Obviously if we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, then the Temple of the Old Testament stands a type of our worship. The Temple of the Law was first and foremost HOLY, SACRED or KADOSH meaning that is was set apart for a purpose. It was a place of learning and sacrifice. As such its physical nature is the type we are seeking to make spiritual. The sacrifices that were once physical are now to be spiritual sacrifices.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Rom. 12:1
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 1 Cor. 6:19
. . . and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 2:5
The secondary purpose of the Temple was for the instruction of the people so that they could separate what is common from what is sacred from what is profane and unclean.
You are to distinguish between the holy and the common (or profane), and between the unclean and the clean; Lev. 10:10
Ephesians 4, 5 & 6 takes us through this separation. (We will be breaking this post up into 4 or 5 posting because the rough draft stands at 15 pages. So our first section will be our Unity. Next week will be what is Unclean, then Profane, Sacred, and finally The Battle.)
FYI: A little Hebrew word distinction. Things that are common or profane are alway unclean, however things that are unclean are not necessarily profane. Things that are just unclean carry a penalty of having to bathe after the sun goes down. However things that are profane carry a penalty of being cut off from the people.
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.
Even though Paul is a prisoner he is living a sacred life or as the Old Testament would have put it “clean”. To often we live our lives as sacred for one hour on Sunday and forget the rest of the time. His goal is to maintain unity and not find so insignificant fault with others, but to be meek and patient. Meekness is not cowardliness it is the lack of pride. It is that loss of fearing what others will think when we stand up and speak out for our King, which of course looks like arrogance to those not in submission to the King, so it take patients to win people to the truth. He wants to keep the peace. This does not mean he tolerates false doctrine or the immoral. (I’ll admit my sin here, I have yet to find balance, I suffer no fools and I take no prisoners, I have no patients for them)
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Eph. 5:11
Then he lists the seven ONES. These are all sacred and should be afforded the kind of respect that sacred thing deserve.
One God and Father
It is clear from church history that few have gotten these ONES right. This is due to our inability to get our sin natures under control and submitted to the Holy Spirit. The fact many of us are not secure enough in our faith or understanding, we are unable to leave it all in the hands of the Holy Spirit. We feel that we are right and everyone else should fall in line.
Confect reigns when those caught in the pride of life are in charge. They need to be right, they need to control others, they need to be respected, they must be right because their teachers were right. However, one is perfectly right. That is why it is called spiritual growth, or walking in the Spirit. It is a process learning to submit oneself to the Spirit.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph. 5:2
Somehow we think it is a competition. He who has the biggest congregation wins, or something. This is not faith, but rather the pride of life.
Those of true deep spiritual understanding rarely care to argue. They have come to understand that to change ones mind on this or that theological point is no big deal. It is rather a natural growth and consequence of study. So when they meet someone they disagree with, they know that as true seekers of the faith they will either grow to agree whoever’s point is correct. There is a calmness that come from understanding the work of the Holy Spirit.
The patient theologians waits for the Spirit to instruct.
. . . but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Is. 40:31
7 But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.
These are our sacred gifts which are explained in our other post The Gifts. The purpose of these gifts is for Unity, and since there is no unity the gifts have clearly been corrupted. Just as Korah who thought that anyone should be able to do the work of the High priest. [Num. 16] we all have our gifts and our place. These gifts are given that we might attain a state where we are no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. However men always seek after the new and novel, we don’t like that dry old theology stuff. Sound teaching is often set aside for what is exciting but unprofitable for spiritual growth.
There needs to be that measure of maturity that makes one study and seek God’s will above our own. That understanding that we are to be Holy as He is Holy, a tall order indeed. When we talk of church growth we usually mean numbers, but that is not what this growth is about. It is that unity that we seek. Through careful study of the Word that we attain spiritual truth. Only then can we grow the whole body, and join together in God’s work.
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:8-13
This is what the Welsh Revival was so great at, they boiled all this down to just four points.