all 10 and 11 year olds will need to come with you into the Worship Center for the Fall
And then, our expanded Kids Wing, (with ELEVEN classrooms) will open up in early to mid January, so they can then return to Renovation Kids!
One more note regarding parking.
Our southern end of the parking lot (including the turn lane off of Lexington) won’t be finished until more like mid-October now
However, our regular parking lot is still there.
AND our North end parking lot is finished.
This gives us about 170 more spots than before.
So we’ll be more than fine on parking.
And before we get to the message, I wanted to say a final word about Illuminate.
That is our 5.1 million dollars pledged towards this building expansion
And we are almost 6 months into Illuminate already.
However, almost 25% of you have not started in giving your pledge yet.
We know that life happens, summer is crazy, and we love you.
But we need you to get started.
There are 40-50 construction workers out there every day, with real bills for us pay.
And we want to represent Christ well to the community with our word.
So please do whatever it takes to get your family started this week…today even.
Get online or grab an auto withdrawal form at the table or on the way out, but we need you in the game now.
All right, thanks for letting me start with all that.
I’m so excited for you to see the building in two weeks!
Let’s get into our message now!
We are continuing in a series called, “Remember Who You Are,” where for 3 weeks, we’re looking at 3 different Scriptures, on 3 different Christian identities all from the Biblical Sacrificial System.
Last week we talked about how you are a Priest.
And this week we’re looking at how You are a Temple.
(Remember Who You Are Series Slide)
And I want to start by showing you the history of God’s temple in Scripture.
The Bible begins with God creating the earth, and God’s presence is directly with Adam & Eve.
He walked among them.
But then, they sin, and humanity falls and is cast out of that paradise of Eden.
The next time we see this idea of God dwelling with people is when Moses is leading the Israelites through the desert, and God has them build a tabernacle.
(Show Tabernacle Image)
Looked like this:
It was sort of a portable temple…where God’s presence dwelt in a special way over the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies.
Eventually that tabernacle is brought to the promised land, and about 400 years later or so, King Solomon turns it into a permanent temple
(Show 1st Temple Image)
And this temple lasts a little under 400 years from about 950 BC to 586BC when it’s destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians
And then, as we learned about this summer in Zechariah…
(Show 2nd Temple Image)
…the temple is rebuilt in 516BC, and that 2nd temple lasts almost 600 years until it’s destroyed by the Romans in 70AD
And it’s never been rebuilt since.
And God lets that happen, in part because a temple building is no longer necessary.
As we said last week, at the death of Jesus, the temple curtain to the holy of holies was miraculously ripped from the top down
And God’s presence then began to spread out in a personal/special way to ALL of His believers.
And there are many, many Bible verses that explain that when a person believes in Jesus, the Holy Spirit (who is God along with the Father & the Son) comes and lives inside a person.
And that is what makes a Christian believer a temple for the Holy Spirit.
And this is the phase we will be in until Jesus comes back, and everything is restored…including earth…and like the Garden of Eden, God will once again walk among us.
But for now, in the age we live in, Christian, YOU are a Temple.
And the Bible directly says this in many places
(1 Corinthians 3:16) – NIV
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
(2 Corinthians 6:16a) – NIV
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
Ephesians 2 says the same thing.
1 Peter 2 (which we read last week) talked about how we are the living stones of the temple.
But perhaps the most direct place this theological truth is talked about is in 1 Corinthians 6
So let’s open our Bibles there and dive into that passage today
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Sunday Services Tab
Paul, an early Christian leader, is writing to the new Corinthian Christians, who have struggled mightily with sin.
In part because Corinth was one of the most immoral cities of the ancient world.
In fact, Corinth, had the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
And that temple had 1,000 temple prostitutes that would come down into the city to convince the people to “worship” through sex.
And as a consequence of living in such a fallen culture, these Corinthians have some pretty major misunderstandings on how they should think about their bodies.
So let’s look at what Paul says to them.
(1 Corinthians 6:12-20) – NIV
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
(Title Slide – You Are a Temple)
Okay, there is a lot here.
We could do a 4-week series on this passage alone.
In fact, we are going to do a 3-4 week series on Gender & Sexuality in January.
