Sunday, March 17, 2013

God in Residence

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in us, which ye have of God…” (1Cor. 6:19)

         The Bible teaches that our bodies are temples, and temples are places of worship. In the old, traditional marriage ceremony, you will find these words as part of the vows: “With my body I thee worship.” Our bodies were given to us by God not only to be able to interact with the world He created, but as a vehicle of worship and service to Him. This is one reason why I am less inclined to relegate it to the place of disfavor some other Christians do. It may give us problems, but it’s what God gave us to work with. It’s all we have, materially, with which to glorify Him (v.20). One may choose to prostitute this gift to “the world, the flesh (different from the body), and devil,” but if we choose to dedicate it for its intended use, God the Holy Spirit will take up immediate and uninterrupted residence!

         I have long suspected that if verses nineteen and twenty of First Corinthians six could be fully integrated into our spiritual experience, it would translate into more holy living than all the hard preaching and dire threats ever could. The thought that God would condescend to house His Spirit within my body is almost as hard for me to grasp as His willingness to incarnate His Son in the womb of a young virgin. That Immaculate Conception changed the world; and the Indwelling Presence changes me. As I yield to Him, the influence of that Blessed Tenant grows within me, just as the Christ child grew within Mary. Do you see now why I say there is no greater incentive for holy living than this? If the enormity of God within me does not cause me to want to “possess [our] vessel (body) in sanctification and honour,” I doubt any other motivation will.

         Paul asks us twice, “Don’t you know your body is the temple of God?”(3:16). Maybe it’s because strange as it may seem, we’re apt to forget it. But it’s true, child of God; the Holy Spirit  breathes within us and will continue to breathe long after our lungs have taken in their last bit of oxygen. This Tenant did not take out a lease; He established a permanent residence! And when He slips out of this temple, He will take me—the real me—with Him. Until then, I want everything I do and say to reflect His presence within me, because God Almighty paid a dear price for the right of occupancy. 

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body…” 1 Cor. 6:20

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