I had the joyous, blessed and terrifying opportunity to preach God’s Word yesterday. I preached from 1 Corinthians 3. There’s a lot there. Here’s what killed me, broke my heart, crushed me:

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

God have mercy on me, a sinner. I have used your Scripture at times to destroy people and humiliate them instead of to build them up in their faith. I have preached your Scripture in an attempt, at times, to justify myself instead of you. I have taken it upon myself at times to tear down what you have built up in Christ. I have hurled your Word around like it were a spear attached to my hand–aimed at any heart that offends or disagrees with me. I am ashamed of myself because I have treated your people, your temple, as if it were mine and not as it is: Your holy place; your Holy People. Have mercy on me, heavenly Father. Forgive me when I have used your Word to destroy your temple instead of building it up in your Spirit.

___________________________

Maybe, at some point in the not too distant future, we can find a way to actually treat the temple of God, which we are together, in a way that is befitting of the Holy God who dwells among us. It starts with me.

Be blessed, all of you. We were created for oneness and unity and wholeness. I can’t imagine that our delight in division and disunity and insults in any way brings joy and delight to the Father who made us one. I repent.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 10:49 am and is filed under Devotional, grace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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24 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Wow, open confession on a blog. Great thoughts, Jerry.

When it comes to formally tearing down and demeaning and being self righteous – you, my friend are an amateur. I unfortunately had a P.H.D. in that field which I have since returned to the place from which it came – the U of A.

(University of the Accuser) Our mascot was ourselves.

2   John Hughes    
March 30th, 2009 at 11:53 am

Jerry,

Totally awesome reminder! A great starting point for all ministry.

3   Bo Diaz    
March 30th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

(University of the Accuser) Our mascot was ourselves.

Really? I’d figure it’d be the Demon Deacons.

4   Chris P.    
March 30th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

The temple is edified and built up when you speak the Truth.
If you are using the word as it should be used then it will always build up and not destroy. Why don’t you put the verse in the context that Paul does, which is, building material that will survive the fire.

All public confession is self serving blather.
Look at Jimmy Swaggart and Bill Clinton.
I am sure there are many impressed with your holiness and humility.

5   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

6   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I just wonder when Chris P will stop worrying about “context” of scripture and move it into the context of his life.

iggy

7   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

All public confession is self serving blather.

??????????????????

8   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Jerry,
This was a awesome post.
Thank you for your obedience.

Shalom

9   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 30th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Chris P.,

Actually, jackass, well…nothing. I just wanted to make sure you knew that I think you’re a jackass, because as it is, I wasn’t confessing to you.

jerry

PS-In case you ever actually care to open the Bible, you will that the Word of God serves a dual purpose. Part of it is build up; part of it is to tear down. So, the very Bible you speak of does not ‘always build up.’

PPS–I apologize to all those here who are offended that I think Chris P is a jackass.

PPPS–Oh, wait. Chris P just told us that public confessions are self-serving. I guess I’m not sorry at all that I think he is a jackass.

10   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 30th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Fellas,

Thanks for getting the spirit of what I was trying to convey. I am truly sorry I referred to Chris P, a child of God, as a jackass. Chris P., I humbly ask for your forgiveness for referring to you as a jackass.

jerry

11   nc    
March 30th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

You should actually be apologizing for calling him a child of God.

You forgot that he is God…since he knows how to look into the hearts and motives of human from over the internet all the way from his purpose driven church in New Mexico.

Unless of course, he’s trying to take the “Son” post too in addition to replacing the Holy Spirit.

Wouldn’t put it past him.

12   nc    
March 30th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

All public confession is self serving blather.
Look at Jimmy Swaggart and Bill Clinton.
I am sure there are many impressed with your holiness and humility.

classic.
Looking into the hearts of people.

Even if people granted your divine insight was perfect, by that logic we shouldn’t engage in anything that has the potential to be misused…

which pretty much includes…oh, I don’t know…everything.

yeesh.

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

It seems that the more Chris P blathers, the more he reveals his true belief, or rather unbelief in the very scripture he professes… as far as Grace? He deems public repentance self serving?

Good grief! Rip out the book of James!

James 5: 15. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

More and more I see that these ODM/ADM are anti-scripture… they are more nona scriptura than sola scriptura…

Again, all I see is a group of narrow minded people so focused on their own relativistic theological view that they freely and willingly toss aside scripture to show their own self righteousness… worse they set up their own “man made doctrines” in place of sound doctrine…

and that is so very sad and unfortunate for them.

iggy

14   Eugene    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
March 30th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Wow, thank you Jerry. Your post spoke to my heart. I have much to confess and I pray that I have the courage to do it soon.

