Our God is a God of relationships; we worship but also fellowship with Him. In the creation story, before the fall of man, we see God fellowshipping with man in the Garden of Eden in a perfect relationship. Sin interfered with this relationship, but God’s desire to dwell among men did not end. God desires to relate with man in a relationship that is close (Not long-distance) God’s gave command for a sanctuary for effective relationship with humans. He commands Israel to build Him a sanctuary, so that He may dwell among them (Exodus 25:8).
This is opposed to other gods in the Bible whose dwellings are not with men (Dan. 2:11). The sanctuary had to be built according to what God spelt out, not as Israel wanted (Exodus 25:9).
God was concerned about every detail of the sanctuary (the building itself, and every material and article used on it), both inside and outside. This is why God went ahead, and chose workers for the sanctuary by Himself (Exodus 31:1-6). At this point however, the tabernacle/sanctuary was still in form of a tent, but later on in the Promised Land we see King Solomon building a more permanent sanctuary/temple for God (based on the earlier standard)
In Isaiah 66:1 God asks; “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool; where is the house that you will build me? Where is the place of my rest?” This question indicates that the physical house/sanctuary in the Old Testament was symbolic of God’s true building/temple. The writer of Acts of the Apostles gives us a clue of God’s true tabernacle (Acts 7:44-48); 48 says the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands!
What is God’s true building/temple then? 1 Corinthians 3:9 gives an answer – “You are God’s building,” and 3:16 says “You are the temples of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Paul’s was disappointed with the Corinthian church as God’s building: God is concerned about the inner and outer beauty of His sanctuary; however, what the Corinthians portrayed couldn’t be a worthy place for God’s dwelling. In other words, they defiled themselves yet they were. As a result; there was no growth (3:1-2), they gratified/satisfied their fleshly desires (3:3) and they had misplaced loyalty (3:4) Paul in his capacity as a leader cautions them: to take heed how they were building on the foundation he had laid (3:10).
He assured them that only those whose works stand the test would be rewarded (3:14) and
That those who defile the temple of God will be destroyed (3:17)
At this Point, let us ponder on this questions: What kind of temple am I/ are you? Am I glorifying God as His temple, or not? Do I have a long distance relationship with God or not (Am I sure that He lives in me)
John 14:19-23 gives us some benefits of being God’s building:
• You receive the gift of the Holy Spirit that the world cannot receive (John 14:16-17), through whom you are able to know the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10)
• The Father and the Son too make their home within you (John 14:23), this helps you not get afraid of negative attacks from people or the devil. You are assured of the greatness of the one living in you. (1John 4:4).
As we conclude on this Compassion Month and plan for the upcoming Fundraising on 3rd/9/2023, God is intrested first in our hearts then in the gifts that we are offering Him; to help the needy and build his physical church. Are you trully saved? Are you a true spiritual building? Today God is able to make and repair every spiritual building for valid service and fellowship with Him, through Jesus Christ. “…softly and tenderly Jesus is calling…”
The Very Rev. Canon Dr. Rebecca Nyegenye,