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Stewardship and the Sanctuary (8 of 9)
Series: Responsible Stewardship
Ezekiel 44:9; I Timothy 3:15
August 20, 2003
1. The first reference in our texts, has to do with the Old Testament Sanctuary. There are many O. T. verses that speak to the same subject; but just a cursory reading of this one verse alone, makes us keenly aware of the strict regulations God had placed on the persons who were able to enter this Holy Place.
a. Unless a man was physically circumcised, he could not enter. Unless he was circumcised of heart (a saving relationship with God), he could not enter. The stranger (a Gentile) was not allowed to enter. God provided an outer court, referred to as; the "Court of the Gentiles," a place where non-Jews who desired to worship God could come and worship.
2. The Levites, one of the 12 Tribes of Israel, were charged with administering the affairs of the Sanctuary and with protecting the holiness of God's house. This was serious business.
3. The second passage we read (I Tim. 3:15) has to with the New Testament and our responsibility of caring for God's House. Of course the House of God in the N. T. is not the Sanctuary of the Old Testament.
a. In the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were offered. Because of Christ's work on the cross, we no longer do that. Jesus is the Mediator of the New Testament. When He sacrificed Himself and placed His blood on the altar in that heavenly Sanctuary, all blood sacrifices ceased.
1) Hebrews 9:12, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
4. The title of the message, "Stewardship and the Sanctuary," is kind of a misnomer. We do not worship in a sanctuary, we worship in a church building--and, of course, we can worship under a tree if we so choose. I used the word "Sanctuary," in keeping with the alliteration of my seven last sermon outlines ...
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