Whose Temple Are You?
Flee sexual immorality…. Glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18, 20
The city of Corinth was one of the most modern and beautiful cities in the world in its day. As one of the best-located cities on earth for shipping, great masses of people were coming and going all the time. It was also famous for its sexuality, sensuality, and depravity. The entire city worshiped Aphrodite, the goddess of love and pleasure and the patron goddess of prostitution. Her temple sat on the acropolis looking down on a city in the grip of runaway sexual immorality.
How like our world today!
Some of the new believers in Corinth were struggling with sexual purity, so Paul gave them a powerful truth to consider. When we receive Christ as Savior, our bodies become the temples of the Holy Spirit. We don’t belong to ourselves anymore. We belong to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us in a way that even has physical implications. He indwells us fully.
When we view ourselves like that, how can we continue in sexual sin? God calls us to glorify Him in both body and spirit.
When we receive Christ, His Spirit comes within. As we let Him reign on the throne of our inner sanctums, His indwelling strength helps us live conquering lives. Leslie B. Flynn
How to overcome sexual sin ~~ 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (Stay close to God)
Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
I’m reminded of some wise advice a radio broadcaster friend once gave me. Early on in his career, as my friend struggled to know how to deal with both criticism and praise, he felt that God was encouraging him to shelve both. What’s the essence of what he took to heart? Learn what you can from criticism and accept praise. Then shelve both and humbly move on in God’s grace and power.
Criticism and praise stir in us powerful emotions that, if left unchecked, can lead to either self-loathing or an overinflated ego. In Proverbs we read of the benefits of encouragement and wise counsel: “Good news gives health to the bones. . . .Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding” (15:30, 32).
If we’re on the receiving end of a rebuke, may we choose to be sharpened by it. Proverbs states, “Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise” (v. 31). And if we’re blessed with words of praise, may we be refreshed and filled with gratitude. As we walk humbly with God, He can help us learn from both criticism and praise, shelve them, and then move on in Him (v. 33).
Father God, thank You for the gift of praise and criticism. As I humbly surrender to You, may I grow and be sharpened by both.
2 Timothy 1:3-7
Fear is an emotion that can be helpful or harmful. For instance, it’s helpful to have the fear—or reverence—of the Lord, which keeps us from sin. And it’s also beneficial to have a healthy fear that warns of dangers. But oftentimes we are plagued by a different kind of fear, which keeps us from obeying God; this kind is usually rooted in self-focus rather than faith. As Paul wrote to Timothy, we may have “a spirit of timidity,” which originates in faulty thinking (2 Timothy 1:7).
Adequate vs. Inadequate. When adverse circumstances arise, we may become anxious because we are convinced we’re inadequate for the situation. However, it’s not the situation but an error in our thinking that is causing the fear. Our adequacy is never in ourselves but in God, who makes us adequate for whatever He brings into our life (2 Corinthians 3:4-5).
God’s Standards vs. Our Standards. Many of us set goals for ourselves that are unrealistic. Such standards impose undue pressure and generate anxiety when we fail. Although we may believe these goals are what God expects, they could be our own expectations. We must let the Lord direct our steps so His plans are accomplished, not ours (Prov. 16:9).
Grace vs. Guilt. Some of us are afraid of making a mistake, because we live with guilt over something we’ve done in the past and assume God is still displeased about it. However, Scripture assures us that in Christ, all our sins are forgiven and our guilt has been removed (Rom. 8:1).
The next time fear comes calling, take your eyes off yourself, answer it with the truth of God’s Word, and let faith take its place.
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)
Here we are given assurance that we will be able to tell the difference in people by the way they respond to the Word of God. The emphasis is on the believer’s ability to discern a spirit (attitude or character) of truth or error among those to whom we witness.
This is important because we are told not to cast “pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6) and to “shake off the very dust” from our feet against those who will not receive our witness (Luke 9:5).
Others disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness when they are really the ministers of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). How can we tell which is which?
The spirit of truth is relatively easy to discern. Those who hear the Word (Mark 4:18-20) and receive the Word with all readiness of mind (Acts 17:11) are of the truth (John 18:37). Such people come willingly to the light (John 3:21) and ask for a “reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
The spirit of error can be more difficult to discern. Its source is Satan (John 8:44), who deceives (Revelation 12:9) and uses his servants to manipulate and mislead (Ephesians 4:14).
Some of these run among God’s family and live “in error” (2 Peter 2:18). They can be fruitless trees and “raging waves . . . foaming out their own shame” (Jude 12-13), or like “tares” among the wheat that even the angels have trouble recognizing (Matthew 13:38-40). These won’t listen to truth.
Our job is to be ready to give the answer to the one and to reject the other. HMM III
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
—1 Corinthians 12:18
Let us review something here that we probably know: the doctrine of the life and operation of Christian believers on earth—starting with the fact that the Christian church is the body of Christ, Jesus Himself being the Headship of that body. Every true Christian, no matter where he or she lives, is a part of that body, and the Holy Spirit is to the church what our own souls are to our physical bodies. Through the operation of the Holy Spirit, Christ becomes the life, the unity and the consciousness of the body, which is the church. Let the soul leave the physical body and all the parts of the body cease to function. Let the Spirit be denied His place in the spiritual body, and the church ceases to function as God intended….
According to the Bible, the whole body exists for its members and the members exist for the whole body. And that, of course, is the reason God gives gifts, so that the body may profit spiritually and maintain spiritual health and prosperity in its service for Jesus Christ in an unfriendly world. TRA014-016
Lord, I pray today that we in our church might be aware of Your presence, that we might be faithfully exercising the gifts You have given and that we might be a healthy Body that pleases You. Amen.
God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.—2 Corinthians 9:8.
O love,Thy sovereign aid impart
To save me from low-thoughted care;
Chase this self-will through all my heart,
Through all its latent mazes there;
Make me Thy duteous child, that I
Ceaseless may “Abba, Father” cry.
The grace which keeps me from falling one inch further, irrecoverably, and is not worn out by my provocations in this wilderness, is simply more visibly alive and active in my most certain experiences, more prompt, more steady, than I have any experience of among material things and persons. Everything material is simply feeble; and everything personal is shadowy, as compared with this personality under whose shadow I am allowed to dwell. And all this is the more extraordinary because of the hurry, hotness, dry ness, aridity of the life I am obliged to live in London, if correspondence, interviews, letters, are to be kept down and dealt with at all. The want of time to read and think, the shortness and distractions of prayer, seem to threaten one’s very existence as a conscious child of God. And yet He is on my right hand and I know it.
Edward White Benson.
“Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.” Nah. 1:12
There is a limit to affliction. God sends it and God removes it. Do you sigh, and say “When will the end be?” Remember that our griefs will surely and finally end when this poor earthly life is over. Let us quietly wait, and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He cometh.
Meanwhile, our Father in Heaven takes away the rod when His design in using it is fully served. When He has whipped away our folly, there will be no more strokes. Or, if the affliction is sent for testing us, that our graces may glorify God, it will end when the Lord has made us bear witness to His praise. We would not wish the affliction to depart till God has gotten out of us all the honor which we can possibly yield Him.
There may today be “a great calm.” Who knows how soon those raging billows will give place to a sea of glass, and the sea birds sit on the gentle waves? After long tribulation the flail is hung up, and the wheat rests in the garner. We may, before many hours are past, be just as happy as now we are sorrowful. It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer. It is better on before. Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation.