Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Body, His Temple

Don't you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 16

So what does Paul mean by saying that we are God’s temple? Consider this, deep within each of us lays something so holy that we cannot approach it as ourselves. God placed in us an eternal piece of Himself, our soul is what makes us created in God's image. It is what makes us His creation and His children. That piece of Him within us is what calls us back to Him. It is part of our human flesh, but at the same time, it is something different all together. It is something that we cannot wish to get too near to, because we are sinful. To enter into the place our soul dwells would result in our own physical death. If we were without sin, we could approach this direct connection to God without fear of death. If we were holy and innocent, we could behold His glory. But, because of our sinful nature, it becomes necessary that only the High Priest can approach God for us. The Holy Spirit is the High Priest within us. Given to those who believe, the Spirit enters us to become the go-between, to be our High Priest. Paul explains this further in the book of Romans. He tells us that it is the Spirit which goes to God with our prayers, our sacrifice, and our worship. The spirit carries these to God and forms them into something that is truly pleasing to Him.
          We must accept the sacrifice that was promised and was given in the death of Jesus Christ. In accepting this promise, we are given the Holy Spirit. This is the difference between the Temple of the Old Testament and the Temple of the New Testament. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we now have the ability within ourselves to go to God without fear. We no longer need an earthly High Priest to enter the temple on our behalf. As we offer praise to God, the Holy Spirit goes beyond the veil, and enters the Holy of Holies within us, where our soul dwells. It is the piece of God’s image within each of us. The spirit is allowed to enter into God’s presence because it is itself, God. Therefore, the Spirit intercedes and allows us a direct communication with God. He has made us into His own dwelling place, as He created us to be. His presence in us allows Him to use us for His work.
        Why is this so easy to write, yet so hard to live? The beauty of the gospel is in it's simplistic complexity, Jesus tells us in John 6:29 that the work the Father wants us to do is simply to believe in the One He has sent. It is so easy to say that I believe, so easy to write about the revelations that have been given me through study of the Word, yet when I reenter my own little world, it is a minute to minute struggle. Why do I allow my pride to keep me from living my life full out for Christ? It is not for lack of belief, lack of knowledge, it isn't even because of fear... it is sheer pride! I need to get back to the basics of faith. Spiritual maturity, in the words of Paul, is basically being a spiritual minimalist... I know only this, Christ and Him crucified... why complicate it further with grand ideas of my own importance? The simple truth of the Gospel, and this minimalist view underscore what needs to be a deep, life-long study into the fullness of the complexity of God's word. We are to fully arm ourselves with the scriptures in order that we would be able to focus, as Paul did, on the fact that it all points to one focus, Christ, and Him crucified. Back to basics, allowing my service, and all that I do, to be the overflow of my belief in Christ, for His glory, and His alone. May I only ever strive rely on Him for all things, for even my submission to His will in my life is dependent on Him granting me the power to submit my will for His. 

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