The Holy Spirit’s Temple

KEY VERSE: “For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” —I Corinthians 3:17

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:12-20

TO FULLY appreciate the import of the Apostle Paul’s statement in our Key Verse we should briefly examine the temple Solomon built to honor Jehovah God. It was a splendid structure, and was seven years in the building. The amount of gold and silver alone used in its construction and furnishings was immense, so that it glittered magnificently in the morning sun. Remarkably, all the parts were prepared at a distance from the chosen site of the temple, and when they were brought together the whole imposing structure was erected “so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.”—I Kings 6:7

The principal point with which we are concerned today is the content of the Most Holy of the Tabernacle of the wilderness, of which the Most Holy of the Temple was an enlarged version. This consisted solely of the ark of the covenant, which held the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the Law Covenant. The ark itself was covered with the golden mercy seat, on which were the carved figures of two cherubims facing each other, with the tips of their wings touching.

It was in connection with this arrangement that Jehovah God made a remarkable promise to his typical people Israel. There, in the Most Holy, the Lord explained to Moses, “I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” (Exod. 25:22) Thus, when the apostle says to each member of the Lord’s antitypical people of the Gospel Age, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Cor. 3:16), he is revealing a profound and amazing truth—that Jehovah God, in effect, dwells in each one who has been begotten of the Holy Spirit, and directs him in the way in which he should walk to keep his commandments, among which one of the greatest is, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:44; I Pet. 1:15,16) The apostle, therefore, goes on to emphasize how exceedingly circumspect each Spirit-begotten Christian should be in all his ways: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”—I Cor. 6:19,20

The Holy One who paid that awful price for our redemption also includes us in that blessed communion with the Father. In that last sad meeting with his disciples Jesus said to them, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Then again, in his last prayer to his Heavenly Father on behalf of his followers just before he was apprehended, Jesus said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” (John 17:20,21) Many years later the beloved Apostle John vividly remembered, and still cherished, the point Jesus here made, and wittingly included it in his first general epistle to the churches abroad. He wrote, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3) What a glorious fellowship—what a wonderful communion is ours, with the Father, with our Lord Jesus, and with one another!

The church of the Gospel Age, as living stones, are even now being taken out of the quarry of humanity, fitted, shaped, trimmed and polished for positions in the glorious temple of God. The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus, said, “Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”—Eph. 2:19-22; Rev. 3:12

How gloriously will that anti-typical temple of God shine, when the sun of righteousness shall at last arise with healing in his beams “in the dawning of the morning of that bright millennial day!”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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