Archive

Posts Tagged ‘temple’

A Church For a New Age

November 17th, 2010

Amos 9:5-16; Acts 15:6-21

The book of Amos speaks about God’s judgement of His people – it paints a big picture of Almighty God. But alongside the promise of judgement is the promise of restoration. The key verse is  v.11 – the “booth” or tabernacle of David – one day the people of God will live with God in the new heavens and new earth.

1. The Prophetic Mandate (Our Vision):

i) Eden:

  • Adam walked with God and was able to hear God and minister to God on behalf of creation. He had authority on earth to expand Eden – the cultural mandate.
  • But Adam sinned and the fellowship was broken.
  • But from Genesis to Revelation, we are shown that God is restoring this and wants to dwell again with His people.

ii) The Tabernacle:

  • The dwelling place for God and His glory on earth.
  • The tabernacle of Moses on Mount Gibeon was about rules and rituals, but the tabernacle of David on Mount Zion was about being able to freely enter and worship God – a foretaste of the New Covenant of grace.

iii) The Temple:

  • This was God’s next dwelling place for his manifest presence.
  • However, with the second temple there was no presence of God – just rituals and religion. God wanted a restoration of the tabernacle of David.
  • When Jesus was on earth He said the temple would be destroyed but that He would rebuild it after 3 days. He was talking about Himself – He identified Himself with the temple, of God dwelling with man – and the resurrection after 3 days.
  • The coming temple was not one built with stones, but with people – the Church.

iv) The Church:

  • We are being built into a temple, experience God and His presence and power, by the Spirit.

2. The Prophetic Pivotal Point (Our Theology & Practice):

  • This is where the passage in Acts comes in. The era of the early church, filled with the Holy Spirit. The Jews were adding to the gospel – that Christians had to obey the Old Testament laws.
  • Here we see displayed the following:

i) Relationship leadership:

  • The leaders discussed this issue – whether new Christians should obey the Law of Moses.
  • v.16 – James quotes Amos – the restoration of David’s tabernacle, the covenant of grace, no more sacrifices or rituals.
  • The church are to fulfil the cultural mandate – to take the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth.

ii) Operational power

iii) Defining grace

iv) Missional vision

3. The Prophetic Process (Our Lessons from History):

  • There is a process with promises being fulfilled. Things in history have happened in order to get us further towards that end fulfilment of the mandate and of the restoration.
  • 3 key words from the last 30-40 years: revival, renewal, restoration.
  • We are restoring the Church – building right. God has a bigger plan than just little pockets of revival.
  • What God does in one generation is different but all part of the big plan.

4. The Prophetic Challenge (Our Commitment):

i) Expect to grow – the fruit of restoration

ii) Expect the Spirit – He is given to us to reach out to others, not just for our benefit

iii) Build the church

iv) Change the city – rebuild the city, take Eden into it, release the captives, see people restored to God

v) Expect stability

Hebrews 10:19-25 – The Call to Worship

August 29th, 2010

Worship is not just a part of our church meeting, but the whole of our life. Sometimes the word used for “worship” in the Bible (e.g. Philippians 2) refers to “lifestyle” – how we live our life. It is the life of obedience to God, of bowing down to Him.

However, in looking at corporate worship – what happens when we meet together as the church to worship God? Often we get so locked into our own musical style, but we need to not be so narrow-focused – we need to look at what the Word of God defines corporate worship as and how we can express it. We should have an expectation to meet with God.

There is a concern that there is a greater focus on worshipping God with our minds, and less on heart (will & affections), strength (physical actions), and soul (emotions & desires). The word Jesus uses to describe worshipping the Father in Spirit and in truth is to “kiss” – we come to an intimacy with God, to embrace Him with passion. God made us for relationship – to dwell with us. Sin separated us but the cross reconciles us.

We are now the temple, the dwelling place of God – the holy place that is flooded with God’s presence.

Five reasons/exhortations to worship:

1. The worshipper’s invitation
i. With confidence: Jesus is our High Priest who identified with us and opened the way to heaven, which gives us confidence to approach God. God wants us to cry out to Him.
ii. To enter the holy place: God wants to take us beyond intellectual truth and to experience the presence of God. He wants to lift our expectations. We don’t stop short at the outer court; we come right in with joy, enthusiasm and exaltation.
iii. By the blood of Jesus: we cannot come into God’s presence without the shedding of blood to atone for our sin. We testify together what the Word says the blood of Jesus does for us; we live in victory.
iv. By the new and living way: worship needs to be fresh and not always predictable, while at the same time preserving structure. We need to have bigger expectations of what will happen within that structure.
v. Through Christ our High Priest: our worship needs to be Trinitarian – to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Jesus makes our worship acceptable to God. We worship in the Spirit. God is a worshipping God – each member living to worship each other. God sings and spins around with delirious delight over us! We get to join in with His celebration.
vi. With a true, sincere heart.
vii. By faith: in full assurance of faith. Faith grows when we declare truth together.

2. The worshipper’s hope
• We sing songs about our prophetic direction – where we are going as the church and what our mission is.

3. The worshipper’s motivation
• We stir each other up to love and to do good works.

4. The worshipper’s commitment
• We should not and cannot neglect meeting together – it is vital.

5. Worshippers fellowship in the gospel
• Worship goes hand-in-hand with evangelism and spreading the gospel.
• We will naturally witness  to others if worship is our lifestyle.
• Our times of corporate worship can be the times where unbelievers meet God and find saving faith.

Alternative Temple 1 Corinthians 3:10-17

November 24th, 2009

Download video | Download audio

The Church Really Matters
The Church can be seen as an embrassamemt, even by Christians, but we are in fact the temple of God.
God wants a place where he dwells and he wants to share that with us, this should be a place where we can relax with God and ever since the fall of Adam he’s been working to restore this temple.

This temple is not the building or a physical location, it’s the people of God, His living stones. Us. We are not a club or social network but the dwelling place of God. We must expect God with us and not just on Sundays, at zones, small groups etc…

The Foundation Really Matters
We need to build this temple on the right foundation – Jesus Christ. If the foundation of the church is not Jesus it’s not a church.

This strong foundation, Jesus, should be our foundation for life as well as the church. Everyone trusts in something but for real peace, real hope, real life and we must have our trust, our foundation in Christ. He is trustworthy. So trustworthy that he gave up His life for us.

Your Life Really Matters
There is a day appointed when God will judge all people. He will test and filter our lives. You can be saved but still suffer loss. You can store up treasures, real riches in heaven. Our lives need to count.