Body as a temple of God

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Sermon Notes

According to our church lectionary the theme for today is body as the Temple body as Temple of God and also as temperance day I had the that the Kulpa not from our Metropolitan Joseph what the mother many which said that today is supposed to be understood as the day that the church recognizes the social evil that alcohol cost in India I’m sure you know the kind of evils that have occurred because of the abundance of alcohol in Kerala especially Kerala IAI can what the exact statistic was but I’m sure in India Kerala has the most common amount of consumption and sale of alcohol as compared to any other state considering how small Kerala is that’s a very pathetic statistic to be saying about our home state but the sad reality is that alcohol is definitely a problem and there is no understanding of moderation is no understanding of the kind of evils that it creates within the family life sin so people get lost in they spend all their time working just so that they can earn enough money to buy the next bottle and then they come home with just a few rupees for the family to then feed themselves with and it’s a great social evil when we were in Kerala the number of families that we visited that worse under the impression of alcoholism there were times when we visited homes and the father would be passed out in another room and the wife would be trying to cover up for this kind of her attitude of covering up combined with the prevalence of alcoholism has led to alcoholism just being an accepted part of the culture there in India everyone just knows it’s there and no one really tries to do too much about it and there’s a lot of the addiction centrism is a lot of good work being done by the church but as a whole it’s pretty sad when we see that something that has been there since the beginning of time you could say is so easily abused by people and that abuse causes so much heartache to day that passes that has been selected for us comes from Matthew’s gospel chapter 5 verses 21 to 30 if you heard me saying the a gospel passage you maybe wondering what does this have to do with temperance Sunday or even a you may think if you just listen to it quickly what’s the connection between this and the Temple our body of is the Temple of God dwell in order for me to say what our church stances are in order for me to to advocate our church stands I have to take a step back and explain a little bit about Christian ethics and I think for that this passage is one of the best passages that we can use just so you know the church stance against alcohol is abstinence the church advocates abstinence from alcohol because of the social situation that it is in because it is in this issue in his area know what alcohol is so utterly abused the church does not want to let there be any confusion it doesn’t want to let you any kind of leeway be a stumbling block for others and so they advocate abstinence from alcohol if Jesus were the one giving us the ruled of the commandment what would Jesus we look at this passage left understand a couple of things first of all when we talk about Christian ethics we have to be able to distinguish between the universal principle that applies in every situation and the custom or the practices associated with a particular custom those are two things must be able to distinguish what does the Bible say about capital punishment or about drinking her about abortion this no direct versus about those things so what our job is we must find out what are the universal principles taught to us from Scripture and this isn’t something new Jesus strove to teach this way he never taught simply rules for the sake of rules he never said do this and automatically you will receive eternal life it was always a concept that he was trying to teach it was always a principle that he was trying to educate us on that Jesus was very erratic regardless of what we may think and regardless of how we have kind of a around it off his sharp edges over the course of time Jesus was very radical he was not attained person and he was not someone who just blankly and blindly follow traditions to say that doesn’t mean that he’s an extremist he wasn’t anti-tradition neither there was something beautiful about the way that Jesus taught the law before we get into verse 21 I have to take a few verses back and look at verse 17 in verse 17 he says do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets have not come to abolish but to fulfill so what he says this because he knows that what he is about to say sounds very radical sounds almost contradictory and he wants everyone to know that I’m not against what has originally been handed down by the prophets and originally been given to us from God himself I am trying to do something that causes it to be fulfilled not in this chapter 6×6 times you have these key phrases being said every key phrases this you have heard it said are you have heard it said of ancient times Rivington days another phrase that he says is but I say to you now for the Jewish listener these phrases would have been very unique phrases and they would’ve they would have signified a certain way kind of meaning behind it if I were to say because another common phrase was is written in Jesus says it is written of anyone that time said it is written the Jewish person knew that what would talking about now is Scripture to the the modern-day equivalent of it is written would be for me to say the Bible says whenever I say the Bible says you know that I am referring to of verse I’m referring to something directly from Scripture Jesus does not say it is written in this chapter instead he says you have heard it said now what does that mean the Pharisees made it their business to interpret the law for every law there would have to be someone who expounded on who explained it to help people to understand it and all these collections understandings were called to tell mood and so the Talmud was a number of books actually use volumes and volumes of pages worth of information explaining how to live the law that was their understanding of how they felt they needed to do things but a problem with their pharisaical interpretation is that it was they shall it was very literal and it wasn’t a didn’t have much depth to when Jesus says you have heard it said listener knew that he is not talking about the written law he’s talking about the interpretation of the law so you have heard the interpretation of the law paths you shall not murder and whoever murders shall not shall be liable to judgment that when we read that animal we understand that this is the interpretation given we have to realize that this is a shallow interpretation shall in the sense that it’s taking it very literally every time the commandment is given this to polls to that commandment for everything that is negated the assumption is that something that is being advocated so when Christ a when God gives the law that thou shall not murder the obvious understanding was that because the life is sacred in it must be preserved that idea is always advocated this is always the case in the Scripture for every negative kind of commandment we have there is an implied positive statement that needs to be understood and this is true even for us when we teach our children when we tell our kids don’t cross the street it would be very foolish for them to never cross the street under any circumstance no matter how old they are the know or at least they should know because we should teach them that behind this rule is a meaning that says you are to be safe at all times therefore you do not cross street that’s comes of the level of maturity