God's Presence as a Present to the People of the Present - Through US!
“...and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” -Ephesians 3:19
When you read all of Ephesians 3, you see a couple of things about the Spirit of God being in you and about Jesus being in your heart. This sounds cool and everything, but what does it even mean? 1 Corinthians 6:19 says that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Also coo, but also kind of cryptic. Let’s talk.
In the Old Testament, the temple is the place where God met with his people. It was a place where God’s presence actually resided. This began as a physical place in the wilderness after the Israelites escaped from Egypt in the Exodus. It was called the Tabernacle. The high priest could go into the tabernacle to make sacrifices and meet with God. God was so serious about this place where his presence dwelt that there are more verses devoted to its description than any other object in the Old Testament. Exodus 25:1-31:18 and 35:1-40:38 are all about the Tabernacle. There were strict regulations about who could go into the Tabernacle and how it was to be set up and all that stuff. Here’s what I want you to remember, though:
The Tabernacle was where people met with God’s presence.
Fast forward a couple hundred years. Solomon has now taken the throne as king of Israel after his father, David. Solomon sets forth to build the Temple. Solomon’s Temple was a permanent structure (unlike the Tabernacle which was like a huge tent) that served the same purpose as the Tabernacle. Once again, there are lots of description, regulations, etc. but the most important part is that that’s where people met with God’s presence.
So what’s the significance of us being the temples of God? That’s where people meet with God’s presence! This is what Paul means when he says that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. God has chosen his creation - human beings - to be the new temple. That means that you have God inside of you. That means that when people meet with you, they meet with God. That means that you are a holy place! So, yeah, these verses sound cryptic at first, but when you know about the temple of God and what that means for us, these verses go from pretty cool to completely awesome!
So let’s have this mindset together: we carry the presence of God to people. Let’s show them who he is.