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Temples of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies. (NIVUK)

Corinth was well known for its pagan temples. Those buildings, with their deific effigies, were not only for sacrifice and worship but also social meeting places, bars, restaurants and dens of immorality. They believed that their 'god' inhabited the building and made everything that happened there sacred. When people became followers of Jesus Christ, where could they meet to worship the only true God? They left the pagan temple but the synagogue no longer welcomed them. As they had no dedicated building (Acts 18:7-11) they probably met in homes or lecture halls.
So where did God live in Corinth? Paul simply repeated what Jesus had 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). In other words, God lived in them … not metaphorically but literally. His Spirit lived with their spirit in their bodies (John 14:17-18).
God lived in their bodies, which became the temples of God. Also, because they had been ransomed from the slavery of sin, by the blood of Christ, their bodies did not belong to them any more - but to Him who had purchased them for Himself (2 Corinthians 5:15). That is why Paul had rebuked them for believing that they could do whatever they liked with their bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12-13), and why immoral behaviour was so offensive to the Lord. Instead they should accept that God wanted the body He lived in to be holy and uncontaminated by sinful behaviour.
The church faces the same problems today. As people are saved, they are called out from a dirty world to be separate from uncleanness (2 Corinthians 6:17). But many struggle to abandon the habits of a lifetime. So we need to know where God is. He is not just with us and around us, going ahead and behind us: He is also in us and our bodies are His temple. Instead of exploiting the body as a toy for our own pleasure we need to honour it as His gift to be used as a tool for His service. Once this truth has taken root, much of our practical discipleship makes sense - and our new lifestyle will invite questions from friends and colleagues who need us to tell them the gospel.

Indwelling God. Thank You for making Your home in me. I repent of ignoring that amazing fact and for dishonouring You by treating Your temple as my toy instead of Your tool to show the world the amazing grace of Christ. Please help me to be conscious of the reality of Your indwelling presence so that I may work in cooperation with You, using my body for Your glory by demonstrating the nature of Your kingdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams