Tuesday, 6 May 2014
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
In a smooth transition from his thoughts about having “laid the foundation,” and then us as workers continuing to build on the foundation, Paul asks rhetorically, directly, and with an exacting purpose the question in this verse. He starts with, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God?” If thought through logically, the answer necessitates us to think on what he has said about us being builders. If we are the temple of God, then why would we build in a way which our efforts would be of no value and thus be burnt up.
This thought is reflected in Jesus’ parable about building a house upon the sand or upon the rock in Matthew 7:24-27. Why would someone build a house that would crash down around them? But this is what we tend to do in our spiritual walk and this is what Paul asks us to consider. In this, he uses the term “temple of God.” The Greek word for temple is naos. It is equivalent to the temple in Jerusalem where the glory of God dwelt. And specifically, it is referring to the Most Holy Place where His glory was manifest.
This is now the state of the believer in Christ. God is dwelling within us and so our efforts, our conduct, even our whole demeanor should be reflective of this high and exalted position. And to show that this is a true and accurate analogy, he says that “the Spirit of God dwells in you.” This confirms that God is residing with man in a unique way and that what once occurred in the temple in Jerusalem is now occurring in each believer.
In Ephesians 1:13, we are told that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit upon belief in Christ. This in-dwelling then is different than God’s interactions with others. God is everywhere (omni-present) and therefore our in-dwelling is a special act of God which is not available to others. Just as His divine glory was seen in the temple in Jerusalem, He is now revealed in us. Because of this, our actions take on a new significance.
When the people of Israel defiled the temple, God destroyed the temple and His presence departed. What then would be the consequences of our disobedience? Paul will continue with his thoughts on this in the coming verse.
Life application: If you have called on Jesus, you are sealed with God’s Holy Spirit. If you are so sealed, then you have an obligation to that special honor. As you conduct your daily affairs, be prepared to act in a manner which acknowledges your exalted state and which will bring eternal rewards, not the fire of judgment and loss.
Glorious God… my Redeemer who saved me and has sealed me for the Day of Redemption. Help me to walk rightly in this life, building upon the foundation of Christ in a true manner. Help my every action to be directed to the purpose of bringing You glory. On my own, I’m prone to bad decisions and walking in an unfaithful way, so be with me and keep me from myself. May You alone be seen in me and in my every action. To Your glory I pray. Amen!