Mutual Indwelling - Unceasing Worship Pt. 5
Readers, I asked Redner, The Image music lead, to blog through his study of Harold Best's book “Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts”.
I'm looking forward to reading his thoughts with you, enjoy!
“The triune God dwells within himself in an infinite glory and continuous outpouring. Through uncountable mercies, we are invited and authorized to say this: Christ comes to us; Christ redeems us; Christ in us; we are in each other; God is our sanctuary; Christ is the everlasting Temple; the body of Christ is a living temple; Christ is knit into it as a chief cornerstone; each believer is a living stone and yet a temple; each believer indwells all other believers; and Christ is all in all.” – Harold Best
One of the highlights for me in the latest chapter of “Unceasing Worship” focused on mutual indwelling being a “triple mystery: temples within temples within Temple.”
Mutual indwelling is exemplified in the following scriptures:
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” -Psalm 90:1
“I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.” –Matthew 12: 6
“For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” - 1 Corinthians 3:9
“Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.” -1 Corinthians 3:16-17
These scriptures show us that God is our dwelling place and our eternal Sanctuary. It is made clear that Christ is greater than the temple. As the church, we are God’s building. We are an indwelt temple. The church’s continual abiding place is in Christ, the eternal Temple.
1st Peter 2: 4-8 states, “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”
God in Christ is our eternal dwelling place, yet Christ is one of the stones, the Cornerstone, in a building made of redeemed stones. He is both the eternal dwelling place and the chief part of another dwelling place—the church, whose life is to dwell in him. The church is a fellowship of mutually indwelling believers, members. Each member is a temple, in which Christ comes to dwell as the hope of glory.
But, how can this be? How can I be a temple? How can Jesus possibly tabernacle himself in me, knowing how messed and wretched I am? Knowing how often I place other idols before him and amidst all my sinfulness?
Here’s how: His Infinite Grace. Mutual indwelling is not for spiritually perfect people who live and breathe religion. Christ-in-us-in-each other is the spiritual glue by which even the most broken fellowship can be held together. Mutual indwelling leaves nothing out in the life of the body of Christ. The continued outpouring of the believer—the sincere and the tainted—is brought to enduring cleanness in Christ.
We are a temple. We are HIS temple. When we begin to see ourselves as a temple, it will change how we worship Jesus, the eternal Temple.