Introduction. I. The New Testament church is a most amazing entity that was founded by Jesus Christ Himself. II. The word church in the Greek language means a “called out assembly“. A. The children of Israel were called the church in the wilderness by Stephen while he was preaching the message that led to his death. “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,” (Acts 7:37-39). B. Jesus Christ instituted the New Testament church. Some have debated when this took place (Matthew 10, Matthew 16, or Acts). Regardless of when it was instituted, Matthew quotes Jesus saying:. “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:17-18). The New Testament church, therefore, is the assembly that is called out from the world to be what God expects her to be. What does God expect of His church? III. Throughout the New Testament we see the church described in different ways. A. Body (I Corinthians 3:9; 12). B. Pillar and Ground of the Truth (I Timothy 3:15). C. Part of the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9). D. Household - Family (Ephesians 2:19). E. Holy Temple (Ephesians 2:20-21). F. Habitation (Ephesians 2:22). Main. 2) Worship. I. The Church and Her Structure as the Holy Temple. By describing the New Testament Church as a Holy Temple, the church is shown what is to be her doctrinal structure. A. Chief Cornerstone. God Himself in the flesh is He upon Whom all of the church rests. Man, angel, nor any other part of Creation would suffice as the corner stone; therefore, God made He Himself the cornerstone. “A cornerstone of a building is an important part of construction as it is the first stone to be set and determines the position of all the pieces to be laid afterwards.“. “History, the cornerstone was the first stone set during the building process. Careful measurements were taken to ensure the cornerstone was square to ensure the proper alignment of the remainder of the building.“. Christ is not only the center of our focus, but we are built upon Him as God the Son, as our Saviour, as our Good Shepherd. B. Foundation. The foundation of the church is the prophets and apostles. The individuals - Peter, John, Jeremiah, David, etc. - are not the church's foundation but rather the truths God used these men to deliver to us. We, of course, have those truths today preserved in the Bible, the Word of God. These truths were given by God about Christ and His church. These truths were not spoken of their own accord, nor did they deal with their own desires but of the Lord's. C. Fitly Framed Building. Both the Jews and Gentiles of all ages comprise the holy temple of the Lord. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.“ (Galatians 3:26-29). “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.“ (Colossians 3:8-11). “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.“ (Romans 2:1-11). Predestined Purpose of Each Stone. a. When the Temple was first built as shown in I Kings and II Chronicles, great measures were taken to ensure the quality of the structure. b. Each stone was crafted to fit in a specific place. “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe [nor] any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.“ (1 Kings 6:7). c. In like manner, each person has their predetermined purpose. 1) For a child of God to seek to do more than what God has for them is to go against that purpose and, thereby, will cause cracks and divisions in the Temple. 2) Conversely, for a child of God to seek to do less than what God has for them is to go against that purpose, and, thereby, shall also cause cracks and divisions in the Temple. d. Therefore, without you, as God's child, the Holy Temple on earth is incomplete. “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:“ (Ephesians 2:21). II. By describing the New Testament Church as a Holy Temple, the church is shown what is to be her purpose. A. Witness to the World. Location. a. The original temple (Solomon's) was built high so that all could see. b. In like manner, the New Testament church is to be a witness as a city that is set upon a hill. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.“ (Matthew 5:14-16). Beauty. a. No grander structure has ever been built in Israel than the first temple. b. In like manner, the church ought to be beautiful in her love for God and love for others. When a lost person views the church, they ought to be in awe of her love, kindness, and compassion. Sacrifice. a. The primary purpose of the Temple was sacrifice. b. It was in the Temple that the high priest would bring an animal sacrifice to God and present the blood of the sacrifice for the sins of the people. c. Every Old Testament sacrifice was to be a picture of what Jesus Christ would one day do upon the Cross: sacrifice Himself as the eternal Lamb of God. d. In like manner, our lives are to be yielded unto God so as to picture the Gospel in our lives. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.“ (Romans 12:1). 1) We are not our own but are bought with a price. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.“ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). 2) We are to sacrifice ourselves, as it were, to our Saviour, so He may live His life in us and through us. B. Glory to the Lord. a) Exaltation. 1) Praise . b) Thanksgiving. c) Prayer. III. The Church and Her Future as the Holy Temple. A. As a reminder, the church Holy Temple is a growing entity that is comprised of both Jews and Gentiles of all ages. B. Therefore, as a Holy Temple what is her future? She will continue to grow until the end of the Millineum. She will no longer be considered the temple of the Lord but the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21). C. We then are to be the presence of God through the Spirit while on this earth until the New Jerusalem come down. Conclusion. I. What is your part in this Holy Temple? Are you doing your job? II. Are you part of this Temple? Are you a child of God or a child of the devil?