OR DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOUR
BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO IS IN YOU, WHOM YOU HAVE FROM
GOD: e ouk oidate (2PRAI) hoti to soma humon naos tou en humin hagiou
pneumatos estin, (3SPAI) ou echete (2PPAI) apo theou: (1Co
6:15,16) (1Co 3:16; 2Co 6:16; Ephesians 2:21,22-note;
Do you not
know - This question expects an affirmative answer. This is truth
they should already be aware of, but this recitation serves as an
Your body is
a temple - This is true of every believer the instant they are
saved by grace through faith. There are no "have's" and "have not's"
in Christianity in regard to the Holy Spirit. If someone teaches that
you have to do something to receive the Holy Spirit, they are not
teaching sound (hugies
= "hygienic", healthy) Pauline doctrine (Ro 8:9-note
could not be any more clear!), and you would be well advised to play
the part of a "Berean" (Acts 17:11-note,
1Th 5:21, 22-note)
in regard to the other "doctrines" they teach (cp Eph 4:14, 15-note,
Acts 20:30,31 Ro 16:17,18-note,
2Co 11:3,4 Ga 1:6,7, 3:1. Col 2:4, 5, 6, 7-note,
1Ti4:1, 6, 7; 2Ti2:15-note,
2Ti 2:16, 17-note,
2Ti 3:6, 7, 8, 9-note,
2Ti 4:3, 4-note
2Pe2:1, 2, 3-note
1Jn 2:19, 26).
See how the Holy Spirit links us
again with Christ. When He was here on earth, He said to the Jews of
His day, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"
(John 2:19), and they, misunderstanding, looked at the great temple on
Mount Moriah and said, "Forty and six years was this temple in
building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?" But we are told,
"He spake of the temple of His body." (Jn 2:20) He, the Holy One, had
a real human body, and that body was the sanctuary of deity. Now He
has gone back to heaven, He has saved our souls, and He claims our
bodies and has sent His Holy Spirit down to dwell in the body of the
believer. He says, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost."
Do we think as much of this as we
Would you allow many things about which you are careless
if that were constantly before your mind?
You think of a church building as a
sanctuary set apart for the work of the Lord. You step in from the
outside, and immediately your hat comes off, for you realize that you
are in the sanctuary. We teach our boys and girls not to be boisterous
or frivolous in the church building for it is the house where we meet
with God, and we realize that reverent behavior should characterize
us. But think of this, your body is the sanctuary, it is temple
in which the Holy Spirit dwells.
How careful you and I ought to
be that we grieve not that blessed One who dwells within, that we do
not bring dishonor upon the name of the Saviour who has sent His
Spirit to live in our body.
Say the words over and over again to yourself until they get such a
grip on you that you will never forget them:
"My body is the temple of the Holy
God dwells in me."
It will give you to realize the
dignity of the body and the responsibility that attaches to it.
Resource - See Dr John Walvoord's practical discussions
dealing with the believer and the indwelling Holy Spirit: (1)
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (The
Presence of the Spirit)
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Yieldedness to the
Spirit, Vital Fellowship with the Spirit, The Ministry of the Spirit)
Earlier Paul had
Do you not know that you are a
temple (sanctuary) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Comment: "You" is plural and thus
Paul is referring to the church composed of individual believers each
of whom is indwelt by the Spirit. Together they form a composite
temple of the Spirit. This reference to their being a temple is not
just for information but to motivate transformation. The Temple was a
holy, set apart place which God would jealously guard, so that it must
live up to its designation. The word for Temple as discussed below in
more detail is naos which refers to the inner temple complex,
including the holy place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies
could be entered into only once per year on the
Day of Atonement and
only then by the high priest. Anyone else who dared to enter the Holy
of Holies would be struck dead.
NT believers would do well to ponder
the privilege they now have to enter the Holy of Holies collectively
on Sundays and individually any time and any place. Such truth should
transform our walk in the midst of a perverted pagan society
motivating us to glorify God in our bodies!
in the Greek culture denoted the "abode of the gods" and was used to
refer to a literal structure or building associated with, dedicated to
and set apart to be a dwelling place for a deity. either pagan gods
(Acts 17:24) or the true God (Mt 23:16). Naos describes the place
where a deity was worshipped (cp Zacharias ministering to God in Lk
(holy, hallowed, consecrated from hieros [only in 1Co 9:13, 2Ti
3:15]  =
sacred, consecrated or belonging to or
connected with the gods) referred to the building set apart and
dedicated to the worship and service of the gods. In the NT hieron was
used to designate the entire complex of temple at Jerusalem. Hieron is the
all-inclusive word signifying the entire sacred enclosure, with its
porticos, courts, and other subordinate buildings.
referred to the temple proper, including the inner sanctuary, composed
of the outer room, the Holy of Holies and the innermost Holy
Place. When our Lord taught in the temple, He taught in the
hieron, in one of the temple porches. He expelled the
money-changers from the hieron, the court of the Gentiles. When
the veil of the temple was rent at the time of the death of our Lord
it was the veil of the naos, the curtain separating the Holy of
Holies from the Holy Place. When Zacharias entered the temple to burn
incense (Lk 1:9), he entered the naos, the Holy Place where
the altar of incense stood while the multitude were in prayer outside
he people were “without,” in the hieron (Lk 1:10).
naos in a figurative to refer to His body as a temple (Jn 2:19,
20, 21). Paul extends this meaning to the individual believer's body
as the dwelling place or inner sanctuary of the Holy Spirit (1Co
6:19), the inner sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.
72x in 67v - Matt 4:5; 12:5f; 21:12, 14f, 23; 24:1; 26:55; Mark 11:11,
15f, 27; 12:35; 13:1, 3; 14:49; Luke 2:27, 37, 46; 4:9; 18:10; 19:45,
47; 20:1; 21:5, 37f; 22:52f; 24:53; John 2:14f; 5:14; 7:14, 28; 8:2,
20, 59; 10:23; 11:56; 18:20; Acts 2:46; 3:1, 2, 3, 8, 10; 4:1; 5:20,
21, 24, 25, 42; 19:27; 21:26ff; 22:17; 24:6, 12, 18; 25:8; 26:21.
NAS = sacred (1), temple (70).
5x in the
-1Chr 9:27, 29:4,
2Chr 6:13, Ezek 28:18, 45:19.
45x in 39v - Mt 23:16, 17, 21, 35; 26:61; 27:5, 40, 51; Mk 14:58;
15:29, 38; Lk 1:9, 21, 22; 23:45; Jn 2:19, 20, 21; Acts 17:24;
19:24; 1Cor 3:16, 17; 6:19; 2Cor 6:16; Ep 2:21; 2Th 2:4; Re 3:12;
7:15; 11:1, 2, 19; 14:15, 17; 15:5, 6, 8; 16:1, 17; 21:22. NAS =
shrines(1), temple(42), temple sanctuary(1), temples(1).
60x in the
Septuagint (LXX)- 1Sa 1:9; 3:3; 2Sa 22:7; 1Kgs 6:3, 5, 17, 33, 36; 7:21,
50; 2Kgs 18:16; 23:4; 24:13; 1Chr 28:11; 2Chr 3:17; 4:7f, 22; 8:12;
15:8; 26:16, 19; 27:2; 29:7, 17; 36:7; Ezra 5:14; 6:5; Ps 5:7; 11:4;
18:6; 27:4; 28:2; 29:9; 45:15; 48:9; 65:4; 68:29; 79:1; 138:2; 144:12;
Isa 66:6; Jer 7:4; 24:1; 30:18; Ezek 8:16; 41:1, 4, 15, 21, 23, 25; Da
4:29; 5:2, 3; Joel 3:5; Amos 8:3; Jonah 2:4, 7; Hab 2:20; Hag 2:9, 15,
18; Zech 8:9; Mal 3:1
A temple is a place sacred to God,
and pure from immorality. If it is true we are filled with (Ed:
What fills you controls, either wine or the Spirit in Eph 5:18-note)
the Spirit, it must influence our sexual behavior. And if we commit
sexual immorality as Christians, we are polluting God’s temple.
Earlier, in 1Corinthians 3:16, Paul had said the church as a
whole was the temple of the Holy Spirit. Now, he says the same
is true, in a spiritual sense, of individual Christians.
A T Robertson comments
Our spirits dwell in our bodies and
the Holy Spirit dwells in our spirits. Some of the Gnostics split
hairs between the sins of the body and fellowship with God in the
spirit. Paul will have none of this subterfuge. One’s body is the very
shrine for the Holy Spirit. In Corinth was the temple to Aphrodite in
which fornication was regarded as consecration instead of
desecration. Prostitutes were there as "priestesses"
of Aphrodite, to help men "worship" the goddess by fornication!
