October 16th 2010

Temples

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that the Spirit lives in you?”
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

God lives and acts in and through us.

Paul was explaining that God’s presence is revealed in Christ through the community of believers. There is no longer a man-made physical temple to which people can turn for sanctuary and prayer.

Each Friday afternoon zealous Jews gather at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. There they make intercession for themselves and others, and also pray fervently for the restoration of the temple. The Wailing Wall, regarded as Judaism’s most sacred place, is the remnant of the Second Temple and was built by Herod the Great in the years just before Christ’s birth. The Romans destroyed this temple in 70 AD.

King David dreamed of building a house for God, and his son, Solomon, fulfilled that dream when he built the splendid First Temple. Solomon’s desire was that God would “hear the supplications of your servant and your people Israel when they pray towards this place” (2 Chronicles 5:21). The Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar tore down Solomon’s temple in 586 BC.

The Apostle John described an everlasting spiritual temple. He said that, in his vision of the New Jerusalem, he did not see a physical “temple in the city, because the Lord God and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22).

Paul’s point is that “God does not live in temples built by hands” (Acts 17:24), and that the building of God’s sacred, eternal temple has begun because Christ lives in us. The church is like a building with Christ as its “chief cornerstone” and “in him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21).

 “We are the temple of the Living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16),

Prayer
Father, thank you for the comfort of knowing that your Spirit dwells in us, and that we are therefore your temple, the temple of the Living God. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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