you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in
you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
God’s dwelling place as the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years was the Tent of Meeting, the Ark of the Covenant. Later, king Solomon was to build a temple for Him in Jerusalem where worshippers from across the globe could come and worship Him. That Temple as we knew it, was the place where His followers could come for an encounter with Him, it was a physical structure. Today, it is no longer necessary to worship in that Temple simply because we have become God’s living temple. God now takes residence in us by His spirit.
For this reason, Paul could teach that “We are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16) Our bodies have been elevated to temples but sadly enough, not all of us are aware of this. We still think our bodies belong to us. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, the Spirit of God came and dwelt in us. We become recreated beings; a meeting place with our God.
If God is to live in us, our bodies therefore must be holy. As God’s sanctuaries, our bodies must be suitable accommodation for the Almighty to reside in. Just as water and oil cannot mix, so also God’s temple cannot be identified with anything that would desecrate it. Our bodies have been renewed, an overhaul has taken place. We have been assigned a new role in our Christian life, because Christ lives in us. Because Christ lives in us there is hope for His glory to be seen. (Colossian 1:27)
Our bodies have been declared sacred and we must keep it so. There are places it can no longer venture into with this new identity. In short, our bodies need to be preserved, fit for service.
The Israelites were required to come to Jerusalem once a year to worship God in His holy temple. With the new dispensation, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God has come to dwell in us. So we do not have to go to Jerusalem to offer our praise and worship at the Temple. The Holy Spirit now lives in us and that is amply sufficient. It is as if we were in the temple of Solomon.
Christ is the cornerstone on which the foundations of the temple were built. “In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” (“Ephesians 2:22)
God made it that way so that like charcoals of fire when we come together we come with our temples of fellowship, are revitalised to return to the world. Fellowship is important because that is where we get our strength from to face our daily challenges the devil throws on our path. If the temple is soiled what good is it?
The Bible admonishes us to avoid the immoral woman. “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop life into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.” (Proverbs 6:25-29)
Adultery and fornication are two sins we commit with our bodies. Yet, we know that the pleasures derived from them do not last long. The Apostle James teaches us that “... each one is tempted when, by his own evil desires, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15)
The Apostle Paul exhorts us in these terms; “Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.“ (Romans 13:14) When Abraham was preoccupied with sexual matters God spoke to him or else he would have drifted from the mission he had been assigned: He told him in no uncertain terms: “Walk before me and be perfect.”
God does not want us to be ignorant, the apostle Peter confirms this with; “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:5)
The last word: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your human nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)
When we let our bodies govern our sentiments, actions and behaviour, we become enslaved and the end result is pathetic. Our spirit man should be in control and that should be the norm. We should be masters of our own bodies, subjecting them and constantly putting them under control. Anytime the body takes over it spells disaster.
The One who created us did a masterpiece. In fact, as He stepped back to assess His handiwork, He observed that “... all He had made was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)“I praise you (Lord God) because I am ‘FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY made” (Psalm 139:14) should be the song on our lips daily.