But I want to focus specifically this morning on the idea that You are a Temple.
And a huge part of why I wanted to teach on this particular Biblical truth is because our culture, like the “Confused Corinthians,” is becoming more confused about “sex” and “the body” every day.
I mean, what did these Christians in Corinth say to Paul?
V. 12 - “I have the right to do anything”
And v. 13, “Food for the stomach and stomach for the food, and God will destroy them both”
In the Greek…that’s pronounced…YOLO.
They’re saying, “It’s just a body, just flesh, a body that will die.”
They’re saying, “Just like we can eat what we want, sexually, we can do what we want to do. It’s just a body”
We’re seeing this same dualistic thinking in our day.
Today, the prevailing secular thinking out there is that the body is an entirely separate entity from our true identity.
I want to recommend to you Nancy Pearcy’s excellent Christian book….
(Nancy Pearcy Book Image)
…Love Thy Body.
She does a great job of explaining that, Biblically, who you are as a person is a unified being.
Meaning that you are a soul composed of mind, spirit, AND Body.
All of those things are WHO YOU ARE.
And Pearcy shows why it’s important that Christians study the Bible’s teaching on things like the body again, or identity.
Because more and more, in our culture, people are saying things like, “I am not who my body says I am”
In other words, “I am distinct from my body”
And the Bible is so helpful here because 2,000 years ago, the Corinthians essentially felt the same way.
Like many Americans engaging in all sorts of sexual sin, or hook-up culture, the Corinthians didn’t see a morality attached to the physical act of sex because they saw their body as separate from who they are.
But Paul is saying, “No, your body is also YOU…and it’s meant for the Lord.”
Later in the same letter, in chapter 15, he says, God is going to take your body, that body, and renew it when you die..
It’s going to live forever!
Your body is important!
And not only that, Paul then takes it up another level entirely…
…and he says your body…is not only a part of who you are…your body, if you’re a believer…is a temple!
#1: GOD IS WITH YOU ALL THE TIME
And I want to give you 3 important implications of what it means that your body, as a believer in Jesus, is a Temple of the Holy Spirit
You Are A Temple
#1: God is with you all the time
Now, if I were to ask you, is God with you, yes or no?
I think you could answer, “yes,”
But I’m not sure that many of us live out verse 19 like it says, “That our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit!”
Let me explain it this way….
This summer, during construction at our building, we had a few young people find their way into our building somehow and put graffiti on our hallway walls.
It’s all rectified and taken care of now, so, no worries.
But let’s say, while that was happening, I called you, and I said, “Friend, I need you to live in our Worship Center, for the next 7 days, and be on guard, to make sure no one gets into that important space of ours, and vandalizes it.”
If you did that, if you came and you lived in our Church Worship Center, for 7 days, do you think you would live the same as you do at home?
This is a fascinating thought experiment:
Would you have the same people over?
Would you gossip about your friends while sitting on the church stage?
Would you eat and drink the same?
Would you use the same language?
The shows you normally stream at night…would you stream them through the church projectors?
Would you watch pornography on a church chair?
My guess is those 7 days would probably look different for you.
We’ve got to understand this.
Because whatever that WHY is…is fostering a holy life in us.
I think, it’s because, we’ve decided that the particular space, the worship center, is HOLY…that God is present there in a special way.
And many of us think that way because many churches in America have taught that over time.
It’s why churches have often called their worship centers, a Sanctuary, which means, HOLY Space.
Or, charismatic pastors call their churches, “The House of the Lord”
But truthfully, although God does great thing at church, and in corporate worship, truthfully, those statements are Biblically misleading at best.
It’s in part why our main room is called a “Worship Center” not a sanctuary, or God’s house.
Because the NT goes to great lengths to show that spaces aren’t what’s holy anymore.
Because the TEMPLE is not a physical building anymore, the temple is YOU.
God’s presence, His Holy Spirit, now resides in…YOU.
And so as you think through your upcoming week…
…I want you to live these next 7 days like you’re living in a worship center.
Because, in truth, you are.
Wherever you go…you carry the Holy Spirit.
Remember who you are.
You are a temple!
