“For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.” - 2 Corinthians 6:16b-17
The temple of God. Where God dwells in the hearts and lives of His people through Jesus Christ. Immanuel, God with us. The temple is a place dedicated to, and used only for, the worship and service of God; the living God who promised a special relationship to His people that they would be “My people” and to take special care of them . . . “I will be their God.”
Enjoying the wonderful blessings of God’s presence requires personal holiness (purity). He calls us to “come out and be separate” . . . because He cannot and will not associate with idols, with unrighteousness, with darkness, or with Satan (ref. 14-16a). He desires personal fellowship with us so He instructs us to “not touch what is unclean”. Psalm 24:3b-4 emphasizes this condition . . . “who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”
I have good news! God has “rescued us from the domain of darkness . . . having made peace through the blood of His cross . . . in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (Col. 1:13, 20, 22). He met His demand for holiness through His own beloved Son, our Savior in order for His people (us!) to be able to come into personal fellowship with Him. Amazing grace!
How do we take advantage of the opportunity offered to us? Come out. Do not touch what is unclean. That means we have choices to make and action to take to separate ourselves from all that is displeasing to God. All of which is the result of self-centeredness and self-indulgence.
The response promised by the living God is “I will welcome you”.
- Tim Brown