You, Me, and the Temple

Those who have experienced a personal saving relationship with Jesus have a responsibility to mature in holiness and shed worldliness. However, that is not only as individuals; it is a corporate responsibility, also. I Corinthians 3:16-17 makes this clear: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Yes, you and I, if we are born again, are the dwelling places of God on earth; we are temples. In addition, the Church (all who have experienced a genuine conversion) are a temple corporately. Paul was giving the Corinthian Church instruction in corporate purity. If we defile (pollute, corrupt, stain) the church, there are consequences! The passage teaches that the offender will be destroyed. The word “destroy” was hard to find any information on, in this Corinthian passage. It ranged from: hurt, damage, nullify, make of none effect, void, render inoperative and in some other passages it was as we would normally think of the word itself. The “bottom line” is that we need to keep the church pure and our contribution is to be pure ourselves and to join with brothers and sisters to protect the local church. We are to do this in a Christ-like way. Mary Bowley Peters expresses the importance of a pure church, individually and corporately, in her hymn: “O Lord, While We Confess the Worth.” She wrote: “O Lord, while we confess the worth of this, the outward seal, do Thou, the truths herein set forth to ev’ry heart reveal. Death to the world we here avow, death to each fleshly lust; newness of life our calling now, a risen Lord our trust. And we, O Lord, who now partake of resurrection life, with ev’ry sin, for Thy dear sake, would be at constant strife. Baptized into the Father’s name, we’d walk as sons of God; baptized in Thine, we own Thy claim as ransomed by Thy blood. Baptized into the Holy Ghost, we’d keep His temple pure; and make Thy grace our only boast, and by Thy strength endure.  Amen!” Selah! Let Him so work in us that He will see His church as a “….glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (From Ephesians 5:27).   Ron

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