2Corinthians 6:16:What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
That we become God’s dwelling place is a profound thought. I am sure when Jesus Christ was talking to the disciples before he was crucified that the Holy Spirit is with them now will now be in them, they might be wondering what he meant (John 14:17). That is totally against their world view: the Spirit of the almighty God dwelling in them?! Also Jesus said that himself and the father will come and dwell, make their abode in the one who obeys Him (John 14:23).
Remember that Paul said that we are being built into an habitation of God in the Spirit (). This takes us back to the tale in Genesis of the creation of man (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7).
Man was created to be a bearer of the image of God and that can only happen after He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: God put himself in man. What God had in mind is to be at one with man, but due to sin that plan was temporarily aborted. Sin resulted into a separation from God, from the life of God, since the judgement on man’s sin was death (Genesis 3:1-10). But in Christ, we have the way back to God (Colossians 1:14).
We now have new life in Christ Jesus, we are called new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17); a new creature with another kind of life, that life is actually a person. What we read in the book of John is that in Jesus Christ is life (John 1:4), he actually affirmed that fact that he is the life (John 14:6), he said God has granted him to have life in himself (John 5:25-26). In one of his letters, John said God wants to give us life and that life is in him son (1John 5:11-13). That is why he concluded that the one who has the son has life.
The gift that Paul especially desires that we express as Christians is the gift of prophecy. Which is articulating God’s thoughts, as he speaks through us for the comfort, progress, and encouragement of others (1Corinthians 14:3). That is the exhibition of God living in us. What Paul meant is that we become God’s mouthpiece, expressing his thoughts in a way that will be a blessing to others.
You’re God’s dwelling place.
Under the old covenant that was not achieved, that man was God’s dwelling place. However, as a temporary measure, that falls short of what God wanted, he established the building of the a Tabernacle and temples in the wilderness and in Jerusalem.
For centuries that became what you can call the dwelling place of God. As an Israelite, when you think of God you think of Jerusalem, you think of where the temple is.
There are ceremonies and observances that surround the temple, which had been attached to people’s experience of God for centuries. So you can imagine what the relation of the Jews was when after they asked Jesus for a sign, and he told them that they should destroy the temple and he would rebuild it in three days (John 2:18-22). This was a temple of such gigantic dimension that has taken decades to build: 46 years.
Imagine the kind of emotional commitment and investment they would have on the temple, how for years they get excited waiting for the day the temple would be completed.
The temple was so important in under the old covenant that God rebuked the people who were focusing on their own private investments to the neglect of the temple of God (Haggai 1:1-11). And contemporaries of God read that from the writing of prophet Haggai, that since God takes his temple seriously, they better take it like that. This was something their forefathers have linked to, what has formed the fulcrum of their identity as a people.
One thing we can take from that is the need for commitment to and investment in the temple of God, even though now it is spiritual not physical.
Since we are the temple of God, now (1Corinthians 3:16) in a spiritual sense, which is exactly what he wants. Since God is Spirit (John 4:24), God wants you to be committed to and invest in your spiritual life; and with that, you become more and more of a temple of God in reality and not just as a theological position.
Paul affirms that we are being built as a temple of God (Ephesians 2:22), so there is a sense, positional speaking, that we are the temple of God and also there is a sense, functionally, where we are becoming in a progressive sense, the temple of God.
The onus is on us to invest in our spiritual life, in spiritual things. We are enjoined not to be carnally mined but to be spiritually minded (Romans 8: 2-7).
Jesus announced though in an indirect way that, in him, the real temple of God has come. Of Jesus it was said that he is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). And looking at another dimension of it, we are only the temple of God, houses for God, to the extent to which we part of his body. Therefore it is a lost game to attempt to get spiritual, in the divinely and not the satanically sanctioned sense, without Jesus Christ.
The practitioners of the grail message and others who lay hold of extra biblical views of Jesus as a means of gaining spirituality are backing the wrong horse. They get something and even look at Christians as missing something, but it is they that should be pitied.
Paul warned the Colossians lest anyone spoil them with philosophies, high sounding religious propositions (Colossians 2:8), causing them to derail from the truth of Christ.
No matter how dissatisfied you are with the church, it is what he has called his body and That is what he said he was going to build and the gates of hell would not prevail (Matthew 16:18). Paul warned against such teachings, such holding on to extra biblical authorities, e.g. the grail message (even though intellectually appealing, and in a sense caters for the intellectuals in the society). Anyone who speaks of that wants to deprive you of your reward (Colossians 2:18-20), such a person wants to cut you from the body, that is if you were part of the body in the first place.
Don’t go seeking spiritual experience except from the biblically sanctioned means of believing in Jesus, reading the scriptures, praying to God in the name of Jesus fellowshipping with bible aligned companies, fasting.
These are means of emphasising your spiritual dimension.
God said he doesn’t dwell in temples build by humans hands (Acts 17:25-27), therefore if your religion has an over-emphasis on (a) physical building(s) on the earth, it does not lead to God since God is not physical but spiritual. It doesn’t matter the centuries it had lasted or the structure that has been built around it.
Once Jesus hinted that he is the temple of God, he rendered all other “temples” obsolete and empty of real meaning. Actually it was after the resurrection of Jesus that John and the rest of the apostles had the understanding that what Jesus hinted as the temple that would be destroyed by the Jews was his body.
That body was changed into a spiritual body due to the process of resurrection. You are his body since when he rose from the dead, we rose up with him, in a vicarious sense, all these because you believe, that is foolishness to some, and they seek to add to the simple truth of the gospel in Jesus Christ as plainly revealed in the bible. And since He is the temple of God, we are God’s dwelling place also. His Spirit is in us (Romans 8:9), that is the Spirit of God; God indwells us by his Spirit. That is how God dwells in us.
Remember that is not in a physical sense, neither is it defined emotionally, it is defined spiritually. God indwells us in our component part called the spirit (1Thessanolians 5:23); man being spirit, soul and body. We have a new spirit, regenerated spirit (John 3:1-7) from God. And God dwells in us through that.
Am I contradicting myself? No, we have a new spirit from God which is the Holy Spirit, which is God in us. Jesus has the Spirit of God without measure and we are part of his body and share of his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, which is, at once our individual Spirit and the eternal Spirit of God. That is God in ones with man, the way he wants, and all these through Jesus Christ.
- Increasing glory versus fading glory (dailymedit.wordpress.com)
- Not living for yourself (dailymedit.wordpress.com)
- Protect Yourself From Spiritual Identity Theft (georgeclerie.wordpress.com)
- Theological Foundations: Humanity and the Worth of All Persons (heraldmagazine.wordpress.com)
- Colossians 1:15-20 – The Supremacy of Christ (readingacts.wordpress.com)
- There’s Still Hope – Always Has Been – Always Will Be (postzombiechurchblog.wordpress.com)
- Tuesday 15th October, 2013 (wordandnutrition.wordpress.com)
- Comparing Ourselves to God’s Standards (dailybibleplan.com)
- Sunday, 17 November 2013 : 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)