Christianity replaces the physical
temple of the Jews with the spiritual temple of Christ’s physical body
(cf. Jn 2:21) as His corporate body, the church (cf. 1Co 10:16, 17;
11:29; 12:12–27). (Paul's Letters to a Troubled Church: I and II
Imagery of the Temple -
Since sacred concepts of boundaries, holiness and God’s presence
undergird the identity of the people of God, the temple often
symbolizes God’s people. (Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: InterVarsity
The Temple of God in the OT
was a place wholly dedicated to God and His glory and nothing defiled
was allowed to come within. Nadab and Abihu the sons of Eleazar
offered strange fire before the Lord and He took their life killed
them (Lev 10:1,2, 3). Ryrie comments that...
Nadab and Abihu apparently used
coals of fire that were not taken from the bronze altar as prescribed
(see Lv 6:12, 13; 16:12). It seems, too, that they offered incense
other than at the morning or evening sacrifice (cf. Ex 30:7, 8). Some
feel that they were drunk because a prohibition against drinking
immediately follows their punishment (Lv 10:9).
The temple of the Holy Spirit must
be kept holy (Lv 11:44, 1Pe 1:14-note,
1Pe 1:15, 16-note,
In a sense when believers indulge in immoral behavior they are
"offering strange fire", and it is only because of the mercy of God
they are not consumed like Nadab and Abihu! Our bodies must be kept as
His whose they are, that we
might be always ready for His use. Paul conveys a similar thought to
young Timothy writing that...
Therefore, if a man (or woman)
cleanses himself (herself) from these things, (Note: "Things" =
Italicized = added by the translators. In context "things"
appears to refer to false teachers and false teachings. This passage
thus parallels 1Cor 6:18-20 in calling for separation from that which
is defiling, profaning, degrading, etc. [cp "Flee immorality!"]
Paul goes on to explain...) he will be a vessel (Think of your body,
God's Temple, also as God's "vessel" or instrument - see Ro 6:12, 13-note)
for honor (of worth or merit), sanctified (set apart), useful (easy to
make use of) to the Master, prepared (perfect
has been made ready and is still in a condition of readiness like the
Minute Men militia - farmers who were ready to engage in active combat
with the enemy in a "minute's" notice! Are you "ever ready" to glorify
God?) for every good work (Good works are "God works", Spirit
initiated and Spirit enabled, so that only One can properly receive
the glory!). (2Ti 2:21-note)
Beloved, if you repeatedly fail to
cleanse yourself and to flee from the abomination of fornication,
do not be surprised if the Lord does not use you (Think - "useful to
the Master") for His glory! As D L Moody once said
A holy life will make the deepest
impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.
“Know ye not that your body is the
temple of the Holy Ghost?” Does this not make a man outstanding? Have
you never stood in awe of your own self? Have you thought enough about
how this poor body is sanctified, dedicated, and elevated into a
sacred condition by being set apart as a temple of the Holy
Ghost?...God Himself then dwells in you. The Spirit of Him who raised
Christ from the dead is in you. You life is hidden with Christ in God
and the Spirit seals you, anoints you, and abides in you. By the
Spirit, we have access to the Father. By the Spirit, we perceive our
adoption and learn to cry, “Abba, Father.” By the Spirit, we are
made partakers of the divine nature and have communion with the
threefold, holy Lord.
Dwelling Places of God - In
the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve (cp Ge 3:8) and then
man (Enoch, Noah) walked with God (Ge 5:22, 24; 6:9). Then God desired
to dwell with him (Ex 25:8, 29:45, cp 1Ki 6:12, 13). His glory came to
the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34), but when Israel sinned, the glory departed
(1Sa 4:21, 22). The glory dwelt in the temple (1Ki 8:10,11), but then
departed again because of the sins of the people (Ezek 11:22,23 - see
related study on the
Glory of the LORD: Past, Present, Future).
God's promise to Israel was that He would dwell in their midst (Zech
2:10 partially fulfilled in Jn 1:14, but the complete fulfillment
including Zec 2:11, 12 awaiting His glorious return to take His throne
in Jerusalem, Mt 25:31, Rev 20:4-note,
Zech 8:21, 14:16, 17, Isa 2:3-note).
The glory came in the person of Jesus Christ (Jn 1:14) but His own
rejected Him (Jn 1:11). Today He dwells now in believers individually
(1Co 6:19, 20-note)
and the church collectively (1Co 3:16, Ep 2:20, 21, 22-note).
In the Millennium Jehovah will reveal Himself as
Jehovah Shammah - The LORD is There
taking His throne in the earthly city of Jerusalem. And finally one
wonderful day God’s glory will be revealed in the New Heaven and the
New Earth and the perfect city, a heavenly Jerusalem, where His people
will dwell forever (Rev. 21:3-note,
Your body is a temple of the
Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God - This Scripture
has no caveats, asterisks or exception clauses and thus makes it
indubitably clear that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer.
A W Tozer put it this way...
I do not believe in a repetition of
Pentecost, but I do believe in a perpetuation of Pentecost—and there
is a vast difference between the two.
Jesus speaking to His
disciples gave them this promise concerning the Holy Spirit...
And I will ask the Father, and He
will give you another Helper (parakletos = "The Comforter",
literally "Called Alongside"), that He may be with you forever; that
is the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does
not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with
you, and will be in you. (Jn 14:16, 17)
The Greek word for Helper is
parakletos which means consoler, comforter, helper, legal
assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another's cause, pleader,
proxy, one who comes forward behalf of and representative of another,
one called alongside to help. In this passage our Lord was promising
that the Holy Spirit would take up permanent, uninterrupted residence
within His disciples. It was not only that the Spirit would be present
with them but the even greater truth was that He would be resident
within them permanently. This truth of the permanently indwelling
Spirit is one of the wonderful New Covenant realities (originally this
promise was given to Judah and Israel in Jer 31:31 but applicable to
the church 1Co 3:16). Through the prophet Ezekiel God promised...
I will put My Spirit within you,
and you will come to life. (Ezek 37:14, cp Ezek 11:19, 20, 37:26,27,
39:29. The final fulfilment of this promise will take place at the
when Christ will pour out His Spirit upon Israel - Zech 12:10 and
"all" Israel [all that compose
will be saved - see Ro 11:26, 27-note)
In the Old Testament, the Holy
Spirit was often present with believers, but He did not indwell them.
Moreover, His presence seemed to be conditional which is the grounds
for David's prayer
Do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me
In the New Testament believers now
have a permanently resident Paraclete, not with or among, but within.
The indwelling presence of the Spirit is one of the proofs of
You are not in the flesh but in the
Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does
not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him (Ro 8:9-note)
And so Jesus’ promise in John 14
that the Holy Spirit would reside within them was not limited to the
eleven apostles who were present that night. In fact the Holy Spirit
indwells every Christian. In John 14:23, Jesus said
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My
word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make
Our abode with him
And so in this passage Paul affirms
the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom
you have from God (1Cor 6:19)
In his second letter there is a
similar passage, where Paul asks the Corinthians...
Or what agreement has the temple of
God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God
said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND
WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the
Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18
"And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to
Me," Says the Lord Almighty. 7:1 Therefore, having these promises (Truth
revealed always calls
for a personal response! Scripture is not given to make us smarter
sinners, but more like the Savior!),
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and
spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2Co 6:16, 17, 18,
As D L Moody rightly said...
I think it is clearly taught in the
Scripture that every believer has the Holy Ghost dwelling in him. He
may be quenching the Spirit of God, and he may not glorify God as he
should, but if he is a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy
Ghost dwells in him. But I want to call your attention to another
fact. I believe today, that though Christian men and women have the
Holy Spirit dwelling in them, yet He is not dwelling within them in
power; in other words, God has a great many sons and daughters without
L. Moody: Secret Power - ONLINE)
As the soul does not live idly in
the body, but gives motion and vigour to every member and part, so the
Spirit of God cannot dwell in us without manifesting Himself by the
That is why fornication should be
unthinkable in a Christian. God is in us, in the Holy Spirit: not an
influence, not a power, but a person whom we can grieve.
F B Meyer...
MAKING A FRESH START
"Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is
corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. Be renewed in the spirit of
your mind. Put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness."--Eph. 4:22-note,
Ep 4:23, 24-note.
"Put ye on the Lord Jesus
WE CAN all start afresh! However far we have ascended, there is
something higher; and however far we have fallen, it is always
possible to make a fresh start. We need to take our place in the
School of Christ and be taught by Him (Eph. 4:20, 21-note).
"The old man" which we must "put
off" is clearly our former manner of life. If we have not put it
entirely away, let us do so now by an immediate act of faith in the
living Spirit. It does not take long for a beggar to put off his rags
and take instead a new suit of clothes, and it need not take a moment
longer to put away habits and thoughts, ways of speech and life which
are unworthy of the children of God. Do it now, and look up to the
Holy Spirit to keep renewing you in the spirit of your mind.
But more than this, let us "put on
the new man," which is the life of Jesus Christ, that ideal which is
in the likeness of God, and which the Lord created for us by His
blessed life and death and resurrection.
