After warning his readers not to fall back into their old ways and to strive for holiness in chapter 1, Peter begins chapter 2 by giving his audience a glimpse of God’s purpose for them: God is making them in His Temple.
As modern readers, it is easy for us to miss Peter’s point by misunderstanding what the Temple was meant to be. Many of us likely think of the Temple as a church, but bigger and more ornate. After all, it’s a place where people came to worship God, like my local church.
But the Temple wasn’t merely one of many places for believers to gather and worship. The Temple was unique - it was the place where God’s presence dwelled on earth. It was a bridge between heaven and earth, an embassy where diplomacy between the mundane and the holy realms could be transacted. Jews gathered - and still gather - at synagogues to pray and study all over the world. But sacrifices - and thus forgiveness from sin - could only happen at the Temple.
Peter is telling his readers - telling us - that God has made us His new Temple. Instead of His Spirit living in a pile of stone, He lives in you. The old embassy may not be standing, but His ambassadors are free to travel wherever they are needed. No longer do people need to travel halfway around the world to seek His love and forgiveness; God’s grace now offers delivery.
That is why it is critical that we strive to be like Him - to embody His love, grace and righteousness. We aren’t merely citizens of His kingdom, we are its representatives. When the world looks at us, it sees Him. What we do reflects on our faith, and the Lord who saved us.
Are you a good representative of your King? Do your actions communicate His love and grace to those you meet? If someone based their idea of Christ on the way you live, what would they think of your Savior?
Talk to Him about that today. Ask Him for help and guidance. After all, He is right there with you, every moment.
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