An Expositional Sermon
Through Jesus Christ we can come to God. The temple was meant to be an outward reflection of God’s holiness to the world. It was meant to be a place where people could come to God. Through Christ a local church is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). When we gather together the building isn’t the house of God, we are the house of God. Even as the temple was meant to be a reflection of God, our church should be a reflection of God. Pray that God would help us to fight against the temptation for church to be a reflection of man, instead of the radiant beauty of Jesus Christ. John Calvin wrote about the simplicity of church gatherings in comparison to Roman Catholicism, “[I]n Popery everything had a dazzling appearance, and drew the admiration of men; while we retain no ceremonies but those which are plain and simple, and free from all pageantry, and therefore they think that we have taken away the worship of God, which they estimate by outward appearances.”  Many evangelical churches have been distracted from the worship of God in spirit and truth and turn to pageantry. Pray that God would direct our hearts away from a show. Church programs can be a distraction too. We are tempted to value the worth of a church based on programs, stuff we can do and get involved in. Don’t get me wrong, not all programs are bad, but we can make ourselves busy with church activities every night of the week and not leave margin for our daily worship of God. Beware of religion without faith. Beware of religion without a relationship with God. Beware of thinking you’re okay because of outward forms and appearance.
 Calvin, John Calvin’s Commentaries Volume VIII, Isaiah 33-66 Trans. William Pringle (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009), 85-8.