Summary: he Temple motif is prominent in the New Testament, and we can see many implications of that prominence.
The Temple Motif
1. One gal relays this unusual coincidence:
"I met my best friend in a Texas high school in 1981. We were both military brats who’d spent time in Germany so we had some stuff in common.
"While my mom was organizing old photos in 1986, we discovered that my family and my best friend’s family had stayed at the same hotel in Munich during the same weekend in 1978. The best friend, her brother and stepfather were in the background of several of our pictures and even appeared in ’walk on roles’ in some of the movies my dad took at the Olympic Stadium." [source: coincidences.nawaz.org]
2. This gal had been in the same room in Germany with the gal who she would meet years later in Texas -- and become best friends with.
3. In a sense, this is the relationship many Christians have to the OT Temple. It is in the background, a stranger to us. Then we realize that WE are now the Temple, and all of a sudden it is an old friend!
4.When the Jewish people lost their Temple to Roman destruction in 70 A.D., they could no longer offer sacrifices because sacrifices could only be offered at the Temple by a properly cleansed priesthood.
5. So they began to rationalize and developed strained interpretations to be able to replace their good deeds as sacrifices. From the Talmud we read:
"When R. Shesheth kept a fast, on concluding his prayer he added the following: Sovereign of the Universe, Thou knowest full well that in the time when the Temple was standing, if a man sinned he used to bring a sacrifice, and though all that was offered of it was its fat and blood, atonement was made for him therewith. Now I have kept a fast and my fat and blood have diminished. May it be Thy will to account my fat and blood which have been diminished as if I had offered them before Thee on the altar, and do Thou favour me." [source: Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth Folio 17a]
6. Believers in Christ know that there is no longer a need for a sin offering, according to Hebrews 10:18, "And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin."
7. Speaking of Himself, Jesus said, "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here" (Matthew 12:6). As we saw in our first sermon, the temple moved from a building to Jesus, and now He shares that temple status with us.
8. Although the Scriptures most often assert that the believer is the Temple of God because he is indwelt by the Spirit, it is also true that the believer is indwelt by all 3 Persons of the Trinity, for Yahweh is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Turn to John 14…
John 14:15-17, 23 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. ….23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Main Idea: The Temple motif is prominent in the New Testament, and we can see many implications of that prominence.
TS ---> As the final part of our 3 part "We are the temple" series, let’s look at 3 more implications.
I. The Struggle Within Our PERSONAL Temple
A. Law of God written on our HEARTS
1. Used of conscience in Romans
Romans 2:14-15, " Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them."
2. Used of the New Nature under the New Covenenant
Jeremiah 31:32, "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people."
The new nature seems to be an intensification of the conscience…
3. Parallels the Ark of the Covenant with the Law
Deuteronomy 10:1-5, "At that time the LORD said to me, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden chest. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the chest."