The Abode of God.
Under the old covenant, the people asked if they could build a temple for God to live in. They wanted a place where the presence of God would dwell; a place where they could then come and He would be there. They wanted a place that was set apart as sacred.
The truth is that God also wanted such a place; He also desired a resting place, but His choice of a resting place was radically different. For while those in the old covenant wanted the temple to be a building of wood and mortar laden with gold and silver, God wanted it to be...a temple not made with hands...people!
Within the framework of God’s eternal plan, we know that He never wanted a temple to be built for Him by the hands of man. God was never seeking a building made by stones that He could find His resting place in known as the Church. He wasn’t interested in a place where mankind could visit, and pay homage to Him. Indeed, He allowed the people of the old covenant to build a temple, but its purpose, from God’s eternal perspective, was simply to serve as a shadow, an example, of a far greater reality that was to come. The truth is that God desired a temple that would be built Jesus; a temple where He could rest; a temple far more glorious than anything man could ever build.
“However, the Most High does not live in buildings made by men. As the prophet says: ” ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’” Acts 7:48
It is through the finished work of Jesus, that the ‘temple’ God always desired finally became a reality; for, through the working of his grace, God has made us the temple.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are the temple of God and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
It’s amazing, I know: God, in His profound wisdom, has actually made us His temple.
Why did He do this? Was it so we could be assured that He is always abiding in us? The people in the old covenant never doubted that God was in the temple. If ever they needed to meet with God, and be assured that God would be at the meeting, they would go to the temple.
So, now that we are the temple, we can live with that same understanding; but for us it is so much more glorious! We don’t have to run to a building to be assured we can meet with God, for we are now the temple. This means we can be assured that we can always meet with God, because we are always in His presence; we always have access to His council and His blessing. We can always have this confidence, because God always abides in His holy temple; and by the grace of God all of us, together in Christ, are that temple!
In Jesus the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22
He is always with us. We don’t need to go any ‘holy place’ to meet with him, for now we have become God’s ‘holy place.’ We have access to God all the time, for He lives in us. Now, that is not to say that His corporate Temple cannot meet in a building but, the building is not the house of God!
How amazing it is to know that we have become ‘the resting place of God!’