Monday, May 20 2019
Have you ever wanted to go home to an old house that was not yours anymore? Past schools and hometowns are very sentimental for many people. My heart hurts to hear that my elementary school was torn down. Some places mean more than others do. Some of us have tried to go home to find out that we cannot because everything has changed. God always has a place with His people. That gives me comfort to look for the home that He gives.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, God designated His people of Israel to build a tabernacle to worship in Him in the Promised Land. Now, that physical temple has changed to a spiritual house. God has a place for His Holy Spirit to dwell and that is in His holy temple even today.
The church of Christ is God’s holy temple on earth (Eph 2:19–22). God’s temple possesses God’s Holy Spirit (Eph 2:22). Each member is a stone that builds up the temple of God (1 Pet 2:5). That temple stands upon the foundation that is Christ’s apostles and prophets and the cornerstone is Jesus Christ (Eph 2:20; 3:4–5). Every Christian is a priest attending this temple with spiritual sacrifices of good works (Heb 13:16).
Christ made the church holy having sanctified her to have no spot or blemish (Eph 5:25–27). God’s temple is so important to Him that God will destroy anyone who destroys His temple — the church (1 Cor 3:16–17). The apostle Paul made this point about careless teachers and leaders among the church who do not build on Christ as the foundation or teaches the wisdom of the world (1 Cor 3:10–15, 17–20).
God promised that His Spirit would dwells within His people. Through Ezekiel, God promised, “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezek 36:27–28 ESV; cf. 37:13–14). Jesus also promised the Spirit to His apostles, “You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17b).
The church of Christ is God’s Holy Temple. For this reason, God declared, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16). The Christian’s body is the temple as the dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each baptized believer, the Christian must not sin against one’s body with sexual immorality — sex outside of marriage (1 Cor 6:18–20).
As we recognize God’s holiness in His righteous and greatness in His works, Christians see that they must be holy as God’s Spirit dwells within them (Exod 15:11; Isa 5:16). The faithful must see the importance of the church to God and God’s command that the church be holy. The life and works of Christians is a holy life for Christians are saints — God’s holy ones. God’s holy church consists of holy living and holy teaching. God has sanctified His people and He continues to sanctify His people throughout their lives. We are God’s holy temple and a holy priesthood to offer spiritual offerings to God. Thank God for this great gift! Depend on God who helps us to live a pure life.