But to enable us to live this
life we need the daily help of the Holy Spirit. He entered our hearts
at the moment of regeneration, and has been with us ever since. We may
not have realized His entry, but we believe it because of the
assurance of 1Co 6:19; Ro 8:9-note;
For my part, I like to begin every day, before lifting my head from
the pillow, by saying, "Thou art within, O Spirit of Christ, though I
feel Thee not."
If the Holy Spirit be ungrieved
He will witness to our sonship; He will enthrone Christ as King of our
life; will keep the self-life in the place of death; will give us a
hunger for the things of God; He will give power in witness-bearing.
In order to have a strong and
blessed Christian experience, the one thing is to see that we do not
grieve the Spirit. I do not think that we can grieve Him away, but we
may greatly limit and restrain His gracious work by insincerity of
speech, the nursing of an unforgiving spirit, any kind of
over-reaching or fraudulent dealing, impurity of speech, or failure in
love. We may be bound, so as not to be able to move our arms, by a
number of cotton threads, quite as tightly as by a strong rope-thong.
Let us take care not to grieve Him by such inconsistencies.
PRAYER - Fulfill in me, O God, those desires of goodness which
Thou hast created in my heart, and perfect the work of faith, that
Jesus Christ may be glorified in me. AMEN.
The Holy Spirit is the power of God
for the salvation of men. He only works as He dwells in the Church. He
is given to enable believers to live wholly as God would have them
live, in the full experience and witness of Him Who saves completely.
Pray God that every one of His people may know the Holy Spirit! --
That He, in all His fullness, is given to them! (Ed: Don't
misunderstand. Every believer has the indwelling Spirit, so Murray is
referring here to one's experience of His power in His fullness, as
for example in Paul's prayer Eph 3:16). That they cannot expect to
live as their Father would have, without having Him in His fullness,
without being filled with Him! (Ep 5:18). Pray that all God's people,
even away in churches gathered out of heathendom, may learn to say "I
believe in the Holy Ghost." (Andrew Murray. The Ministry of
AND THAT YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN:
kai ouk este (2PPAI) heauton?: (2Co 5:15; Rev 1:6; 5:10, Dt
7:6; 14:2 Isa 43:7, 21; Mal 3:17, 1Ki 20:4; 1Chr 29:14;
Ps 12:4; 100:3; Ro 14:7, 8, 9; 2Cor 5:15; Titus 2:14)
In 1Co 6:18a
Paul had closed that statement with a reference to the believer's body
as "his own". In that sentence Paul was emphasizing the deadly effect
of sin upon the person himself. Now in 1Cor 6:19 Paul emphasizes that
there is a new relationship between Christ and the believer and now
his body is not considered his own but the property of the one Who
paid the purchase price.
You are not
your own - "Not" is the the Greek particle (ouk)
signifying absolute negation. "You are absolutely not your own" (no
exceptions to this statement for believers).
It is a great privilege not to be
one’s own. Does any man think it would be a pleasure to be his own?
Let me assure him that there is no ruler so tyrannical as self. He
that is his own master has a fool and a tyrant to be his lord.
God has a right to do whatever he
wills with you. If we must suffer week after week bedridden with pain,
he has a right to lay us there and chasten us in every limb. If the
Lord says, “Go into your room and cough all the winter through, and
then melt away,” we must bow before his decree, remembering these
words, “Ye are not your own.” Or if he says, “Come down from your
position of comfort into hard work and poverty,” again you must
remember, “Ye are not your own.” Or if he says, “Migrate across the
seas. Go to a new country. Cut every tie and break the fondest
connections,” you must cheerfully obey, for “ye are not your own.”
The fact that
our bodies "are not our own" means we cannot do with them whatever
enters our mind. That's the way we used to act when we were
non-believers but now we need to allow God to renew our minds in this
area (cp Ro 12:2-note,
2Co 3:18, 4:16, Ep 4:23-note,
Dear believer, don't be discouraged if you are experiencing a struggle
in this area, for Paul says that such internal warfare is to be
But I say,
= not a suggestion for an elite few, but a command to all believers,
one we need to seek to obey every moment of every day, even the
obedience being enabled by God - Php 2:13NLT-note,
Ezek 36:27) by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire (epithumia)
sets its desire
against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the
for these are in opposition (antikeimai
is in the
= continually lining up face to face against) to one another, so that
you may not do the things that you please (thelo = desire that comes
from one's emotions, an active decision of one's will). (Gal 5:16-note,
Note that (1)
in believers still has strong ungodly desires, drives, and passions
("desire of the flesh"); (2) the flesh continually sets its ungodly
desires against the godly desires of the Spirit; and (3) because of
these fleshly desires you will still desire to do what you want to do
("the things that you please"). The truths in 1Cor 6:18-20 are given
to transform our mind and renew our thinking, so that now we might be
motivated by the truth that we actually are a holy sanctuary (think
"Holy of Holies"!)
inhabited by the Holy Spirit wherever we go and that this same Holy
Spirit is in us to enable a holy walk. As we learn to surrender our
wills to His perfect will (in so called progressive sanctification,
walking "step by step", not with the idea of an arrival but of a life
long process, learning how to walk spiritually even as a child learns
how to take one step after another) He empowers us so that we will not
carry out the desire of the old sinful fallen flesh (Gal 5:16).
Paul thus reminds the Corinthians
that they do not have the Spirit because of something they inherently
are, or because of something they have accomplished. It is a gift from
God. They are not their own persons. (Conflict and Community in
Corinth : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. Page
169. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans)
taught a similar idea in Romans 14 writing that...
if we (as believers) live, we live
for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether
we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ
died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of
the living. (Ro 14:8, 9-note)
In his epistle
to Titus Paul reminds his young protégée that Christ...
gave Himself for (huper =
substitution = in our place, on our behalf) us, that He might redeem (lutroo
- word study)
us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own
possession (Wuest = "his own private possession"! Amplified = "a
people to be peculiarly His own"), zealous for good deeds (BBE = "on
fire with good works"). (Titus 2:14-note)
also spoke of believers as no longer their own stating...
But you are a chosen race, a
royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own
possession (Young's Literal = "a people acquired", Wesley = "a
purchased people", Wycliffe = "God’s own purchased, special people"),
(Why? What is the
church's purpose in these last days?)
so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called
you out of (spiritual) darkness (we were "blind" 2Co 4:4) into His
marvelous light (cp Jn 8:12); (1Pe 2:9-note)
All to Thee is yielded,
I am not my own;
Blissful, glad surrender,
I am Thine alone.
Writing to the
believers at Ephesus who were primarily Gentiles and who had
been captive to pagan idolatry, Paul taught them that the Holy Spirit
given as a pledge of our
inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own
possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph 1:14-note)
in both 1Pe 2:9-note
and Ep 1:14-note
is the noun
peripoiesis [word study]
from peripoieo = to
acquire or purchase and thus describes an acquiring, an obtaining or a
means that which is acquired by purchase with the corresponding idea
of preservation of that which is purchased.
If we truly
understand that we are no longer our own, then we will begin to
experientially live in the liberating truth that Christ...
died for all, that they who live
should no longer live for themselves (they
are no longer their own!),
but for Him Who died and rose again on their behalf. (2Co 5:15, cp 2Co
The Savior did not die for us so that we might go on living our own
petty, selfish lives the way we want to live them. Rather He died for
us so that we might henceforth turn over our lives to Him in willing,
glad devotion. Denney explains "In dying our death, Christ has done
for us something so immense in love, that
we ought to be His, and only His
for ever. To make us His is the very object of His death."
GOD'S POSSESSION -
NOT A NEW TEACHING
This concept of
a group of people who are set apart (holy)
and are the possession of the Holy God did not originate in the
New Testament but has its roots in the Old Testament. For example, in the
Exodus following His redemption of Israel (Ex 6:6, 15:13,
Dt 7:8) from
Egyptian bondage, Jehovah announced to them through Moses that...
You yourselves (Israel as a nation)
have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’
- On Eagle's Wings) and brought you to Myself (A beautiful metaphor which in essence
describes God's redemption of Israel at the Passover, an event which
foreshadowed and was fulfilled in the sacrifice [crucifixion] of the
sinless Lamb of God [Jn 1:29] where Christ became every believer's
Passover [1Co 5:7] so that we too would escape eternal death - see
Passover Lamb). Now
therefore, if (identifies this as a conditional statement - God
will, if Israel will) you will indeed obey my voice and keep my
covenant (Referring to the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant), you shall be My treasured possession among all
peoples, for all the earth is Mine (Speaks of His
sovereignty); and you shall be to Me a kingdom
of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak
to the people of Israel.” (Ex 19:5, 6, 7)
Comment: Thus we see that in
the Old Testament God declared that Israel would be His "treasured possession" (and
of priests and a holy nation), on the condition they
obey His covenant stipulations. They did not obey and suffered the
consequences of disruption of the nation and exile of the 10 northern
tribes into Assyria (722BC) and then exile of the 2 southern tribes
into Babylon (586BC).
