Losing Your Identity in Christ
After David was crowned king of all Israel, he proceeded to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, where it had not been for nearly seventy years. Although the ark was home, David was not satisfied with its present home—a tent—and desired to build a house for God. Nevertheless, the Lord forbade him to do so because his hands were stained with the blood of men (I Chron. 22:8). In His declaration to David, God decreed that Solomon would be the one to build the temple. David consented, and when Solomon was old enough for David to declare him king of Israel, one of the first things that David did was give the divine instructions for the construction of the temple.
Never Deviate From The Plan
David laid the plans in front of Solomon and charged him to set his heart to seek the Lord and build the sanctuary of God (I Chron. 22:19) and not deviate from these plans.
Those plans that David presented before his son, Solomon could not add to them; he had to stay within that which was arranged by God. There was a reason for this. Every part of the temple would portray the sacrificial, mediatorial, or intercessory work of Christ. It was crucial for David to express this to Solomon—that these plans were given to him by God, and they were to be followed exactly as the Lord had presented them to David. If anything were added or taken away from the temple, it would cease to represent Christ and His redemption plan. And it would take away from what the temple foreshadowed—the cross.
Likewise, in today’s culture and society, we are not to take anything away from, or add to, the Word of God. What is given to us by the Holy Spirit is to be followed for the Christian to experience growth, success, and victory in life.
We must surmise that the only way to absolute victory is through the very means that brought us into the family of God to begin with—the cross of Christ. It is the path that got us in, and it is the path that keeps us in.
For anyone to offer a different direction will only constitute catastrophe. The cross of Christ is the foundation of the gospel. Without the cross, there is no salvation or sanctification.
Suppose a believer does not know or understand God’s prescribed order of victory. In that case, such a believer will resort to dependence upon rules, regulations, or self-efforts of many stripes, which the church is full of—self-help schemes that will do nothing for the believer except place him under condemnation. If we add anything to the cross of Christ, we frustrate the grace of God (Gal. 2:21), and if we take away anything from the cross of Christ, we are left with nothing more than a philosophy. The cross is the key by which the sinner can come to Christ, and the saint can live for Christ in total and complete victory.
The Spoils Of War
In preparation, David brought items together that were needed to construct what would be the most beautiful building ever built—the temple.
Fast forward several years; Solomon begins construction. Out of everything before him, there was that which David had won in battle, the spoils of war—gold, silver, brass, precious jewels—all to be used in the construction of the temple.
But how could this be? Much of this gold, silver, brass, and such had been used by heathen nations regarding idol worship. Did that mean David would bring false gods into the temple for the worship of Jehovah? Absolutely not.
Under the instructions of the Holy Spirit, Solomon would take the gold, silver, brass, and other precious jewels that were once used for worship of heathen idols and melt them down. In this process, they would lose their old identity.
Think about that for a moment. When David defeated these nations, he took as spoils of war that which was used to worship a false god. He brought them back to Jerusalem and stored them in a warehouse awaiting the construction of the temple.
At the word of the Lord, Solomon would take these items, such as golden altars, rails, gold or silver idols, etc. He would completely melt them down and use the gold, silver, brass, and precious jewels for a different purpose.
Losing The Old Identity
For these pieces to be used in the temple, they had to be melted down in a furnace. As the Scripture says, this took place in the plain of Jordan. The gold, silver, and brass were assembled into separate piles, and a furnace was set ablaze. Once the furnace became hot, each item was placed into the furnace. As soon as the furnace consumed the metal, its former appearance melted away.
No matter how beautiful an item once was, in the fire, that beauty melted, and what it had once represented was utterly destroyed. Then the pure, precious metal could be poured into a mold suitable for use in the construction of the temple.
What we used to be before salvation, no matter how wonderful or how grand we considered ourselves to be, could not be used for His purpose. What we used to be needed to be melted away so the Holy Spirit could make us into what He wants us to be.
At salvation, our old man was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:3-5). Our old identity melted away, and a new identity was established in Christ.
At the same time, there is a continual process of the Holy Spirit melting away the entirety of our old nature. The Holy Spirit desires that we depend on Christ, not ourselves, to meet our every need.
Just as the melting process done by Solomon was a necessity, so it is in our everyday lives. For us to be used by God for His glory, our old identity needs to be melted away for our new identity to come forth in Christ.
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