Jesus, the First Living Temple
Robert Wurtz II
“Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1–2 ESV)
“Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19 NKJV)
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5–8 NKJV)
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 ESV)
When the Lord Jesus walked the earth, He was the true Temple. He said it plainly in John 2:19, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Clearly, He was referring to the Temple of His body — a concept that was revolutionary at the time. Herod’s Temple, though magnificent, lacked the Ark of the Covenant and the Fire of God necessary to do the service of God. God was not there. He intended it to be a house of prayer but it was made into a den of thieves. By the end of the Lord’s earthly ministry, He was referring to Herod’s Temple as “your” house (Matt. 23:38, Luke 13:35).
When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to take up residence in individual saints on the day of Pentecost. Men and womens’ physical bodies became living temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). Many people wonder, how did it happen? What is the secret to receiving the Holy Spirit in this way? There are no secrets in this regard, only explanations as to what God is looking for in a resting place. Isaiah 66:1-2 gives two essential clues:
1. One who is of a humble disposition.
2. One who trembles at God’s word.
The Lord Jesus had both of these in maximum abundance. He was the meekest man in the history of humanity. He had ultimate authority but refused to use that authority to save Himself when push came to shove. He was the God of the universe but humbled Himself down to the punishment of an insurrectionist (Barabbas) — cursed as He hung on a tree (the cross).
The Lord Jesus was so in agreement with God’s word and voice that He only did those things that He saw His father doing. His “food” was to do the will of God who sent Him. He lived by every word that God has written down and all that He impressed upon Him or spoke to Him by the Spirit. That is what it means to “tremble” at God’s word. We tremble at the word knowing that it is absolute. The Old and New Testament scriptures are not a compilation of ancient suggestions but are truths to be walked out with reverence and gladness. This is a crucial attitude.
For those who are seeking the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there are three keys we must address:
1. Are you of a humble and meek disposition?
2. Do you tremble at God’s word?
3. Are you presently resisting the Holy Spirit?
Despite all of the study and dedication of the Pharisees, Stephen told Saul and the people with him that they did “… always resist the Holy Spirit.” A person could hold an earned doctorate of theology and still be in a state of resisting the Holy Spirit. Education has nothing to do with it. We have to want God to come into us. We have to humble ourselves before God and repent of our sinful ways. Once we have done all of these things, we have to invite Jesus in by the Holy Spirit earnestly.