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Building God’s Temple

Written by Elizabeth Avallone. Posted in

I am convinced that the Apostle Paul had memorized the Torah. It seems that every time he opened his mouth he was quoting Scripture and explaining Torah principles. Construction of God's Spiritual Temple is a great example. He mentions it in Ephesians Ch. 2.
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household (house), having been built (root is house) on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner(stone), in whom the whole building (house), being fitted together, is growing into a Holy Temple (NOT house, this word means Sanctuary, referring to the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies) in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together (house) into a dwelling (house) of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:19-22)
Paul uses some form of the word 'house' five times in this sentence; 'five' is associated with God's grace. Was Paul thinking about the construction of Solomon's Temple when he wrote this to the Believers in Ephesus? I think he was.
“And the house, when it was built, was put together of perfect stones made ready before they were brought there; so that there was no hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was being built.” (1 Kings 6:7)
Peter is thinking the same thing.
“You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
The stones used to construct Solomon's temple were all prepared far from the site of the temple. Only after they were perfectly shaped could they be brought to the temple site and installed in the wall.
Why did God insist that there be no sound of tools working to shape the rocks at the site of the temple? By researching the context in which these tools were used I learned that hammers were associated with crafting idols and axes were associated with involuntary manslaughter. Iron tools, however, were sometimes good, sometimes bad.
The main point is that the building blocks of God's Temple were prepared ahead of time, one by one. Peter describes the Believers as alive stones, which is an oxymoron. Ordinarily, a stone is not a living creature, therefore we know he is speaking metaphorically.
What does all this mean for us? God wants us to understand that as we go through life we will be hammered, chiseled, etc., so that we will be the perfect shape for our part in the Temple 'building'.
The next article by Lora Marney is a good description of the shaping process and encourages us to remain faithful.

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