Summary: What does it mean to be a temple of the Holy Spirit? This online Bible study answers this question and shows how to treat God’s temple with respect.

Summary: This online Bible study explains what it means to be a temple of the Holy Spirit and how to treat God’s temple with respect.

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You are a Temple of the Holy Spirit

God’s Spirit lives in you

Doug Britton, MFT

This is part two of a three-part series on “Your Identity in Christ.”

 

God’s Spirit lives in you

Where does God live? In a way this can seem like a silly question, for God is Spirit and he is everywhere. He can’t be pinned down to any one place.

Yet when we read the Bible, we see that God instructed the Jewish people to build a temple—a special place where they could go to hear from God and experience his presence. Today we go to church for a similar reason. Or we might go into the mountains or visit the sea-shore to experience God’s presence in the midst of his creation.

It’s great to go to church to spend special time with God. And it’s good to spend quiet time with him in the midst of his creation.

But God is not only present in church or in his creation. He lives in you—and in all other followers of Jesus.

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

What do you think?

1. What does “Christ in you” mean?

Related: God’s love for you

 

You are a temple of the Holy Spirit

Not only does the Bible teach that Jesus lives in you, it also says you are a temple of God.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The temple was a very special place in the Old Testament. God gave precise instructions about how it was to be constructed and furnished. It was the primary place where God revealed himself and talked to the priests.

It also was the place where the priests and the people made various types of offerings to God. In short, the temple was a holy place, a place where God’s Spirit dwelt and interacted with the Israelites.

When the Bible says you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is saying that God’s Spirit lives in you, but it is saying much more than that. God is saying that you are a holy place. That means you need to take good care of yourself—spiritually, physically, and mentally.

What do you think?

2. The Bible could simply say God’s Spirit lives in you without saying you are a temple. Why do you think the Bible uses the word “temple”?

 

How often do you think about the fact that God lives in you?

When you think about it, it’s an amazing thing that God doesn’t just exist outside of you in heaven or in church. His Spirit actually is living in you. Think about that. Right now, this moment, as you read this, God is in you!

It’s easy to take this amazing truth for granted. If you are like many Christians, you rarely think about this. Even if you have heard people say you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, these may have seemed almost meaningless words.

If you are a busy person, you may have found that it’s easy to get so caught up in daily living that you don’t think about him actually residing within you—even if you are seeking to serve God.

Make it personal

3. How often do you think about the fact that you are a temple of God?

4. If you were to think about this more often, how would it affect your attitude, words, and actions?

Related: Who Do You Think You Are?

 

Meditate on the fact that God lives in you

Take some time right now to meditate on what an amazing and wonderful thing it is for you to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Make this part of your regular prayer life. When you prayerfully remind yourself that you are a temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you, it will transform the way you look at yourself. And it will transform the way you see God’s purpose for your life.

Make it personal

5. Sit quietly, still your mind, and ask God to make you aware that he dwells in you. Think about his presence and love.

6. What thoughts or feelings came up as you did this?

7. How can you remind yourself that God lives in you as you go through life?

 

Treat God’s temple with respect

We read in the Old Testament that God has very strict rules about how his temple was to be treated. Likewise, today we need to respect God’s temple—to take good care of it.

When we think about being a temple of God, it can motivate us to be careful about where we go, what we eat, what we watch, and what we listen to. It can motivate us to keep his temple pure.

It can motivate us to make sure he is glorified in his temple, and that when people see his temple they will see his presence shining through.

Remember Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Make it personal

8. Why is it important to take care of your temple?

9. How well have you been caring for your temple? Explain your answer.

10. What is one way you will take better care of your temple? (What is one change you will make in your thoughts, words, or deeds?)

 

You also are part of a larger temple

In Ephesians 2:21-22, the Bible tells us that you also are part of a much larger temple—one consisting of every believer in the world.

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 2:21-22)

Related: You have a purpose

Related: Getting Started, Getting Connected

 

Suggested prayer

“God help me remember that I am a temple of your Holy Spirit. Help me be excited and motivated by this great privilege. Help me treat your temple with respect.”

 

Memory verse

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

 

Personal application

1. What is a temple?

2. Why do people go to a temple?

3. What does the Bible mean when it says you are God’s temple?

4. Do you believe you are God’s temple? Why or why not?

5. How does knowing you are God’s temple affect your self-image?

6. How do you think knowing you are God’s temple will affect your words and actions?

7. How can you remind yourself that you are God’s temple?

8. Write out one verse from today’s study that spoke to your heart.

9. Why did this verse speak to you?

 

Click here to read Part 1 of “Your Identity in Christ” — You are a Child of God

Click here to read Part 3 of “Your Identity in Christ” — You are a Priest and an Ambassador of God

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life.

Copyright © 2018 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.)

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