God made human beings to serve as living temples of Himself.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16).
In the moment we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit birthed "newness of life" and a "new creature" by inhabiting our innermost spiritual being (Romans 6:4; II Corinthians 5:17). Moreover, He came to remain forevermore as the Life of our lives whereby God works to conform the entirety of our being to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Believers are an inside out work, as it were. Our Lord dwells within us to actively and progressively execute God's personal purposes in our hearts and lives. "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). We are unaware of most of His working, and the fact of His presence most often does not register in our field of direct consciousness. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). He abides within us nevertheless, and we do well to make the truth a matter of cherished doctrine and personal conviction. Indeed, we are personal temples of the living God: "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).
Our Heavenly Father calls us to account such grace to be true of ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ. The first truth about every Blood-washed and Spirit-birthed believer is that we are the temples of God. This does not minimize the importance of behavior. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). However, nothing we do or don't do ever changes the fact of God's living presence in our hearts. Note that the Apostle Paul directed his rhetorical question mentioned above to the Corinthians, of whom he also declared, "Are ye not yet carnal, and walk as men?" (I Corinthians 3:3). The Corinthians constituted a chronicle of attitudinal and practical problems in their walk with God. Paul confronted them directly and decisively. He nevertheless also affirmed God's presence in them. Our Lord calls us to the same affirmation about ourselves and our fellow believers. "Reckon the also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
We are not just ourselves as born again believers in the Lord Jesus. We are ourselves as inhabited by Him: "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). We may or may not live accordingly, as in the case of the Corinthians (who, to God's glory and their credit, apparently repented and began to more faithfully walk with God after receiving Paul's admonition - see II Corinthians). The Truth nevertheless remains true. God gave Himself to us in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit when we believed. We are living temples of Himself, as are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Such truth changes our perspective about ourselves and each other as we behold by faith the wonder of grace in the Lord Jesus, and the presence of grace within us through His Spirit.
"Because ye are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
(I Corinthians 3:16)