Lord's Day Liturgy

Temple Terminology

I don’t use the “already/not yet” terminology a lot, though I think it’s a valuable way to approach some parts of our faith. For example, we are already saved in some ways, but we are not yet saved in all the ways. There are certain promises that we taste today that will be fulfilled in someday.

It’s not just timing that gets juxtaposed, but types of fulfillment, this way or that way, this way and that way. For example, Jesus promised that God would dwell in us, and also that we would dwell in God. It’s both, and is profitably considered from both angles.

God reveals that He Himself will be the temple (Revelation 21:22), we will dwell in Him and with Him in our glorified state. He is our temple. It’s also true that right now we are His temple (Ephesians 2:19-22). And even this is true both corporately and individually. It didn’t bother Paul to make both claims.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 talks about not messing with the temple, the church considered corporately, because it is God’s.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)

1 Corinthians 6:19 talks about not messing with the temple, as a Christian considered individually, because it is God’s.

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. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

Christ’s temple (His body) was destroyed (and raised again in John 2:18-22) that we might dwell with Him and He in us. The bread and wine remind us of His temple spent for our fellowship already and what will be.