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The church as the temple of God
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The New Testament gives us a variety of images to describe the church: the people of God, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, the believers, the saints, the elect and the field of God, just to name a few.

It also speaks of the church as the temple of God. In Ephesians 2:19-22, the Apostle Paul said: "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."

Paul compares the church to the metaphor of a building, although the church is never an actual building or structure in the New Testament. Rather, the church is always people gathered to worship God and build each other up as the body of Christ.

Paul is telling Christians three primary truths from this passage of Scripture:

First, the Church is a dwelling place for God. The root idea of a dwelling place is that of a house or home. It is a place where God lives and resides as an ongoing resident.

If the church is God’s home, then God must be present in the church.

If the church is God’s home, then God must be host rather than visitor.

If the church is God’s home, then God must be comfortable in the church.

Secvond, the Church is built with people. It is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus as the chief cornerstone. A cornerstone is vitally important to a building because all the building must be aligned with the edges of the cornerstone.

Paul is saying that the church must be built in complete alignment with Jesus if we are to remain straight and stable. He also tells us that the church consists of "living stones" rather than inanimate rocks and stones placed together in a wall.

Third, the Church is a holy temple. The church must be holy because it is the temple of a holy God.

The church’s holiness must reflect God’s holiness. If we do not, then we are giving false advertising about God. Holiness is allowing the Spirit of God to form more and more Christ in us, among us, and through us.

The relevant question for each of us is this: am I a fit dwelling place for a holy God? Is there anything in my life that would prohibit him living in and through me to the measure and extent to which he desires?

No, the church is not a building. It is people who are fully surrendered and consecrated to God. It is people in whom God lives by his spirit. Dare to be his living temple and stay aligned with Jesus, the cornerstone.