Surprise, you’re a temple
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
January 18th & 19th, 2009
I have before you a couple of items of value in our home. The first is an album of pictures when our children were young. This is uniquely valuable to us, because tied to these pictures are shared memories unique to our family. Second we have this ratty old baseball glove. It’s not used anymore, and 30 years ago I might have considered tossing it away, but not today because this was my first baseball glove. Third, we have a string of pearls; really this is the fake string, because I’m not allowed to bring this other one out of the house. “I tend to lose things”. These all have value to our family, but for different reasons. The picture’s value is based on our shared memories. The baseball glove is significant, because of its nostalgic value, and the pearls because of their financial value. To do something like this to these valuable items may makes us shudder. (crinkle up a pictures, throw away the glove, and cut up the beads, I will have replaced these with something similar before cutting them up). Today we hear that we are temples of the Holy Spirit, extremely valuable to the one who paid the ultimate price to make us worthy to be in his presence. Our God has not only created us, but he has made the ultimate in investments, his own blood, to bring us into his kingdom. We are called to treat his valuable investment appropriately or according to the value he has placed on us.
Have you ever had conversations like this in your household or at least heard of conversations like this often given by an adult to the children in the home? “Knock it off”. “Why”, because I said so. The child responds but, but…… and you say “no buts I don’t want to hear it “Knock it off”. Frankly this well worn technique is quick to the point, and can be quite effective. When Paul confronts this dear little Corinthian congregation on issues like divisiveness, falling away from the good news of Christ crucified in favor of “rational” beliefs, lawsuits among believers, attending the Lord’s Supper half heartedly, worship disorder, pride, and yes even improper intimate relations he doesn’t just say “Knock it off”….no buts about it, you know the commandments, you know better than that.” If he would have done this, it would have been a much shorter letter. However, he takes a different tact. A tact that shares something about the Savior, and how he has lifted us up and given us a status, a significance, that simply cannot be matched in this world. “Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body. (1 Cor. 6:19-20).” On this basis our lives are different, on this basis our actions are to connect with our status in Christ’s eyes. Just as I wouldn’t destroy our valuable memories, all the more we are called to live as a “temple of the Holy Spirit”.
we live surrounded by a culture that is very similar to that which the
Corinthians congregation lived in.
Everyone in this town knew about a great temple to “Aphrodite”, a place
where more than 1,000 women plied “their trade” of all things in the name of a
religion. You could say that they were
this high status reality is not only given to warn Corinthians and us about
ling out the life. It is also a message
of healing for those who have failed God and others. For those who have ventured to the clinic in
We have things of high value in our homes, and we treat them accordingly. We are called today, to remember our high worth from our redeeming Savior, and see others as value through Jesus eyes. Our pictures, my baseball gloves, and yes even these pearls have value. Yet, it is nothing like being a temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 2 says this “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nations, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the promises of him who called you out of darkness, into his marvelous light.” To him be the glory both now and forevermore. Amen.