Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Temple Blueprint

The Temple in Jerusalem was the dwelling place of God. It was a sacred place of worship.

The Old Testament was quite specific when it came to how God's temple was organized and built. King David claims in 1 Chronicles 28:11–19 that God gave him plans for the temple but his son would be the one to build it. 1 Kings 7:27-37 gives specific details about the temple that his son king Solomon built. Every detail is covered.

However, it is a common belief that the New Testament does not give us specific details about how the New Testament church should be organized and structured. So we get different opinions on:

  • Steeple, Cross, icons
  • Sunday or Saturday
  • Children included or separate
  • Priest, Pastor, Minister, Reverend, Brother, Father, Elder, Deacon
  • Pews, chairs, semi-circle
  • Sacraments, sermons, singing
  • Big building, small building
I've previously accepted this belief. There are not any New Testament passages that speak about the Sunday Morning church services like are common today. So we seem free to decide what they should look like, who should lead it, etc.

However when I stop and think about it. That would be pretty strange. Why would Jesus come and make a new covenant and build a new church, but not give us a blueprint for what it should look like.

However the New Testament is very clear on what the new Temple should look like.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. " (Acts 17:24 NIV)

"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV)

"you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Pet 2:5 NIV)

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;" (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV)
"What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16 NIV)
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his 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. " (Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV)

I think this is very awesome and challenging at the same time. God dwells in me and in His church (people). If someone wants to meet God, they should go find God in His temple. That temple is me/us. When someone meets with us, they should see God at work.

Jesus also spoke about this to the Samaritan woman. We don't need a special building or rituals to worship God anymore.
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:19-24 (NIV)
Related Posts:
Thanks Keith Giles for a free ebook, This Is My Body. I haven't finished reading it yet, but it got me thinking on this topic.


Art Mealer said...

Thank you for the picture of the NT Temple!

Jonathan said...

Thanks Art!

Joel Spencer said...

First time guest. I enjoyed the post and plan to return.

Jonathan said...

Hi Joel. Thanks for the encouraging comment. You've got some good stuff to say on your blog too, I've subscribed. God bless!