The Glorious and Forgiving God

2012 The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference


In this 75-minute teaching from the 2012 TGC Women’s Conference, Paige Benton Brown walks women through the story of Scripture to describe the covenant faithfulness of our God. He inhabited a building, incarnated a body, and indwells in us today that we might experience His glory.

Paige Brown is a Bible teacher in her home church in Washington D.C. and at conferences across the country. She is a former Reformed University Fellowship staff member at Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.  



In this session, Paige explains why and how God:  
  • Inhabits a building. (1 Kings 8)
  • Incarnates a body. (Luke 2, Matthew 21)
  • Indwells in our bodies. (Acts 2, Romans 8)

1 Kings 8:10-11 (ESV)

10And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord,11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



Paige said, “This scene is not about the cloud, as it is the covenant…The glory of Israel is that relationship. In the midst of God’s omniscience and omnipresence, He can say to Israel: Only you have I known, only here do I dwell." 

We serve the same omniscient, omnipresent, covenant-keeping God who wants to be in relationship with His people. How does learning more about His character increase you worship of Him? What does it reveal about yourself?
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Paige explained how soon after its dedication, the temple became a status symbol, rather than a sanction site to confess sin. What possessions or statuses in your life have tempted you to feel deserving of favor and blessing from God? How has He helped you see that possession or status as a gift of grace?
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Luke 2:8-12 (ESV)

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Paige said, “No longer the inhabitant God in a building, but the incarnate God in a body…The temple was splendor and blood, and now you have the temple in a person. Same God of glory revealed in the flesh.” Have you ever considered Jesus as the temple? How does this bring more meaning to the Christmas story? How does it encourage you?
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Romans 8:9-11 (ESV)

9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



Paige said, “The temple is not an analogy of who we are, it is who we are…There is no room for the attitude that what I do with my money, my body, my work, and my relationships is up to me as long as my heart is fully committed to Jesus. None of it is up to me because He fill all of it. The Sprit is in me, to tell me, yes, who Christ is, but also to tell me who I really am and to provide everything I need in Christ to actually be that person.”  

In what ways does your life reflect your “temple-ness” and what behaviors might you need to guard your heart, mind, and body from? How does this union with Christ make you think differently about your life?
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Paige powerfully concluded, “His indwelling us is not our final state…He is still really coming. The inhabitant God in a building, the incarnate God in a body, the indwelling God in our bodies, becomes the inviting God. His word to us is the final word, it is that which we have been living to hear: Come in.”’ 


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