May 20, 2022
“Don’t you know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone ruins God’s sanctuary, God will ruin him; for God’s sanctuary is holy...”
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1 Corinthians 3
“Don’t you know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone ruins God’s sanctuary, God will ruin him; for God’s sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
When we started teaching the Bible in coffeehouses, it wasn’t a sophisticated event….not that it’s very fancy these days. In the beginning, we were just a small group, meeting in my living room, wondering if God had a bigger purpose for our gathering. There was no pressure to look or act a certain way. It was kind of a “sweatpants” group. You know “sweatpants friends?” Sweatpants friends are the people you wouldn’t mind if they dropped by your home unannounced and saw you in your sweatpants!
That said, on the nights our group met, I would leave work early to help my wife tidy the house. With four children, we didn’t always have the “put together” look at the Wiggins casa. Now, if our guests were “sweatpants” friends, why did we clean up the house? Why not just leave stuff lying around, like every other day?
It’s because we respect our guests, and we want to create a pleasant environment. When we invite people over, everything is considered: the music, the conversation, food…all to honor, even our sweatpants friends.
What if non-sweatpants friends dropped by? The Pastor or the President? Well, the stakes get higher, huh? If a dignitary dropped by unannounced on an average day, we would freak out! What if that dignitary was Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
In today’s passage, Paul tells us that believers are God’s sanctuaries and that the Holy Spirit lives in us. So, how’s your housekeeping? Do the things you allow into your life honor or defile God’s sanctuary? Do they make God smile, or do they make Him jealous for your worship?
We allow sin in our lives because we don’t understand who we ARE in Christ, or we choose to forget. By sinning, we choose to relive who we WERE in the world.
Consider the nations which, on different occasions, destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. Where are those empires today, the Romans or the Babylonians? What of the persecutors, the Assyrians, Greeks, or the Nazis, for that matter? God ruined those empires & nations. But why did God allow them to persecute Israel in the first place? Because Israel abandoned God first, in the temple of their hearts, before He allowed their places of worship to be ruined. Let’s not be guilty of the same personal offense!
Let’s take this passage as a reminder for us to be continually aware of God’s presence in the sanctuaries of our hearts. God has no problem seeing us in our “sweatpants,” so to speak. Still, He is the Lord of all creation, and we must honor Him as such.