By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Cleansing of the temple is key to individual lives when realization comes into focus that such refers to Christianity and living a sanctified life in Christ.
The apostle Paul brought it closer to home, in saying: What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For your are the temple of the living God: as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:16).
Scripture reveals: Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (or that of God's Spirit) which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are brought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The price paid was the precious atoning blood of God's only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. When one is received into the household of faith; through repentance, and their acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior, a cleansing of the temple becomes a reality as they are no longer their own but to glorify God in body and spirit.
Scripture reveals: Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out them that sold, AND BOUGHT in the temple, and overthrew (or overturned) the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13).
A Bible commentary noted: Jesus was in disdain of the corruption of religion that lacked purity of life and power of God; and would not tolerate gross perversion in the Temple. Temple dues could only be paid in sacred coinage, and it was necessary to change one's money for such. This exchange was a source of extortion.
Jesus cast out not only those who sold but also those WHO BOUGHT! The buyer was just as guilty as the one who sold because they were encouraging the injustice to be tolerated!
We live in a time when much is being promoted, within the house of God, that has nothing to do with spirituality or the soul of man. In many instances the house of God has become more of a social gathering than a house of worship. The spiritual concept of the church is being replaced by worldliness.
The apostle Paul warned of a time when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away from the truth, and shall be turned to fables (or that which is fictitious) (2 Timothy 4:3-4). He told Timothy, a young evangelist: Preach the word: be instant (or ready) in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).
Preaching is the God-ordained means to prevent defection from the truth. Some who have been called of God to promulgate His Unadulterated Word have become slack in doing so. It could be because of the unpopular stand of identifying the sinful nature of man; in a nation that openly flaunts God's Word.
It could be because one has failed to push back the plate of acceptability by accepting the ungodly cultural traits of today. A man of God, who promotes the truths of God's Word, will not be a popular person; but the prophets of old, were not popular either in declaring God's Word!
Cleansing of the temple; that of the believer in Christ is required on an individual basis not according to what one's neighbor, or fellow believer, is consuming. Scripture reveals: It is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:11-12).
For we (the believer) must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). For the sinner (who has not accepted Christ) it will be the Great White Throne Judgment: And I (or John) saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20:12).
The cleansing of the temple (of all sin) has to take place in this life; for there will no place for repentance on the Day of Judgment. Whatever condition one is found; when that final breath of life is taken, will be how one will be judged. Scripture admonishes one to lay apart (or aside) all filthiness and superfluity (or abundance) of naughtiness (or wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (or implanted) Word, which is able to salve your souls (James 1:21).
One need not buy what this world is attempting to sell in the way of ungodliness; for if one does, they become just as guilty as the one who is selling (as illustrated in the cleansing of the Temple).
The believer in Christ is to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is one's reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may proof what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
God's will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all decisions. His will is for the believer to become a "living sacrifice" with daily dependence on Him, resulting in one's transformation into the image of Christ.
Let us pray that one continues not in the ways of darkness; but in the light of the glorious gospel of Christ. Many, who were once influenced by God's Word, have grown slack in acknowledging that Word. The need for a cleansing of the temple and a return to God is of upmost importance.
The influence of the ungodly has grown; with the influence of the godly seemingly diminishing, because of sin abounding. The cleansing of the temple; after the saving of the soul, is of extreme importance for those living for Christ.
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