The Foundation of Christianity ~ Bro. Femi Ajayi
Topic: The Foundation of Christianity.
Text: Ezra 3:1-13 (NIV)
Speaker: Bro. Femi Ajayi
Date: 11th July, 2021| 1st Service
3.1 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled as one man in Jerusalem.
3.2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.
3.3 Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the LORD, both the morning and evening sacrifices.
3.4 Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day.
3.5 After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred feasts of the LORD, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the LORD.
3.6 On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, though the foundation of the LORD’s temple had not yet been laid.
3.7 Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
3.8 In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the LORD.
3.9 Jeshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah ) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers-all Levites-joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.
3.10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel.
3.11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: “He is good; his love to Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
3.12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.
3.13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Background Understanding on the text:
Ezra is one of the historical books of the Bible. A post-exilic historical book. Meaning that the events in the book of Ezra happened at the time the children of Israel returned from exile. The book in general with that of Nehemiah talks about the rebuilding of the temple, the central place of worship, and the walls.
Though chronologically, the book ought to have come at the end of the Old testament after Malachi because Malachi was one of the post-exilic prophets at that time.
There has been a great change in the standard of Christianity comparing the ancient times and now. Just like the Israelites mixed noice of praise, coming from the younger generation, and the cry coming from the older generation after the new foundation of the temple was built. Same implies in our time now as Christians.
The older generation of Christians look at the Christianity of our time and are in great pain because the foundation of Christianity has been altered. In the area of marriage, we see more of devorcees in our time than in days back were Christians are fewer.
The area of business, Christians taking advantage of other Christians in the name of brothers and sisters. In lifestyle, Christians are now the ones afraid to hold fast onto their Faith. Gone are the days where a single Christian in a work place could affect the lifestyle and practice of others. Just to mention a few. Yet there is great praise amongst the younger generation that there are more Christians in our days. Habakkuk 3:1-3(NIV).
Things we must do;
1. We must stop: Stop to ask questions. Where did we get it wrong? Where are we heading to? “If something was valuable when it was one and is invaluable when it is ten, don’t you think we should stop?” Evaluate ourselves and go back to our values.
2. We must cry for a change: Habakkuk 3:2. (NIV) If things are not the way we’ve heard it, in our individual life’s as Christians, we are to cry in our hearts. If we cannot stand in face of challenges as a Christian to hold onto our faith without compromise. Then we ought to stop, check and cry for a change.
3. We must rebuild and return to our foundational values: the foundation of scriptural and biblical Christianity must be rebuilt. “As parents there is a reality we must come to understand that our children, no matter who you are, are not born again until they are born again.”
The foundational values of a Christian is scriptural and biblical Christianity. Therefore, We must insist until we see genuine Christianity come to us again.
Look into your personal life, are you living as you ought to live? Are you a Christian in words and in deeds? Are you standing for the truth?
1. Lord! revive my personal Christianity. Lord! revive us as the body of Christ. Ask the Lord to help us.
2. My Father My Father, please address the foundation of my life. Help me to be who you want me to be.
3. Oh Lord! Please rebuild every foundation that does not glorify you. Restore me and rebuild a fresh foundation in the the Name of Jesus.
Prayer of Repentance
Father behold your sons and daughters, hands are lifted unto you as a sign of surrender. I ask oh Lord as many whose hands are lifted up, by your grace and by your mercy, Daddy today let there be a restoration of relationship with you in the Name of Jesus.
Any life, any marriage, any business, that has given room to compromise I ask oh Lord that as your sons and daughters reconcile to you today.
May your mercy prevail over them in the Name of Jesus. Oh Lord as your sons and daughters come right before this alter and as they reconcile with you that Lord you give them yet another opportunity to be who you want them to be, vessels unto honour.
PRAYER OF SALVATION
Almighty God I come before you with sincerity of heart asking for your mercy. I ask oh Lord as I reconcile with you and as I surrender to you please help me to live a Holy life.
I am sorry for every lifestyle of compromise. As from today by your grace and mercy I shall be a vessel unto honour. Thank you Jesus for giving me this opportunity, I will not fail you. In Jesus Name I pray.