#GKSermonSeries is an opportunity for you to spend time listening to sermons from some of the pastors a part of The GateKeepers. We hope that this is edifying to you and your walk with Christ!
Here are Pastor Sam's sermon notes:
Intro: Today we are going to continue our series on Revival and National Security. We have made our way to Ezra and we looked at how the people originally failed, but God stirred them and they had resolve in building the temple. Today we are going to continue by picking up in Ezra 6 as we will see the completion of the temple and the dedication of the temple. Let’s look at our text today…
Scripture: Ezra 6:14-18 So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished [it], according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 Now the temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. 16 Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 They assigned the priests to their divisions and the Levites to their divisions, over the service of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.
The Completion of the Temple (14-15)
They worked (built/finished)
They continued to work
Revival takes work
The gospel and God’s word doesn’t spread unintentionally
Romans 10:13-17 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "LORD, who has believed our report?" 17 So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We must put the work in
A right priority on God’s house implies work
Where we prioritize we work
They finished the work
Many people give up halfway through
This is important to remember we are to be faithful
Continue in the work God has given you
When the frills and thrills are gone will you finish the job?
They prospered through the prophesying of Haggai and Zechariah
This prophecy was not the foretelling ministry
We often think of prophesying as predicting the future and often it is
If you read the prophets you will soon realize they also had simply a preaching ministry
The messages from these two prophets we have looked at wasn’t a predicting the future, but a call to repentance. It was preaching a specific message.
God’s people never truly prosper without a convicting message from God’s word
This is why fluffy preachers and churches who don’t confront sin are simply a dumb choice.
Revivals are driven by holiness and holiness is the separation from sin. When that sin has become a part of you or remains a part of you and you separate it from your life it is going to hurt. Just like removing cancer from your body is painful, so removing sin from your life is going to hurt.
A picture of delegated authority (according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.)
Isn’t this a beautiful picture?
They did all of this according to the commandment of God
It was an obedient action
Remember obedience is the sound of worship
It was patterned after God’s word
Notice the authority ultimately rests in what God said
Then the civil authorities agreed with God
This is how it is supposed to work
Authority is delegated from God
Those who receive this authority are to agree with God
Kings or other civil authorities
And we obey
It is so nice to look at the positive example isn’t?
We must remember logically for every positive there is a negative
Honor your father and mother is the positive don’t dishonor your father and mother is the negative
Delegated authorities agree with God and His law is the positive; don’t disagree with God and His law is the negative.
What happens when a delegated authority disagrees with God or fails to agree with God?
That authority becomes illegitimate
Those under that authority should obey God rather than man
It is the simple principle of two wrongs don’t make a right and we as Christian’s know God is the One who defines what is right and what is wrong.
This is such a wonderful example here that the Jews were obeying the king, but in actuality they were obeying the Lord of the universe.
This can only happen when authorities are legitimate through agreement with God.
God doesn’t contradict Himself and this is why when the children of Israel stopped building the temple by the sword of the king in chapter 4 God was upset and sent them two prophets to tell them to repent.
A Celebrated Dedication (16-17 Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.)
This is important to realize
When revival starts happening and fruit of revival comes it is a time of celebration!
Revival and national security come from repentance
Repentance by definition is confrontational
Confrontation is difficult and not very fun
Because of this the means of real revival can come across as hard, difficult, and painful.
The Jews give a great example of the proper response
Remember emotion makes a terrible engine, but it should be there.
It is good to celebrate righteousness
When we don’t celebrate righteousness we end up in one of two areas
We take no joy and we do not celebrate a staunchness rather we take joy and celebrate God’s holiness and the fruit of righteousness in our life.
There was a dedication
This is important to note
The temple was not just put in the right priority, worked on, and finished. It was dedicated.
There was a stated purpose
We can forget this with God’s house
Sometimes we put church in a right priority (we are going to be here); we work at it (come to serve); and even complete the work (actually show up and serve); but not be dedicated.
This can happen through a number of different ways
One is consumerism
Showing up to get something out of church
But putting nothing into it
One is culturalism
You do it because it is what you do
It’s just part of your culture
One is clubhouseism
You show up because your friends show up
It’s something you do for fun
We need to make sure we are actually dedicating ourselves and the house of God
We come to know God more
We come to worship Him
We come to get a recharge of grace
We come to please God, at Christmas we say “Jesus is the reason for the season” that same principle applies to church. He is why we are here!
There is joy in revival
Revival comes by way of repentance
Revival takes work
Revival brings joy!
The circumstances may be difficult the task may be hard
But there is nothing we would rather hear than “well done thou good and faithful servant!” We want to hear that at judgement day, but we won’t hear it then if we don’t obey now and be faithful to finishing the tasks He gives us here.
Real revival aims to please God alone and when it is accomplished there is an outpouring of joy!
We can expect this
We should desire this
We should seek to obtain it!
Today I want to compare Baptism with the dedication of the temple
The dedication of the temple was driven by obedience and followed by celebration and joy
This is how baptism ought to be
It is a step of obedience
This step of obedience comes after salvation
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized.
Example of the Ethiopian
It is also a recognition with Christ
Baptism is a public declaration that you are with Jesus; you want others to know you are on His team.
In this sense it is a dedication; you are dedicating yourself to the public identity of a Christian.
Baptism is something to be celebrated and it is something that is full of joy!
It isn’t the celebration or joy that surely happens that drives a baptism
It is the obedience to God’s word
According to God’s word (18 They assigned the priests to their divisions and the Levites to their divisions, over the service of God in Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.)
God’s word is the foundation
As it is written in the Book of Moses
Obedience needs to be our starting point
If we want revival, if we want national security, if we are taking the next step in our faith it needs to be done according to God’s word!
Conclusion: Today I want to conclude by asking you the simple question: Are you willing to do things according to God’s word and obey so your dedication can be celebrated and joyful?
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