Hmm I must say that I had wanted to write about the issue of the “temple of the Lord” for a long long time. Let’s look at the passage that was quoted and you will realize my excitement about what Jesus had done for us.
Let’s let at Jeremiah chapter 7. Pay attention to the words I highlight:
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message:
“‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship theLord. 3 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”
5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
9 “‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,[a] burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.”
“12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[b]””
Note something that Jeremiah said, “4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”
Still not clear. Here is it in another version:
“4 Don’t fool yourselves! My temple is here in Jerusalem, but that doesn’t mean I will protect you.” ESV.
What Jesus was doing was a repeat of the warning of Jeremiah. By reproducing what Jeremiah was doing, he was announcing that God DOES NOT live in the temple anymore!
Then where in the world does God live in? Jesus offers us a clue:
New International Version (NIV)
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
Here’s another Scripture:
Young’s Literal Translation
And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.
Paul states this is in
New International Version (NIV)
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
You see dear friends, when Jesus was on earth, God did not live in the temple anymore, he dwelled in Christ. Jesus was the temple of the living God.
Here’s the great news.
“9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.”
Jesus then really spills the great news:
“15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.” [Note: It is pertinent to note here the “commands” Jesus is referring to is not the 10 commandments but “to believe him”. See 1 John 3:21-24 for reference]
Note the Spirit will be in you forever!
Now see what Jesus says: “23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
John says the same thing in 1 John 3:
“22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
The command is this: Believe in the Son, the work of the Son and that the Father dwells in the Son.
Dear friends, here is the great news, God today dwells not in temples, not only in Christ but guess what Paul says?
“9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”
Yes, you! You have been brought to fullness. Who does the Lord dwell in today? You, in all fullness.
1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20
Today’s New International Version (TNIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
See also what Peter says in 1 Peter 2:
“4 Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. 5 And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house.”
Dear friends, there you have it, you my dear believer are temple of the Holy God of Israel. He dwells in you. Inseparable, indistinguishable and impossible to be disunited. You are one with him. That is why He says “I will never leave, nor forsake you.”
It is impossible thus not to be in church even if you are not attending one. You are the temple. He dwells in you. Having said that, he did ask us to, “love one another.” You can love sitting home alone….
Dear friends, a real believer cannot on sinning. It is not because he can willfully repent from sinning, but it is due to God’s Spirit living in him. It is also the same reason he cannot lose his salvation. It is because the Spirit will be in him forever. And forever is a long time!