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Through His Holy Spirit, God dwells in the church, the temple of God. God does not dwell in man-made temples, including church buildings. He dwells in the hearts of those who have trusted the Messiah, and in the church collectively.

In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Master. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:21–22 (CSB)

The foundation for this church was laid by the Apostles and New Testament prophets. Jesus the Messiah is the Foundation and the Chief Cornerstone. The cornerstone binds the structure together; Jesus the Messiah has united Jews and Gentiles in the church. The Holy Spirit makes it a reality.

This reference to the temple would be meaningful to both the Jews and the Gentiles in the Ephesian church: the Jews would think of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem, and the Gentiles would think of the great temple of Diana. Both temples were destined to be destroyed, but the temple Jesus is building will last forever. “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18).

The Holy Spirit builds this temple by taking dead stones out of the pit of sin, giving them life, and setting them lovingly into the temple of God. This temple is “fitly framed together” as the body of the Messiah, so that every part accomplishes the purpose God has in mind.[1]

  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 (CSB) — 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink.
  • Acts 2:1–4 (CSB) — 1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.
  • Acts 2:16–18 (CSB) — 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants in those days, both men and women and they will prophesy.
  • Joel 2:28–29 (CSB) — 28 After this I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions. 29 I will even pour out my Spirit on the male and female slaves in those days.
  • Acts 10:44–48 (CSB) — 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in other tongues and declaring the greatness of God. Then Peter responded, 47 “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus the Messiah. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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