2 Chronicles 8:1-18 (Part 1) – Are You “All-In” With The Holy Spirit’s Renovation of Your Soul?

Posted: August 6, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 8:1-18 (Part 1 of 2)

Solomon’s Many Achievements

Opening Illustration/Comments

Does it not seem that there are always areas of our life that are hardest to give up to the Lord? When we accept Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into our dark souls and begins the renovation project. Although we are positionally covered in Christ’s righteousness when we have our true salvation moment and submit ourselves to his lordship, we begin a journey at that moment that involves the process called, in theological terms, sanctification. Our souls remain a dark place at the moment of salvation, but we are covered in the purity and light of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit begins the lifelong work of sanctification at that moment. He begins cleaning the crud of sin off the windows of our soul and begins to let the light of the truth of God begin to shine through. As time progresses, some windows are easier to clean. These are the sins that because of our unique nature as individuals made by God are easier for us to walk away from. That same sin for somebody else might be the hardest to walk away from because their own uniqueness. We have those sins that we can just turn away from very easily. The Holy Spirit attacks those first and begins the process of making us more and more like Christ each day. The Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out one sin habit at a time. As time progresses too, there are those sins that are our weak spots, our sin strongholds, our sin weak spots. For each of us, there are a different combinations of pet sins that we refuse to submit to the rule of the Holy Spirit and we fight against Him coming to those windows and cleaning that crud. We want those sins. We love those sins. We want to continue to participate in those sins.

We see Solomon acting like us in this passage. He wants to play both sides of the fence. He wants to worship God and give God glory in virtually every area of his life except one. He wants to keep his ability to marry and have sex with whomever he wants. His marriage to Pharoah’s daughter was strategic for sure. He assured that his southern borders would be secure from invasion from Egypt through this marriage. That made political and military sense. However, it was a sin in the eyes of God – marrying a person who worship false gods. Solomon would go on to marry all kinds of women because he wanted the freedom to do what he wanted in the area of politics and romance, all wrapped up in sex.

Often sex is the one area that Christians today have a hard time submitting to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It may be the one sin area that they ignore Scripture so that they can follow their fleshly desires just like everybody in the culture is doing. Even though it is one of the clearest prohibitions in Christianity, one would be hard-pressed to find scripture on it. Many would refer to the Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” Exodus 20:14). But this passage is about having sex with another person’s spouse. Others might turn to the “sex chapter” in Leviticus 18 which lists every kind of perverse act that trashes the gift of sex such as bestiality, incest, threesomes, pornography, and other sexual sins. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 7:2. It clearly states that sex before marriage is a part of the definition of sexual immorality. In fact, all Bible passages that condemn sexual immorality as being sinful and this includes sex before or outside of marriage!

There are numerous scriptures that declare sex before marriage to be a sin (1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Acts 15:20; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). Revelation 14:4 assumes that unmarried Christian men who desire to be faithful are not having sex and Hebrews 13:4 considers sex outside of marriage to be immoral. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” However, studies show that unmarried Christians are having sex prior to or between marriages at a rate that is equal to that of society in general in America. This is just one of those places where we are turning a blind eye to what Scripture says by not studying those passages and rationalizing them away in our minds if we do. Just as with any other forms of sex outside the marriage bed of a man and a woman, you have to do a serious amount of theological gymnastics to say that Scripture approves of it. Otherwise, you simply have to tear those pages out of the Bible and ignore them.

It is that idea of those last sin strongholds that we have and refuse for a long time to submit to the power and lordship of the Holy Spirit that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 7:11-22. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

11 So Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do in the construction of the Temple and the palace. 12 Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said,

“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. 13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.

17 “As for you, if you faithfully follow me as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 18 then I will establish the throne of your dynasty. For I made this covenant with your father, David, when I said, ‘One of your descendants will always rule over Israel.’

19 “But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 20 then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make it an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 21 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’

22 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why he has brought all these disasters on them.”

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter to secure a military alliance with Egypt. He did not let the woman live in David’s palace, however. This fact implies that Solomon knew his pagan marriage would not please God. Solomon married many other women who worshiped false gods, which, of course, was against God’s laws. These women worshiped false gods and were certain to contaminate Israel with their beliefs, because of their position as wives of the king. Eventually, these foreign worship practices would bring about the moral laxity that expanded from sex and politics to other areas of Solomon’s life and contributed to his downfall.

Although Solomon followed God’s instructions for building the Temple and in the managing of the Temple’s operations and in the offering of sacrifices there, he paid no attention to what God said about marrying those who worshipped other gods. His sin in marrying women who worshipped other gods was that it diverted his attention away from the one true God. This drift eventually led Solomon to fail to put God first in other areas of his life as well. No matter how much we obey God in other areas of our life, one unsurrendered area of your life is like a cancer that eventually consume other once obedient areas of our life.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that we must work with and submit to the Holy Spirit’s leadership in His renovation of our souls. We cannot hide and keep away from His rule certain areas of our life. We must lay ourselves completely bare before the Holy Spirit’s rebuilding of our souls. It’s all or nothing. If we hold back one area of our life from His control, it will affect all areas of our life. We will not experience the full joy of total submission and the blessings that it brings. Coach Swinney, the head football coach at Clemson University, has a saying about what it takes to be a Clemson player. You must be “all-in”. You must be totally committed to excellence to be a part of the Tiger football program – doing whatever it takes to be physically, mentally and spiritually stronger than your opponent. We must be that way when it comes to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must be “all-in” on the things that He points out to us that are sinful in our lives. He will point out to us where our lives deviate from God’s Word and demand that we bring those areas of life into compliance. We must be willing to submit all of us, even the pet sin areas of our lives, to the rule of the Holy Spirit. It’s all-in time. Are you all-in with the Holy Spirit?

Amen and Amen.

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