#2: A TEMPLE MUST NOT BE DEFILED
You Are A Temple
#1: God is with you all the time
#2: A temple must not be defiled
If you read the Old Testament, you can’t miss this point.
God has endless regulations for holy spaces (these are the parts you skip over…not you…but others).
The Temple was a holy space where nothing impure could enter
When Jesus gets really mad in the NT, where was he?
Because people had defiled it!
And the fact that God now calls your body a TEMPLE of the Holy Spirit carries with it this second truth.
And notice that the Bible doesn’t call you a House for the Holy Spirit…or a RESIDENCE for the Holy Spirit.
And it could have!
But God chooses the word “temple”
…because your life, your actions, your words, are meant to not defile, to pollute, the Holiness of God that is living in you.
This is why Paul speaks so strongly and uniquely about sexual sin…and how it defiles you as a temple.
Look at verse 15 again.
And remember the context of Corinth and the temple of Aphrodite
(1 Corinthians 6:15-16) - NIV
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
And so Paul says to the Corinthians engaging in prostitution, that when you engage in intercourse, you’re uniting yourself, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, with someone else.
Remember your body is a major part of who YOU are…it’s not separate from your identity.
But then Paul takes it up another notch (this is heavy), and he says, when we have sex with someone who is not our spouse…
We’re not only defiling our marriage (or our future marriage), but we’re defiling the temple of God, who is in us.
We bring not just our body to that situation, but Christ with us, He says.
Our temple of the Holy Spirit with us.
And so if you are caught in sexual sin right now.
In prostitution…in hook up apps…in an affair.
Let me say this very seriously: If you are a Christian, and you are sinning against a holy God, with your body, His temple.
You need to seek his forgiveness.
And you need to repent. To run from your sin.
It’s important that you tell someone TODAY.
It’s the only way out
If you’re caught in pornography…and you cannot stop.
Seek His forgiveness. Repent.
And find help.
Find a Christian recovery group…like quest 180.
Take a step towards the light today.
Remember who you are.
You are a temple.
That is a high calling.
And listen, maybe you’re not even a Christian.
Maybe you’re here with a friend today.
And you’re thinking?
Why do Christians live like this?
Why such intense obedience to Jesus on this topic?
Especially when it’s SO counter cultural?
That’s a good question.
It’s in part because of point #3.
Let’s take a look.
#3: OUR BODIES BELONG TO GOD
You Are A Temple
#1: God is with you all the time
#2: A temple must not be defiled
#3: Our bodies belong to God
Look again at verse 19-20 again.
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
So why should Christians live so radically to honor God with their bodies when it comes to sexual purity?
It says because we were bought at a price.
The fact that we’ve been bought, purchased, means that our body is actually not even our own.
If someone lends me their car, I’m not going to do whatever I want with it.
Drive it 100 mph, and off road like I’m in a jeep commercial.
I’m going to be even more careful driving their car than I am my own.
And do you treat your body like that?
Like it’s not yours?
Like it’s not yours to give into any desire that it has.
Like it’s His.
He bought it with His life.
And so we must operate it, like He would want us to.
But what does that really mean?? That He BOUGHT it??
It means this: Followers of Jesus, we were essentially on the conveyor belt to hell.
We were going to suffer for all of eternity…our suffering was never going to end.
And let’s not play around…we deserved it
Our lives were full of all sorts of sin.
And the only way out of it, was if justice could be paid.
But Jesus Christ in His mercy, and His love for you….the Word says today that He bought you.
That means He paid the price for your sin.
He died the death on the cross that you deserved…
So you could be forgiven through faith in Him.
And that would have been enough!
For us to say, “Oh God! You are incredible. I want to take this body and live for you!”
But God is so good, He is so merciful, He is so kind, that the Bible says in Ephesians 1, that as proof that he bought you with His blood, God has put His Holy Spirit in you as a deposit…
As a sign of even better things still to come…
And so remember who you are
You are not just bones and flesh.
You are immortal.
Your body, renewed, is going to live forever.
Your body is not your own, it’s been bought with the precious blood of the Son of God.
You are not just flesh….you are a Holy Space for God Himself.
And so remember who you are.
You are a temple.
Let me pray.