Summary: In that temple the Spirit dwelt, as the Shekinah had dwelt in the temple of God at Jerusalem; it was therefore a holy temple, and an awful sin to defile it. Under the old dispensation, death was the penalty of polluting the temple. Today that temple, you
Opening illustration: Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees, bright with flowers. There he fasted. But on the third day, as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with dazzling snow. I will test myself against that mountain, he thought. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke.
"I am about to die," said the snake. "It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley."
"No," said the youth. "I am forewarned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me."
"Not so," said the snake. "I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you." The youth resisted awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and leapt, biting him on the leg.
"But you promised ..." cried the youth. “You knew what I was when you picked me up." said the snake as it slithered away."
"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God. You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body."
Let us turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and 6 and see the instructions for keeping our body.
Introduction: Addressing the aspect of how we take care of our bodies physically. Some are obsessed with food intake and exercise. They are more concerned about how they look rather than being healthy. But do we pursue that as passionately or are more concerned in taking care of this body’s spiritual health? Which is more important to you? This does not justify that one has to be a glutton and eat whatever and how much ever. But one thing is sure that we should eat as much as our body requires and burn out that is just baggage and a burden on our bodies to drag wherever we go. We must understand that our physical body which is ultimately going to perish and be eaten by worms but our spirit has the potential to spend eternity with Christ! The passage here clearly asserts that the spiritual condition of the body is more important than the physical.
Now Paul returns to that figure, and denounces the judgment of God upon all who would defile his house by their carnal divisions. In that temple the Spirit dwelt, as the ‘Shekinah Glory’ had dwelt in the temple of God at Jerusalem; it was therefore a holy temple, and an awful sin to defile it. Under the old dispensation, death was the penalty of polluting the temple. Today that temple, you are ... what are you doing with it?
There is a liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, in which we must stand fast. But surely a Christian would never put himself into the power of any bodily appetite. The body is for the Lord; is to be an instrument of righteousness to holiness, therefore is never to be made an instrument of sin. It is an honor to the body that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead; and it will be an honor to our bodies, that they will be raised. The hope of a resurrection to glory, should keep Christians from dishonoring their bodies by fleshly lusts. And if the soul be united to Christ by faith, the whole man is become a member of his spiritual body. Other vices may be conquered in fight; that here cautioned against, only by flight. And vast multitudes are cut off by this vice in its various forms and consequences. Its effects fall not only directly upon the body, but often upon the mind. Our bodies have been redeemed from deserved condemnation and hopeless slavery by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. We are to be clean, as vessels fitted for our Master’s use. Being united to Christ as one spirit, and bought with a price of unspeakable value, the believer should consider himself as wholly the Lord’s, by the strongest ties. May we make it our business, to the latest day and hour of our lives, to glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits which are His.