The Apostle Paul’s viewpoint is still accessible after 2 millennia, read and see in Ephesians 1:3-14. It’s origin comes from the day Christ was crucified. Do you think that as the veil of the Temple was torn, and it fell to open a view into the Holy of Holies, there might have been a Levite present to watch it happen? Luke 23:45-46. If there was someone there, their view would not have been brightly illuminated, because Luke tells the event as if it happened during the darkness that covered them during the 6th hour of the day. However, there was a golden lampstand burning, so it was lit! The reality is that Christ’s physical body had been prepared for this event, Hebrews 10:19-22, and God was longing to show this access for centuries. If we are in Christ, by faith, we have access. How is this access possible? Only by the victorious death of Christ, the Heavenly Realms in Christ are real.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul wrote, “You (collectively) are God’s temple; God’s Spirit continually lives in you.” Paul is declaring that internal division within the congregation was inexcusable because the congregation was God’s temple (sanctuary) containing God’s Spirit. So, internal division was inappropriate behavior for a local group composed of all kinds of different people living in Christ. The plural pronoun Paul used to show he was writing the whole congregation is seen in English translations: in the King James Version (contrasting “ye”—plural –-(3:16), with “any man” (3:17), and in the Phillips Modern English translation or the New International Version which both contrast “you yourselves” (3:16) with “anyone” (3:17).
Later in 1Corinthians 6:17-20, Paul spoke of the individual Christian as God’s temple. The context is sexual activity of a Christian by personal choice with a prostitute. Paul said this was inexcusable behavior for a person who has surrendered their self to Christ. The argument Paul made is basically the same—the individual Christian contained God’s Spirit. So which is it? Is a congregation God’s temple? Or is the individual Christian God’s temple? Both! Why both? The same thing makes both the congregation and the individual Christian God’s temple—possession of God’s Spirit. A congregation is a collection of men and women who have given their lives to Jesus Christ. Christians are a people who possess God’s Spirit. Whether as individuals or as a congregation, Christians behave as people who possess God’s Spirit, Romans 8:9. The presence of God is in them whether they are together or they are pursuing their lives individually. Ungodliness had NO role in their collective or individual behavior. Both internal division (in the congregation) and sexual immorality (in the individual) are ungodly.
God made an unspeakable investment in us! God’s investment in us through Jesus Christ was not a “partial investment” based on a contradictory commitment! So, we should not make an investment of our body/behavior in God partial or contradictory.
What is our daily perspective on loving God with our HEART, SOUL, MIND & STRENGTH, Mk. 12:30, if not seeing the love of Christ in our lifestyle as a glimpse of heaven on earth? Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened, Ephesians 1:17-18. Do you see Him living amongst us? Only Priests could see the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place.