Ezra 6:2-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Psalms 30:1-3; Proverbs 11:9-11
NT: “Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and that is what you are. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written, He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are futile. So let no one boast in human leaders, for everything is yours — whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come — everything is yours, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-23 CSB)
Each person who has repented from sin and come to Christ in faith, believed Christ for salvation, and acknowledged Christ as Lord has become God’s temple – and as we open our lives to the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God inhabits (not possesses) us and lives within us. When we place saving faith in and on Christ, we are redeemed, reconciled to God and made holy – and as we follow the Lord Jesus as faithful disciples, we are continually made holy from glory to glory as we are transformed more and more into the image of Christ. That is true of every believer – not just select believers. And as Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2, while we are all individually temples of God, we are also all living stones that are being built together into a spiritual house (or temple) and holy priesthood both: the place for and the people to offer acceptable sacrifices of worship to God. In Christ, we are all graced, we are all made worthy, we all share in God’s anointing, we are all equal sharers of Christ’s inheritance. Because of that, we don’t do things the way the world does things. We don’t use the wisdom that comes from the world. We don’t allow ourselves to be conformed to the ways of the world. Why would we, when we can all walk in the ways of God and do all things according to His wisdom? There are no celebrities in the body of Christ. There are no people who are “more worthy” than others. There is no competing for attention, recognition or resources. We are all Christ’s and all who are in Christ belong to God. As we surrender to God, we are filled with His Spirit, anointed by the Spirit and graced by the Spirit for all that God has called us to.
Psalms: “I will exalt you, Lord, because you have lifted me up and have not allowed my enemies to triumph over me. Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you healed me. Lord, you brought me up from Sheol; you spared me from among those going down to the Pit.” (Psalms 30:1-3 CSB)
The superscription for this psalm is, “a dedication song for the house.” David was not allowed to build a temple for the Lord, but he did purchase the land that would later house the temple, and dedicated that land to the Lord – and it was there that David worshipped until his final days before the Temple was built. The story around the purchase of that land tells of a time that David allowed his heart to be lifted up… a time when David, instead of trusting in the hand of the Lord, was compelled to follow the wisdom of the world and number his troops so that he could place his sense of security on them. The census that David took was looked upon as sin, and God allowed a fast-moving plaque to hit the nation to bring David to a place of humility and repentance. David purchased the threshing floor of Araunah on the top of Mount Moriah in an obedient act of repentance for his sin, and offered a sacrifice that moved God to put an end to the pestilence. Perhaps, this psalm was written in response to those events as David dedicated the land for the temple, the house of God.
After all that had transpired, David said, “I will exalt You Lord, because You have lifted me up… You brought healing when I cried out to You… You have rescued me from Sheol… You have spared me from death and hell. God has done the same for us as we have repented of our sin, cried out to Him, and placed our faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ. God didn’t just provide a place for a temple – He made us His temple. He rescued us from the kingdom of darkness, re-birthed us into His kingdom, and made us His sons and daughters. And He will continue to save us and rescue us as we reject the ways of the flesh, the world, and the Devil and follow completely His word, will and ways.
Prayer: Lord, what an incredible honor to be Your temple – a dwelling place for Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for saving me, for redeeming me, for reconciling me, and for sanctifying me, and for filling me. There is no other reasonable response for me than to offer my life as a living sacrifice in worship and dedication to You, Your word, Your will, and Your ways. Help me by Your grace to not capitulate or settle for the ways of the world – but in everything trust in Your wisdom as You inhabit my life with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.