The question of when Christians started attending church at a building rather than their homes led to a few answers and comments. One got me to thinking and asking this question.
When did the concept of God dwelling in believers shift from that belief to the one that God dwells in buildings? It's like the thought was we need a big grand spectacular building where God is for the Christian. When did that idea begin and from whom?
In contrast, the bible teaches this.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
2 Cor 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The earliest comments apart from the bible is defining the church, the called out ones, at Smyrna or the church at Ephesus. These weren't buildings, but the whole of the congregation of believers.
Papias Taking occasion from Papias of Hierapolis, the illustrious, a disciple of the apostle who leaned on the bosom of Christ, and Clemens, and Pantænus the priest of [the Church] of the Alexandrians, and the wise Ammonius, the ancient and first expositors, who agreed with each other, who understood the work of the six days as referring to Christ and the whole Church.
Clement of Rome The Church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the Church of God sojourning at Corinth,
Polycarp I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you, because he so little understands the place that was given him [in the Church].
To be sure, there are some who will say this is just an easy way of talking, but from various conversations, you can tell that people truly believe God dwells in the beautiful church building, like in the Old Testament Temples, rather than your (a Christian) bringing God there.
PS Examples of the developing belief that God dwells in church buildings.
Here again Constantine led the way. He not only restored (in 313) the buildings and estates, which had been confiscated in the Diocletian persecution, but granted the church also the right to receive legacies (321), and himself made liberal contributions in money and grain to the support of the clergy and the building of churches in Africa, ... The metropolitan churches of Rome and Alexandria were the most wealthy. -source-
Apparently beginning with Constantine.
Chrysostom even laments that many a time the poor are forgotten in the church buildings, and suggests that it is not enough to adorn the altar, the walls, and the floor, but that we must, above all, offer the soul a living sacrifice to the Lord. -source-
Continues with Chrysostom.
The house in which this sacrament is celebrated denotes the Church, ... And therefore, as a rule, it is not lawful to celebrate this sacrament [Mass] except in a consecrated house. -Aquinas-
And apparently is fully developed by Aquinas.
PPS. Should I turn my PS into an asnwer?