I Cor. 3:16-17 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.
We processed on Sunday the tragic story of Ananias and Sapphira who died because they lied to the Apostles and more importantly to God. I tried to communicate that the larger narrative unfolding in the book of Acts is the shift of God’s presence from the Old Temple in Jerusalem where the Israelites gathered to worship, pray and make sacrifices to the New Temple which is his people. We learned from the story of Ananias and Sapphira that being the temple is serious business. It is both exhilarating and sobering. Exhilarating in that we the Temple of God are being built up by the Holy Spirit to be a people who live and act in a way that demonstrates Jesus is Lord and King of all. Sobering in that it is weighty responsibility can’t be taken lightly. When it is taken lightly, the scriptures teach us, bad things usually happen that ultimately stifle God’s honor and his work (The story of Achan in Joshua 7 comes to mind).
Temple buildings in all religious traditions are usually considered holy. What is meant by holy is not perfection but being SET APART for God. So a wooden spoon or a solid gold lamp stand are both considered holy because when they are “set apart” for God and used for whatever purposes He desires. The simple and the ornate carry the same “holy” weight when they are used by God. This is true of us. We are called “holy” as the temple of God not because we are perfect, but because we have been set apart by Jesus’ death and resurrection for God and God alone. What also makes us holy is the work of the Holy Spirit indwelling. This is why it becomes so vital that we learn to listen for and hear the Holy Spirit leading us into a holy life…all aspects set apart for God. We can’t fake being set apart because the Holy Spirit is indwelling us and knows when we are faking it…just as he did with Ananias and Sapphira.
Enjoying the journey,