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You Are The Temple of God

In the Old Testament the LORD God had a temple for His people; however, in the New Testament He has His people for a temple.

The apostle Paul taught, “You are the temple of God” (I Cor. 3:16).  The reason he can say that is because we have been redeemed by the death of Jesus Christ.  Because of redemption, the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in the redeemed.

In the old dispensation of the law, the tabernacle and later the temple were given over entirely to God for His sacred use.  They were called “holy” because they were separated and used for His purpose and glory alone. It symbolized the house of God on the earth.

Under the new dispensation of grace, the Christian is now called God’s temple. The believer must yield his or her whole life without any reserve to God.  Our bodies are sacred temples, holy unto the Lord.  God has claimed by means of redemption our bodies, and what He claimed for His holy purpose we must yield to Him.  “I beg you, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1).  We will do what the apostle admonishes as we remind ourselves that we are His holy temple.  If we have learned that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we will keep it undefiled.  “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

Moreover, the temple in the old economy was given over to the LORD God for His unique possession.  When Moses dedicated the tabernacle to God, He filled it with His glory.  When King Solomon completed the temple, “The cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud:  for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord” (I Kings 8:10-11).

From the moment you believe on Christ as your Savior, the Spirit of God dwells in you  (Rom. 8:9). "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (Romans 8:11, NASB 1995). The apostle Paul clearly has in mind the glory of God filling the temple.  Therefore, as the glory filled the temple of old, so the Holy Spirit dwells with the believer of Jesus Christ.  “He dwells in you.”  When a sinner has been born spiritually, God dwells in that holy place and that person can commune in fellowship with the LORD God in holiness.  The Holy Spirit is a living person in the Godhead, who literally indwells us.  The dwelling of the Holy Spirit in our bodies is a real indwelling of a real individual, spiritual person.  That divine person is very God of very God; equal with the Father and the Son.

To the obedient disciple, Jesus promised that He and the Father “will come unto him and make our abode with Him” (John 14:23).  That alone is the secret of the normal Christian life. We are to be God-possessed and indwelled by Him.  Let us trust Him to do all that He has promised to do in and through us.

What I yield to God He accepts, cleanses, fills, and then uses me to His glory and honor.  It is God within the soul of man, possessed today by faith, and throughout eternity.

The indwelling Holy Spirit, a living person, a divine presence, is God’s means of reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:17).

In the old dispensation, God took possession of His temple and indwelt it so He could bless His people and they in turn bless the world.  The Holy Spirit invades the temple of your body, assumes residence in you, and begins the re-creation of Christ to the glory of the Father.  One by one, as we yield to His sovereignty, He is changing the world.  He gives us “whole new strength and vitality.  He brings us to the fullness of His life.”

There is no greater pleasure to the Holy Spirit than to dwell in His temple and do extraordinary work through ordinary people who have learned to make themselves available to Him to reign with “ungrieved” sovereignty.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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