February 27, 2023
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Two verses which seem to be one extreme to the other. It is a thing to contemplate, this “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Our baptism gives us the infilling of the Holy Spirit and so we know verse 16 is true. But I wonder if we ever actively think of being vessels of the Holy Spirit. It seems too huge for us to bear. How can I, this fallen and broken person, have the Holy Spirit within me? Surely He’d look around, see my frailty and faults and run away. I would. You would. Yet the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, our Helper, our Comforter – He’s made of sterner stuff than we. Do a quick inventory of your life … do you think you have been a good keeper of the temple? No; me, either.
Then we have to think about “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” The timid legalist within us thinks instantly, “Define ‘defile’ …”, always looking for an out, a ‘get out of jail free’ card. But we know; in our hearts we know how we have defiled our temples. Sigh.
Lent is an excellent time for doing some self reflection to see where we fall short and try to figure out how to honor the Holy Spirit within us and to get out the mop and cleaning rags to attack and scrub away those things we have done to defile our temple. As a matter of fact, Lent is the perfect time for this exercise as we prepare for the unspeakable joy of Easter, when the work of the Cross is completed and Jesus has risen and we are washed clean in His blood.
To God be the glory! Amen.