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Temples of the Holy Spirit

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2011

 

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

A significant difference between the Old and New Covenants is that God the Holy Spirit no longer dwells in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (the Jewish temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD) - God the Holy Spirit now indwells the physical bodies of born again believers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing He is the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands… for in Him we live, and move, and have our being… we are His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device

Acts 17:24, 28-29

 

God has always wanted a central place in the life of humanity; after all, we are God's descendants, His offspring, and His children (Luke 3:38). In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). Evidently, in the beginning, the Lord God wanted fellowship with His newly created son and daughter, Adam and Eve. As a result of Adam's deliberate, sinful disobedience, however, God forced Adam and Eve to be removed from the Garden of Eden and subsequently humanity was denied access to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). Because of their sin, humanity became separated from intimate relationship with God, instead coming under the power of the devil (John 8:44, Ephesians 2:2, Colossians 1:13).

 

As any loving Father would do, God's principle mission became the legal reconciliation of His children back into relationship with Himself. To do this, as God is holy, the Lord needed to justly remove all sin from His tainted, misguided and alienated children. God ultimately did this through the sacrifice of His Son - Jesus Christ. A 'type' of the sacrifice of Jesus is seen in the 'sacrifice' of Isaac. The offering up of Isaac by Abraham, and Isaac's subsequent raising, is seen as a 'symbolic figure' enabling the subsequent offering and resurrection of Jesus to remit the sins of humanity, and bring righteousness to all people through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

The first step in the Lord's mission to reconcile humanity was to cut a blood covenant with a man called Abram, later renamed Abraham (Genesis 15:9-21). The next step was for Abraham, God's covenant partner, under God's instruction, to be prepared to offer his only son 'of promise' (from his wife Sarah), Isaac, as a burnt offering (Abram previously had a son - Ishmael, with Sarai's maid - Hagar: Genesis 16:1-5, 11). As the events unfolded Abraham received Isaac symbolically, raised from the dead (Genesis 22:1-18, Hebrews 11:17-19). This faithful action by Abraham led to God's promise that: in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice (Genesis 22:18). Jesus Christ, as the seed of Abraham, is God's only begotten Son - just as Isaac was also Abraham's only son of promise (Genesis 17:19, 22:2, John 3:16). Through the offering of Jesus Christ, and His subsequent raising from the dead; divine, supernatural, eternal and temporal blessings are now available to all peoples of the earth (Galatians 3:16).

 

430 years after Abraham, God instituted through Moses - the law, the priesthood, the animal sacrificial system and the tabernacle (Galatians 3:17). The tabernacle and, later, the temple included a partitioned section called the Holy of Holies. This was where the Spirit of God dwelt - overlooking the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat (Exodus 25:22, 1 Kings 8:6, 10-13). Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, once every year, not without blood (Hebrews 9:7-8). There was not free access for common people to the direct presence of God. The Old Testament system of covering Israel's sins through the actions of their priests, who administered animal blood sacrifices in their temple, was temporary. The Old Testament system pointed to a more perfect solution to humanities sin problem, and culminated with the coming of Jesus Christ, which paved the way for the establishment of the New and better Covenant for all peoples, not just Israel.

 

Once Jesus Christ came, as the 'lamb of God' (John 1:29, Revelation 5:6, 22:1), and offered His blood ultimately in the temple in heaven; the Israeli temple on earth, in Jerusalem, was no longer relevant or needed (Hebrews 8:6-8, 9:11-12, 23-24). There was no more need for animal blood sacrifices to be administrated by the priests in the temple in Jerusalem, as Christ's blood sacrifice had completely remitted all the sins of humanity forever (Hebrews 9:7-15, 10:10-18). This is why, upon Christ's death, God ripped the veil, separating the Holy place from the Most Holy place, in two:

 

Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom

Matthew 27:50-51

 

As we have seen, God no longer dwells in temples made with human hands. God, rather, indwells people who have been cleansed from their sins through their faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Born again Christians have become the temples of God, and now have free, immediate and continual access to the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10:19-20). Through individual faith in Jesus Christ, God has successfully and justly reconciled members of His human creation back into eternal relationship with Himself. God now lives and walks with His people, not just in the cool of the evening as He did with Adam - but every second of every day!

 

Pray with me, "thank you Father God that you loved me enough to provide a just and legal sacrifice to remit all my sins - through your only Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that as a new, born again creature in Christ you have made my spirit holy and righteous. I am now a fit dwelling place for your Holy Spirit. Please increase my awareness of your indwelling, personal presence in my heart. It is awesome to consider that I am now the temple of God! I pray this in Jesus Christ name, amen."

 

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Andrew Shreeve Ministries is led by the Holy Spirit, committed to the integrity of the Word of God, walking by faith and focused on preaching the gospel to all nations...

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