Today, under the unconditional New Covenant of grace
(where obedience is still called for but is provided for by God Who
gives us a new heart and new power to obey - Ezekiel 36:26, 27) all
believers are now God's own treasured possession. It therefore behooves
all of us who
have been bought with such a costly price to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of
our high calling as "God’s
own purchased, special people"
(as Wycliffe renders 1Pe 2:9)
The tragedy is that the "Chosen
People" rebelled against God's covenant (the Old Covenant of Law) and
ran after other so called "gods", proving themselves to be an unfaithful
"wife" (Read Ezekiel 6:9 to see what this did to God's
heart!). If Israel's story had terminated there, it would have been a miserable
end indeed. We would hardly be able to say "and they lived happily ever after"!
But God (A great phrase "but God" - see Ro 5:8-note,
Ep 2:4-note) was not (and is not) finished with Israel.
The prophets help
us understand God's promised plan for Israel, speaking of a time yet
future when Israel will be wholly
His possession, which is always what God has desired.
In the context
of Isaiah 43, God foretells of His redemption of Israel...
But now, thus says the Lord, your
Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel (God is clearly
making this promise to the nation of Israel, not to the Church), “Do
not fear, for I have redeemed (Ga'al/Goel
- word study; Lxx
- word study = pay ransom payment to release someone
held captive) you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Is 43:1)
writes that "With marvelous dramatic sense we are moved from
considering the people under the fire of the Lord (Is 42:25), and
justly so, to the Lord promising that the fire will not burn them (Is
Note that this prophecy was
only partially fulfilled with Israel's return from Babylonian
captivity (Ed: Think of the concept of redemption as paying a price to
set the captives free, cp Lk 4:18), but awaits a final future
fulfillment. John MacArthur agrees writing that "God’s
redemption of His people from exile is not to be complete until His
Servant returns to reign over the
in the land of Israel who have believed on Jesus Christ (cp the events
that will take place at the Second Coming = Zech 12:10, 11, 12, 13,
14, Zech 13:1 = "that day" correlates with day described in Romans 11
= Ro 11:25, 26, 27-note).
The limited return from
Babylon only typified the final return."
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word
Isaiah goes on
to describe the Lord's regathering of the
believing Jewish remnant
to the land of Israel (God is
keeping His "forever" promise which He graciously gave to Abraham -
Ge 13:15) ending their worldwide dispersion and He accomplishes this
great deliverance at His Second Advent and just preceding the
inauguration of His earthly reign as King of kings at the beginning of
I will say to the north, 'Give them
up!' And to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring My sons from
afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is
called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have
formed, even whom I have made."
Comment: God gives multiple
promises of national restoration in the Old Testament -- Isaiah
11:11,12, 27:13, 49:12, 60:4, Dt 30:3, 4, 5, 6, Jer 30:10, 11, to name
Constable makes the
excellent observation that "Return from Babylonian captivity would not
be from the four compass points and so does not qualify as the
complete fulfillment. He will do this when Jesus Christ returns to the
earth (cf. Is 5:26; Mt. 24:31)." (Isaiah)
MacArthur commenting on Isa
43:6 writes that "The Lord will regather to the land of Israel the
faithful remnant of His people from their worldwide dispersion in
conjunction with the institution of the Messiah’s kingdom on earth
(cf. Is 11:12).
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word
Morris commenting on Isa
43:7 notes that "Although this affirmation was especially applied to
Israel (cp Dt 28:10), the principle is universal, answering the great
question as to God's purpose in creation. It was "for my glory" (Re
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
regathering will transpire when the Redeemer returns to remove
ungodliness from Israel and take away their sins (Ro 11:26, 27-note)
at the end of the time of Jacob's distress (Je 30:6), which is
synonymous with the the 3.5 year
period of the
which occurs in the second half of
Daniel's Seventieth Week.
It is at this time that the people of Israel will be wholly His
possession, even as Isaiah prophesies...
I have made Israel for Myself, and
they will someday honor Me before the whole world (Isa 43:21 NAS = The
people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.)
writes that "In the messianic age (the
Israel will finally give the Lord the credit that is due Him (contrast
prophecy of Malachi Jehovah
reiterates His promise they Israel will be His possession declaring
And they will be Mine,"
says the LORD of hosts, "on the day (What
The day when the
is abruptly terminated at the
the triumphant return of the Deliverer - Ro 11:25, 26, 27-note)
that I prepare My own possession (Jewels in KJV = Mal 3:17KJV,
Other translations = My special property, My special treasure - This
Hebrew word segullah is used 8x and 6 refer to Israel as God's
possession - Ex 19:5; Dt 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Mal 3:17),
and I will spare them (speaking of a
believing Jewish remnant)
as a man spares his own son who serves him." (Malachi 3:17, compare
KJV - Mal 3:17KJV)
MacArthur agrees adding that this passage "The godly remnant will
belong to Him and will be His special treasure. In the midst of
judgment, He will spare them (cf. Ps 103:13) (Ed: "in wrath
remember mercy" Hab 3:2).
Ye do not belong to
yourselves, even if you could commit fornication without personal
contamination or self-violation. Christianity makes unchastity
dishonor in both sexes. There is no double standard of morality.
Paul’s plea here is primarily to men to be clean as members of
The ultimate question is not
who you are but whose you are.
In his book
Don't Waste Your Life
The Bible says, “You are not
your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your
body” (1Cor 6:19, 20). I have written this book to help you taste
those words as sweet instead of bitter or boring.
You are in one of two groups:
Either you are a Christian, or God is now calling you to be one. You
would not have picked up this book if God were not at work in your
If you are a Christian, you are not your own. Christ has bought you at
the price of his own death (cp Titus 2:14-note).
You now belong doubly to God: He made you, and he bought you. That
means your life is not your own. It is God’s. Therefore, the Bible
says, “Glorify God in your body.” God made you for this (Isa 43:7). He
bought you for this (1Pe 1:18-note,
1Pe 2:24, 25-note,
This is the meaning of your life.
If you are not yet a
Christian, that is what Jesus Christ offers: doubly belonging to God,
and being able to do what you were made for. That may not sound
exciting. Glorifying God may mean nothing to you. That’s why I tell my
story in the first two chapters, called “Created for Joy.” It was not
always plain to me that pursuing God’s glory would be virtually the
same as pursing my joy. Now I see that millions of people waste their
lives because they think these paths are two and not one.
There is a warning. The path
of God-exalting joy will cost you your life. Jesus said, “Whoever
loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mk 8:35,
context Mk 8:34, 35, 36, 37, 38 cp Lk 9:23, 24, 25, 26, 27) In
it is better to lose your
than to waste it.
If you live gladly to make
others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high,
and your joy will be full. This is not a book about how to avoid a
wounded life, but how to avoid a wasted life. Some of you will die in
the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life
above Christ is a tragedy.
Please know that I am praying
for you, whether you are a student dreaming something radical for your
life, or whether you are retired and hoping not to waste the final
years. If you wonder what I am praying, read Chapter 10. That is my
For now, I thank God for you.
My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face
of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were
made for God. Don’t waste it. (Download
and read John Piper's challenging book - Don't Waste Your Life)
has an interesting comment on Isaiah 43:7 noting that...
Whom I have created for My
glory means that God not only has created us, but that He has
created us for a purpose. If we have no Creator, then we are
purposeless; but God has created us and He did it for a purpose,
creating us for His glory. This means that when we are glorifying God,
we are fulfilling the purpose we were created for, and will therefore
be the most happy and fulfilled. (Ref)
"Ye are not your own."
Does your heart respond
to that? "Ye are not
your own. For ye are bought with a price." And what price? The
precious blood of God's dear Son (1Pe 1:18, 19) Yonder at Calvary He
purchased us to be His own. An old Puritan writer said,
Calvary was the marketplace where
the Saviour bought us with His blood, but He never got His money's
We have been such poor servants, we
have responded so poorly to His love. We used to sing years ago:
"Not my own, but saved by
Who redeemed me by His blood,
Gladly I accept the message,
I belong to Christ the Lord.
"Not my own, to Christ my Saviour
I believing trust my soul,
Everything to Him committed,
While eternal ages roll.
"Not my own, my time, my talents.
Freely all to Christ I bring,
To be used in joyful service
For the glory of my King.
"Not my own, the Lord accepts me,
One among the ransomed throng
Who in heaven shall see His glory,
And to Jesus Christ belong."
It will be wonderful to be His own
up there. I would not want to miss it then, but it is a greater
privilege to be His own as we walk the streets of this world than it
will be when we walk the streets of gold, for this is the world in
which we have the privilege of glorifying Him in our bodies.
We are God's very own, being
redeemed by Him. Every Christian therefore should wear a sign in his
heart, "Not for sale!"
