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Jesus In Ezra …. The New Temple …. June 4, 2017

     Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
     When the Jewish people disobeyed and were unfaithful to God, he allowed Nebuchadnezzar to take them captive. In this process, the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed and laid in ruins for many years. After this captivity, God used three men to help rebuild all that was destroyed. Zerubbable rebuilt the Temple, Ezra led the people in the study of the Tora, or, law of God, attempting to restore the people in the ways of God, and Nehemiah led in the rebuilding of the walls. In the work of these three men, it is interesting to see a parallel of the building of lives that has been destroyed by Satan. It is through disobedience / sin that our lives are destroyed and lie in ruins. Adam and Eve, who, in God’s presence, once walked, were separated from Him, as are we, because of sin. Adam and Eve’s bodies, before sin, did not know suffering, nor experienced the destruction and pain that comes as a result of sin. This curse of destruction, suffering, and death continues, as we are all conceived in sin. All but one… he was conceived by the Holy Spirit ….. Jesus ….. the Son of God. Jesus came to rebuild the temple in our hearts, teach us the way to live, and surround us with Himself, that we might live victoriously under his protection. Let us evaluate exactly how this rebuilding takes place in the life of all who return to God.
     In order for this Temple to be built in our hearts, we must first lay the foundation of Jesus in our life. There are popular teachings today saying there are many ways to God, but this is not true. Jesus, in his own words, speaking of himself, made this very clear. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV  To believe there is another way to God is like saying, “Jesus, you really were not necessary, nor needed.” We must recognize and believe who Jesus Christ is to become a part of all that God is doing in restoring lives unto himself.  When asked by Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16 ESV ….. Jesus responded to Peter by saying, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 ESV  It is essential to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. If you do not believe this, then you are building on sinking sand, and Satan will bring you down. Another thought on this point: if you are not a Temple of the Holy Spirit, then whose Temple are you? Let that thought sink in, for you are a servant to either Satan or God. If you are a servant of God, it is because you were bought with a price. (vs:20)
     Jesus taught us how to walk in accordance with all that God wants us to do, and it all hinges on love. When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as your self. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 ESV  Love is the motive in all that God does, and He wants us to do the same. Learn to love, and you learn the ways of God; EVERYTHING HINGES ON LOVE. (1 Corinthians chapter 13)
     If it is the love of God that redeems us through Jesus, and love is the way God instructs us to live, then it is in the confidence of God’s love that we live protected and secure in Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 ESV …… No one will ever be able to take us from His protecting hand. (John 10: 28-29)

The Temple in the Old Testament was the place for the people to experience the presence of God. This is why they wanted desperately to rebuild it, learn His ways, and live under his protection. God made it possible for us to live in His presence by being present in us; to learn of His ways by the Holy Spirit teaching us, and to know that He is faithful and will never leave us nor forsake us. With this blessed truth, may we live glorifying God in our bodies.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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