16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.—1 Cor. 3:16-17 NASB
When Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem, it included the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place. That was where the Ark was placed and that is where the Shekinah glory of God came down. There was no sun or artificial light in the place, the glory of God was the only light that lit up the Most Holy Place. If anyone defiled the Most Holy Place in the Temple, they were sentenced to death. The priest that entered the Most Holy Place wore a rope around his ankle, so that if he erred in his duties and God destroyed him, his body could be pulled out. This should let us know how serious God is about the defilement of His Temple. Now, we are that Most Holy Place. It is hard for us to grasp the concept that we are a Temple of the Living God. There is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, actually living inside us. The Holy Spirit is a person with emotions. He can be grieved and hurt. If we choose a lifestyle that defiles the Temple, our bodies, we will be destroyed as well. Does this mean that we will die and go to hell? No, not if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. It could very well mean that you depart from this earth at an earlier age than you expected.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. 2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.— Eccl. 3:1-3 NLT
Our lives are divided into times and seasons. Since our finite minds cannot grasp infinite, eternal things in their fulness, God has divided time into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and lifetimes. There are good times and bad times, rough patches and smooth sailing, times of need and times of abundance, times of sickness and times of good health. There are valleys of despair and there are mountains of joy. This is true because we live in a sinful world and it will remain true until the Perfect One returns and restores us and all of nature to a perfect state. James tells us that when sin has conceived, it brings forth death. James 1:14, 15 There are more deaths than physical and spiritual that are brought on when we give into temptation and allow sin to rule in our lives. There is financial death when we spend foolishly. There is the death of abundance when we waste. There is the death of relationships when we are unfaithful to God and/or others. But not all death is bad. There is the death of anger and bitterness when we accept God’s forgiveness and forgive others. There is the death of guilt and condemnation when we accept Jesus as our Savior. That death frees us to live again. To really live as we have never lived before! Jesus showed us how to live free. He put everyone in heaven and earth above Himself and His desires and He died to set us free! Because He chose to do this, God has exalted Him above everyone and everything in heaven and on earth. Have we killed our fleshly desires and allowed our spirits to be free?
Today would be a good day to deny all of our “self” and allow God to heal every hurt, pain and all the bitterness in our lives so that we can soar like eagles and live free! I know, I know, we can’t. But God can! Matt. 11:28-30
25 As Simon Peter was standing and warming himself, they said to him, “Aren’t you one of that man’s followers?” Peter said it was not true; he said, “No, I am not.”
26 One of the servants of the high priest was there. This servant was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. The servant said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter said it wasn’t true. At once a rooster crowed.—John 18:25-27 (NCV)
Have you ever promised God that you would not commit a certain sin and then you find that the next time the temptation comes up, you fail again? Every time we sin, we grieve God the Holy Spirit. Do you remember how you felt the last time you failed your parents, in particular, your Mother? I think if we can get that picture in our minds, we can start to understand how it hurts the Holy Spirit when we grieve Him by sinning. God the Holy Spirit is a person just as God the Father and God the Son are personages. We may not believe it or think it about much, but let’s look at what Paul writes: And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.—Eph. 4:30 (NCV)
Did you realize that you could make God sad?
I believe the very moment that Peter denied Jesus the third time, he realizes that he could hurt and wound God, our Savior. John doesn’t elaborate on this event, but if we read what is written in Matthew, we see how this affected Peter. 74 Then Peter began to place a curse on himself and swear, “I don’t know the man.” At once, a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.—Matt. 26:74, 75 (NCV)
When we realize that we have hurt God the Holy Spirit, we need to weep and confess our sins quickly. We need to keep a good relationship with the Holy Spirit because through Him is the way we communicate with God.
1 Corinthians 10: 23-31 (NLT) 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
(NLT) John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we experience a freedom of Spirit and liberty that we have never known before. As sinners, we were slaves to our flesh and satan’s demands. Now, we truly have a freedom to make choices to obey or disobey God. We are to follow after the example of Jesus in our new lifestyle. We are not, however, to use our liberty to hurt or abuse others in any way. We use should our freedom and our free gifts from God to draw others to Christ. Paul says not to use our liberties to cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble. Let the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit be abundant in your life. Against love, peace, joy, and patience, there is no law. Walk graciously and humbly before our Lord.