1 Corinthians 1, 2,6 (Selected Verses)
I am continuing with the theme of what it means to be saved.
What I would like to do with this post though, is specifically highlight the latter part of the sermon. This was an eye-opener for me and I pray it will have the same effect on the reader. I feel that, many times, you and I take the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for granted and do not realise the gravity of His indwelling and the Holiness of His indwelling.
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Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not just a matter of being able to do the right Christian thing or being able to practice the gifts of the Holy Spirit but it actually goes beyond that and as I will explain to you, it is actually a very serious matter indeed for the Christian!
Now, just to state the obvious, all of you know that a temple is a place where you go to worship. In other words, it is a general place of fellowship and of worshipping together as a community. The same thing can be said of our church building. It is a place where we gather specifically on a Sunday to fellowship together and worship together through the reading of God’s word. The Greek word for that type of temple is the word, “ἱερόν” which means temple or a place of worship. However, in the verse that we have just read, Paul uses a completely different Greek word when he speaks of, “… Our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit…”
The word that Paul uses over here has much more significance than just a locality or a general place of worship. Unfortunately, our English language has kind of diluted the word that Paul actually used and possibly the impact of what he was saying. The Greek word is not the word, “ἱερόν”(Temple) but rather it is the word, “ναός”, meaning: SHRINE – that part of the temple where God Himself resides. It is the very central core of the place of worship! In other words, it is not just a house or building that worship takes place in but it is actually at the holiest place – the shrine – where worship takes place. If you recall, in the Old Testament, the high priest would go behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies where the Holy presence of God dwelt. You will also recall that; the people would tie a rope onto the high priest’s ankle just in case he was struck dead in the presence of God and then they could drag him out of the Tabernacle without having to go in there themselves and also being struck dead themselves.
Now, you need to understand that there is a vast difference between a “Temple” and a “Shrine”. A temple is a general place of worship but a shrine is THE PLACE OF WORSHIP! Therefore, in other words, your body is not just an abstract dwelling place of the Holy Spirit where He goes when he feels like it, but – and this is so important for you to understand – your body, according to the 1 Corinthians 6:19 is like the holy of holies; that place where God, Himself, dwells. Your body, therefore, is a shrine; a dedicated place of worship, not just on a Sunday but every single day of your life! Now, I have got to tell you that; when I first understood it this way, I literally quivered and was almost scared to a point. The impact of this verse, the truth of this verse, and the power that this verse wields is not just profound but it is unquestionably awe-striking, to say the least.
Therefore, this is so important for all of us, including me, not just to understand but, moreover, to be shocked by. I say “shocked” because, how often do we commit sins and wrongdoings with our bodies and not realising for one moment that we could literally die in the Holy presence of God and be dragged out by ankles? In other words, what this specific verse is speaking about is that your body is the most sacred part of worship and if the Holy Spirit dwells in your “Shrine” then your body belongs completely and wholeheartedly to God as an act of worship and a place of worship all the time – every single minute of the day and of your life!
Point 6: No Holy Spirit – No Salvation – No Life!
You have got to realise that, as a Christian, your body is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and without the Holy Spirit you are incapable of being holy; you are incapable of being a “Shrine”, and if that is the case then your so-called pseudo-Christianity and your so-called religiosity can never be pleasing to God, ever!
However, for those who are genuinely born-again Christians, you need to know that; because the Holy Spirit indeed dwells in you, the fact of the matter is that your body is now the very shrine of worship; the very core and central place of worship! It is in continual adoration and worship at the feet of Jesus.
1 Peter 1:15-16
15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Do you understand now, even from the verse I have just read out of 1 Peter 1:15-16 that, holiness is not how you think you should conduct yourself and how you think of morality but rather God’s holiness can only come and change your life – be effectual in your life – if you are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit. Again, you can only be indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit if you are saved! Then, because you are saved and because the Holy Spirit indwells your body, you have got to understand that your body now is the very central core of worship to God! Furthermore, if the Holy Spirit indeed dwells in you then you will know that you are saved because, as John 16 says, He will make certain of revealing this to you in all truth and righteousness. Moreover, you are not your own and now your body is the very core and central place of worship – The Shrine of Worship – where you meet God and God meets you. You have got to realise and embrace the fact that you are a walking, breathing, and continual Christian being of perpetual Worship by the mere fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in you. Again, if the One who dwells in you “IS HOLY” then “YOU ARE TO BE HOLY AS HE IS HOLY” and that can only come about through the Holy Spirit’s continual sanctification every single day!
Point 7: Misconception of Worship!
A final thought I want to add and which I feel is pertinent and in context with the discussion so far is about “The misconception or misapprehension of Worship”! You see, people think that worship is the songs that they sing on a Sunday. People think that; by holding a Worship Conference where they sing all these amazing songs accompanied by the most professional bands is worship but, once again, that is the furthest thing from the truth. That is not worship! Worship, in its entirety and in its most central form is in fact, your body and the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit within your body!
Once again, if you’re saved then God’s Holy Spirit dwells in you. If God’s Holy Spirit dwells in you then, and only then, can you offer up pure and fragrant worship to God because your body is, in fact, just like the Holy of Holies!
If you call yourself saved and if you believe you’re saved, but you’re not offering up your body to God as a place of worship then I’ve got to warn you – and the warning applies to me as well – there is not only something seriously wrong but, you are treading on very thin ice and dangerous waters with God! I’m not saying this to scare you because I have got to tell you that God’s grace so very often protects you and I but, let it not be that we take God’s grace for granted and abuse His grace instead of being completely in awe of God’s grace and offering up our bodies as a place of worship to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!
Romans 6: (Selected Verses)
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
6We know that our old [person] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace. 15What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let me end by summarising the main points for you.
Point 1: The Holy Spirit indwells you! (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)
Point 2: The Holy Spirit Reveals God’s Thoughts – His Precepts! (1 Corinthians 2:10-12)
Point 3: God’s thoughts are foolishness to the World – Those that are perishing! 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, 1:18; Matthew 3:8, 4:17 (Cf. Matthew 21:32; Luke 5:31-32, 17:3, 24:46-48)
Point 4: Faith Leads to Repentance! (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 11:6)
Point 5: Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Point 6: No Holy Spirit – No Salvation – No Life! (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Point 7: Misconception of Worship! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23)