The Temple of God 1 Ki 5:7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The Lord devotes much attention to the building of Solomon’s temple. We can learn some interesting things by studying the temple of God.
The temple – the temple is not the temple just because it was built to be a temple. It is the temple because it is where God’s presence is [1 Ki 8:10-11]. The board and cloth tabernacle standing in Shiloh was called the temple [1 Sam 3:3], because God was there [Ex 40:34-35]. In other words, the building is nothing more than a building without God [Matt 23:16-21]. But with God in it, the tabernacle or the building is the temple.
Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. Therefore, Jesus’ body was called a temple [Jn 2:19-21]. When we get saved, our bodies become the temple [1 Cor 6:19-20] because God is in us. And because God resides in the church, the body of Christ [Eph 1:22-23], the church is called the holy temple [Eph 2:19-22]. God is in New Jerusalem, and there, he is the temple [Rev 21:22].
The temple defiled – When men defiled the temple of God, God raised up kings to repair, cleanse and restore it. Hezekiah instructed the Levites in his day to cleanse and sanctify the temple [2 Chr 29] and Josiah instructed the Levites in his day to repair, cleanse and sanctify the temple [2 Chr 34].
Likewise, when the Jews turned the temple into a den of thieves [Matt 21:12-13], they defiled it. Jesus cleansed it once at the beginning of his ministry [Jn 2:14-16] and then again at the end of his ministry [Matt 21].
The temple destroyed – When the Jews defiled the temple of God with their idolatry and God wasn’t going to meet Israel there, anymore, God directed Nebuchadnezzar to destroy the temple [2 Ki 24:11-13; 25:8-10]. After Jesus cleansed the temple, the Jews continued to defile it and so, God directed Titus to destroy the temple in 70AD [Matt 24:1-2].
When Jesus was crucified, God forsook him [Matt 27:46], because Jesus had been defiled by becoming sin for us [2 Cor 5:21]. That’s why Jesus prophesied of his death in Jn 2:19, as “Destroy this temple…” Essentially, God allowed his “temple” to be destroyed, in the same way as the temples of the Old Testament were destroyed.
The lesson for the church, the temple of God – as God didn’t want the temples of the Old Testament to be defiled and he surely won’t let his temple in heaven be defiled [Rev 21:22-27], likewise, God doesn’t want his temple, the church, to be defiled [1 Cor 3:16-17]. God will destroy anyone who will defile this temple. He might destroy him right away [Acts 5:1-11] or he might give him space to repent and clean up his act [1 Cor 5:1-7; 2 Cor 2:4-11; 7:9-10]. In either case, he doesn’t want his temple to be defiled and he will destroy those who try [1 Tim 1:19-20].
The lesson for our bodies, the temple of the Holy Ghost – likewise, our bodies are to be sanctified [1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Cor 6:13-20; 1 Thes 4:3-7]. God has given us clean vessels and the means to keep ourselves clean [2 Cor 7:1], just like he provided for the temples of the Old Testament to be cleansed. But if a man will continue to defile this temple, God will destroy him, as in 1 Cor 11:28-31. You can’t keep messing with sin in God’s temple without serious consequences [Gal 6:7-8].
Conclusion: Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is God. Keep it clean. If it’s not clean, repent of the sin in your life, get cleaned up and live for the glory of God. The church is the temple of God, don’t defile it.