unfortunately it’s very easy to be spiritually immature and we can easily say that this passage does not refer to us at sin this refers to the people in first century Jerusalem and and they had this going to problems they were Pharisees and him and these Pharisees were off when nothing like them all we have to realize is we are just as much or if not more shallow in many ways as these Pharisees there a number of ideas that are in our minds as simple rules that we have never taken a moment to ask why is it there when she teaches do not commit murder after that he says but I say to you that Jesus was known for his sense of authority he was known for being so all of orientated in the way that he thought it was certainly rabbis were you nervous to do this kind of thing but I say to you what rabbis would mostly do is say according to the Scripture we understand and they always point out Scripture but here we have the Messiah who interprets the law finally him he says I say unto you whoever has anger against his brother whoever insults his brother or sister and whoever says you will they are liable of judgment and again we can take that very simply that’s not the point that he wants to teaches he’s teaching us that any time we insults a brother or sister are we not profaning the sanctity of their existence are we not belittling the makers creation when we do something like that when we call someone a fool are we not insulting the master are we not making fun of her belittling the potter who has made us we have to realize the flipside for this and if we do then I can start to teach about alcohol but unless we get this concept I can’t make that and so I assume that we get this thing just to reinforce and let me say maybe a couple of kind of applications Academy pointed out in our dates of a lives you have heard it said before that you should attend church but I say to you worship genuinely with real fellowship to see the difference you have heard it said before by I’m sure everyone of your parents it said attend church attend church you have to be there in search we now let me say from the Spirit of the Lord worship genuinely with real fellowship you could attend every Sunday but if you are not worshiping genuinely with real fellowship you have missed the spirit of the law is another one you have heard it said before give a 10 give type to the church there have been many pastors and many options who have taught this they faithfully but let me say from the spirit of this teaching that you should use all that you have to glorify God not just 10% see the difference again the spirit of the law is much more life changing much more profound and powerful there some churches that say you must speak in tongues in order to show the evidence of the Holy Spirit but I suppose a better way a way that even Paul says you should speak in love with the without tongues I can is a very profoundly different way of saying it now in the God in the Scripture Paul tells Timothy have a glass of wine a day because it’s good for your health it will help you is what Paul says it’s a summative pointed out Scripture and say Paul says and so therefore I’m we just live in a another one is Jesus made how many as 630 to 40 gallons worth of wine at the wedding feast at Cana came again if you just take that you can go and enjoy but that’s not the spirit of what’s being taught all of very clearly says do not be drunk on wine even then he doesn’t let that be it but instead what be filled with the Holy Spirit it’s not about drinker not drink that’s too simplistic that’s to pharisaical thing to being there instead of letting your senses be dominated by and liquid let your senses be dominated by the Holy Spirit and if you can follow that principle in your life then I think you’ve understood the heart of what’s being taught here in India they teach abstinence and if I’m in India I would teach absence in America I would still highly highly recommend you stay away from out of because it is a slippery slope it gives a lot of stumbling blocks to many other people’s I highly advise you to stay away from it not because alcohol in and of itself is evil and not because there is a verse in the Scripture that says you should not but because the principle is twofold one is never be dominated by anything except I Christ the second principle is never be a stumbling block for others and if these two things are being fulfilled in your life then so be it God bless but if these two things are not being fulfilled regardless of whether you are drinking or whether you are not drinking the will to you is that the same thing the Christ tells to these people how we teaching our children now I understand you that a younger age we teach by rules we teach by memorization we tell our children Bible stories and then we expect that at a certain point in time we go beyond the stories and we try to teach the meaning behind the stories so in the beginning we talk about how to know brought know will was to make an art and the animals were to come into by two and that’s what every child memorizes then there comes a time when you understand that punishment comes for evil okay fine that’s a good lesson and then later on if you studied even more deeply to go back to the Scripture actually read it a kind of learn new things and you realize that the commandment the only commandments given to Noah was built an ark building ark meaning the Ark of salvation the art that is to say and the only thing that God said that I am definitively going to do is I’ll bring the flood I’ll bring the flood you build the ark that’s another principle that we should learn and it should be taught with the Noah’s Ark story how do we teach our children are we teaching them in a pharisaical way I we teaching them to come to church just because I have come church when I was younger I we teaching them to read the Bible just because Eidson said three the Bible outlines have to be deeper spirituality must be more genuine and the only way to do it is to really get into the word without understanding the beauty behind the words behind the letters we will never experience the full joy that there is of life all and him one final analogy that comes from Scripture and I believe that mentioned it before Jesus was gathered around a table to eat and those a number of fantasies than some of his disciples went their Justin wash his hands he began to eat and the Pharisees began to complain when Jesus said to them why why are you so concerned about me washing my hands rather why not you make sure that you are inside is cleaned or rather why are you so concerned about the small tiny things of the law the letters of the law such as do not eat insects and you strain out the naps but then you go ahead and you swallow the camel why don’t you concern yourselves with the deeper things of the law with graciousness with forgiveness with justice those of the things that we need to be more aware of more concerned about Christian ethics is not something that is an easy topic and I don’t want to you all to think that I’ve given you license to come up with anything that you want to so that you can then be fine with this that’s our Christian ethics is Christian ethics is understanding the universal principle behind what Christ has taught us and applying it within the safe of the Fellowship of fake that’s what we’re here for some in the good Lord bless us so that our lives would be lives that are more than just rules so that our lives would be meaningful and deep and may we be very aware of the social evils that alcohol presents and may we do the grace of the Holy Spirit formulate an answer a solution to this problem so may the good Lord bless us and guide us by these words