Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"Without Money and Without Price"
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Matthew 21:12-13).
In a "house of prayer," the Holy Spirit moves upon and within human hearts to reveal the all sufficient provision of God, and the abject need of humanity. By Biblical definition, this is the very essence of prayer. There is no barter in this holy place, no buying and selling, and no quid pro quo that clouds the truth of freely given grace received through humble and empty handed faith. As the old hymn so beautifully declares, "Nothing in my hand I bring; only to Thy cross I cling." As the Lord Jesus even more beautifully declared, "freely ye have received" (Matthew 10:8).
"What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel" (I Corinthians 9:18).
The Apostle Paul fully understood the above truth, and also that the gospel of the Lord Jesus was a gift that had already been paid for. In full. By the Savior's very lifeblood. Thus, Paul found it to be the joy of his heart and life to preach "without charge" the freest gift ever given, which was purchased by One at the highest cost ever remitted. "The church of God, which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28).
Believers are "the temple made without hands" (Mark 14:58). Not only is there no barter in this house of God. The very house itself exists only because the temple of the Lord Jesus' body was destroyed. In His resurrection and subsequent giving of the Holy Spirit to all who believe, our Savior raised "a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Corinthians 5:1). The temple itself was erected solely by Divine provision and activity. Grace and truth are therefore the commodities of this abode, and they are forever the "wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).
The freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted. This is the gospel of the Lord Jesus. This is the exchange of His temple. This is grace and truth received by repentance and faith. And this was Paul's "reward," and our reward as we joyfully go forth to freely bear witness to the gift we have so freely received.
"What hast thou, that thou didst not receive?"
(I Corinthians 4:7)