God Takes Serious the Way We Treat His Temple
1 Corinthians 3
Sept 23, 2018 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Psalm 51:10)
A. There is a battle going on inside every believer in here this morning – about how much rubbish we will tolerate IN us before we get tired of it and want to clean up our lives!
B. If only we just got tired of all the muck and rubbish coming between us and God!
C. We have learned THREE very important facts this month about our BODIES (1Cor 3:16,17; 6:19)
1. Every Born Again Christian is a Temple of God! Ye ALL Are God’s Temple
2. You are EACH a Place Where the Holy Spirit Dwells – The Holy Spirit actually indwells the life of a frail human being! We are no longer empty. No longer barren
3. God Takes it Serious if ANYONE Defiles HIS Temple
D. What does it mean to defile?
1. To pollute, dump rubbish into, poison, spoil, ruin, taint, pervert, damage
2. Countries all over the world dump vast amounts of raw sewage straight into the oceans. Ireland USED to do up until about 15 years ago!
3. Have you ever watched a film, or read something and it made you feel dirty? Affected the way you felt around other people? Grieved you?
4. That’s what it is like to DEFILE something!
E. What does all that mean to us in 2018?
1. We need to take this seriously!
2. The modern philosophy is “LEAVE MY BODY ALONE” “What I do is none of your business”
3. Well, You can tell ME that, but you cannot tell GOD that. He made you, and He bought you on the cross for the highest price imaginable to save you from hell!
4. So, We must be on guard of what we allow even in our thinking and our feelings
5. Because, 2Co 5:10 declares, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive [judgment or reward of] the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
A. Your BODY is an amazing place for you to worship God alone, any, and at all times
B. It is supposed to be holy and clean
1. Not just on the outside (we all usually wash and clean up on the outside) – but more so on the inside! (1Corinthians 6:19-20)
2. Our hearts, our thinking, our spirit, our bodies even are all supposed to be clean and washed and beautiful to God like any Temple should be!
C. But we are not usually clean – that’s why David cried out that God would wash him and clean up his heart
D. We get soiled, defiled, ruined on the inside so easily (1Cor 6:15-18)
1. That’s why God says “Flee fornication” – physical sex outside of marriage!
a. Because it DEFILES your body – ruins it – sterile women, diseased young men
b. Sexually Transmitted Diseases have only increased in numbers and in deaths!
2. A defiled Christian life is a ruined life!
3. Even though you may be functioning still, going to school still, having success with girls and guys, it WILL collapse one day!
4. Listen to me
a. Your body was bought and paid for by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ
b. Every square inch of your body, inside and out now belongs to HIM
c. There is NO part of your life that He did not free from sin’s penalty and grip
d. And there is no part that He should not have control over!
5. Therefore glorify Him with ALL your body, and with ALL your spirit!
6. It simply means, Worship God with your life
a. Don’t throw it away
b. Don’t lose it to the world’s fashions and fads
c. Don’t trade it for the pleasures of sin that only last a season
d. Let your life, your actions, your words, your thinking, your music, your singing, your joy, your home, your classroom, your office, your car – everywhere you are, and everything you do, praise the Lord
E. How do you want to live? (Titus 1:15) “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
1. As clean and pure and innocent?
2. Or defiled and unbelieving, so that nothing is clean to you, and your mind and conscience is seared and dark?
F. It starts with a good cleaning
1. Do not think your heart and your body and your spirit are just automatically right
2. Because, a Clean Outside is often Deceiving (Matthew 23:27)
3. So a Deep Cleaning Is Needed of God’s Temples (1Chronicles 29:15-17)
a. In Hezekiah’s day, about 700 BC
b. The Temple had experienced100 years of abuse and disuse and was full of idolatry
c. But the king commanded the Levites to go throughout the Temple and clean up every square inch of it. Wash it. Make it shine!
d. That meant going deep into the INNER part of the temple – not just what was easily done, or easily seen!
1) EXAMPLE: Sometimes I only clean up things that affect what can be seen – like cleaning up the back garden. But Nita will come along and open up the shed and pull absolutely everything out and throw so much away and clean it out as almost new!
e. So they brought all the rubbish out – left nothing in there that did not belong
f. Dumped it ALL in the river Kidron next to it
g. It took 8 days, as many as 10 hours a day working to clean the temple up!
h. That’s a lot of cleaning
i. What I am talking about this morning will take us all a lot of time to finish too!
G. It will need constant effort - Jesus Cleansed God’s Temple TWICE during His time on earth!
1. The first time was right at the beginning of His Ministry (John 2:13-17)
2. The second time was when Jesus entered Jerusalem the final week of His crucifixion (Matthew 21:6-11, 12,13). He had to the very same thing a second time!
