Temple of God is a reference to how passages like I Corinthians 6:19-20 teaches that the body of a believer is like the building that is dedicated to the worship of the Lord. What follows are six helpful comparisons between our bodies and the temple of the Lord:
1. Both were built. The temple of God was constructed of stones, lumber, and other items. It was not a natural phenomenon. It was the product of design and planning.
The same is true of our bodies. Psalms 139:14 teaches that we have been fearfully and wonderfully made. We are not accidents. On the contrary, we are products of planning similar to that which is need to build a building.
2. Both are owned by God. The structure in the Bible was under the care of the Jewish community. However, the structure was seen as being owned by God.
With of our bodies, we learn from I Corinthians 6:20 that we were purchased with a price. When Jesus died for us, He not only paid for the penalty of our sins, but He paid for our bodies. Even though we are to take care of our bodies, our bodies are actually owned by the Lord.
3. Both are dedicated to God's purposes. The temple of God was dedicated or set aside for the worshiping of God. It was a place of sacrifices to and teachings about God.
Our bodies are to be living sacrifices to God. We should use all of our energy to carryout God's will for our lives. God's will includes worshiping and loving Him, as well as loving others, as we love ourselves.
4. Both require maintenance. The structure of the Bible required someone to keep it clean, to make repairs as needed, and to give diligence to keeping people from causing damage to the structure.
Our bodies require maintenance. We have to work on preventive issues such as diet, exercise, and treatment issues, as directed by doctors. Without maintenance, both temples are sure to fall into disrepair and be of no further use for their dedicated purpose of pleasing God.
5. Both can be desecrated. The building in the Bible was the object of attack, by the enemies of God's people. The Babylonians, for example, burned and destroyed the Temple, as a means of breaking the spirits of God's people.
The devil still tries to break our spirits, by trying to destroy the "temple of God." When we are filled with diseases, plagued by injury, and suffer from unnecessary health challenges, our bodies are desecrated and kept from carrying out their dedicated purpose.
For example, when God calls us to work on our jobs and in our business ventures as well as to be of service to those who are less fortunate than we are, but we are unable to, because we are sick or injured, our bodies are desecrated. They are not being used for their sacred purposes.
6. Both can be rebuilt. The structure of the Bible had been destroyed and rebuilt on more than one occasion. After it was destroyed by Babylon, God used people like Ezra and Nehemiah to lead in the rebuilding of it.
When we become conscious of the gap between what God wants with our bodies and what we give Him with our bodies, we become duty bound to rebuild the temples He has placed in our trust.
As we become conscious of God's desire to be glorified, honored, and served with our bodies, we become duty bound to work diligently on removing the bad and building the good habits needed to restore the "temple of God" that He has placed in our care.
In closing, both the temple building of the Bible and the "temple of God" that is also known as our body has at least six similarities. Both are built or are the products of design. Both are owned by God. Both are dedicated to God's usage and purposes.
Both require maintenance. Both can be desecrated. And both can be rebuilt. Let's give our best in maintaining and rebuilding the "temples of God" that God has placed in our trust.
Robert, what a wonderful sharing and an edifying article. Your study could be extended a little more to include qualities (though to the discerning these qualities seem implied) like (1) both are sanctuaries of praise or worship, (2) both are dwelling places for God and (3) both are holy and should be separated unto the Lord. Congratulations