Pastor Vince brought a great message this week on the topic of grace and it’s transformative power in our lives. We are told in the scriptures that we, the people of God are a temple (I Corinthians 6: 19-20). We have been transformed from the corruptible, into that temple. God’s grace has brought about this change, and in the Spirit we are capped.
Look at the parallel in Zechariah 4:1-10,
“Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” He answered, “Do you not know what these are?” “No, my lord,” I replied. So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”
Zarubabbel had returned to Jerusalem to reconstruct the Temple of God. His task was not to rebuild the city or its walls, but the House of God. He is empowered in this by God. I love the image here of a lamp stand which will give off light to the world. And this stand with its seven lambs, which in my mind are fed perpetually by the olive trees which flank it. This image of the temple, filled with light, is then capped by God Himself.
It is the same with us as temples, we receive an endless flow as well. And that flow is of grace, and it is capped by the Spirit. So lets look at this flow of the spirit. We have already noted that this grace is transformative, but it has some “amazing” properties which lead to that transformation.
First, it teaches. Titus 2:11-14 reads,
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
God does not just say “be good, now get on with it.” But actually provides the grace that teaches us how to achieve it. Grace shows us the way to say “No” to that which would bar our way, and makes us “eager to for what is good.”
Grace therefore enables us. Titus 3:1-7 states,
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life”.
We are transformed, by grace. We are able to become living temples because of the free amazing gift of grace. Not by our works, but His! We are washed and renewed. We are like the temple of Zerubabbel capped by the Spirit. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).” We are that lamp stand, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,“ by amazing grace.