“I have heard it said that if you catch a small shark, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium that you put it in. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured at that size. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet. We as individual Christians, as members of a local church and as part of Christ’s church throughout the world must not merely share our lives and God’s word with one another, but we need to get out of our own little fishbowls and manifest the presence of Christ through our words and lives, so that the boundaries of the temple, the church, will grow until the whole earth is encompassed with and manifests the presence of God. Through us God will fulfill his promise in Habakkuk 2:14, ‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.’ The mark of the true church is always to be outward-looking and expanding God’s presence and not obsessively introspective.
Our task as the covenant community, the church, is to be God’s temple, so filled with his glorious presence that we expand and fill the earth with that presence until God finally accomplishes the goal completely at the end of time!”
From G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: a Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God. pp. 401-402.