This is the Introduction to the Sermon. You will receive the full manuscript sermon in Word format when you purchase.
Title: “Discovering My Identity in Christ”
Series: I Am God’s Temple
A dog food company’s newest product wasn’t selling well. The president called in his management staff: “How’s our advertising?” he asked. “Great,” replied the advertising executive. This ad campaign will probably win the industry’s top awards this year.” “All right,” the president continued. “How about our product design?” The production manager spoke up. “It’s great boss. Our new label and packaging scored high in every marketing test we ran.” “Hmmm. Well, how’s our sales staff? Are they doing their job?” The sales manager was quick to respond. “Oh, sure. Our people are the best in the business.” There was heavy silence as the president thought about what he had just heard. “We’ve got great advertising, great packaging, a top-notch sales force, yet this product is coming in dead last in the dog food market. Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be?” Everyone looked at each other – finally one brave soul spoke up. “It’s those stupid dogs sir. They just won’t touch the stuff.” [end of illustration.]
Sometimes the church is like that in trying to reach the unchurched, but many times we have this problem with those that are already Christians. We can have the slickest advertising, the nicest facilities, the best Bible studies, the most wonderful music, but for some reason we can’t get the people this is done for to understand what a wonderful opportunity we have for them. And I believe the problem comes down to what people believe about themselves in relationship to who they are in Jesus Christ. When we understand the promises that are given to us by God as Christians, we will begin to live life to its fullest and take advantage of every opportunity that will help us to become more like Jesus.
So far in this series we have learned that in Christ we are secure, and that in Christ we will not be condemned, but today we want to take it a step further. In Christ, I am God’s Temple – those of us who are Christians are God’s dwelling place.
Today we want to focus on two passages of Scripture – one focuses on the individual Christian being God’s Temple, and the other focuses on us collectively, as the Church, being God’s Temple. I want to read them both to you now and then we’ll dig into the meat of this.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NLT)
God lives in each individual Christian in the person of the Holy Spirit. God lives in His Church as individual Christians meet together corporately. In other words, God is both in you, and in this place that you’ve gathered with others who also have God dwelling in them. And what we need to understand is that God is not dwelling in you and dwelling in this place of worship in some abstract, symbolic kind of way – God is here as a present reality as much as we are – He is really here today.