Local churches should be groups of people with whom men and women may gather to draw near to God and meet with Him. God promised ancient Israel, "I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people" (Leviticus 26:11-12).
God fulfilled this promise when He sent His only Son into the world. "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us" (Matthew 1:23). When Jesus Christ walked the dusty trails of Galilee, he was God with us.
Since Christ is no longer physically present with us, His church is the temple where God dwells. The apostle Paul teaches that God fulfills the ancient promise in the church, the gathering of God’s people. Paul says of the church, "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" (2 Corinthians 6:16).
When we worship with God’s people, where God is constructing a living temple, we have the unique opportunity to draw near to God, worship Him, learn from Him, and get a taste of the age to come.