Rob Morgan has the following
illustration - I read the other day about a young man in
Indonesia who married his girlfriend, but he had lots of problems and
troubles in his marriage. He was a businessman, but he developed a
severe addiction to gambling, and it ruined his life. He finally lost
so much money that he decided to commit suicide. He hanged himself
just before Christmas, but his brother-in-law found him hanging and
cut the rope. When his body fell to the floor, he began to breathe
again. His family was so frightened they called a policeman, and the
young man was placed in custody. They took from him his belt and
shoestrings, and placed him in a protective cell. But he had managed
to hide a razor blade in the pocket of his trousers. That night, he
took out the razor blade and put his left wrist on the table. He was
just about to cut the vein when, at that very moment, his attention
was drawn to a small book on the table. It was a Gideon New Testament.
Out of curiosity, he opened it and his eyes fell on the verse in 1
Corinthians 6 that says, "Know ye not that you are the temple of
God?" The young man began shaking uncontrollably, and he fell down
on his knees and cried, "Oh, God, forgive me! Have mercy on me!" He
kept saying those words over and over, until the police called for a
minister who led him to faith in Jesus Christ. His life was
permanently changed. The next year he entered a Bible College in East
Java, and he went on to become an evangelical pastor in Indonesia.
Octavius Winslow - Devotional on
1Corinthians 6:19, 20
AS a temple of the Holy Spirit, yield yourself to His divine and
gracious power. Bend your ear to His softest whisper—your will to His
gentlest sway—your heart to His holy and benign influence. In not
hearkening to His voice, and in not yielding to His promptings, we
have been great losers. Often has He incited to communion with God,
and because the time was not seasonable, or the place not convenient,
you stifled His persuasive voice, resisted His proffered aid, and,
thus slighted and grieved, He has retired. And lo! when you have risen
to pray, God has covered Himself as with a cloud that your prayer
could not pass through. Oh, seek to have an ear attuned to His softest
accents, and a heart constrained to an instant compliance with His
mildest dictates. The greatest blessing we possess is the possession
of the Spirit.
And oh, to be Christ’s—to be His gift, His purchase, His called saint,
His lowly disciple—what an inestimable privilege! But how may we be
quite sure that this privilege is ours? If we have the Spirit of
Christ, we are in very deed Christians. It is the superscription of
the King, the mark of the Shepherd, the Lord’s impress of Himself upon
the heart. And how sanctifying this privilege! “Those who are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts.” “Let every
one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” And if we are
Christ’s now, we shall be Christ’s to all eternity. It is a union that
cannot be dissolved. Every believer in Jesus is “sealed with that Holy
Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance.” And as we
have the earnest of the inheritance, we shall as assuredly possess the
inheritance itself. The Spirit of Christ is an active, benevolent
Spirit. It bore the Savior, when He was in the flesh, from country to
country, from city to city, from house to house, preaching His own
gospel to lost man. “He went about doing good.” If we have the Spirit
of Christ, we shall be prompted to a like Christian love and activity
on behalf of those who possess not the gospel, or who, possessing it,
slight and reject the mercy. The Spirit of Christ is essentially a
missionary Spirit. It commenced its labor of love at Jerusalem, and
from that its center, worked its way with augmenting sympathy and
widening sphere until it embraced the world as the field of its labor.
Ah! that we manifest so little of this Spirit, ought to lead us to
deep searchings of heart, and stir us up to earnest prayer: “Lord,
make me more earnest for the salvation of souls, for the advancement
of Your kingdom. Grant me this evidence of being Your—the possession
of Your Spirit, constraining me to a more simple and unreserved
consecration of my talents, my substance, my rank, my influence, my
time, myself, to the establishment of Your truth, the advancement of
Your cause, and thus to the wider diffusion of Your glory in the
earth.” (Octavius Winslow. Daily Walking with God)
J C Philpot - "You are not
your own." –1 Corinthians 6:19
There is a blessed sense in these
words, "You are not your own." Remember you must be someone's. If God
is not your master, the devil will be; if grace does not rule, sin
will reign; if Christ is not your all in all, the world will be. It is
not as though we could roam abroad in perfect liberty. Someone will
have us. We must have a master of one kind or another; and which is
best, a bounteous benevolent Benefactor such as God has ever shown
himself to be; a merciful, loving, and tender Parent; a kind,
forgiving Father and Friend; and a tender-hearted, compassionate
Redeemer, able to save us to the uttermost; or a cruel devil, a
miserable world, and a wicked, vile, abominable heart?
Which is better, to live under the
sweet constraints of the dying love of a dear Redeemer; under gospel
influences, gospel principles, gospel promises, and gospel
encouragements; or to walk in imagined liberty, with sin in our heart,
exercising dominion and mastery there; and binding us in iron chains
to the judgment of the great day?
Even taking the present life, there
is more real pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness in half an hour
with God, in sweet union and communion with the Lord of life and
glory, in reading his Word with a believing heart, in finding access
to his sacred presence, in knowing something of the droppings in of
his favor and mercy--there is more solid happiness in half an hour
thus spent in the real service of God, than in all the delights of
sin, all the lusts of the flesh, all the pride of life, and all the
amusements that the world has ever devised to kill time and cheat
self, thinking, by a death-bed repentance, at last to cheat the devil.
J. C. Philpot -You
are not your own!
Your eyes are not your own—that
you may feed your lusts, that you may go about gaping, and
gazing, and looking into every shop window to see the fashions
of the day—learn the prevailing pride of life—and thus lay up food for
your vain mind—either in coveting what must be unfitting to your
profession—or applying your money to an improper use—or being
disappointed because you cannot afford to buy it.
Your ears are not your own—that you may listen to every foolish
tale—drink in every political, worldly, or carnal report which may
fall upon them—and thus feed that natural desire for news, gossip, and
even slander —which is the very element of the carnal mind.
Your tongue is not your own—that you may speak what you please,
and blurt out whatever passes in the chambers of your heart, without
check or fear.
Your hands are not your own—that you may use them as implements
of evil—or employ them in any other way than to earn with them an
honest livelihood. Our hands were not given us for sin—but for godly
Your feet are not your own—that you may walk in the ways of the
world—or that they should carry you to haunts where all around you are
engaged upon errands of vanity and sin.
All must be held according to the disposal of God, and under a sense
of our obligations to Him.
But perhaps you will say, in the rebellion of your carnal mind, "What
restraint all this lays upon us. Cannot we look with our eyes as we
like—hear with our ears as we please—and speak with our tongues as we
choose? Will you so narrow our path that we are to have nothing of our
own—not even our time or money, our body or soul? Surely we may have a
little enjoyment now and then—a
little recreation, a little holiday sometimes, a little relaxation
from being always so strict and so religious—a little feeding of our
carnal mind which cannot bear all this restraint?"
Well, but what will you bring upon yourself by . . .the roving eye,
the foolish tongue, the loose hand, the straying foot? Darkness,
bondage, guilt, misery, death!
"But," you say, "we are not to be tied up so tightly as all this! We
have gospel liberty, but you will not allow us even that!"
Yes, blessed be God, there is gospel liberty, for there is no real
happiness in religion without it; but not liberty to sin—not liberty
to gratify the lusts of the flesh—not liberty to act contrary to the
gospel we profess, and the precepts of God's Word—for this is not
liberty but licentiousness.
"You are not your own! For you are bought witha price—therefore
glorify God in your body, and in
your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19
J C Philpot - Remember
that you must belong to someone. If God is not your master—the devil
will be. If grace does not rule—sin will reign. If Christ is not your
all in all—the world will be. We must have a master of one kind or
another. Which is better—a bounteous benevolent Benefactor—a merciful,
loving, and tender Parent—a kind, forgiving Father and Friend—a
tender-hearted, compassionate Redeemer? or a cruel devil, a miserable
world, and a wicked, vile, abominable heart? Which is better—to live
under the sweet constraints of the dying love of a dear Redeemer—under
gospel influences—gospel principles—gospel promises—and gospel
encouragements? or to live with sin in our heart, binding us in iron
chains to the judgment of the great day?
Even taking the 'present
life'—there is more real pleasure, satisfaction, and solid happiness
in half an hour with God—in reading his Word with a believing heart,
in finding access to His sacred presence, in knowing something of His
favor and mercy—than in all the delights of sin, all the lusts of the
flesh, all the pride of life, and all the amusements that the world
has ever devised to kill time and cheat self—thinking, by a deathbed
repentance, at last to cheat the devil. J. C. Philpot. RICHES
F. B. Meyer. Our Daily
KNOW YE NOT THAT YOUR BODY IS
THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS IN YOU? 1 Cor. 6:19
THIS is a sentence which
should be deeply pondered; every clause is significant. We evidently
should know its deep and solemn meaning. Apparently it is one of the
commonplaces of our holy religion. This knowledge, however, should not
be merely that of the intellect, but born out of the deep musing of
The holy temple.--Built
up of the dust of the earth, our bodies are rarer than the most
glorious structures that ever the sun shone on, because they are meant
to be the shrine and home of God. Jesus spoke of the Temple of His
Body; and if He was so zealous for His Father's House that He drove
out the unholy traffickers, and refused to allow a vessel to be
carried through the courts, should we not be equally careful? We are
the custodians of the Divine residence; let us be very careful that
there be nothing to offend or trouble the celestial Inmate.
