Saturday, 5 July 2014
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
“Or do you not know” is intended to be taken as a positive affirmation – “Certainly you must know!” It is a rhetorical question designed to get the letter’s recipients (and thus us) to think this issue through clearly. And the issue he is speaking of is that “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.” This then is another case raised by Paul why we should not be engaged in sin and impurity.
There are three general uses for the term “temple” in the Bible which we need to understand. The first is the temple (earlier before the temple was built it was the moveable tabernacle) in Jerusalem. This was the place of worship for the covenant people and it showed that God was among them. The second is found in the gospels and it is speaking of the Lord’s physical body. Now in the epistles, it refers to the believer in Christ who is sanctified by the sealing (and thus the indwelling) of the Holy Spirit.
As a substantiation of this, we can refer to verses such as 2 Corinthians 6:16. There is says the following –
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.'”
The Holy Spirit “whom you have from God” is He who seals us (Ephesians 1:13, 14) and thus He is our guarantee. He indwells us from the moment we believe. And as much as He is a guarantee, the Spirit also is a sign of ownership. We have been purchased and are owned by God. This is why Paul now declares “and you are not your own.” We belong to that which we are a slave to.
We were once owned by the devil because we were slaves to sin (see John 8:34 and Romans 6). However, through the blood of Christ, we were redeemed and now are slaves of God. If we are slaves of God, then we belong to Him. If we belong to Him, then we are bound under Him to be obedient to Him. We cannot and we dare not assume that we have license to sin. Such a thought is corrupt and wicked. It defies the very authority of our Master over us.
In a human master-to-slave relationship, disobedience would be considered intolerable. Why should we think it is different with God? But this is the constant theme of those who want to have their foot in both worlds. On one hand they claim freedom from sin in Christ and on the other they claim freedom to sin because of Christ. It is both illogical and perverse.
Life application: Go to work today and tell your boss that that you will no longer adhere to his rules, guidelines, and authority. See how far that gets you and then consider how much less God appreciates such defiance. (Note: Don’t actually go to work today and do those things.)
Lord, You are ever so gracious and merciful. I’m sure that I fail You far more than I could ever please You. But there is a Seal upon me which keeps me in Your hand through it all. I cannot understand the depth of love that You possess to allow that Seal to be a fixed “guarantee” of my promised redemption. Forgive my disobedient heart and help me always to strive to be worthy of what I already possess. Thank You Lord, Amen.