the temple of his body

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things ? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days ? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

It is a common misconception that there is something sacred about a building dedicated to God.

There isn’t.

Everything belongs to God and indeed everything can only exist by the plan and power of God.

There was indeed a physical building called a temple in the Old Testament era. A building which was indeed dedicated to God. A building which was dedicated to God because God had said so. God gave the plans to Moses and it was to be built according to the pattern God laid down; and it was to be used as God ordained.

And that is the point. It is what God says and what God wants that counts.

And Jesus – the Son of God – was coming now and saying that God was done with buildings. Indeed that God was finished with the entire mode of Jewish ritual and worship.

From Christ’s crucifixion on, it was to be about God and his believers. Buildings were nothing to do with it; ritual and religion and all sorts of associated rules and practices were now superceded.

Despite that, man in his sin has continued to defy God’s ordinance and have created all sorts of religion, ritual and ornate buildings replete with special people having special titles, claiming all sorts of special power and authority.

All in defiance of what Christ and his apostles taught.

And that is why the church has such a bad reputation, or mixed reputation, and why so much that is anti Christian down the ages has been perpetrated by these religious ‘Christians’.

They are doing things the way the fallen world with its sinful practices likes things done. With the adulation of man, with the honour going to men, with men in control and with men lording it over other men.

All such is explicitly condemned in the New Testament, and all such is specifically controverted by the actual practice of the real faith in Christ as taught in the New Testament.

The apostle Paul reiterated Christ’s teaching when he told the Ephesians that the believers in Christ are the temple, the church, his body; when he told the Corinthians that Christ is the foundation of this new temple, and when he told the Colossians that Christ was the head of the church, his body, the assembly of the saved.

And Peter who preached at Pentecost repeats the analogy of the temple pointing out that the believers in Christ are now the temple – the living stones, the royal priesthood, the holy – that is the set apart to God and his purpose – nation.

The covenant people of God – the true Jews chosen by God to be his people and temple – are those who have the resurrection life of Christ in their lives. They are born again, they are created anew in Christ. They have now a completely new purpose and perspective for their lives. They have God as their hope and aim, not selfish indulgence, sin  and strife.

A building is a place to meet, to conduct an act of assembled worship. Nothing more.

All the ritual and all the practice of their faith now happens in their hearts and in their relationships.

They lay up their lives a living sacrifice, as Paul told the Romans. That is they lay aside selfishness, to live in selflessness for God.

They are transformed by the renewing of their minds, as Paul again tells the Romans. That is they learn to live as God teaches them, not as their self centred instincts dictate. They look to live in harmony with one another; they function and operate together in the ways God lays down in order to achieve the will of God.

They exist to do the good works which God has called them to do, by his grace and by his power.

It is a co-operative effort to do good.

To nurture the light, life, and love of God.

Having understood that they are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness in Christ, and because of Jesus Christ sacrifice on their behalf at the Cross, they surrender their lives to live for God.

And they appropriate that forgiveness and begin to partake that new life, by being baptized in water…

They take the way that God has ordained – the way of trusting God, the way of obedience to God: these twin attitudes of heart being the real meaning of the words, “to have faith”. Not religion, but faith.

And faith is a way of life, not  merely an act done a certain way in a certain place at a certain time.

The resurrection life of Christ in the mindset and actions of the baptized believer.

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

%d bloggers like this: