The House of God-2

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV

[That you] may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

                                                                                                                        Ephesians 3:18-19 NIV

In the previous devotion I said that the Tabernacle/Temple is so prominent in the Old Testament because it represents the two ideas that are at the center of Biblical theology. The first of these is that God intends to live with us, but more even than that, he intends for us to live in him. He has accomplished this in the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, the true Temple.

But there is a second idea that is really the opposite side of the first: he intends to live in us. Yes, in one way, Jesus is the ultimate temple of God. But in another, as Paul correctly understood, we are the intended temple. God wants to live his life in us and through us! What a thought! It is no wonder that Paul becomes almost lyrical as he thinks about the dimensions of the building that could contain the fulness of the love of God. But that is what God has been intending from the gates of the Garden of Eden: he has been intending to come home and fill us with himself.

So, again, we come to John 15. Is it that we live in him, or that he lives in us? It is not either-or, but both-and. Jesus is the image of God (Col 1:15) and we are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). We live in God, and God lives in us. And what is the result? A river flows out of the Temple that can turn even the Dead Sea sweet (Ezek 47:1-8; John 7:37-39). Are you living in the Temple? Are you the temple of the Holy, Living God?

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