Being Living Temples

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” -1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

There is something sublime about old cathedrals. Whenever I enter one, I am always reminded of whose presence I am entering into and what my position is in relation to Him. I am going before a holy and righteous God who loves justice and hates sin. The only reason why I stand before Him is not because of any merit I have gained on my own to earn the right to be in His presence, but of my acceptance of the fact that I need Christ to continue to work in my life and free myself from my sinful nature. The idea behind an impressive cathedral was to remind people that they were entering before the presence of a holy God and to make themselves humble before Him. It is true that Christ is our Friend, but it is equally true that He is the Lord and Master of our lives who requires that we obey Him if we truly want to be free from the consequences of wrong choices. But we do not need to go into a cathedral to be reminded of this fact. The church is not a building, but it is in the hearts of those who have allowed Christ to take permanent residency.

Since we bear God’s Spirit, we need to actively seek to sanctify our hearts in order to make it a home fitting for the holy and righteous nature of the Spirit that has taken command over the center of our lives. This means making a lot of tough decisions that will place oneself at odds with our old sinful nature. Inappropriate thoughts and words, destructive addictions and habits, all of these are outward manifestations of issues that need to be addressed and dealt with in order to make ourselves worthy of being God’s living temple. But we cannot sanctify ourselves on our own. If we could, what would be the necessity of God coming down to Earth? We need to constantly swallow our pride and humble ourselves before God so that He may continue His redemptive mission in our lives. As our Father, He is always there to help his children in their struggles and gently prod them towards the path of life and true happiness. May we continue to ask God to help us clean our hearts and be careful of what we let into them. The source of all actions is our hearts, and we must take great care in making sure our hearts are pure so that Christ and who He is may be reflected when we come into contact with others.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Against Tyranny

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. –Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

Why do humans return to their vomit? If there is one quality which proves the stupidity of humanity it is the fact that humans often regress into old and detrimental habits even if they know full well that there is a far better way to live life.  When humans are faced with struggle when the want to pursue a lifestyle radically different from their previous one, suddenly their old way of life becomes more attractive; to the point where they forget the reason why they abandoned their previous lifestyle in the first place. This is seen especially with the case of the Israelites after they were delivered from Egypt by God’s hand. Once the Israelites began to feel that their journey to the Promised Land was too hard, they began to dream of all the food and pleasures available in Egypt, even though they were under the whip of their Egyptian overlords! Ironically, the chains of slavery seemed to be more comfortable to them than the wings of freedom.

No one ever said that the Christian life would be easy.  Neither did anyone say that it would be a free ride. Yet, many seem to think like this. Whenever the going gets tough, or a hard teaching comes across their path, they feel as though they can ignore it and continue to live in their old habits. After all, they are covered by their “heavenly insurance”. However, whenever the Christian chooses sin, he chooses to voluntarily submit to slavery. Before salvation, he had no choice but slavery to sin for he never knew of freedom from sin. But once Christ liberated him from the shackles of sin, why should the Christian turn back to bondage and oppression? Doing so not only makes light of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but also makes a mockery out of humanity. Truly, the irrationality of man is proven when they are presented with the joys of freedom but choose the suffering of tyranny instead. Christians must make a conscious effort to avoid sin and, whenever they struggle, to fall back on Christ their Redeemer instead of regressing back into old patterns. We a freed people! It’s about time that we start living as freed people!

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.