The temple of God

This picture shows the clean and purified heart of the sinner saved by God’s abundant grace and mercy. It has become a true temple of God, the home of God, the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, according to the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Who ever loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and my Father and I will come to him and live with him” (John 14:23). God honours, blesses and uplifts man through Jesus Christ (Luke 1:52).

The heart has now become a true temple of God. Sin has been driven out. Instead of the various animals controlled by Satan, the father of lies, we see the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, living in the heart. Instead of being the breeding place of sin, the heart has become a beautiful, fruitbearing tree or garden, bearing the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, humility, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control and others which are acceptable and pleasing to God and man (Gal. 5:22-23). He has now become a fruit-bearing branch of the real vine – our Lord Jesus Christ. The secret of this fruit-bearing is that he remains united with Christ, and Christ and His words remain in him (John 15:1-10). As he has been filled and baptised with the Holy Spirit, he has power to defeat the human nature and its desires, and to put it to death (Gal. 5:24). The Holy Spirit directs his life, and he does not satisfy thedesires of the human nature (Gal. 5:16). He no longer lives by what he sees, hears and feels, but by faith – for “we win the victory over the world by means of our faith” (1 John 5:4). He lives with assurance and hope and is strengthened by the expectation of the near return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He lives experiencing the love of God, which remains for ever.

“Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!” (Matt. 5:8). King David, in spite of all his riches and his victories over his enemies, knew that the greatest battle was taking place in his own heart and recognizing his deep spiritual need, prayed, “Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me” (Psalm 51:10). Nobody is able to purify his own heart, or to create a clean heart, unless through truly repenting he comes to God as David did, asking God to create a pure heart in him. God wants to do a new thing in your life. Mending the torn, tattered clothes of your own goodness with false promises and securities will not make your heart a worthy dwelling-place for God. He is only too willing to help you, because He has promised, “I will sprinkle clean water on you and make you clean from all your idols and everything else that has defiled you. I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone, and give you an obedient heart. I will put my spirit in you and I will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you” (Ezek. 36:25-27). This is the message of the New Testament which God has given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

In this picture we also notice the angel re-appearing. Angels are appointed to “guard those who honour the Lord and rescue them from danger” (Psalm 34:7; 91:11; Dan. 6:22; Matt. 2:13; 13:39; 18:10; Acts 5:19; 12:7-10).

The devil is also seen in this picture, standing close to the heart, as if watching for an opportunity to re-enter his former home. For this reason we are warned to “be alert, be on the watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Very often he is disguised as an angel of light, tempting careless children of God with the desires of this world, trying, by his cunning, to deceive even God’s chosen people. If, however, we resist the devil, he will run away from us (James 4:7).