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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2007

The Temple of God

A temple (from the Latin word templum) is a building used for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice. Pagan temples have usually been viewed as the sacred dwelling places of the gods that some people worship. Many people in history, such as the Greeks and the Romans, believed in many gods and dedicated temples to honor those imaginary gods. Today, Hindus around the world have built temples that contain many images of their gods. But concerning the one true God of the Bible, Paul told  the Athenians that “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24).

The God of the Bible created the entire Universe. He is not confined by physical limits. But the Bible does tell us about the temple of God. It is not a physical building made by human hands. It is a spiritual building made of those who have become Christians: “Do you not know that you are the temple of Godand that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). So the church of Christ is the temple of God made up of those who have obeyed the Gospel in order to become Christians.

God does not want His people to be a part of worldly religion. That’s why Paul asked, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (2 Corinthians 6:15-16). Christians are members of the household of God, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21).

How exciting! If we are Christians, then we are part of—not stone temples built by mere men—but the temple of God built by God Himself. Are you part of that temple?

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