Aug. 7, 2018

The temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

1 Corinthians 3:5-23 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” 21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.


In John 14:16 -17 Jesus says:   “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” In verse 23 He says:  "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”   In today’s text Paul says:  Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.   Do we really believe and comprehend what it means that the Holy Spirit, the very person, presence and power of God is not only with us, but actually dwells within us?  In Isaiah 6:1-5, the prophet saw God in a vision. It says:   In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”    How much more should we be undone; that the God whose glory fills the earth, lives inside us?

How can we, if we truly believe and comprehend that we are the dwelling place of God, the temple of His holiness, not be radically changed? It is one thing that we find it difficult to follow the commandments of God, that is a matter of choice and our will. But if we believe that God dwells in us and is with us, if we believe that the glory that covers the whole earth is in us, how can we not live in, walk in and reflect that same glory? Romans 8:31-39 says:  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?... Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   We are the one thing, our own choices, our own decisions are the only thing which can separate us from God’s love. Sin does not stop God from loving us. Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God does love sinners, regardless of what their sin. Yet as it says:  If God is for us, who is against us?   But, what if we are against God? What if we, by choosing to walk in sin rather than in His glory separate ourselves from Him? 1 John 1:5 says:  God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  We cannot willfully walk in darkness and claim to represent God, in whom there is no darkness at all.

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. Today marks a milestone in my life by the standards of the world. I am sixty years old today. It is a time to reflect and a time to look forward. It is not to regret what is past or to glory in it, but rather that by better understanding what has been, I can change what will be.  My greatest desire, what I want most is not something that anyone can give me. What I want most for today and for however many days I remain here on earth is to walk in the fullness of what I have already been given, to honor the temple of God, to fully comprehend the privilege of carrying His presence where I go, to be light and love. I cannot fully contain or fully possess all of God’s glory. It fills the whole earth and the heavens. But may I be fully possessed by His glory, His goodness and His love.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; I cannot fully comprehend what it means that You dwell in me, let alone understand why. But because You do, may I walk more fully in both the revelation and the light of what that means. As John said, may You increase that I might decrease. May the glory that fills the whole earth, fill me fully.   Amen.