Believers are the dwelling place of God

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My ESV Bible open to Ephesians

God builds the church to be his dwelling place. Paul says, In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Eph 2:22). He’s not talking about one of those small chambers used by the heathens to hold their dead idols. Paul is describing a living temple for a living God.

Can we take just a moment to appreciate the weight of this statement? We are the temple of the Almighty. He lives within us. The God who created and sustains the entire universe dwells within us.

How does that shape the way in which you think? Better yet, how that transform the way in which you live?

When writing to the Corinthians, Paul applied the reality of being God’s temple this way:

The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:13-20)

While Paul focuses on the sin of sexual immorality since it was most relevant to the Corinthians, we could think about that lesson as it relates to every aspect of life. You are one spirit with God. In turn, your behavior consequently affects the temple of God. You will either desecrate or consecrate the temple. You will either dishonor or honor God with everything you do.

At the same time, our actions will negatively or positively impact the church collectively. We are bricks of the same temple, members of the same family, and citizens of the same kingdom. We can either support and build up or destroy and tear down one another.

Most importantly, we are united by the Spirit. Let our prayer be the same as Moses who said, If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here” (Ex 33:15).