As every Christian knows, when a person makes the decision to become a believer in Jesus Christ, that the Holy Spirit come to live in us. This is how we are able to live the life that God has given us to live. Consider the following scriptures:
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth …. He lives with you and will be in you.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
As a believer, it can be easy to take this truth for granted. This may be because we don’t have a background in the old testament Jewish culture. Before Jesus came and died for us, God was not approachable in the same way as He is since the death and resurrection of Jesus. He appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai but no-one was allowed to touch the mountain or they would die
God’s presence went with the Ark of the covenant, but it was to be treated with absolute respect. When David put the Ark on a cart rather than carrying it on poles as he was supposed to, God put Uzzah to death for even touching it (2 Samuel 6).
God’s presence dwelt in a fire and a cloud (Ex 13:21) a tent and after the temple was built, in the Holy of Holies.
But for all this time, God remained largely unapproachable and distant.
After Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn in two showing us that God had removed the separation between Him and His people and had opened up the way for us to come to Him through faith in Jesus.
Hebrews 10: 19-22
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Now God does not live in a man-made temple or in the Ark of the Covenant. He lives in our hearts. This once distant God has made Himself available to us by living in us and it is His presence in our lives that makes us Holy in his sight.
God has not changed. He is no less holy and magnificent and worthy of praise. He is still everything the Old Testament describes, but the difference is
He lives in us.
This means that where we go, whatever we do or say is done in His name as His representative God goes and whatever we do to any believer we do to Him (Matt 25: 40)
It means we get to see ourselves and others differently and act, speak and think differently. We get to treat as a Holy thing His presence in our lives. It gives us life but it also means we are careful how we live and do not treat His Holy Spirit in us lightly. It is the power to those who believe.
You yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives among you.
(1 Corinthians 3:16)