Summary: The bible refers to Christians in certain ways which are important to understand so we know what we are in this newness of life. Last week I talked about how we are a child of God. Today, we’ll see that we are a temple of God and we are a slave of God.
WHAT AM I?
INTRODUCTION: The bible refers to Christians in certain ways which are important for us to understand so we know all of what we are in this newness of life. Last week I talked about how we are a child of God. We are born again-we are entering a new world- the spiritual world; the world of God. As a child of God we need to grow and mature. Today we’ll look at two more things we are in Christ. First, as a Christian, I am a temple of God; I am a house for the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 says there are two things I received when I accepted Christ-I was forgiven of my sins and I received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in me. We’ll see what that entails. Next we’ll see that as a Christian I am a slave to God. Normally, the world slave would be appalling but in the case of being a slave to God it’s not appalling; it’s appealing! We’ll find out why.
1) I am a temple of God. 1st Cor. 6:15-20. Earlier, in chapter 3 Paul talks about the fact that the church collectively is God’s temple. Here he highlights that we as individual believers are God’s temple. It’s the same principle in being the bride of Christ. The church collectively is Jesus’ bride but each Christian as an individual is a bride of Christ.
We are a temple of the Holy Spirit because when we were born again the Holy Spirit came to dwell within us.
Here in this passage Paul makes a distinction between sexual immorality and other sins. It’s not that he’s saying sexual immorality is the worst of all sins, he’s saying it’s unique in how it involves the unifying of two bodies in an unholy way.
The point he makes in verse 15 is something we need to think about-no matter what the sin is. I think it goes along with the popular phrase, “what would Jesus do?” It’s as if Paul is saying, “Could you see Jesus hooking up with a prostitute? Never! Well guess what? Since the Spirit of Christ now resides in you that’s essentially what you’re doing when you commit sexual immorality.”
I like how Paul put things in perspective for us. We need to see that when we are committing sins like this we are uniting something holy with something unholy. We are taking ourselves, something that has been set apart for holy purposes, and connecting with something that is unholy.
We are vandalizing the temple of God. Not too long ago some kids spray-painted graffiti on the side of the church. It was offensive and I was upset. But as I think about it, that’s what’s happening when we sin; when we dishonor the temple-we are painting graffiti on God’s house.
Even though Paul is addressing sexual immorality, if we contemplate all that is included in our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit we can see how every area of our lives are affected. My mind is a part of my body. Therefore, I need to honor God with what I think about. My heart-I need to honor God with my feelings and emotions. My eyes are a part of my body. I need to honor God with what I look at. My ears-I need to honor God by what I listen to. My mouth-I need to honor God with my words. My hands-I need to honor God with what I do with them. My feet-I need to honor God with where they take me. My body as a whole-I need to honor God by taking care of it. So we can see how every area of our lives is affected when we process all that is involved in our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit.
2nd Cor. 6:14-7:1. Paul isn’t saying don’t have anything to do with unbelievers. If that were the case no one would be spreading the gospel. What he means is do not be uniting with them in deed and purpose. We are new creations now-we are called to separate ourselves from our former way of living. We can be around those who still practice evil as long as we’re not affected by it.
In Matthew 5 Jesus said we are the light of the world. We need to let our light shine in the darkness. But if we allow darkness to invade us again then we won’t stand out; we’ll blend in. We need to be people who make it obvious that there’s something different about us. I always need to remember that I am a temple of the living God and so I need to be careful to keep myself clean.