The Divine Inmate.--Too
often He is grieved, and driven to occupy the most secret shrine,
concealed and hidden beneath the heavy veil of our inconsistency and
unbelief. He is not driven out by our sins, but driven in. Whenever,
on the contrary, we put away our sin, and walk in the light as He is
in the light; whenever the veil is rent and the whole heart thrown
open to Him --He comes in power to occupy every part of our being, so
that there is no part dark, and the very body becomes transfigured.
The great Price.--Bought
as any slave standing in the marketplace for sale! Ransomed from the
direst slave master to the dearest Lord! The price --not corruptible
things, as silver and gold--but precious blood! Our life is henceforth
not our own, but His.
Honoring God with
Your Body - You’re
acquainted with house sitters. Not wanting to leave your house vacant,
you ask someone to stay in your home until you return. Let me describe
The first house sitter redecorates your house, changing white paint to
pink, Berber carpet to shag. His justification? “The house didn’t
express me. I needed a house that communicated who I am.”
Your response? “It’s not yours! My residence doesn’t exist to reflect
you! I asked you to take care of the house, not take over the house!”
You might choose him, however, over nightmare number two. She didn’t
redecorate; she neglected. Never washed a dish, made a bed, or took
out the trash. “My time here was temporary. I knew you wouldn’t mind.”
Of course you’d mind! Both house sitters made the same mistake: They
acted as if they owned the dwelling. How could they? But how could we?
When it comes to our bodies, the Bible declares that we don’t own
them. (Max Lucado)
A NEWSPAPER carried an article
entitled "Victimless Crimes Get Second Look." The writer stated that
practices such as prostitution and gambling are being reevaluated by
state and federal authorities. Because laws governing these activities
are hard to enforce, some think they should be legalized. Some states
no longer consider drunkenness a crime. And a few have no laws against
illicit sexual acts between consenting adults. It's claimed that such
behavior is victimless because no one gets hurt.
We must not be fooled by this faulty reasoning. Sin always hurts
people, the one committing it as well as others. No person lives in
isolation, and a society is only as strong as the individuals in it.
Pressing even deeper, we see that sin offends a holy God who made us
in His image and who tells us what's right and wrong. His commands are
always for our good. To disobey them is to miss knowing His best for
As Christians, we do not belong to ourselves—we are the possession
of Another. To violate body, mind, and soul through indulging the
lusts of the flesh, therefore, is to strike out at God who made us and
indwells us by His Spirit.
We may think some things are harmless. But even when no one else is
directly affected, we hurt ourselves and grieve the One who created
us. —D J De Haan
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
A Man Named "Large" (Read: 1
Corinthians 6:12-20) Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods,
but God will destroy both it and them. --1Corinthians 6:13
A man dubbed the King of Franks downed 20 hot dogs in 12 minutes of
Coney Island competition. The man, whose nickname is "Large," devoured
his competition in the process, and then boasted that he was off to a
barbecue. His nearest challenger consumed only 15 dogs.
Large complained that the humidity kept him from matching his record
meal of 21 franks the year before, but said he relishes the chance to
break his record next year.
Large was interviewed later as he took a break from cooking some of
his winnings--365 hot dogs. He quipped, "I feel a little tired, but
I'll probably eat something a bit later."
It seems that Large lives to eat. We too can choose to live for food,
drink, or any other kind of pleasure, but overindulged appetites will
consume us in the process. Our bodies were not made to be served; they
were designed to serve the Lord.
Eating contests can be fun, but not when they become a way of life.
Only when we realize that our bodies are temples (1Co 6:19), made to
be filled and controlled by the Spirit of God, will we find what
quiets the hunger within. We won't find true satisfaction until we are
filled with the Lord, who made us for Himself. --M R De Haan II
God gave me a life in this body of
To have and to use for a specified time;
So I must be careful of life, for you see
My body does not belong to me. --Anon.
We all must eat to live,
but some just live to eat.
The Temple - A number of years ago, a government investigation
discovered that some truckers were hauling garbage in the same
refrigerated trucks that were used to transport food. Part of the
problem was that trucks making long trips could not afford to return
According to the truckers, some considered garbage a dream commodity.
They were paid to transport something that couldn't be damaged. During
congressional hearings, a food science professor likened the problem
to serving potato salad from a cat's litter box.
This "pollution for profit" scandal is nothing compared to the one
described in Jn 2:13-22. Jesus cast out the money changers from the
temple because their schemes for financial gain had desecrated His
Father's house. But just as bad is polluting the temple of our bodies
with thoughts and practices that don't belong there (1Cor
In many ways, we are no better than those truckers or the temple
merchants of Jesus' day. We think it would be more profitable for us
to carry the garbage of this world's values in our minds. May God
forgive us, cleanse us, and help us to cast out everything that
defiles the temple in which He alone has the right to dwell. — Mart De
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Lord, help us
love what's good and right—
O make us pure within;
And give us courage to repent
When we would choose to sin. —D. De Haan
Christians must live in the world,
but not let the world live in them.
THIEF - Ye are not your own. 1Corinthians 6:19 - A minister of the
Gospel was trying to impress upon a certain man his obligation to
convince him of his responsibility to be obedient to the Word of God.
When asked if he had ever been baptized, the man replied, "No sir, I
haven't! But why should I? The dying thief was never baptized and he
went to Heaven!" When the preacher urged him to be more faithful in
church attendance, the other answered, "Why should I? The dying thief
didn't go to church, and he was saved!" Finally the man's pastor spoke
to him about the matter of giving and his duty to support the work of
the local assembly with his financial gifts. To that the man
responded, "That's not necessary. The dying thief went to Heaven, and
he never gave one cent to missions or anything like that!" Turning
away, the man of God said with disgust in his voice, "Mister, the only
difference I can see between you and the thief on the cross is this:
He was a dying thief, and you're a living one!"
"Will a man rob God?" writes the prophet Malachi. "Yet ye have robbed
me. But ye say, How have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye
are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me . . ." (Mal. 3:8, 9).
Not only does a believer rob God when he fails to give financial
assistance "as God hath prospered him" (1Cor. 16:2), but also when he
holds back of his time, talents, love, and devotion. Therefore Paul
reminds us, ". . . ye are not your own . . . ye are bought with a
price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which
are God's" (1Co 6:19, 20). Let us then withhold nothing. Rather, as
the Bible says, we should "present [our] bodies a living sacrifice . .
. unto God" (Ro 12:1). May it be said of us, as it was of the
Macedonian Christians, "They first gave themselves to the Lord," so
that "the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto
the riches of their liberality" (2Co 8:2, 5).
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
What do I owe?
Nay, Lord—what do I not?
All that I am, all that I've got;
All that I am, and that how small a thing,
Compared with all Thy goodly fostering!
God looks not to the quantity of the gift
but to the quality of the giver!
J C Philpot
- Your money is not your own. You may not spend it just as you
please—without check of conscience—without restraint of godly
fear—without putting to yourself any inquiry how far you are spending
it aright. You should be like a miser who looks at every shilling
before he parts with it. So should every shilling be looked at,
carefully and narrowly, by a Christian, whether it is spent for the
honor and glory of God or not. I grant that this may seem to tie us up
very closely, and that is one reason, perhaps, why the people of God
are kept, for the most part, so tight in hand, that they have very
little loose money to spend as they like. But even if we have a
competency, or perhaps more than a competency, if we are under divine
influences and gospel obligations, although we may have the money, we
cannot throw it here and there to please and gratify the
flesh—adorning the body with costly clothing, either for ourselves or
our children—and decorating the house with new and unnecessary
furniture. This is not the obligation of gospel grace. Your money is
not your own, if you are a Christian. You are but a steward. If you
have much, the more responsible you are for the right use of it. If
you have little, still you are a steward for that little.
Who owns you?
When I ask myself that question, my first impulse is to dismiss it as
nonsensical. With Paul, who enjoyed the rights and freedoms of a Roman
citizen, I too can boast that I am free—at least politically.
Olav Olavson was a free citizen of Sweden, but he found himself
hard-pressed for money. So in desperation he sold his body for medical
research to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1910. A year
later, he inherited a fortune, so he tried to buy himself back. But
the Institute refused to sell him his rights to his own body, and in a
lawsuit they retained possession of it. The Institute even collected
damages from him because he had two teeth extracted without
All of us are slaves to sin and spiritually dead—unless we have been
born again. We can be set free from the penalty and power of sin (and
how I rejoice that I have been set free) by prayerfully asking Jesus
Christ to become our Liberator. We experience spiritual freedom as we
accept His gift of forgiveness and then offer ourselves as slaves to
God (Ro 6:22-note).
