God has designed every moment to be a worship service where we evangelize and disciple through our everyday lives. We are God’s temple, His spiritual house, comprised of people who build their lives on Jesus Christ. Let’s look at the history of this imagery.
When God led the Israelites as slaves from Egypt to the Promised Land as free people, He called them to build a tabernacle where He would dwell; although, it was always understood the tabernacle would never contain the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God of the Universe. About five hundred years later in 959 BC, Solomon completed the Temple as Israel’s centerpiece in Jerusalem. The Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BC. Zerubbabel rebuilt the Temple, beginning in 538 BC, and finished it in 515 BC. Herod the Great expanded the Temple, between 20 and 10 BC, as one of the largest construction projects of the First Century BC, only to be demolished again in 70 AD.
Peter used this historical imagery to describe God’s restorative movement on the earth (1 Peter 2:4-5). The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 referred to the Qumran community as a living temple. Jesus’ disciple, John, recorded the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb as the New Jerusalem’s temple. Paul described the Universal Church as the Temple of God: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his 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 in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 5:19-22).
In the East, the group is prioritized over the individual, which represents a paradigm shift from our Western culture that tends to prioritize the individual over the group. This is significant to understanding Christ’s vision for the ministry of the local church. Paul and Peter portrayed a spiritual house, a movement of God, empowered by His Holy Spirit among believers in Christ working in concert to impact the world to follow Him. This is a holy priesthood (Exodus 19:5-6; Revelation 1:6) where every person who surrenders their life to Christ becomes a priest, someone who connects with God in order to connect others with Him by worshiping Jesus Christ with their lives (Peter 4:11).
Worship God the most where others expect it the least: in the marketplace. In every business transaction, both sides expect the other to do what is best for their personal interest. What would it look like if you served everyone you encounter in your career as if you were a priest designed to connect them with God?
Episode 400: Restoration Theology | Ecclesiology: The Study of the Church from mitchkrusetv on Vimeo.