I Corinthians 3:16 ” Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s Temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

Many have problems when it comes to the Trinity, and especially the idea of the Holy Spirit, and as Believers that we are his dwelling place. The role of the Holy Spirit is to work to bring about in us a more righteous life and heart…imparting spiritual knowledge and divine truth, aiding & consoling us in times of sadness & grief…leading us into holiness…and always there in intercession. But this idea of God’s Temple is not only individual but corporate…for God’s people are also known as His Holy Temple or Spiritual House. Or as Ephesians 2:21-22 tells us, “We’re God’s people and members of His household, being built on a foundation of those who went before us with Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.”

Isaiah 2:11 “The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”

This verse shows the contrast between the exalted God and the weakness of humanity. The Day of the Lord will bring judgment on the godless, or as Isaiah 5:15 says, “So man will be brought low and mankind humbled…” On that day, God’s supreme power & sovereignty will be shown over man’s pride & wickedness or as Job 40:11-12 tells us, ” Unleash the fury of Your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.” But for the Believer that trusts in the Lord… on that day there will be blessing and peace in the knowledge & deliverance of God. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Romans 5:8 ” But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

In I John there are two Scriptures that can help us understand this Verse. The first is I John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.”, and a little farther in I John 4:10, “This is love: Not that we loved God, but that He loved us…” Yes, God loves you for you…and Jesus’ self-sacrifice on the Cross was not because of your righteousness but because of your sinfulness. That’s because God sent Jesus to take your place, in order to turn away God’s righteous anger and satisfy His demands of justice. God loves you for you…looking beyond who you are, to who you can become through Him.

Matthew 5:17 ” Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

Across the New Testament we see Jesus bringing to fruition Scripture from the Old Testament….from Jeremiah (Matthew 2:17), to Isaiah (Matthew13:14), to the Prophets (Matthew 26:56). But in doing so He neither altered, replaced, or nullified the former commands…Jesus rather established their true intent & purpose, seen in His teaching and how He accomplished them by His perfectly obedient life here on earth. The Law was the foreteller of Jesus’ actions & sufferings, just as Jesus explained & satisfied fully the requirements of the Law. The Law and the Prophets all pointed to a coming Messiah…and Jesus Christ came to fulfill it.

John 1:35-37 ” The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.”

Traditionally, the students of a Jewish Rabbi walked behind him, and these two men were physically following Jesus…but we know that following Jesus means much, much more. It’s a fellowship of faith, life, & sharing in His sufferings. It’s also a moral & intimate spiritual fellowship as we follow after Him. But following Jesus isn’t always full of excitement…most times it’s ordinary things done in ordinary places, with ordinary people. That’s when it takes training and discipline to follow Jesus…for He has a different way of doing things & we’ll be caught off guard if we lag behind. Getting into stride with God’s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him… and this following Him will take a lifetime, so don’t give up.

John 1:17 ” For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

The Pentateuch, the Books of the Law, were imparted through Moses…a gift of God’s grace that was succeeded by the fuller grace revealed in Jesus Christ. Grace & Truth in this Scripture corresponds to the Old Testament terms for God of steadfast love & faithfulness… fully showing God’s gracious covenant-making & covenant-keeping character. (Psalm 25:10) But as James 1:25 tells us, Jesus gave us the Perfect Law…freeing us from the yoke of ceremonial observances & the slavery of sin.

John 1:12-13 ” Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

To those who follow Jesus, acknowledging His Authority and putting their faith and trust in Him…they have been given the privilege of being called Children of God. Begotten spiritually by the impartation of new life and a new spirit, not by nature but generated in them by the sovereign action of God & the Holy Spirit. It’s called New Birth, Rebirth, to be Born Again, New Beginning, or Regeneration. Peter speaks of this in I Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.” As Children of God we have been made new…a necessary condition to see and enter the Kingdom of God as heirs & co-heirs with Christ.

John 1:9 ” The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

John the Baptist came as the forerunner, but he himself was not the true light. He only came as a witness to the Coming One, the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah foretold of this coming light in Isaiah 49:6, “I will make You as a light for the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Jesus Christ came to shine the light of His truth into the darkness for all men…this is called Common Grace which expresses the goodness of God to all. God graciously blesses all men with undeserved things such as rain, sun, health, and happiness…but common grace stops short of saving grace…which all human beings need… the saving work of the Holy Spirit to reconcile themselves to God.

Acts 26:18 ” I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

Here Saul (Paul) is recounting his meeting with the risen Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Jesus lays out His plan, purpose, and mission for Paul very clearly…almost word for word to the Great Commission He gave His disciples in Matthew 28:19, and the Good News of the Gospel Message we are to be sharing with others. Telling people about Jesus isn’t an option to do when we feel like it, or when we’ve finally got something memorized…it’s simply sharing what God has done in our personal life and how they can have the same. Paul’s conversion on that dusty road was life-changing…but your encounter with Jesus was just as life altering too, and you need to be sharing it with the world.

Matthew 25:21 “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was once asked what musical instrument was the most difficult to play…his reply: “Second fiddle.” Think about it, most of Christian service is just that…playing a supportive role, behind the scenes, quietly getting things done. It’s ordinary, un-grandiose things done well in a consistent manner. It’s cleaning the Church, and scrubbing toilets, and rocking babies in the Nursery…all of which aren’t flashy but need to be done by someone. For God sees & knows, and ultimately we’re accountable only to Him to serve others wholeheartedly and in love…whatever our role.

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