what agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? for we are the temple of the living God. as God has said: “i will live with them and walk among them, and i will be their God, and they will be my people [2 corinthians 6:16]
Christian, do you know yourself this way? as i read this passage a shudder went through my body. the blaring answer to paul’s question (what agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?) is clearly:
of course the temple of God has no shelves for pagan idols, places where golden calves and idols made of stone or wood can reside.
and God spoke all these words, saying, “i am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of egypt, out of the house of slavery. you shall have no other gods before me. you shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. you shall not bow down to them or serve them, for i the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” [exodus 20:1-6]
the God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything [acts 17:24-25]
God abhors idols–and he dashes them to pieces. God is jealous, he is jealous for your heart. God does all things for his own glory, jealous that his name might be worshipped above all else, and he longs that we join in that glorious refrain of singing,
“‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” [revelation 4:8b]
paul goes on to tell us WE are the temple of the living god, not of dead, wooden, man made idols. Christians–you–me–are the temple. Christ lives in us! [galations 2:20, romans 8:10, 2 corinthians 13:5, colossians 1:27] the result of having the Holy Spirit in us is that we glorify God in our bodies
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 6:19]
what if you believed it? what if you believed that God was in our midst, that we are in his presence, [zephaniah 3:17, lev. 26:12; jer. 32:38; ezek. 37:27] that he was among us? what if you believed that it was not you living and breathing, but the living God, Christ in you–that you were his temple?
you are not his temple because you: were good enough. were attractive enough. were smart enough. were well dressed. were wealthy enough. were cool enough. were born in the right family. go to the right church. theologically savvy enough. read the bible enough. prayed enough.
you are his temple but because HE made you his temple. HE chose you for his own glorious name!
if we really believed that we were his temple our idols would grow strangely dim and crumble to dust. we would proclaim to everyone the gospel and glory of Christ’s cross, our fears, doubts, addictions, angers, lusts, and love for things and money and power would evaporate. the battle would rage, but we would know that Christ had won. we would savor and be satisfied in Jesus. we would live by the Spirit. we would glorify the Father. we would love others and be ministers of reconciliation.
Abba. Daddy. i am thankful. so thankful that you bought me, a sinner by the precious blood of your Son. help me to believe and know that i am in your presence every moment. help me to know and live in victory in who i am: a temple of the living God.
~ conor eastman