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Your Body is a Temple
The Spirit of God Dwells in You
You may or may not know that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, makes His dwelling permanently in you. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, God manifested His presence to His people in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple built by Solomon. The Old Testament also recognized that the Spirit of God would be in certain people such as Joseph (Genesis 41:38). He was also said to be in Joshua, which is why God chose him for leadership (Numbers 27:18). The Spirit is reported to have come upon some. These included the judges, Saul and the prophets Balaam and Azariah. He even filled some people as a special enablement to do a certain work (Exodus 31:3; 35:31). However, this doesn't appear to be universal or permanent. Sin could cause the Spirit to leave a person. It certainly happened with King Saul (I Samuel 6:14). And King David, when he repented of his sin with Bathsheba, wrote Psalm 51. In it he pleads:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me."
In contrast, the New Testament declares that the Holy Spirit dwells permanently in the believer in Jesus Chirst. In fact we are sealed by Him until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). In other words, we are secure until Jesus Christ returns to complete the work of salvation that he started in us. (Philippians 1:6). It is the Spirit dwelling in us that is the basis of all that God is doing in the life of the believer, from the giving of spiritual gifts, to the fact that the Spirit is conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ.
I. The Spirit Indwells All Believers
There are a number of passages which indicate that the Spirit indwells all true believers in Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 2:12 says:
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God."
And the Apostle Paul asks the Corinthians, who should have known this truth by now:
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body" (I Corinthians 6:19).
The truth is, that if a person does not possess the Spirit of God, he is not saved. The Spirit living in us is an indication that we belong to God. Those that are not a temple of the Holy Spirit simply do not have eternal life. Paul says:
"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."
II. Sin Doesn't Cause the Spirit to Leave the Believer
The Bible plainly indicates that the true believer in Jesus Christ is sealed until the day of redemption, as we stated earlier. And Romans 8:38,39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. In I Corinthians 6:19,20 which speaks about our bodies being temples, Paul was talking to a spiritually mixed group of believers. Some were obviously not living up to the standards that God asks of His followers. For instance, in ICorinthians 5:1-5 there was a brother who was living in gross immorality. He was sleeping with his father's wife. Yet he was considered a true believer.
We have to be careful here. Sin is always wrong and is never to be tolerated in the life of any believer. Sin, grieves the heart of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), and it quenches His activities in our lives (I Thessalonians 5:19). It is ultimately a waste of a life that should be lived to glorify the Lord, and Scripture indicates that we will suffer loss for the time we've wasted in sin (I Corinthians 3:10-15). But sin will not cause us to lose our salvation. The indwelling Spirit is there to see that we will ultimately be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). God will deal one way or another with the sin of the believer to make us what God designed us to become.
It is a wonderful thing to know that we are a temple of the Holy Spirit. To know that God permanently dwells in us and has made us His possession is comforting. He truly will never leave us or forsake us. However, one of the major things that this truth tells us is that we no longer belong to ourselves. We belong to God, and therefore the Lord owns us. We were bought with the price of the blood of the Son of God and owe Him everything. The Holy Spirit's permanent indwelling, far from giving us a license to sin without worrying about the consequences, is rather a reason to live a godly life. After all God has done for us, should we not live for him?
We are indeed a temple, a dwelling place of the Spirit of God. May we never forget this as we live our lives. And may we continually prove to the world that we belong to a holy God.