I’m continuing the series on: How God Sees Us, which commenced here.
Some years ago, before I was married, I went with a girlfriend to England. We did all the touristy things and visited many cathedrals. They all had a claim to significance. One cathedral was the most Gothic, one had the tallest spire, one had the oldest foundation. Because there were so many cathedrals throughout England, they all tried to find something that made them difference and therefore special.
Solomon’s temple was special because of the Lord’s Presence: “Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
In the Old Testament, God’s Presence dwelt in the temple, but now, God no longer resides in structures made by human hands, instead he resides in human hearts, which is even more remarkable than his glory filling the temple. This gives us a picture of what God had in mind, when he calls his people a holy temple. We are special because God lives in us. We are significant because we are his temple. “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22
Sometimes we think that our bodies are nothing more that vessels to carry our spirit around, but God has a much higher view. We are God’s temple. We may feel like damaged temples; we may have experiences which have left us like feeling broken and unclean. But that’s okay because God is in the business of restoration. It is in the context of being God’s temple that Paul tells us to flee sexual immorality.
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
We live in a sex saturated world and the enemy has distorted sex. God created sex to be beautiful and to be experience within marriage. Our present culture confuses sex with love and lust. It has become an idol for many. As Christians we know that God’s ways are for our good, and he wants to protect us from the heart break that comes from sexual sins. But Satan is subtle. He drops a lie in our minds, that we are missing out, or that God’s ways are outdated. He then feeds the lie with all sorts of television shows and adverts with bad morals.
Temptation begins with a thought in our mind. When we start entertaining the thought and acting upon it, we find ourselves on a slippery slope. But the good news is that God is in the business of redemption and restoration. Jesus came to bind up the broken-hearted. Through Jesus, we can find strength to repent, to forgive, to renounce unrighteousness and do whatever we need to do to find wholeness. There is hope, because God can cleanse and purify our lives.
Paul writes: “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13