Billie Silvey
The
Living
Temple
February 2007
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We Are God's Temple, God's House.
We who have accepted the good news of salvation in Christ
are God's temple, both as individuals and as a body.  Our
individual identity as God's temple is seen in Paul's teaching to
the Corinthians:  â€œDon’t you know that you yourself are
God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  If
anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for
God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple� (1
Corinthians 3:16-17).
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Jesus Is the Cornerstone.
Jesus is the cornerstone, the source of stability
for the structure.  The Psalmist first used the
image of the cornerstone or capstone:  â€œThe
stone the builders rejected has become the
capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is
marvelous in our eyes� (Psalm 118-22-23).

Peter applied it to Jesus, who was rejected by
God's people, the descendants of Abraham:  â
€œThen Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to
them:  â€˜Rulers and elders of the people!  If we
are being called to account today for an act of
kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how
he was healed, then know this, you and everyone
else in Israel:  It is by the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God
raised from the dead, that this man stands before
you completely healed.  He is ‘the stone you
builders rejected, which has become the
capstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else,
for there is no other name under heaven given to
men by which we must be saved� (Acts 4:8-
12).
Long ago, Abraham envisioned it, as the
writer to the Hebrews points out:  â€œBy
faith Abraham, when called to go to a place
he would later receive as his inheritance,
obeyed and went, even though he did not
know where he was going.  By faith he made
his home in the promised land like a stranger
in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did
Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of
the same promise.  For he was looking
forward to the city with foundations, whose
architect and builder is God� (Hebrews 11:
8-10).
We Are Living Stones.
We, as individual Christians, are living stones in this structure
God conceived and built.  â€œAs you come to him, the living
Stone  --rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to
him--you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual
house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For in Scripture it
says:
‘See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.’
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious, but to those
who do not believe,
‘the stone that the builders rejected has become the
capstone,’
and
‘A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes
them fall.’" (1 Peter 2:4-8).
The Apostles and Prophets Are the Foundation.
God's house, God's building, the living temple, is built on
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, as Paul tells
the church at Ephesus:  â€œConsequently, you are no
longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with Godâ
€™s people and members of God’s household, built
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ
Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole
building is joined together and rises to become a holy
temple to the Lord.  And in him you too are being built
together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his
spirit� (Ephesians 2:19-22).
Since God has built us into a structure for his use, we should
center on him and live as he lived, as the writer to the
Hebrews points out:  â€œTherefore, holy brothers, who share
in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle
and high priest whom we confess.  He was faithful to the one
who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s
house.  Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than
Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than
the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God
is the builder of everything.  Moses was faithful as a servant in
all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the
future.  But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house.  
And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the
hope of which we boast� (Hebrews 3:1-6).
God Is the Architect, the Master Builder.
There are many images for God in Scripture.  One I enjoy
thinking about is God as Architect and Builder.  God is the
one who created us and sustains our lives, but he's also the
one who drew up the blueprints for our salvation.  God is the
architect of the church--not a cold, stone structure, but a living
edifice, made up of individual living entities.
History of Architecture
Mary Archer, Architect