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

“All public confession is self serving blather.”

Especially for those who never have anything to confess. The Accuser has many blogs, but please, this is a Christian blog, not a vomitorium.

16   AnonymousJane    
March 30th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Public confession is often very cleansing. It takes a great deal of both humility and bravery. I thought the ODMs/ADMs were big on the “sanitizing effects of sunlight in dark places” or whatever that phrase is so often being tossed around.

17   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Funny with all the times the ODM’s call for repentance at least Chris P admits to them it means nothing…

So why waste everyone’s time calling others to repent?

talk about double talk in action!

iggy

18   merry    
March 31st, 2009 at 1:10 am

Public confession takes quite a bit of backbone and integrity, especially when faced with the ridicule of disgusting people who dare speak in the name of Christ.

Why people such as in comment #4 even have the guts to even say they represent Christ is beyond me, but they will be judged.

God have mercy on us all.

Comments such as #4 are really beginning to anger me, a lot. I used to have patience with people such as this, but that patience is running out. I can have all the patience in the world for people who do not know Christ, but for those who say they do, there shouldn’t be any excuse for such ongoing immaturity. It’s disgusting. Maybe someday God will regrant me my patience for these people, but right now it’s just a huge waste of time. I suggest people like this read through Proverbs. It has plenty to say about their word vomit.

/rant.

So much for the unity and wholeness idea…

19   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 31st, 2009 at 9:02 am

Though I do not agree with the exegesis of this particular text in this context, in terms of the sentiment that Christians-those who have repented and trusted Christ alone for their salvation- ought to model a life of love and unity on the foundation of the scripture. These who are born again love the Word of God and are built up and equipped by it, as well as being convinced of their own sin. We should build one another up in Christ, especially as it concerns the local church. All of this to the glory of God.

That, of course, is to the exception of Ingrid, Ken, Myself, Chris R, and Chris P….But other people who we agree with…those we oughtta build up for sure.

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 31st, 2009 at 9:05 am

“That, of course, is to the exception of Ingrid, Ken, Myself, Chris R, and Chris P….But other people who we agree with…those we oughtta build up for sure.”

Exactly. Although I sometimes actually like Ken and you. :cool:

21   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 31st, 2009 at 9:59 am

That, of course, is to the exception of Ingrid, Ken, Myself, Chris R, and Chris P….But other people who we agree with…those we oughtta build up for sure.

People have to put themselves in a position where they can actually receive a blessing. I have no doubt that God does want to bless these people, but I believe they have put themselves in a place where it would be almost impossible to receive blessings. They have decided it is better to tear others down, and by doing so cut themselves off from actually receiving what God has for them by some of His anointed servants.

It’s like Namaan refusing to humble himself when Elisha offered him advice. The person he was hurting the most was himself. That’s how I see the people who dedicate themselves to tearing others down. Yes, they do actually hurt others, but in the end, they end up poisoning themselves.

22   nc    
March 31st, 2009 at 11:17 am

#19

Yeah…cuz laying down for people who make ‘ministries’ out of tearing other people is the way forward.

Who knew?!??!

We’re called to build you up in your tearing others down, to encourage you in your sinfulness, and to shepherd your ignorance.

Yeah…that’s it.

That’s the path to unity…by laying down for it from the new magisterium.

23   Neil    
March 31st, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Maybe, at some point in the not too distant future, we can find a way to actually treat the temple of God, which we are together, in a way that is befitting of the Holy God who dwells among us. It starts with me.

Given the context of chapter 3 and the fact that the “you”’s are plural – I too believe that he is saying the church is the temple. It also fits nicely with the rest of Scripture – particularly Ephesians. Later he refers to the individual.

I agree with Chris P., when used properly the Word will build… unfortunately many misuse it. Therefore this blog exists to correct and edify.

24   Brendt Waters    http://www.csaproductions.com/blog/
April 2nd, 2009 at 10:31 am

David in Psalm 51:13 (after many verses of confession):

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

John Piper on that verse:

David is not content to be forgiven. He is not content to be clean. He is not content to have a right spirit. He is not content to be joyful in God by himself. He will not be content until his broken life serves the healing of others.

Chris P:

All public confession is self serving blather.

One of these things is not like the others. / Which one is different? / Do you know? ….