And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
What a wonderful gift! That the blessed Holy Spirit would take up residence within us! He whose power raised our Lord Jesus Christ up from the grave abides in us. We often can feel alone, but Christians should never say that – God is ever present within us, praying for us, comforting us, empowering us, and convicting us (among other things).
Paul indicates elsewhere that we should respond by being holy. He exhorts us to consider that, because of the indwelling of the Spirit of God, we ought to respond in a correct way.
I Corinthians 6:12-20 states
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
The word “temples” is especially interesting. In Israel, the Solomon temple had four parts to it (from outside to inside):
- The Outer Court.
- This is where people were permitted to worship God
- The Inner Court.
- This was the Court of the Priests
In it was the Temple building itself:
- The Holy Place.
- This was also known as the Temple, and
- The Most Holy Place (or Holy of Holies).
- This is where the Ark of the Covenant was kept behind the veil, which was the seat of God’s power and presence. The only person permitted to enter here was the Jewish High Priest, and only once a year, in order to offer the sacrifice of the people to God. God took this so seriously that if the High Priest didn’t perform the ceremony properly, God struck him dead. It was a practice at that time for the High Priest to tie a rope around his waist, so that in the event something went wrong, they could pull his body out of the Holy of Holies. Otherwise, they would have to wait a year for the next High Priest to remove it…
The Greek word for the Holy of Holies was naos. This is the same word that Paul uses in this passage to refer to our bodies as temples. We are not the entire temple, or any less-important part the the temple – we are the Holy of Holies! Because we have the imputed righteousness of Christ, God Himself can reside within us. Wow.
So, in light of God’s glory and grace, how are we treating our naos?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, you have done the unthinkable and prepared our bodies as Holy Temples for your presence. You have cleansed us of all sin, and with the righteousness of Christ, provide us with the Holy Spirit. Teach us the ways in which we should go. Help your servants to remember not just who You are, but who we are supposed to be. Strengthen us this day, Lord, that we would treat these bodies – our thoughts, words, and deeds – in a manner worthy of being a naos. This we ask in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.