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Faithlife

Jeremiah's Temple Sermon

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Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

Jeremiah 7:1–11 NLT
The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go to the entrance of the Lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the Lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “ ‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The Lord’s Temple is here! The Lord’s Temple is here!” But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever. “ ‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again? Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the Lord, have spoken!
1-11
In January 1519 something shocking happened at the Great Minster in Zurich. Everyone in the city was talking about it. One man said he was so excited he felt as if someone had grabbed him by his hair and lifted him out of his pew.
What was the cause of all this commotion? Simply this: Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), the new pastor of the church, was preaching the Word of God. At the first service in January he opened his Bible to and began to preach from the Scriptures. At the next service he picked up where he left off in the Gospel of Matthew and kept preaching. He did the same thing at the third service and thereafter, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, right through the New Testament.
Then Zwingli started preaching through the Old Testament. Amazing! Unheard of! Soon men, women, and children came from all over Zurich to hear the minister explain the Bible in words they could understand.
Zwingli's systematic Bible exposition was the beginning of the Reformation in Switzerland. To this day there is an inscription over the portal of that church that reads, "The Reformation of Huldrych Zwingli began here on January 1, 1519." Reformation begins with preaching God's Word!
The Temple Sermon
Long before Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Luther, or John Calvin, there was a reformer named Jeremiah. If that great prophet were alive in these post- 120 Christian times, he would do what the Protestant Reformers did: He would preach God's Word. He would tell the evangelical church to mend its ways. He would teach that religious observance without moral obedience cannot save. He would say that what the church needs now is reformation.

Body

Sometimes in churches we see more bacchanal than we might probably see in a bar.
Sometimes in churches we see more bacchanal than we might probably see in a bar.
People are involved in church for all the wrong reasons.
We live 1 way during the week and another on a Sunday morning.
Jesus kicked out those who were using Him, but reached out to those who were choosing Him, those who knew they didn’t see the way they could or walk the way they should. When we realize how blind and lame we are, Jesus will reach out to us, as well. In we read that it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. In other words, He changes our desires and then gives us the ability to carry out the desire He’s placed within us. That’s the beauty of the living Lord. He’s not saying, “Get it together.” He’s saying, “Let Me have your life.”
“I am crucified with Christ,” Paul declared. “Nevertheless, I live. Yet not I, but it’s Christ who lives in me,” (see ). It’s not a matter of trying to be like Jesus. It’s not keeping outward rituals or spiritual customs as the people were doing in Jeremiah’s day. Growth in the Christian life comes from saying, “I’m a sinner, Lord, and the only way I can be changed is by You forgiving Me through Your blood and living in me through Your Spirit. So I come to You with brokenness and honesty, asking You to live Your life through me.”

Application

Religious leaders were using the people of God and the things of God for their own gain. But before we indict them too severely, we must ask ourselves if we do the same thing? Do we use the things of God to find a girlfriend or a boyfriend? Do we use the things of God to make business connections or even to establish a name in ministry? Do we subconsciously ask ourselves how we can use the Lord rather than how we can honor him.
Some put their trust in church attendance and say, "I go to church, I go to church, I go to church." Some put their trust in religious experience and say, "I'm born again, born again, born again." Some put their trust in a sacrament and say, "I've been baptized, baptized, baptized." Some put their trust in church affiliation and say, "I belong to an evangelical church, evangelical church, evangelical church." Others put their trust in religious duties and say, "I have daily devotions, daily devotions, daily devotions." Still others put their trust in some theological principle separated from a personal relationship with Jesus 123 Christ. They say, "I believe in the doctrines of grace, doctrines of grace, doctrines of grace."
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