Be a Temple

I have recently begun a new exercise in worship that I would like to share with you. I Corinthians 3:16 says, ‘Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?’. I Corinthians 6:19,20 say, ‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.’ I Peter 2:9 says that we are a royal priesthood. These all indicate that the bodies of Christians are to be the physical locations where God is worshipped in the world today. We can learn how to do this by a quick study of the tabernacle in the wilderness.

During the 15 centuries from Moses to Jesus, Jehovah only had only one place in the entire world where he chose to meet with man. That was the tabernacle, which later became the temple in Jerusalem. God gave instruction to Moses on how to build it. It was a model of our spiritual relationship. We can use that model to enrich our daily worship. It’s an enormous privilege to be a living place of worship, so let’s take it seriously.

We are God’s temple. We have three parts (body, soul, and spirit), just as the tabernacle had three parts (courtyard, holy place, and holy of holies). Every morning, I walk through the gate and outer court, then through the holy place, into the holy of holies to commune with my Lord and Savior. Consider the illustration above and let me take you on a walk of worship that should be the daily routine of every Christian.

The Outer Court

We begin from our tent outside the tabernacle. We put off the armor of Galatians 6 because we are not going to war, and we put on the priestly garments because it is time to worship. We put on Christ who is in us, and we are in him. It is because of Christ that we can enter into God’s presence.

I walk through the gate, because Christ is the door. This brings me into a place of physical worship that I share with others. We talk and worship God together. The first thing I encounter is the altar where sacrifices are burned up. I sacrifice my sin and my abundance. Then I come to the laver where I wash the dirt off with water. I burn the big things and I wash off the little things so that I can come before God clean.

We share the outer court with others, but we only share the inner places with God. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?” Only one priest at a time can enter into the inner rooms. What happens in our soul and spirit is deeply personal. Animals and lost people have an outer fence, which is their bodies, but they do not have the Spirit and cannot experience fellowship with God.

The Holy Place

The first thing I see as I enter into the Holy Place is the lamp. Without the light, I couldn’t see anything else. It runs on oil, and it’s my job to add oil and keep the light burning. Jesus is the life, which is the light, which enables my fellowship. I rejoice in the light.

Next, I see the bread. Jesus is the bread of life, and I am nourished by Christ. Without him, I am starving and empty, but Christ sustains me. It’s more than just having a purpose in life. Christ IS my life.

From the altar of incense, prayers arise to heaven. They are not desperate prayers. The Light and the Bread cause my soul to rejoice so that I overflow with thankfulness for all the Christ means to me.

The Holy of Holies

Behind the altar of incense, the veil had been rent, and I can see and enter into the presence of God. The Holy Spirit dwells in me. The sacrifice has been paid. My spirit communes with God in a way that no words can express. There is no way for me to communicate this to anyone else. Christ in me, the hope of glory. The Creator of the entire universe meets with me in the smallness and intimacy of my spirit. I am blessed.


I can’t stay. Duty calls. I walk past the incense, bread, and light. I walk past the water of the basin and the fire of the altar. For a moment, I commune with others who have been inside. They have had that experience of being in God’s presence. We can’t explain it, but I can rejoice that they too know my God. I feel good being with them.

Then I exit through the door and go back to my tent. I put off the priestly garments and put on the Christian armor. It’s time to go out into the world and do battle. Evil surrounds me and afflicts me, but I am strengthened because I have been with God.

One thought on “Be a Temple

  1. I enjoyed this, Jerry! Did a study with some guys last year in Hebrews. This reminds me of 10:19-25.

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