100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 38
You Are God’s Temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Perhaps Westerns have difficulty with the implications of a temple; we’re more accustomed to churches, cathedrals and synagogues. But in other parts of the world, adherents of various religions build temples with the belief that their gods are present in those places.
The Israelites, upon release from captivity in Egypt and during the forty years of wandering in the desert, were instructed by God through Moses on how to acknowledge and honor His Presence among them. They erected the Tabernacle per the heavenly blueprint and followed all specifications on set-up, worship, and transport (See Exodus 25-30). The ark of the Lord’s covenant, the place upon which God’s Presence rested, was kept in the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle.
Stay with me, because we will quickly adapt the historical significance of God’s temple to your identity in Christ today.
More than four hundred years after the Israelites settled in Canaan, their third king, Solomon, built a temple for the Lord God. Again, the ark of the covenant was placed in the inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place, and the Presence of God came in and filled the temple of the Lord. “And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled His temple” (1 Kings 8:11).
Friend, what an amazing thing the people of Israel witnessed when Solomon dedicated the temple. Now think about it: On the day that you dedicated your life to Jesus Christ, God’s Presence came and indwelled you. You became the temple of His Holy Spirit!
This brings us to the final but most important component of the historical, God-pleasing worship of His people. In their sin, neither Israel nor her representatives could approach holy God. Yes, He was present among them, but unless proper atonement was made, there was no communion between man and God. Along with establishing the regulations for where God’s people would worship, God also revealed how they would worship. He required the sacrifice of animals, because, without the blood, there could be no forgiveness of sins.
During the time the Israelites established the tabernacle, the priests were anointed with the blood of a sacrificed ram. They put the blood on the ear lobes of Aaron and his sons. Blood was sprinkled on their garments and on the altar (See Exodus 29:19-21). In this way, God viewed the priests holy and granted them entrance into His Presence to make intercession for the sins of Israel.
Under the New Covenant, we know that Jesus offered Himself for the forgiveness of sins and while He hung on the cross He declared,
“It is finished” (John 19:30).
Child of God, the final blood sacrifice for sin was made, and God accepts nothing more; He is satisfied by the blood of His Son, who was offered as a spotless lamb. Jesus was without sin, but He took the place of our merited death and separation from God as a result of our sin. Therefore, in the same way that the priests of old entered into the Holy of Holies with the proper application of the blood of animals, you go boldly to God’s throne of grace “by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us throughout the curtain, that is, His body…” (Hebrews 10:20).
All of this to say, You are the holy, undefiled temple of God’s Presence. The blood of Jesus consecrated you and made welcome the Holy Spirit the moment you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life.
There is so much more revelation contained in the Word of God concerning your identity as His temple, but like the writer of Hebrews stated, “…we cannot discuss these things in detail now” (Hebrews 9:5). You, however, can dig more into God’s Word and make holy declarations about your position, favor and purpose in life.
Walk It Out Hear God’s Word and put it into practice (Luke 8:21)
Read Hebrews 9 and 10 to compare the earthly tabernacle and your heart’s status as a Child of God.