A Dwelling Place For God Dan Hudson
The story of scripture is of a God who chooses to dwell on earth with his people. From Genesis in Eden where God walked with the first man and woman, to the eternal city of Revelation 21 where God lives forevermore, God has chosen to dwell on earth. The Church is God’s new Temple. It fulfills all the prophecies of God’s presence that the physical temple in Jerusalem never did. God wants us to love the local church as his Temple in every village, town and city. He wants his Church to be a place where people meet him.
We live in a culture of rampant individualism. God’s kingdom is counter cultural. Our identity as Christians is found not in digging deeper within, but looking to Christ and living a life of service to others. These verses share God’s purpose in his Church and also his process in building the church.
That through this community of church God should create a place where God lives by his Spirit; the place on earth where human beings can experience the love and power of God.
It takes work. We need to:
1. Build ON foundations:
Jesus the Cornerstone. Apostles and Prophets.
2. Build IN:
This building is joined together, involving all different types of people, but with one core understanding: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4: 3-6)
3. Build UP so it rises to become a temple.
It takes time, but the Church’s future is glorious!
View of Church. When you read the Old Testament accounts of the tabernacle and temple etc, do you think we have settled for too low a view of church as God’s dwelling place on earth?
Individualism. Can you see the fingerprints of individualistic thinking on your own view of God and his plans? Why is this unhelpful?
Correct view of self. How does a correct understanding of our purpose in building God’s House keep us a) encouraged b) humble
The Presence. This idea can sometimes feel mystical. How do we genuinely experience the presence of God in church and in day to day life?
God is among you. The Corinthian church had guts that were hard for non-believers to understand, but displayed the presence of God. How can we pursue God’s presence together and it also be helpful for non-believers in the room?