Andrew Murray on ‘Being the Temple of God’ #3.2
In chapter 24 of The Indwelling Spirit, Andrew Murray, in simple language, explains what it means to be the temple of God. His key verse is 1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
The Division of the Temple
The temple was divided into three parts:
Outer Court: Every Israelite could enter there. This was also the place where external services were performed.
The Holy Place: Only the priests could enter here to present God with blood, incense, bread, and oil that they brought from outside. Although near to God, they were not in the immediate presence within the veil.
Holy of Holies: God dwelt in the Holiest of All, and no one could venture within this innermost sanctuary except the high priest, and then only once a year.
Man is God’s Temple
For Murray, the temple within man mirrors that of the Temple of old. He likens the body—the external visible life and conduct—to the Outer Court.
The soul represents the inner life, namely the mind, feelings and will. In the regenerate man, this can be likened to the Holy Place where thoughts, affections and desires render their service to God in the full light of consciousness.
But deeper than the soul with its consciousness, is the hidden, innermost sanctuary—the inner chamber of the heart—where the renewed spirit of the Christian is linked with God through the Holy Spirit. But, says Murray, unless the indwelling Spirit is recognized and yielded to, there will be few blessings.
Acknowledging the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit will enable us to regard the whole temple, even to the outermost court as sacred to His service, and to yield every facet of our nature to His leading and will.
Murray goes on to say, that we need to take a stand upon God’s Word and appropriate its teaching in relation to being the Temple of God in which the Holy Spirit dwells.
The Innermost Sanctuary: the Holy of Holies
The Holy of Holies was the central place and focus of the temple. It was dark, secret and hidden until the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross.
Murray says that the Holy of Holies within us is also unseen and hidden, and is the place where the Father and Son makes their home within us through the Holy Spirit.
It is as I yield myself through worship, and open my whole being to the Holy Spirit that His living power will shine into my consciousness.
If I give Him the glory due His name, He will send forth His light and truth through my being. . . . His power will work even in the passions and appetites within, with every thought made subject to the Holy Spirit.
Our Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit
Murray now hammers home the fact that the Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:9) and that if our spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit, the result will show in the body as well.
But if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
Murray ends by posing the following questions:
- Do you know it by faith?
- Are you pressing on to know it in full experience?
In deep silence and worship I accept the blessed revelation that in me too, there is a Holiest of All, and that there, Your hidden glory has its name. Father reveal what it means lest I sin against you by speaking of it and not living it.