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Jesus and You Are the Temple

Scripture: John 2:18-22 and Ephesians 2:18-22

I. You can go into God’s presence through faith in Jesus.

A. The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus to give them some great sign to show that He had such authority to cleanse the temple (John 2:18). Jesus says that if you tore down the temple, he could rebuild it in 3 days (vs. 19). “But (Jesus) was speaking about the temple of his body” (vs. 21). We find out in vs. 22 that Jesus was talking about his physical body. He was talking about dying and being raised from the dead after 3 days.

B. Jesus says, “This temple building is just a sign along the road toward something and someone else. I am the real temple. I am the place and the person where you meet God.” John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus dwelt (literally tabernacled) among us. Jesus was the tabernacle/temple. Jesus was and is the place to meet God.

II. You can go into God’s presence through Jesus’ sacrifice.

A. One thing that made the temple so important to Jews was the sacrifices that were made there. There was only one place in all Israel where people could go to receive forgiveness for their sins. The temple. But it was within the temple of Jesus’ body that the ultimate sacrifice would take place (vs. 21). Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

B. You can now approach God at any time with any need because Jesus has forgiven you and given you His righteousness. Jesus prepared the people for the destruction of the temple building in 70 A.D. when he spoke in John 2. Jesus told the people, “Once you put your faith in me you won’t need this temple any more. The temple will be obsolete because the temple of my body will bring you near to God. I will be the new temple where God and people meet face to face.” 

III. You can go into God’s presence through the church.

A. The Apostle Paul begins writing about how Christians are the temple of God in Eph. 2:18: “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” Both Jewish and Gentile Christians are part of the one temple of God. All Christians, Jews and Gentiles, are “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (vs. 20). The new Christian then became an individual temple of God, and the new Christian became part of the temple of God that is made up by all members of Christ’s church (Eph. 2:22).

Live in unity with your church so that the world might see that God truly lives among us.

The Bible
Commentaries by G.K. Beale, D.A. Carson, Josh Moody, Edward Klink & Richard Coekin.

Sermon Discussion Questions

1) What difference does it make that Jesus and not a building is the true temple? And what difference does it make that access to God is through Jesus and not through religious ritual performed in a building?

2) How should we now live since we as individual Christians are the temple of God?

3) How should we look at our church since together we are the temple of God? Are there any divisions between you and church members that need to be reconciled?