Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

Q: In last month’s Q & A you made reference to the temple in Jesus’ day and how the veil was rent. According to Acts 17:24-25 God no longer dwells in temples made with hands for now the believer serves as His temple (1 Corinthians 3:15-17; 6:19). My question is how do the matters surrounding the temple of Jesus’ day have any application when it comes to the temples of today?

A: This is a good question. Keep in mind, the Old Testament holds valuable examples for us to glean from (1 Corinthians 10:1-6). If I am going to have a deeper understanding as to what it means to be the temple of God, I have to consider the design and ministry that went on in the Old Testament temples.

The best way to describe the significance of temples is to go back to the tabernacle that was first constructed in Sinai. This tabernacle was designed to a heavenly pattern according to Hebrews 8:5 to serve as a dwelling place where Emmanuel, God with us, would dwell among His people. Likewise, we as temples have been constructed with a heavenly design to become a dwelling place for God. Instead of dwelling among us, God dwells in us. Like the tabernacle of old we have three compartments, we are made of body (outer court), soul (Holy Place,) and spirit (the Most Holy Place) (Matthew 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The outer brown covering of the tabernacle fit into the landscape, but what set it apart was the inner beauty where service and communion took place. Due to our humanity, we fit in the terrain of this world, but as believers, we are being renewed daily, while being conformed to Christ. Inwardly we are being transformed, sanctified in the soul by the Holy Spirit and since we have been born again, we have been revived by a new life due to the presence of God residing in our spirits (John 3:3,5; Romans 8:29; 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:22-24; 1 Peter 1:2).

Like the tabernacle of old, we are being led through the terrain of this world by the pillar of fire of the Holy Spirit. We initially entered into this union by way of the narrow gate that leads to the altar of burnt offering (the cross) where Christ was offered as the Lamb of God, and we enter the door of service through Jesus our Shepherd (the Holy Place) as we learn to follow Him into the life that He has for us. However, to completely enter into this life of service and fellowship, like the veil that had to be rent in the temple, a veil on our minds had to be taken away before we could be taken from glory to glory in a life of communion and fellowship (Matthew 7:13-14; John 10:1-5; Romans 8:1, 14, 2 Corinthians 3:13-18; 4:3-4; 5:21; Hebrew 13:10-13).

Jesus is the High Priest in the court of heaven on my behalf, and I am the priest of my own temple. I am responsible to present my body in consecration to Him and do service to Him by offering spiritual gifts and sacrifices such as praise. I represent Him to others and stand in intercession on behalf of others. I am part of a chosen generation because I have been called, a royal priesthood since I have been adopted into a new family, set apart to do His bidding, a holy nation that stands separate from the world, and a special people since I am part of the Body of Jesus (Romans 8:14-17; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 7:25; 13:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5, 9).

I hope this will somehow confirm, answer, or bring insight to your question.

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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