As we looked at last time, we are God’s. His field. His building. Therefore, it is pointless for us to argue or identify ourselves with human leaders regardless of how great or spiritual they may be, for at the end of the day we belong to God and should identify ourselves with Him alone. However, we are not just any old building of God’s. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul makes it very clear how precious of a building we are to God and the high calling we have in Christ. For through the saving work of Jesus Christ, we are God’s holy temple.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
~1 Corinthians 3:16-17
These are powerful verses that we should take a moment to ponder. We—you and I—are God’s chosen dwelling place. No longer does the Spirit of God reside in a stationary building created by human hands, but He has chosen to take up residence within us. We are now the holy, set apart, and honored temple of God. What an amazing honor and privilege!
We are not merely an outbuilding that God is building for no apparent reason or purpose. Rather, we have been redeemed and set apart to be a holy temple, a set apart and sanctified dwelling place of the living Spirit of God. Therefore, we must live lives appropriate for this high calling, for with this calling comes a higher level of responsibility.
Earlier in the chapter, Paul shares the responsibility each person has before God to build his or her building well. The foundation is Jesus Christ, but what and who we allow into our lives to build upon that foundation and how and what we use to build our lives will be judged by God on the last day.
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”
~1 Corinthians 3:10-13
Therefore, may we heed Paul’s exhortation to be careful how we build. Pointless arguing, division, arrogant boasting, habitual sin, deceptive practices, and other evil vices have no place in our lives, for we must remember who and what we are: God’s holy temple.
Therefore, let us live as the holy temples of God that we are, being careful how and who we let build on our foundation of Jesus Christ, since we know that our work will be tested by fire. And may we always remember that God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us. We are not our own but God’s holy temple.
“Or 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.”
~1 Corinthians 6:19
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