In the previous post, I note that the idea that “our Father’s house” is a localized place with walls and a ceiling is decisively shattered by Jesus on the cross. With the ushering in of the new covenant was a new concept of just where our Father’s dwells. Stephen defends this new covenant concept before the Jewish Sanhedrin. Although our ancestors “provided a dwelling place for the God of Jacob,” Stephen says, it is now the case that “the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands.” Those who fail to realize this Stephen calls “stiff-necked people” whose “hearts and ears are still uncircumcised” and who “resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:44-51). Paul echoes Stephen’s dying words when he says “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).
Paul reinforces the concept in his pastoral efforts at Corinth with a rhetorical question,
as if the Corinthian believers had forgotten the obvious: “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” Paul concludes, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20).
Most who worship their sanctuaries do so because they think they are holy places. Both the spirit and letter of the New Testament testifies that our very bodies are holy places with which we are able to worship and honor God at all times, in all places, in all situations. Why would we prefer to limit such worship to one place? Are we scared of what it may look like to live a genuine Christian life of love and sacrifice? Why are we so insistent upon rebuilding walls that Jesus died to destroy?
Fattened cows are an insult to the spotless lamb.