Posted by: Harry Sasnowitz | March 5, 2010

I am the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Some of you may be wondering why I entitled this post with a question mark. After all, I am a believer (and hope you are, too) and the Bible clearly teaches that He inhabits my heart….that I am his dwelling place…..right?

Yes, but……not entirely……

Before I lose the majority of you who may be thinking I’ve lost my mind, stay with me for awhile; I promise this will all come together and you will not walk away with the proclamation of “Harry the Heretic.”

For years, I have made out-loud declarations according to my identity in Christ, such as, “I am the temple of the Holy Spirit,” or “I am more than a conquerer in Christ Jesus,” or “I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus” and so on. I know many who also believe in and verbally declare their identity in Christ, for our victory is in Christ and His finished work, not ourselves.  But there was something I was missing in these types of declarations; something so vitally important to our true identity in Christ that it has recently begun to literally reshape the way I read the scripture, declare the scripture, and relate to others in the Body of Christ. Lets look at the above quoted scriptures together, from the scriptures…

2ND Corinthians 6:16 “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For WE are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with THEM and walk among THEM, and I will be THEIR God, and they will be my people.”

Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things WE are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed US in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

In all the above, Paul was addressing THE CHURCH, the Body of believers….not an individual person or ministry. WE are the Body of Christ, the fullness of Him that fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:23)

The point is this: 1) I’m an “incomplete temple” if not in communion with my brothers & sisters. 2) I will not conquer as a lone ranger. And 3) although I am certainly blessed of God, I do not carry the fullness of His spiritual blessing in MY temple…..the fullness of His spiritual blessing manifests through His Body (the corporate man….the Church), the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.

It all starts with a paradigm shift on how we define “Church.” The Church is not a place…the Church is a People! Defining Church as a place cuts off the “community element” entirely……I “go to church” to do something. But defining Church as a people restores the community element and our proper identity in Him.

We don’t “go to church.” WE ARE the church, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Yes, we need one another, and as we draw together in communion with one another, in authentic living relationship, and as we focus on Him and His purposes, we can experience the fullness of His blessing for the edifying of one another, and for effective ministry to those within our sphere of influence in the world.

Back in Biblical times, the culture was one of community. Being in vital communion (or community) was to them as natural as breathing. What they did, and their identity as a people was inseparable from their “community” roots. In fact, the western cultural mindset which applauds individualistic achievement and the “I can make it on my own” attitude would be looked upon with disdain and disgust.

Back in the book of Acts we see the vital, close and even daily communion between believers….and the power of God manifesting through them in ways that expose the fact that “something ain’t right” in our American churches, especially when we are so high on hype, but sorely lacking in authentic concrete healing & miracle manifestations through the power of God.

I think it could be argued that one of the reasons for the lack of real power manifesting through the Body of Christ in the West can be attributed to the Church embracing an individualistic cultural mindset rather than allowing the kingdom of God to transcend our cultural norm. God isn’t going to change and adjust to our individualistic norms which are contrary to His norm of relationship & community.

I guess the question remains, “how do people effectively make the change to become more connected in community, when much of Christianity still revolves around a church institutional hierarchal system that often serves as an obstacle to true, biblical community taking root?” Perhaps we can explore that in another post.

Blessings to you.

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Responses

  1. Wow! good stuff Harry. Embracing our mandate as the church to reveal Jesus as His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all, really does change our paradigm and calls us to consider how we function in the the corporate servant God has established in the earth in the church….and how we fit into His eternal purposes “in Christ.”

    Christianity was never intended to be be walked out alone. The Body principle, The Temple analogy, The Bride example, and The Family identity of the church, all make this abundantly clear.

    gratefully redeemed,
    Randy

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  2. I know we’ve talked about this topic many times, but if you think about it, MANY of the things Jesus calls us to do and taught his disciples simply cannot happen in ‘church’ at least not the way almost all churches are structured. Alternatively, everything that happens inside the church can occur outside of the church. That isn’t me bad mouthing the church and it isn’t my intention or my thought at all. But I think a lot of people over emphasize going to church as the end all be all as if you are a completely useless Christian if you don’t attend every Sunday or some other timeline. I think a lot of people, in my opinion mistakenly think..if only we can just get them (the unbeliever or the sinner as if we aren’t one of those) to go to church…then they do get them there and think their ‘job’ is done. I would never advocate doing away with churches, but as I write this, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we did? Would we be forced to go back to a time when the community was vital to survival? I do think something really important got lost when churches were erected because then at some point it did start to become a place to go (even if that was only the perception by others, even if it happened or even happens unconsciously), rather than something to be. -Leslie

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