Summary: We have been bought with a price, so let's give the property over fully to the rightful Owner.

Giving God His House

Psalm 84 (Good News Translation)

1 How I love your Temple, LORD Almighty!

2 How I want to be there!

I long to be in the LORD's Temple.

With my whole being I sing for joy

to the living God.

3 Even the sparrows have built a nest,

and the swallows have their own home;

they keep their young near your altars,

LORD Almighty, my king and my God.

4 How happy are those who live in your Temple,

always singing praise to you.

5 How happy are those whose strength comes from you,

who are eager to make the pilgrimage to Mount Zion.

6 As they pass through the dry valley of Baca,

it becomes a place of springs;

the autumn rain fills it with pools.

7 They grow stronger as they go;

they will see the God of gods on Zion...

10 One day spent in your Temple

is better than a thousand anywhere else;

I would rather stand at the gate of the house of my God

than live in the homes of the wicked.

11 The LORD is our protector and glorious king,

blessing us with kindness and honor.

He does not refuse any good thing

to those who do what is right.

12 LORD Almighty, how happy are those who trust in you!

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (Good News Translation)

19 Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God?

You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20 he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.

For the Jewish people before the Exodus, there was no real dwelling place established for God, unless they established it themselves.

During that early time, people would build an altar, many times at a place where God had already met them. Any time they went to this altar, it would remind them of how God had met them, or had met their needs at that place. They would prepare themselves to meet Him again in that place, and bring a sacrifice.

When God’s people left Egypt, though, they were given a new concept for the dwelling place of God – the Tabernacle. A tabernacle is simply a tent, but this particular tabernacle contained a portable altar, a holy place, and a holy of holies. As you stood in the outer portions of the tabernacle, a priest would offer the blood of your sacrifice for you, and intercede for you, in the Holy Place. Then, on only one day a year, the high priest would enter into the most holy place, or holy-of-holies, to make atonement for the whole nation.

Later, David was moved to build a permanent place for God to live in the city of Jerusalem. His son, Solomon, was the one who actually did it. The temple was laid out basically the same way that the tabernacle was, and the same activity was involved, but it was a permanent location for God’s people to go to worship the Lord. When they were close to him, they came with excitement – when they weren’t, they neglected coming, and pretty soon the temple was just a building to them, giving them an identity but not really a focal point of their life.

The altars, the tabernacle, and the temple in Jerusalem were all just a shadow, though -- just a forerunner, of what Jesus did for us when he made the one sacrifice of Himself on the cross. He then entered the real Holy-of-Holies, the one in Heaven, on our behalf, taking His own truly innocent blood as the offering instead of taking the blood of an innocent animal. Then He raised from death and turned the concept of a temple and worship inside-out!

Let’s read the New Testament verses again:

19 Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God?

You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20 he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.

Today, instead of a tent or a building to go to, we carry the temple along with us. Everywhere we go, the temple goes with us. But although this temple is supposed to be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, we treat this temple as we choose – not necessarily as God, the Holy Spirit, chooses – because we see it as being our own body, not the house where the Holy Spirit lives. We have all gone places we shouldn’t have gone, to do things we shouldn’t have done, and taken things into the very temple of the Holy Spirit that were bad for it. When we do these things, the Holy Spirit has less space to live, and may have to leave altogether!

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