Jesus Never Built A Building

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

This may seem unimportant, but actually it is one of the most revolutionary truths of the New Testament. Religion in the world of Jesus was all about buildings: Temples, and their location: sacred ground. A large part of the first 5 books of the Old Testament was dedicated to details about the construction of the Tabernacle and instructions about what would take place in it. 1 Kings 6:38 says it took Solomon 7 years to build the first Temple. John 2:20 informs us that Herod’s temple took 46 years to finish.

The religions of the world were rooted in the size and opulence of their temples, but Jesus never gave any instruction or revealed any plan to build a temple. He never declared any ground to be sacred to His Church.

In this passage John’s baptism, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are tied together. John baptized outdoors apart from any structure. There were pools at the temple, but, as far as we know, John didn’t baptize there. The Baptism of the Spirit took place in someone’s home, not a sacred temple, or even a church building. In fact, there is no church building mentioned in the New Testament.

This is one of the most radical ideas in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught that the true Temple of God was His body. John 2:19-21 This is the reality of the Incarnation. With the coming of the Christ our gathering place for worship became the person of the Christ secured by the ministry of His Spirit. He is “God with us.” We go to Him as the center of our worship. Even the poorest of the poor can worship at this temple. The most humble structure can become the grandest temple... if Jesus is worshiped there.

I'm all for buildings... but a place of wood and brick can never replace the Christ. A building only shelters us so we can focus our worship on Him... if His Spirit is not present the grandest building is desolate. Jesus is revealed in His Word by His Spirit, there is no other direct revelation of the Christ on this earth. Read Him… Worship Him.


  1. I really like this article! As a pastor, I am realizing this important truth more and more. I am also having to admit the transformation from a building-centric model to a people-centric model is not easy. Thank you for this reminder!

  2. Thanks my friend. I have a few more related posts that I hope to publish soon. I agree that the transformation can be difficult...

  3. Excellent devotion Larry. No detailed description is given by Jesus as to the building we worship in; however, much detail is given about the Temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells: US! And we are to worship Him there 24/7. :)



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