Rededication of the Church  

Ezra 6:16-18


Oak Hill Baptist Church was organized under a grape arbor on July 29, 1911.


The Old Testament Temple

Ezra, the priest of the people in exile were allowed to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. This was the exile prophesied by Isaiah, and the rebuilding of the temple was prophesied by Haggai and Zechariah. Most scholars believe the temple was rebuilt in 515 BC.

I.  A Place of Foreshadowing (Ezra 6:16-18)
a. Symbols (Exodus 36-38) These symbols foreshadowed the Messiah.
b. Scripture (2 Kings 23:1-2) Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. 2 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord.”
c. Sacrifices (2 Chronicles 7:12) Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.”
d. Sanctuary (1 Kings 8:6-8) ”Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day.”


The Old Testament Temple was designed to point us to the Messiah. The value of the Old Testament temple is to see the foreshadowing announced and now fulfilled by Christ. We go from the importance of a place to the importance of God’s people in the New Testament. No longer does God dwell in a place, but in His people!

The New Testament Church

II.  A People of Faith (Matthew 16:18) “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against.” The New Covenant replaced the need for the temple, in exchange making God’s people the temple. The veil being torn upon Jesus’ crucifixion represented that all of mankind, through faith in Christ, have a relationship with God (access to the Holy of Holies). The word “church” here in Matthew 16 that Jesus used means the assembly of God’s people. We see that God used Peter to ignite the NT Church in Acts in which he preached and thousands believed.
a. An assembly of God’s People (Matthew 16:18)

 The people of Christ are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We are the church. Paul points this out in 1 Cor. 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” Peter also points this out in 1 Peter 2:5 “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

b. Made up of those who are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16-17, 1 Peter 2:5)
c. The bride of Christ (Rev. 19:7; Eph. 5:27, 2 Cor. 11:2) “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage  of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;” Rev. 19:7
d. A working body (1 Cor. 12:12) “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
e. A place for equipping (Hebrews 10:24-25) “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”


III. A Powerful Focus (Acts 2:42-47)
a. Scriptural Teaching and Equipping (v.42)
b. Christ-Centered Fellowship (v.42)
c. Biblical Observance (v.42) Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
d. Prayer (v.42)
e. Serving (v.45)
f. Worship (v.47) Praising God
g. Evangelism and Missions (v.47)

Today we rededicate this place of worship to strive to accomplish these 7 items for the glory of Jesus Christ. When we rededicate a building we are really challenging the people of faith to rededicate their lives to these seven items for the glory of Jesus Christ. This place is just a building, but with the people of God in it, it is a church! An assembly of God’s people for His glorious purpose, to know Him, to grow in Him, and to go for Him!