What Plagues the People of God? (Week 5 of 7)

From the Seminar, Walking in the Light of Pentecost

The Passover to Pentecost paradigm reveals that God has saved us in order to rule and reign over us today, by his word, so that his created world—which he loves—will come into its divine calling and purpose.

In Acts 1-2, we see the disciples of Jesus at the Temple (the house of the LORD) on his holy mountain in Jerusalem. There is a direct correlation between this event and the events at Sinai. When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34)

Peter connects this very terminology to the church—to you and to me. This one text can literally change your whole outlook on life.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

The very subject that we are dealing with has changed my life in very radical, measurable ways.

The LORD has saved us—brought us out of Egypt—through the power of the shed blood of the Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7). And he applies to us the very same terminology that he applies to Israel because we have been grafted into Israel,

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Peter makes it very clear that your salvation is all about being joined together into the construction of a tabernacle (mishkan) in which the glory, the Spirit of God can dwell. You are being built into a spiritual house in order to be a holy nation of priests offering spiritual sacrifices. In other words, to engage in ministry on behalf of the owner of the house.

Paul uses the same terminology in 1 Cor 3:16-17,

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Church, do you feel the weight of these scriptures in light of the bigger picture, the rest of the story?

  • You are Yahweh's temple (house)

  • His glory dwells in our midst

  • The Spirit of the Holy One dwells in you

Do you not know this brothers and sisters? How is it that you do not yet understand?

This was so powerful to Peter, Paul, and the early church, because they knew the texts we are discussing by heart. It was part of the way they thought, the way they lived. To me, it is extraordinary that they would apply them to us.

Salvation is a summons to serve the King of Kings ... now, today.

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (2 Cor 6:16)

What idolatry does Paul have in mind here? The sin of the golden calf at Mt. Sinai. That is the archetype of idolatry for the people of God. It sought to undermine God's saving grace revealed through the Passover. It sought to offer a religious alternative to the responsibility of his presence revealed at Pentecost. Those same temptations—that same sin—still plagues us today.

So Paul continues, Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Cor 7:1)

This devotional study is from a professionally produced transcription of Dwight's audio message. It is a full and accurate transcript, formalized and edited for readability and clarity by JC Studies.

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