Last night in our Bible class we studied the Monday of the Passion Week, the last full week of Jesus’ life on earth. On that Monday, Jesus chased people out of the Temple in Jerusalem (Mat 21:12-13). Apparently, people were using the court of the Gentiles as a shortcut through Jerusalem and others had turned that area into a marketplace for those coming to the temple and those traveling through. They were not using God’s Temple for God, but for themselves.
The Temple Today.
God’s Temple today is not a physical building. He does not dwell in a house made with hands. The Apostle Paul explains the new dwelling place of God best in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17* and in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. In both passages, Paul says as a Christian, our body is the dwelling place of God. We are the Temple of God and His Spirit dwells in us. This knowledge begs the question, “How can we be guilty of defiling the Temple of God?”
How can we be guilty of defiling the Temple of God?
Some of the answer we discussed in class were:
- Allowing sin to rule our lives.
- Using our body for our own purposes and not the purpose of God.
- Abusing our bodies with chemicals (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gluttony. etc.)
- Worshipping the temple over the God of the temple. (Focusing on our outward beauty and physical fitness to the neglect of our spiritual fitness and beauty).
What would you add?
* One reader pointed out, correctly I might add, that the temple reference in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is more about the community of believers than the individual. Thanks, Darryl for the correction. That being the case there is another discussion to have, “How can we be guilty of defiling the Temple of God?”
- By not living in the world (in the court of the Gentiles) in a way that glorifies God.
- By worshipping the building over the Church that assembles there.
- By glorifying our activities, achievements, understanding, methodologies, exclusivity or inclusivity over the God of the Temple.
Again, what would you add?