III. Message - What Needs to be Cleaned? And How?
A. There are Five areas that need deep cleaning so that Worship takes place in us
1. In Our Heart
2. Our Tongue
3. Our Lusts – contentment
4. Our Thinking
5. Our Past
B. Start With Our Heart
1. The starting place – the deepest place (Psalm 64:2,6; Jeremiah 17:9)
2. An unconverted heart is full of darkness and sin (Mark 7:21-23)
a. It will keep you filthy and wicked and damned!
b. No wonder the devil wants you to keep your heart HARD
c. He does NOT want you to be broken and humbled and softened and made NEW
d. Ezek 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
e. An unsaved man or woman’s heart is like a sewer pipe bubbling up in you, when it COULD be a fountain of clean water bubbling out of you
1) John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
2) John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
3. A defiled/poisoned/soiled Christian heart is ALSO a ruined heart! (Titus 1:5)
a. It will never love like it should, and never know love like it could while it is defiled
b. “Unto the pure all things are pure:
c. but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
d. Nothing is pure in your heart when your heart is full of sin!
4. So, SEARCH your heart
a. Look for Idols (1Cor 8:7; 6:9,10; 1John 5:21) THEY ARE THERE!
1) Hopefully, you are NOT holding onto actual icons and statues of saints and Mary and Jesus in your home – those are normal idols. And GOD hates them
2) Well, there should NOT be the worship of sports, and entertainers and money in your heart!
3) What is an idol you ask?
a) Anything that fills your heart and time so that you have no interest in God or Jesus or the Bible – THAT is a heart filled with IDOLS
b) Anything that is sacrificed more for than the will of God, is an idol
c) Anything or anyone that you love more than God, is an idol
d) Anything that you SEEK more than to know God is an idol
4) And idols hurt the Lord Jesus the most (Exod 20:4,5)
5) That's why "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat" BECAUSE it was part of the idolatry going on all around him in Babylon!
b. But also search for unbelief (Heb 3:12)
c. For apathy (Mt 13:15; Mat 15:8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
d. For hatred of anyone
e. For unforgiveness towards anyone
5. Any and all of that will defile you and keep you poisoned all the way to the grave!
6. It can only be cleansed by:
a. Calling on the precious blood of Jesus Christ to purge it and cleanse it thoroughly,
b. And asking God for the new heart He offers you!
C. Our Tongue (Mt 15:18).
1. Do you realise how just WORDS can defile not only the hearer, but the speaker of those words?
2. Hurtful words, angry words, sharp words… defile the speaker of those words (James 3:6) And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
3. An ungodly tongue will ruin your life
4. So, how do we cleanse our tongues?
a. You cannot tame your tongue yourself.
b. It is like an oil well that once pierced, explodes and cannot be capped
c. It needs to be feared and kept closed so that it is not allowed to explode
d. But when it DOIES explode, it is cleansed by:
1) Owning up to what we have done wrong with our words
2) And apologising for every word that was out of line and not right
3) Humiliation can overcome a fierce and sharp tongue quit well. No wonder the devil keeps everyone too proud to say sorry!
D. Our Lusts – Desires, Yearning
1. The day we live in, is the most lustful times since the flood of Noah’s day
2. I think we are living in the days of Lot, with people for the past 80 years defiling little children, and seeking out multitudes of sex partners, and filling their lusts with unimaginable pornography and perversions!
a. Hollywood ought to be called Slutworld
b. Romance novels should be renamed ‘Pornography in print’
c. Women flaunt lust, and men want it
d. And lust has ruined marriages, and churches, and countless lives
3. And then we come to church IF WE COME AT ALL and wonder why nothing is thrilling, or sweet, or exciting here!
4. Fornication – Lust is a deadly poison (1Tim 1:10; 1Cor 6:18)
a. Lust is desiring something that is out of bounds
b. Sex outside of marriage - brings God’s judgment!
c. MARRIAGE is undefiled! (Hebrews 13:4) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
d. Remember that, the next time you are tempted to look on a woman, or show off your bodies ladies!
e. And yet people in this church, this very morning probably have pictures and videos and music videos on their phones in their pockets right now!
5. The average Christian man is poisoned with lust, and the average Christian woman doesn’t care that they are adding to it by the way they dress and the way they flirt!
6. Lust can be cleansed. But only by:
a. Opening up about secret sins and confessing them to someone you can trust to help you
b. Believing the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses all lustful thoughts and desires and images and feelings (1John 1:7,9)
c. And FEARING the poison of lust enough to flee from it every time it pulls at you and tempt you to go back into their chains! (Pro 16:6) “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
E. Our Thinking
1. Most if not ALL of your thinking is defiled if you would be honest – poisoned
a. You have not been liberated ladies – you have been exploited and are undressed by countless young perverted men every day
b. Does that shock you? It shouldn’t!
c. The TV, movies, music videos, radio, music, friends – they each have twisted people’s thinking so that you can’t just have a normal conversation without offending and being offended… without people coming up with the weirdest and most unnatural thoughts that will make your hair stand on end!
