Your Body is a Temple
As you may know, I've been reading the Bible from cover-to-cover, and there are SO MANY things God has brought to my attention. Sometimes He will hit me over the head with something completely new, and other times He will refine some ideas I already have within me. This post will be of the latter.
Now, we've all heard the saying "My body is a Temple", and it's usually said by either some super fit and tan, active-wear clad person who utters this saying in between sips of their ginger shot and certified organic, paleo, dairy free, gluten free, cruelty free green juice, OR by those who lacerate you with it as they try to discourage you from eating that extra slice of pizza. And for those of you in the Christian church, you've probably heard this verse quoted to you before:
"Don't you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?" - 1 Corinthians 6:19
For some strange reason this verse flashed across my mind as I was reading Deuteronomy the other day, and so I followed the seemingly random theological tangent.
For a few weeks now I have been playing with the idea of being "Holy", and what it means in a practical sense for us modern day Christians. All throughout Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy the issue of holiness comes up a ridiculous amount of times - over 30 times throughout the three books - and it got me thinking that this is probably something we're meant to pay attention to.
I have absolutely loved reading through the Law of Israel! The Lord makes it very clear that His people are to be Holy and set apart from the other peoples of the surrounding nations; a people for Gods own possession. I also noticed that many of the laws were written to help the Israelites continue to be holy before the Lord, and this shows just how much their actions had a direct affect on their standing before God. If they were not clean, The Lord could not walk among His people. And if you've read my previous post, you'll understand just how much God desires this.
When I started reading about the Tabernacle - the dwelling place of the Lord - that's when things really started falling into place.
The Tabernacle in the Old Testament (and the eventual Temple built by King Solomon), was created by God as a place for Him to dwell. Exodus talks about the ceremonial customs and dedications which were performed on the vessels, altars and priests who served in the Tabernacle, to purify them for service to the Lord. Everything was sacred and marked as holy. It was the most holy place in Israel, and it had to be! For God to dwell amongst His people, it not only had to be set apart for the Lord, it had to be maintained as holy. The actions of the Priests and Levites (the tribe of people who served in the tabernacle) were of paramount importance.
And even now I can hear the question in your minds - "But what the hell has this got to do with us?” Hold on a sec, I'm getting there! Now, follow along with me here...
When the Tabernacle and Priests were ordained for service to God, an atonement sacrifice was needed, and the blood of the animal was sprinkled on them. Doing this made these items and people clean and holy to the Lord, and God was able to enter the Tabernacle.
If you are a Christian, when you were saved, you were cleaned by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, who is our Atonement Sacrifice (Rom 3:25). And once we are made clean by the blood, we are made holy before God, and that is when Holy Spirit is able to enter us.
We become the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of God. God chooses to make His people Holy through the shedding of Jesus’ blood so that His precious Holy Spirit could dwell in us.
This is huge! Just sit with this thought for a second… He is holy, and He has chosen us as His beautiful dwelling place. Also, just incase you were wondering, His first name isn't Holy and His last name isn't Spirit. They're both descriptions of who He is. He is the HOLY Spirit of God. He is holy by nature, we are made holy by Jesus.
Because our bodies are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit, we have a responsibility to keep ourselves holy. Just like the Tabernacle had to be kept holy for God, so too our bodies have to be kept holy for Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Now, I'm not saying that it is by our actions that we are saved - we are saved by grace and grace alone (Ephesians 2:8). What I am saying is that once we are saved, there is now a responsibility on us to remain "clean" by repentance, obedience and heart abandonment to God.
And so, what I have come to understand is that being holy is the divine privilege of keeping the Temple of the Holy Spirit a place where He is welcome to come and dwell.
So let me encourage you my dear friends - BE HOLY!
Why? Because YOU are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!
How? By abiding in and obeying Jesus (John 15:4) and by the washing of the Word.
“He [Jesus] gave up His life for her [the church] to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of Gods word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.” Ephesians 5:25b-27
Jesus work in us, His Bride, is to wash us by His word so that we remain spotless, holy and without fault. Our work is to welcome His washing, so that we can continue to host the presence of God as the Temple of the Holy Spirit, so that we can be Jesus to a broken and hurting world.
So yes, your body is a Temple.
What a holy privilege!
I so desire to raise up a generation who fully understands the divine privilege of hosting the Presence of God, who lay down their lives in complete abandonment to their loving Father, who walk hand-in-hand with Him in this life, fully embodying Jesus-love to all people. A generation of believers who demonstrate heaven on earth in all things and who fall madly and deeply in love with Holy Spirit, just as Jesus did.
Imagine what the world would look like if Christians fell in love with the God that they serve.