"Swept and Garnished"Bro. David Chancellor
11/18/2001 6:00 PM
Christ had cast out devils from a person and the people wondered. He wanted them to know the power of God was at work. The devil does not fight against himself. The devil has been defeated. Christ came and cast the devil out. The devil isn't at peace anymore, and we may have to suffer some things. There is no middle ground. You are either one of God's children or you are not. We must choose to either live for God or go another way. When God sets you free from the power of the devil, if you stay centered on God's will, then the devil won't overcome you again. Salvation both cleans up the life and makes it look good. As God works in our life it becomes "swept and garnished." The rubbish is taken away and a new life begins. It doesn't stop there, though. An empty house isn't a good thing. No one ever calls an empty house home. It is a home when it is occupied. Our spiritual house needs to have someone living within. Salvation cleans us up and brings life within. A person who doesn't find new life, the "swept and garnished" condition won't last. We desire that people live a life for God. This will happen when Christ lives in you. When people don't get all God has for them, the last state will be worse than the first. When people go back, it is a sad condition. It is a wonderful thing when there is life on the inside. We should desire a house fully inhabited by God.
He speaks of both a cleansing and a putting within. When a soul is pulled from the pit there is some cleaning up, but there is also a renewal of the heart, a life that is put within. God puts something within the man to change the man. It puts a care and concern for your fellowman. A life just cleaned up isn't enough for God's purpose.
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
If it is God's temple, it has to be clean and garnished. When Solomon built the temple, he had a plan to go by. It was made to come together and work. It was decorated and made beautiful. He was concerned that the quality of the temple be the greatest it ever was. We may be in a fleshly body, but we don't want to defile the temple. The Spirit of God needs to dwell there. It needs to be kept up, to be kept clean. We don't want to be destroyed. If things would come in our life between us and God, it will be worse for us. It is worse to have known God and turn aside to other things, than to never have known him. We want God to be able to dwell in his temple as he would choose to. God will come and stay forever. This is his desire. He doesn't like to have to leave. He wants to dwell in our hearts.
2 Timothy 1:13-14
Keep the good things that were committed... how? ... "by the Holy Ghost that dwelleth in us." God's Spirit is the keeper. He can dwell in us and keep us free. If we would continue to live for God, we need the keeping power of God's Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit to help us know which way to go, what is good, and what is not. His Spirit provides us strength that we don't have on our own. We want the abiding presence of his Holy Spirit.