3. Just about everything people say, and about everything people see triggers:
a. Fears instead of faith
b. Fighting instead of praying
c. Anger instead of joy
d. Quitting instead of commitment
e. Regrets instead of good memories
f. Lusts instead of real love
4. A lot of Christians today can’t sleep well at night, and just exist from day to day
a. Started off as a broken heart maybe
b. But turned into defiled thinking that has poisoned their memories and their thinking and their dreams and their relationships
5. Messed up in the head
a. You may not be able to see a person’s mind and thoughts, but you can sure see the effects of a defiled mind
b. Can’t look people in the eye
c. Hate life
d. Won’t talk, just grumble
e. Hide everything on their phones and tablets and computers
f. Grow darker and darker
6. Bitter people
a. Did you know that WRONG thinking turns into Bitterness? (Heb 12:15).Not wrong FEELINGS but wrong THINKING – looking at hurts wrongly
b. Hurts don’t turn into bitterness – how we view those hurts and what we THINK about them… THAT is the pot that bitterness boils in
c. Bitterness is a serious pollution of the heart, mind, home, for generations!
7. Defiled Thinking can only be cleansed by three steps:
a. With a THANKFUL heart – contentment (Heb 13:5)
b. And by identifying every wrong stronghold in you and pulling it down. Whether you believe me or not, Satan has built up massive strongholds throughout your brain, and they ALL need to be cast down and out! (2Cor 10:3-5)
c. And by replacing your thoughts with right thoughts, God’s thoughts, Scripture, God’s promises, God’s answers to prayers
F. Our Past Needs to Be Cleansed
1. The devil LOVES your past – he has a great memory of everything you try so hard to forget
2. Our past offenses against us pile up unless we do something with each offense
a. All the things done against us, said against us, abuses, poison us
b. For most people, there is so much “history” that they cannot trust anyone, and they find it hard to rest, or just love people
c. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief (the devil) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
d. That is, until it is cleansed, and washed and forgiven by GOD
e. Even ALL your past can be cleansed (Hebrews 10:17; Isaiah 1:18; Col 2:13) – it cannot and SHOULD NOT haunt a Christian (Rom 8:1)
3. So what do we do with all our past?
a. Forgive the offenders – leave them to GOD’S judgment
b. Believe God’s Plan for your life is greater than the devil’s (Romans 8:28)
1) See Joseph – didn’t keep records of all the hurts
c. Trust the power of the blood of Jesus to purge your conscience! (Heb 9:14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
A. We can only “Worship the Lord in the beauty of…” (Psalm 29:2)
1. It is perfectly holy in heaven around God’s throne
2. And it OUGHT to be - it actually CAN be - holy in the Heart, Tongue, Lusts, Thinking, the Past, and the Focus of each and every one of us
3. If we actually wanted to be clean
4. And were willing to do whatever it takes to BE clean
B. So, SEARCH your heart
1. Look for Idols (1Cor 8:7; 6:9,10; 1John 5:21) THEY ARE THERE!
2. But also search for unbelief (Heb 3:12)
3. For apathy (Mt 13:15; Mat 15:8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
4. For hatred of anyone
5. For unforgiveness towards anyone
6. And then:
a. Call on the precious blood of Jesus Christ to purge it and cleanse it thoroughly,
b. And ask God RIGHT NOW for the new heart He offers you!
C. Clean Your Tongue
1. Own up to what we have done wrong with it – all the people you have hurt with it
2. And apologising for every word – humiliation can overcome a fierce and sharp tongue quit well
D. Purge Your Lusts
1. Open up about secret sins and confessing them to someone you can trust to help you
2. Believing the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses them (1John 1:7,9)
3. Fearing lusts enough to flee from them every time they pull at you and tempt you to go back into them!
E. Clean Up Your Thinking
1. With a THANKFUL heart – contentment (Heb 13:5)
2. And by identifying every wrong stronghold in you and pulling it down. Whether you believe me or not, Satan has built up massive strongholds throughout your brain, and they ALL need to be cast down and out! (2Cor 10:3-5)
3. And by replacing your thoughts with right thoughts, God’s thoughts, Scripture, God’s promises, God’s answers to prayers
F. Wash Your Past
1. Your past can be cleansed – it cannot haunt a Christian
2. Forgive the offenders – leave them to GOD’S judgment
3. Believe God’s Plan for your life is greater than the devil’s
4. Trust the power of the blood of Jesus to purge your conscience!
G. To the world you will look like a fool – getting rid of your “smartphone” and walking away from some friends, and going back to your husband or wife and begging their forgiveness for how bitter you have become, no longer remembering all the past hurts and wrongs against you
H. If you don’t, you will never know the joy of clean, holy worship, and God will judge, and ultimately destroy the life and the home you so desperately are holding onto!