Posted by: SandreS | April 3, 2010

I Am …Who and What God Says I Am! – The Divine Reckoning of the Renewed Mind, Part 14

I Am … His Temple

You are the temple of God, and … the Spirit of God dwells in you (I Corinthians 3:16).

… You also are built together for a habitation of God (Ephesians 2:22).

What tremendous statements!

I am the temple, the habitation of God.

This is who and what Father says I am.

God does not dwell in a building somewhere, but in me! This is something to get really excited about!

There is an honorable movement in our country that builds homes for the underprivileged. It is called Habitat for Humanity; but there is a far greater housing project under way today! It began two millennia ago. It is Habitat for Divinity. God is actively building a house for His Own dwelling. A temple, not of bricks and mortar made by hands, but comprised of people.

God, Who made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands (Acts 17:24).

Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16).

What? Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? (I Corinthians 6:19).

For you are the temple of the living God (II Corinthians 6:16).

In Whom all the building properly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord: in Whom also you are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22).

I am the dwelling place of God! God has taken up residence in me. Habitat for Divinity: what a wonder; what amazing grace!

For many, their true identity as the temple of God, the house of God, has been stolen from them – years before they were ever born. Human organizations and institutions, along with their brick and mortar structures, have pawned themselves off as possessing the identity of the church, the Body of Christ.

The “Reformation” never did free the members of Christ’s Body from this type of religious bondage and tyranny. Centuries later, in spite of all of the truth to which the Body of Christ has been exposed, it is still the common practice to surrender our true identity to the religious system:

“Where do you go to church?”
“Remember that this is the Lord’s House.”
“Welcome to the House of God.”
“Be reverent when entering the sanctuary.”

I have awoken to, and reclaimed my true identity. I live in the fullness of who and what I really am.

One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:6).

So, where is God? The God of the universe lives in me. I am His dwelling place on earth today, and I take Him with me everywhere I go, making every act of mine an act of worship. What a blessed privilege! If folks are going to meet God, they are going to meet Him in me.

Jim Palmer wonderfully brought this truth to focus for me when he wrote,

God is in our neighborhood because I carry His divine life within me. I put God … in close proximity to others. With God in me, simply being present and available is “ministry.”…

I’ve come to see the significance of my encounters with people is not pointing them to God as much as actually being an expression of God. The “Body of Christ” metaphor has grown in significance for me – that Christ continues His presence and ministry on earth in, through and as us …

God is not somewhere up in the sky; He’s living His life in and through us, the Body of Christ, in the neighborhoods where we live, the places we work and play, and the people we come across each day. – Wide Open Spaces (2007), pages 34-35, 43

What a glorious mystery revealed by Paul; one that he calls, “the great mystery;” “the mystery of godliness.”

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32).

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh … (I Timothy 3:16).

Godliness is not some moral or religious code followed; rather it is “God manifested in the flesh.” God is the only meaning and definition of godliness. Christ is the only One Who can live the godly life. I am God’s dwelling place, and the Father seeks the manifestation of the life of His Son in my mortal flesh,

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (II Corinthians 4:10-11).

Behaving Myself

But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:15-16a).

This passage has nothing to do with “behaving in church” – a building used specifically for religious activities. Parents may be heard telling their children, “Now I want you to behave yourself today in church.” This is NOT the meaning of, “behave yourself in the house of God.” This is not an admonition about appropriate behavior in religious buildings. It is about the behavior of believers in their lives.

How am I, as a believer, to behave? Paul teaches me to behave like who I am! I am in the Body of Christ, God’s living church. I am to behave accordingly! This way, the God Who lives within me can be manifested through my flesh (i.e., His temple), in my daily life.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us … Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body. … that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (II Corinthians 4:7, 10-11).

Paul did not stop there – with Christ being manifested His desire was for something even greater: that Christ would be magnified.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death (Philippians 1:20).

I behave myself as a member of Christ’s Body when He is manifested and magnified in my body – His holy temple, “which temple you are.”

What does the behavior of the believer look like? What does the manifestation and magnification of God’s life through Christ look like?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).

The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men (II Timothy 2:24).

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men (Titus 3:2).

Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing each other, and dealing graciously with each other, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ dealt graciously with you, so also do you. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness (Colossians 3:12-14).

Be kindly affectionate to each other with brotherly love; in honor preferring each other (Romans 12:10).

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).

Don’t be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good (Romans 12:21).

God lives in me. I am His temple. I am the “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

This is who and what Father says I am. I will behave myself accordingly.

I am His Temple.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2010

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