A temple is a divine dwelling place, the habitation of deity. It’s a special place because God’s awesome. Who wouldn’t want to stop by God’s house, and pay Him a visit every now and then? It sounds nice at first, but there’s a problem lurking here.
Thinking God has a house, a place we can go to be closer to Him, is also thinking that in every other place we’re farther away from Him. If we know where He is, we can get away from Him and keep Him at a distance. That’s a problem.
Fact is, God’s everywhere, all the time. (Ps 139:7) There isn’t any place He isn’t, where we can be any closer to Him or farther away from Him. He’s in our face, and we’re in His, every moment of every day. There’s no place to hide.
The real temple of the living God is the human heart, mind and soul. God dwells within each believer (1Co 6:19), and in a particularly powerful way, though believers united together in Him as a living sacrifice. (1Co 3:16) God doesn’t need, or even want, a house separate from us (Ac 17:24); there’l be no temple in eternity. (Re 21:22)
2 thoughts on “Ye are the Temple”
God refers to Israel as a single individual, a collective whole, as well as individuals. “Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat.” (De 14:3-4) He made a covenant with a nation; anyone within the nation violating His law affected the holiness of the entire body, infecting the whole.
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2Co 6:16)
The quote is evidently compiled from:
— “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.” (Ex 29:45)
— “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” (Le 26:12)
— “My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Eze 37:27)
How does Paul know that God dwells in a predominantly Gentle Church (1Co 12:2) based on the fact that God dwelt among the people of Israel in the tabernacle?
Christ’s words are relevant: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20) God has always dwelt in and among His people. The tabernacle showed this physically, a tangible expression of a timeless metaphysical reality.