What a blessed paradox! As God's slaves we enjoy a life of true
freedom, peace, and hope. — Vernon C. Grounds
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
imprisoned by our sin,
Controlled by evil ways;
But then the Savior set us free
To serve Him all our days. —Sper
To gain true freedom,
give your life to Christ.
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise;
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Octavius Winslow - THE HOLY SPIRIT,
An Experimental and Practical View
"The Indwelling of the
"The Believer a Temple"
That the religion of our adorable Immanuel is a reality- no airy
fiction, as is the Mohammedan, and no "cunningly devised fable,"-
many, conclusive and precious are the evidences. There is however, to
the true believer, one evidence which, apart from, and superior to all
others, affixes the seal of credibility; this is the conviction of its
truth arising from the indwelling of the Spirit in the heart. There is
in this great truth, something so palpable, so undoubted and so
self-evident, that no sophistry of man, no ingenuity of Satan and no
knowledge of the deep evil of our fallen nature can weaken or
overthrow it. It is God Himself, as it were, taking the witness-stand
and, setting aside all other testimony, challenging everything that
would reduce His own work to a mere non-entity and exclaiming, "Who is
he that condemns?" Clad in the armor of this evidence, the feeblest
disciple of Jesus takes higher ground in vindication of the truth of
the Gospel than the acutest reasoner who is destitute of the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is true that the conviction arising
from this source of evidence is the strongest and most convincing to
his own mind; yet there is, in the simplicity, the honesty and the
boldness with which his belief is declared, that which carries a
powerful conviction to the minds of others. He may be challenged by
the skeptic, there may be objections which he cannot meet, arguments
which he cannot answer, difficulties which he cannot explain and
sophisms which he cannot unravel; and yet the "witness within himself"
shall throw such vigor into his reasoning and tenderness into his
spirit, and shall invest his whole demeanor with an air of sincerity
so touching that his accusers shall be compelled to pay him the
tribute once awarded to his Lord, "he speaks as one having authority."
He believes and has experienced what he declares, and thus God has
given him a "mouth and wisdom, which all his adversaries shall not be
able to gainsay nor resist."
But let it not be supposed that we regard the indwelling of the Spirit
in the believer as presenting merely, or even mainly, an evidence in
favor of the truth of the Gospel. This undoubtedly demands a distinct
and grateful recognition. But we must not rest here. We are to take a
more enlarged view of the glory of God, as unfolded in this most holy
and blessed doctrine- His glory as secured to Him in the comfort,
holiness and filial walk of the believer who is conscious that he is a
temple of the Holy Spirit. We feel the subject to be one of great and
solemn importance. Its vastness is almost overpowering. The bare
thought that the "high and lofty One, inhabiting eternity, whose name
is Holy," should dwell with man, yes, in him- that He should take out
of the fallen race of His creatures a people whose hearts should be so
renewed and sanctified as to form a dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit-
that this heavenly visitant should take up His abode there in all His
regenerating, sanctifying, sealing and comforting influences- the bare
thought of this seems almost too illimitable and glorious for a poor
finite mind to grasp! And yet, reader, the consolation flowing from
this subject is so great, and the motives to holiness drawn from it so
persuasive, and God so glorified by it, that we feel constrained to
place it in the foreground of this treatise. May He Himself draw near,
unfold His own truth to our minds, and sanctify us through its holy
The first thought that presents itself to the mind as we look into
this great subject is that suggested by the passage placed at the head
of this chapter: "Know you not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Spirit which is in you?" The great idea here conveyed is that
THE BELIEVER IS A TEMPLE,
THE RESIDENT OF THAT TEMPLE
BEING GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
With the converted Corinthians, to
whom these words were addressed, the figure would be at once striking
and significant; the magnificent city in which they dwelt abounded
with gorgeous temples erected to the honor of supposed deities, at
whose idolatrous and superstitious rites they had frequently attended
in the days of their ignorance. Drawing their minds away from the
service of idols (while at the same time using the concept of a
heathen temple as an illustration of his fine idea) the apostle, by an
easy and a beautiful transition of thought, leads them to consider
themselves as temples in an eminent and holy sense- formed,
consecrated and adorned for the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.
There is a depth of important and spiritual truth in this idea which
we desire to unfold, as the Divine Teacher shall Himself "anoint us
with that anointing which teaches us of all things."
In contemplating the believer as a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is
natural and proper to consider the condition of the soul previous to
the entrance of the Spirit of God. Man, in his original constitution,
was a glorious temple. Two facts will prove it. First, he was like God
in his moral image; and second, God dwelt in him. He was in every
respect worthy of such a resident. He was the holy temple of a holy
God. Not a flaw was there. The entire man was holy. There was perfect
knowledge in the judgment, perfect holiness in the will, and perfect
love in the heart. "Holiness to the Lord," was the inscription written
on every window and every door, yes, on every part of this temple. A
beautiful structure was man in his original state! Well did the mighty
Architect, as He gazed upon His work, pronounce it "very good"!
But behold what sin has done! Man has lost his original
resemblance to God. It is true that he still retains his spiritual,
intelligent and immortal nature, these he can never lose. But as for
his moral likeness to God in knowledge, purity, justice, truth and
benignity, these glorious lineaments are blotted from his soul, and
darkness, impurity, desolation and death reign there. With the
obliteration of moral resemblance, the soul has lost all love to God.
More than this; there is not only the absence of love but, as we have
shown in a former chapter, there is positive enmity. "The carnal mind
is enmity against God," that enmity showing itself in a thousand ways,
principally in its seeking to dethrone God. From his affections he has
dethroned Him. To eject Him from the throne of His moral government in
the universe is the great and constant
aim of the carnal mind. If this is not so, why this perpetual war
against God- against His being, His law, His will, His
supreme authority to govern and reign? Why this refusal to
acknowledge and obey Him? "Who is the Lord God, that I should obey
him?" Oh, there is no mystery in the case! Man has revolted from God
and, having thrown off all allegiance to Him as his Sovereign, he
seeks to be a God to himself. Self is to him what Jehovah once was-
the object of supreme delight. Having cast out God, he moves in a
circle of which he himself is the center- all he does is from self,
and for self. From this all the lines diverge, and to this they all
It needs not the argument or the illustration of a moment to show that
such being the moral destitution of man, God has ceased to dwell in
him. The temple polluted, defaced and destroyed, the Divine Resident
has gone, and the heart, once so sweet a home of Deity, is now the
dwelling-place of all sin. Another occupant has taken possession of
the ruin; and, like ancient Babylon, it has become the den of every
ravenous beast, a habitation of dragons and the impure abode of every
foul, malignant passion. Reader, it is as impossible that God can make
your heart His dwelling-place, while every thought and feeling and
passion is up in arms against Him, as it would be for Christ to dwell
with Belial, or light to commingle with darkness. You must be renewed
in the spirit of your mind. You must be born again.
But it was God's eternal and gracious purpose to restore this temple.
Satan had despoiled His work, sin had marred His image; but both
usurpers He would eject, and the ruin of both He would repair. Oh,
what mercy, infinite, eternal and free, was this that set Him upon a
work so glorious! What could have moved Him but His own love, what
could have contrived the plan but His own wisdom, and what could have
executed it but His own power? In the restoration of this temple, man
was no auxiliary. He could be none. His destruction was his own, his
recovery was God's. He ruined himself; that ruin he could not himself
repair. The work of restoration is a greater achievement of Divine
power than was the work of creation. To repair the temple when ruined
was more glorious than to create it. In one day He made man; He was
four thousand years in redeeming man. It cost Him nothing to create a
soul; it cost Him His dear Son to save it. And who can estimate that
cost? He met with no opposition in creating man; in re-creating him,
Satan, the world, even man himself, is against Him.
We have said that it was God's gracious and eternal purpose to restore
this ruined temple. The first step which He took in accomplishing this
great work was His assumption of our nature, as though He Himself
would be the model from which the new temples should be formed. This
was one of the profoundest acts of God's wisdom, one of the greatest
demonstrations of His love. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among
us " (marg. tabernacled among us). His human body, the temple; his
Godhead, the indwelling Deity. Was ever a temple so glorious as this?
