God’s temple is not a building, but His spirit living within His people.
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
[ 2 Cor 6:14, see also Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27, Heb 8:11, Rev. 21:3]
The context of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is Paul’s warning against idolatry. There can be no reconciliation of holiness with wickedness. They are incompatible.
Here’s the entire passage from The Message translation:
Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:
“I’ll live in them, move into them;
I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise;
leave it for good,” says God.
“Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
I want you all for myself.
I’ll be a Father to you;
you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”
The Word of the Master, God.
In these three proof texts, Paul gets to the heart of the matter – “what does scripture say, and how does that reflect the heart of God?” – as his grid for discernment and decision making.
There can be pressure – from inside and outside the church – to compromise our expression of worship, to mix the holy with the unholy. The plumb line is not what may please people or be attractional, but what can clearly be understood from scripture.
Why? Because we represent Christ – we are the temple of the living God.
About this series: A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter.
In this series of blog posts, I go a little deeper and share a worship related devotional thought. Please comment and share! The Lord bless you.