The Temple

I don't know what Bible version these verses are taken from but I found this info online and I simply copied and pasted it in here. It is a list of many of the verses regarding us, born again Christians, being the temple of God. Thank You.

From the Exodus under the leadership of Moses through the earthly ministry of Christ there was first the tabernacle, and then the temple on the earth, uniquely sanctioned by God. The New Testament also affirms the on-going and eternal importance of the temple under the new covenant established by Christ.

The singular temple of God has existed among the plural temples of the world. Nowadays the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Bahá’í, the Masons, and many other groups have multiple temple buildings per group. Many ancient societies had temples also, including the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and so forth.

The Lord's temple has been part of both the old covenant and the new covenant. The Lord established the old covenant as a temporal, preparatory covenant. When He came to the earth, He replaced the old covenant with the new covenant, a spiritual, eternal covenant. The temple building of the old covenant was a man-made precursor of the temple of the new covenant, which is made by God. The temple of the new covenant is not a building built by hands, but the church, the household of the faithful.

Stephen said, "… the Most High does not live in houses made by men…" (Acts 7:48)

Paul said, " The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." (Acts 17:24)

"For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence." (Heb 9:24)

John said that there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem: " I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple." (Rev. 21:22)

The temple was part of the old covenant: " Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary." (Heb. 9:1)

But the old covenant has been made obsolete by the new covenant: " By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." (Heb. 8:13)

Thus the earthly temple building is not part of the new covenant: " When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation." (Heb. 9:11)

In the old covenant, the holy sanctuary, the house of the Lord, was a building built by mortal men. In the new covenant, the holy sanctuary is in the loving presence of Jesus himself: "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God." (Heb. 10:19-21)

Both the priesthood with mortal men as high priests and the temple "made with hands" are associated with the blood sacrifice of animals. (Heb. 9:13, 10:11) They were part of the old covenant, which was only preparatory to the new covenant. (Heb. 10:1) But in the new covenant (Luke 22:20) we can receive forgiveness and eternal life through the blood of the Lamb of God, thus superseding the artifacts of the old covenant. (Heb. 9:14, 10:19)

During most of the Savior's earthly ministry the Jews were still living under the old covenant, and Jesus recognized the temple as part of that covenant: " My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers." (Matthew 21:13) However, when his ministry was coming to an end, and the leaders of the Jews had generally rejected him, He began to withdraw his recognition of the temple: " Look, your house is left to you desolate." (Matthew 23:38) At the moment that Jesus yielded up the ghost, the temple ceased to have purpose, and the old covenant was fulfilled: " At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." (Matthew 27:51) Since the tearing of the curtain that veiled the holy place was not done by people and since the tearing was from the top to the bottom, this is recognized as withdrawal of God from his temple.

The old covenant ended at the moment that Jesus died. The new covenant began with the resurrection. At the trial before the Sanhedrin, a witness claimed that Jesus said, "I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man." (Mark 14:58) This was a false testimony because Jesus did not destroy the temple or the old covenant. (Matt. 5:17) Such destruction was the work of men. (Matt. 27:25) When Jesus said regarding the temple, "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." (Matt. 24:2), He wasn't merely foretelling the destiny of the building at hand, Herod's temple, He was prophesying the future of the temple of the old covenant in general. However, Jesus did replace the man-made temple with one that was not made by man. Paul, Peter, and John describe the temple of the new covenant as the church. Christians are described collectively as a building, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's 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)

As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house… (1 Peter 2:4-5).

...God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Tim 3:15b)

Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (1 Cor 3:16)

Note the word you is plural and temple is singular. This verse does not say that "you (individually) are God's temple." Nor does it say that "you (plural) are God's temples (plural)." It states that "you (collectively, meaning the church) are God's temple (singular)."

For we are the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)

For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. (1 Cor 3:9)

But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. (Heb 3:6)

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. (Rev 3:12)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Rev 21:3)

At one unique point in the Bible, the apostle Paul also refers to the body of an individual Christian as a kind of temple:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Cor 6:19)

Paul indicates in the verse that the body of a believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit lives in him as indicated in Romans 8:9-11. However he isn't writing in this verse about the temple of God, a term that is used consistently throughout the Bible, but rather the term a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gave a prophecy regarding the temple of the New Covenant. In a conversation with the Jewish leaders in the courts of the temple in Jerusalem, "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.' The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?' But the temple he had spoken of was his body." (Matthew 2:19-21)

He was explaining in a way that only believers would understand* that the temple building of the Old Covenant (the Old Testament) would be replaced by his body, the Body of Christ, which means the church of the New Covenant (the New Testament). The Body of Christ is an expression that refers to the church. (Eph. 4:12, 5:23, 5:29-30; 1 Cor. 12:27; Col. 1:24) The temple of the New Covenant is not a building built with hands, but the church built by Christ, consisting of the members, his disciples.

Jesus gave another prophecy regarding the temple when talking to a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. The woman said to Jesus "'Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.' (The woman was comparing the Samaritan temple building there at Mt. Gerizim with the Jewish temple building in Jerusalem.) Jesus declared, 'Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.'" (John 4:20-24)

Jesus was explaining that from that time forward, true worship of God would no longer be in physical temple buildings, but in the true form of worship, which is in spirit.

For a short time the members of the early church in Jerusalem met in the courts of Herod's temple. "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts." (Acts 2:46) However, it is important to realize that the newly baptized Jewish Christians in the early church would not have been authorized to enter the temple building itself to participate in the temple ordinances of the day, which would have been animal sacrifices and burning of incense. The people were meeting together in the outer courts of the temple, which was a popular meeting place for the Jews in Jerusalem. It was an open area of courts that would have been particularly well suited for group meetings.

The old covenant is a temporal earthly covenant; the new covenant is a spiritual heavenly covenant.  In the new covenant the earthly temple, made with hands, has been replaced with the church, a spiritual temple, not of this world, made without hands (Heb 9:11). For this reason the eternal kingdom of God in the prophet Daniel's vision is a stone cut "without hands". (Dan. 2:45)


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  • Date of Message: | November 15, 2007