Although I don’t like large crowds, I do enjoy going to baseball games. The stadiums are amazing. They are modern marvels of engineering that reflect the team and their city, as well as the great sport of baseball. I realized at a baseball game this year that sports stadiums are a form of temple where people gather to worship. People go to offer praise to their team, and by the time you’ve paid for tickets, parking, a hot dog, and cold beverage you’ve definitely made a sacrifice. This is incredibly similar to ancient temples built to honor pagan gods of mythological pantheons. Of course, they were built this way because the people believed the temple was the dwelling place of whichever god the temple was built for. It was not a building for the people, but for the god.
Christians believe differently. The Bible teaches differently. God does not dwell in houses made with human hands (Acts 7:48), but inside of believers. 2 Corinthians 6:16 states that “we are the temple of the living God...” God the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is confirmed for individuals in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that says, “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, who you have from God” (ESV). This is also true for the church, as found in Ephesians 2:22: “In him you are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (ESV)
What this powerful mystery of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit means for believers is that the power that created and is sustaining the whole universe is living inside of you. This truth is what Paul pointed to when he said he could do all things through him who strengthens him (Phil.4:13). The next time you are struggling or need help from God remember that as a follower of Christ, God is inside of you. He is there ready to guide you, comfort you, strengthen you, protect you, and love you. No road trip or food and beverage purchase required.
Initially published in the True Dakotan, Mar 9, 2022.