Sunday, February 17, 2013

Biblical Inspiration: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When I first started this blog a few years ago, I was inspired to name my blog "Our Bodies, God's Temple" for a reason.  It came from scripture written in the new testament by the apostle Paul.
"16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. -  1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NIV)"
Just to think back, in the old testament, the temple was a building.  A place of worship.  A beautiful place in which God dwelled.  In the new testament, a new covenant was given to God's people.  The Holy Spirit was sent to dwell with in us.  Our own bodies.  This scripture has been commonly used to encourage people to "be healthy."  And yes, I am encouraging a lot of that in my blog, but that is not what this scripture is really talking about.

In the context, this scripture is about the new covenant that God made with us.  The temple was defiled and the church did not have a place of meeting other than homes of other Christian believers. When Jesus came, He gave us a new promise that He would be with us wherever we are.  Because of Christ, the Holy Spirit now dwells within us and is always with us.  He is no longer confined to a building.

In this passage, Paul is also warning us about false teachings.  Be careful what it is that you hear from your leaders.  Growing up, I have heard time and time again that it is ALWAYS good to question the message of your leaders of the church.  I don't mean that we need to be chastising them every time that they may preach something that may be contradicted by another passage of the bible that may have been overlooked.  Their jobs are really tough and they are, after all, human.  But because they are human, that means that sometimes they do make mistakes.  While we hope and pray that the messages they preach are inspired by God, it is always good to go back over the scriptures that they preached on and make sure that the message is consistent with what the rest of the bible teaches us.  However, there are people out there who intentionally use scripture for their own purposes, and Paul is saying that God will destroy anyone who brings down His temple.

Today, in our highly literate society, we can be thankful that we have the ability to study scriptures for ourselves.  In bible times, they did not all have that capability, or the resources, for that matter, to study scriptures for themselves.  As the new testament came about, people were becoming more educated.  Now, we have bibles written in hundreds of different languages allowing God's children to study the scriptures for themselves.  Many of us take that for granted.  With that being said, we are more at risk of hearing false teaching, but the advantage is that we can study the scriptures ourselves and not have to depend on someone else who has been educated to interpret it to us.

There are many scriptures that do speak about how we should take care of ourselves.  This is not really one of them.  However, if we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, we will see the results by our fruits, will we not?  God will be able to change our whole being, making us more fit to serve Him.  So much I want control over my body, but this body is not meant for me.  It is meant for Him.  If we allow Him to have that control, we will have the desire to want to be more healthy, less stressed, develop good relationships, and more knowledgeable of Godly things.  As I continue to write in this blog, my hope is that I can encourage you in these areas of your life.

If you would like to study this passage more for yourself, I found some sermon notes that I thought were very insightful and encouraging. Check out:

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