‚ÄúDon‚Äôt you know that you yourselves are God‚Äôs temple and that God‚Äôs Spirit lives in you?‚Äù
(1Cor 3:16 NIV)
I always understood this. We are God’s temple and we are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. In the ancient Hebrew life, there was a tabernacle, and inside the inner inner sanctum was the Holy of Holies. That was where God dwelled. Sure, He was in the tabernacle, and later in the temple, but the actual specific place where He was was the Holy of Holies. That was the only part where a priest could go in and meet God.
In this verse in 1 Corinthians 3:16, that word Temple is kind of exciting, because (as is starting to be a pattern with cool words in the bible) there is more to the word than just ‘temple.’
In Greek there are two words that are used for temple, but if you asked what the difference is, Paul would tell you that one means the temple, the outer court, the parking lot, and everything else that has to do with the temple property. The other word means the Holy of Holies. The single most important room of the whole temple. The very room where God’s actual Spirit would come down and touch the world. That is the word he uses here. You are the actual room that God would enter in the temple in which God lives by His Spirit.
One time I was talking to a guy about our roles in the Body of Christ. I told him that I figured I was just a back muscle or something. Nothing bigtime, nothing out in front, just helping the other parts stay up.
He was a chiropractor.
He laid into me about how important back muscles were, and even the strongest man is rendered useless if he just has one back muscle out of whack.
It was awesome.