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What It Means to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Posted on July 18, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

You’ve probably heard the old weight-gain joke, “My body is a temple. I’m adding a parking lot.” But the directive to treat our bodies as a temple is no laughing matter.

A temple is a place of worship. As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within us and with these bodies we offer praise to God.

There’s an old expression that comes to mind. “Don’t drag me into it.” That’s said when somebody invites you to take part in a discussion, argument, or controversy. It also aptly describes what happens when we sin. Since the Holy Spirit dwells within, we drag God into it.

The context of our focus text has to do with sexual sin. I commend 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 to you for a better understanding of this important topic.

As Paul leads up to his declaration that the body is a temple, he argues, “The body… is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord.” (v13) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” (v15)

When you go to work or on a business trip, you leave your family behind. There is a natural feeling of separation. Hopefully, your behavior doesn’t change when you are absent from them. But the separation is real. You are alone and may feel freedom you don’t experience when you are in their presence. But that freedom doesn’t give you license to betray their trust in you.

You may have similar feelings in your relationship to God when you are not in church, in prayer, or in bible study. Alone. Absent from the Lord. Free to engage in activity unbecoming a Christian. But guess what? Unlike your earthly relationships, you are NEVER absent from the Lord.

Remember God’s promise: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23) Then in verse 26, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, “… to help you and be with you forever.”

The godhead; Father, Son, and Spirit continually abides with every Christian. We are never alone.

To be sure, it’s a comforting thought to know God is always with us. But having the Lord “onboard” requires responsibility, respect, and reverence.

Worship in our bodily temple doesn’t end at 12:00 on Sunday or after our daily quiet time. It can and should continue throughout our daily routine. In Romans 12:1, Paul teaches, “… offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Offering our bodies as a living sacrifice means that we refrain from sinful sexual behavior and thus maintain holiness that is pleasing to God.

Sexual impropriety was prevalent in Paul’s day as in ours. However, there are now more ways than ever to pursue deviant behavior. Easily accessible sexual temptation is only a few keystrokes away. But the Biblical instruction hasn’t changed. We’re to “Flee from sexual immorality…” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Paul concludes his argument, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Your body belongs to Christ, bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus. Treat your body so as to honor God.

Now, the context of Paul’s teaching focuses exclusively on sexual immorality. In a broader sense, when we consider the body as a temple where God resides, we can conclude that the way we care for our bodies is also important. Just as we’re to be good stewards of all that God provides, we should properly maintain and care for the temple.

Your body is a temple and intended for holy conduct that honors God. And like I said earlier, when you engage in sin, you drag Him with you. Is that really what you want or should do?

For more on this topic, check out this article: With Christian Freedom Comes Responsibility

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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How to Walk By the Spirit

Posted on June 30, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

Yesterday in The Forever Notebook, I talked about taking advantage of the light of Christ while we have it. And once we have that light, it shines forever. Well, to walk by the Spirit is to walk in that light. Conversely, whenever we choose to slip back into darkness, we stumble on the desires of the flesh.

In theory, walking by the Spirit, is easy. In practice, it can be very hard. The reason: walking by the Spirit invites opposition from the Evil One. Welcome to the world of spiritual warfare. Your good intentions for living to honor Christ will be challenged through temptations and spiritual roadblocks. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

The Deceiver’s attacks will challenge your faith, plant seeds of doubt, make your good works appear as evil, cause you to stumble, and present obstacles and diversions aplenty to keep you from accomplishing God’s good purposes for your life.

Keep this in mind. To walk by the Spirit — stay in the light. Satan will attempt to lure you into the darkness.

To stay in the light, remain in God’s word, in prayer, and obedient to the Lord’s direction. Reject anything that is counter to the leading of the Spirit.

We have a tendency to be unforgiving of those who fail to walk by the Spirit and fall into the darkness of sin. Their deeds are fodder for gossips and cause for scorn.

Let’s think through our response to the fallen among us. They are brothers and sisters in Christ who have been wounded in battle. And when we gossip about their failure, are we not also engaging in sin? Look at what Paul said in Galatians 6:1:

“…if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

Look at the last phrase. “…you also may be tempted.” Life’s experiences have taught me the meaning of this admonition, or at least part of it. Don’t go trying to restore someone from their sin if you’re going to spread their story all over town. Don’t try to restore someone caught in sin when you have one foot in light and the other in the darkness of gossip. Make certain that you are walking in the light and by the Spirit.

When you walk by the Spirit you gain a greater understanding of the battle and what it takes to stay in the light.

To victoriously walk by the Spirit, we must tune out the world and the voices that seek to pull us out of God’s will.

Have you ever gotten so focused on something that you tuned out everything else? Hobbies we’re passionate about, songs we love, etc. Those things that capture our complete and undivided attention. Today, lots of folks listen to music to help avoid the pain and drudgery from physical exercise. Well, walking by the Spirit requires staying so tuned into God that we tune out the voices of darkness.

Life is a series of choices that come at us at blinding speed. That’s why the word of God must not be set aside for occasional reading or a Sunday morning sermon. It must be read, studied, and internalized. Then we are equipped with the knowledge of how to respond when tempted.

Walking by the Spirit requires disciplined study and a fervent desire to follow God’s direction. The more you do it, the more experienced you become. You become a veteran of spiritual wars. There will be some battle scars to remind you of foolish choices you will never make again. And there will be victories, that glorious feeling you get when you resist the Devil and he flees.

I believe a daily quiet time with the Lord is essential for walking by the Spirit. Start each day by stepping into the light, bathing in it, and reloading your spiritual arsenal for what lies ahead.

For more on this topic, check out this article: What It Means to Be a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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