19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
We may not catch it today, but in Ephesus, this was a scandalous idea. Paul tells the believers in Ephesus that they are becoming the temple of God. In the ancient world, temples were considered the place where a god mysteriously met with people. They were holy places, set apart for the worship of the respective God. Even Jewish believers in the one true God worshipped at a temple, where sacrifices were given in honor and worship of God. But here, Paul radically claims that believers in Jesus are the temple. As a Jesus follower, you are the new, mysterious place where God dwells and meets.
If you are the new temple of God, where heaven meets earth, there are a few implications. First, you have undeniable access to the presence and power of God. Paul uses the intimate imagery of a family to describe how we now relate to God through Jesus. We never have to sheepishly hope for God to move. We can be confident that Jesus' presence and power lives in us. It also means that we reflect God to the world. Just as a temple was an obvious testament to the power of a certain god, you now are God's temple. Your story isn't just good news for your life. It is a reflection of God's good news for the whole world. In you, God's power is on display.
- Do you truly live as if God's presence and power are always available to you?
- How would your life look different if you viewed yourself as a reflection of God's good news for the world?
- Thank God that he meets with you personally and gives you access to His power.
- Ask for God's power to move in your life.
- Ask God to give you confidence to reflect Him into the world. Ask for His power to be clearly displayed in your life.