"Immanuel, God with us." "God manifest in the flesh." O awful mystery!
what imagination can conceive, what mind can fathom it? We can but
stand upon the shore of this vast ocean of wisdom and love, and
exclaim, "O the depth!" "Great is the mystery of godliness, God was
manifest in the flesh." This was the first step towards His work of
replenishing the earth with spiritual temples, to be filled now and
eternally with the Divine presence and glory. The entire success and
glory of His undertaking rested here. This was the foundation of the
structure. He could only obey the law, as He was "made of a woman"; He
could only "redeem those who were under the law," as He was God in our
nature. The absolute necessity, then, of His Godhead will instantly
appear. Had the basis of the great work He was about to achieve been
laid in any other doctrine, anything inferior, less holy, less
dignified; had the foundation been laid in mere creature excellence,
however exalted that excellence might be, there could have been
neither strength, permanency, nor glory in the temple. It would have
fallen before the first storm of temptation, and fearful would have
been its destruction. God well knew at what cost the work of
redemption would be achieved. He knew what His violated law demanded,
what His inflexible justice required, and through what costly channel
His love must flow; therefore "He laid help upon one that was mighty"
- "mighty to save." And what was the secret of His might? His absolute
deity. Take a lower view than this, and you reduce the work of Christ
to nothing; you tear the soul from the body, pluck the sun from the
firmament, wrench the keystone from the arch and the foundation from
the building. But look at His work through His Godhead, and oh, how
vast, how costly, how glorious does it appear; what a basis for a poor
sinner to build upon; what a resting-place for the weary soul; what
faith, hope, and assurance does it inspire; how perfect the obedience,
how infinitely efficacious the blood, and how prevailing the
intercession- all derived from the Godhead of Jesus. Glorious temple
were You, blessed Son of God!
But this temple was to be destroyed. Jesus must die! This was the
second step in the accomplishment of the great work. Thus did he
announce the fact to the obtuse and incredulous Jews: "Jesus answered
and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will
raise it up." "He spoke of the temple of his body." His death was as
necessary to the satisfaction of justice, as His life of obedience had
been to the fulfilling of the law. As the Substitute of His people, He
must yield up His life; as the Surety of the covenant, He must
completely surrender Himself into the hands of Divine justice; as the
Testator of His own will, there must of necessity be His death,
otherwise the testament would have been of no force at all while He
lived. There was no possible avenue for His escape, even had He sought
it. He or His people must die. He must taste the bitterness of the
death that was temporal, or His elect must have tasted of the
bitterness of the death that was eternal. O yes, Jesus wished to die.
Never for one moment did He really shrink from the combat. He well
knew the conditions upon which He had entered into a covenant
engagement on behalf of His people. He knew that the price of their
pardon was His own blood, that His death was their life, and that His
gloomy path through the grave was their bright passage to eternal
glory. Knowing all this, and with the awful scene of Calvary full in
view- the cross, the sufferings of the body, the deathly sorrow of the
soul- He yet panted for the arrival of the moment that was to finish
the work His Father had given Him to do. How ready was Jesus thus to
die? Where this eagerness? It sprang from His great love to sinners.
Oh, this was it! We must go down to the secret depth of His love, if
we would solve the mystery of His willingness to die. "God commends
his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died
for us." Thus was the "temple of His body" destroyed, that "through
death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the
devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their
lifetime subject to bondage." See, reader, the source of your free
pardon, the ground of your humble trust, the secret of your "strong
consolation." It is all involved in the death of Jesus. You cannot ask
too much, you cannot expect too much, you cannot repose too much at
the foot of the cross. All is mercy here- all is love - all is peace.
Sin cannot condemn, Satan cannot tempt, the world cannot allure,
conscience cannot accuse; "there is no condemnation" to a poor soul
that shelters itself beneath the cross of Jesus. Here every dark cloud
withdraws, and all is sunny; here every tear is dried, but that of
joy; and every voice is hushed, but that of praise.
But a third step in the accomplishment of this stupendous design was
the resurrection of Christ. This formed an essential and glorious part
of His work, in preparing a way for the personal and permanent
residence of the Holy Spirit. "Destroy this temple, and in three days
I will raise it up again." Great stress is laid upon this doctrine in
the Word. And the child of God may be but imperfectly aware what an
essential pillar it is to his hope, and how sanctifying and comforting
the blessings are that spring from a full belief in it. The
resurrection of Jesus is the great seal to the character and
perfection of His work. Indeed, without this Divine attestation His
work would never have effected our salvation. His perfect keeping of
the law and His suffering unto death were but parts of the vast plan,
and, taken separately and distinctly, were not capable of perfecting
the salvation of the church. The apostle so reasons. "And if Christ
was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in
God is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we
have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can't be
true if there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no
resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if
Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are
still under condemnation for your sins. In that case, all who have
died believing in Christ have perished!" 1Co 15:14, 15, 16, 17, 18. A moment's
reflection will justify the conclusions which the apostle deduces from
the supposition that Christ had not risen.
Our dear Lord endured the "curse of the law"; a part of that curse was
death- death legal, death temporal, death eternal. He was "made a
curse for us," and died. So long as He remained imprisoned in the
grave, "death had dominion over him." We would have looked in vain to
His obedience and sufferings for the proof of the all-sufficiency and
acceptableness of His satisfaction, as long as the iron scepter of the
king of terrors held Him in subjection. O what a momentous period were
the three days that intervened between the giving up the spirit upon
the cross, and the bursting of the tomb! The salvation of the whole
church hung upon it. All who had already "fallen asleep" in Him, and
all whom it was the purpose of God yet to call, were deeply interested
in this one fact. But on the third day the destroyed temple was raised
again; death had no more dominion over Him, its sting was extracted,
its scepter was broken, the curse was rolled away, and the redemption
of the church was complete. "He was delivered for our offences, and
rose again for our justification."
Let the Christian reader fully believe this one truth, that Jesus is
alive again, and it will afford to his soul greater confirmation of
the veracity of God's character, of the truth of His Word, and of the
perfection and all-sufficiency of Christ's work, than all other truths
beside. Is Jesus alive at the right hand of God? Then the debt is
paid, and justice is satisfied. Is Jesus alive at the right hand of
God? Then the Father is well pleased in the work of His Son, and He
"rests in His love, and rejoices over His church with singing." Is
Jesus alive? Then every promise shall be fulfilled, and all the
blessings of the everlasting covenant shall be freely bestowed, and I,
a poor worthless sinner, yet resting upon His atoning work, shall live
also. May the Holy Spirit lead you into the full belief- the belief of
the heart as well as of the judgment- of this glorious truth. It is
the keystone of the temple. Press it as you will, the more you lean
upon it, the stronger you will find it; the more you rest upon it, the
firmer will grow your hope. Only receive it in simple faith, Jesus is
alive- alive for you; all you need in this valley of tears is here;
all your temporal mercies are secured to you here; all your spiritual
blessings are laid up for you here. Such is the great charter, such
are the immense, untold blessings it contains, that, come how you
will, come when you will, and "ask what you will, it shall be granted
you of the Father," because Jesus is at His right hand. Well may we
take up the dauntless challenge of the apostle, "Who is he that
condemns? It is Christ that died; yes rather, that is risen again, who
is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."
Your salvation is complete, your heaven secure, and all victory,
happiness and glory bound up in this one great fact. Then may we not
again exclaim with Peter, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us
again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
Thus have we briefly traced the successive steps which God took to
prepare the way for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit in the
believer. Through the incarnation, obedience, death, and resurrection
of Christ, a way was opened by which God could again dwell with man,
could resume His abode in the very temple that sin had destroyed, and
show forth the riches and glory of His grace far more illustriously
than when this temple stood in its original perfection and grandeur.
Here was the foundation of every successive temple that grace was
about to raise. "Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a
foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure
foundation." "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which
is Jesus Christ." On the dignity of His person, finished
righteousness, perfect atonement, all-sufficient grace and inviolable
faithfulness, believers, "as living stones, are built up a spiritual
house." (1 Pet. 4. 5), for the everlasting indwelling of God the Holy
In passing now more specifically to the consideration of the
indwelling of the Spirit, we proceed to adduce the testimony He
Himself has borne to the doctrine. In the following passages the truth
is unfolded. Looking into the Old Testament, shadowy as the period was
in which that part of the inspired Word was written, we yet find clear
intimation of the doctrine before us.
Ezek 36.27: "And I will put my
Spirit within you."
Ezek 37.14: " And I shall put my Spirit in you,
and you shall live."
In the New Testament the doctrine opens upon our
view with increasing power and brightness. Our Lord's own words are
John 14.16, 17: "And I will ask the Father, and he shall
give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even
the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees
him not, neither knows him: but you know him, for he dwells with you,
and shall be in you."
Ro 8.9: "But you are not in the flesh, but in
the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you."
"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in
1Co 3.16: "Know you not that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
1Co 6.19: "What? know
you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in
2Co 6. 6: "And what agreement has the temple of God with
idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I
will dwell in them," etc.
Ep 2.22: "In whom you also are
built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
We will not multiply quotations; it
is sufficiently clear that the indwelling of the Spirit is a revealed
doctrine of Scripture. We proceed to develop it.
When does the Holy Spirit enter a soul?
We reply, at the moment of its
regeneration. This is His first gracious act. Previous to this, all is
dark, desolate and dead, as we have in other places fully shown. What
pen is adequate to describe the moral desolation, the fearful
dilapidation of the soul of man, before the Spirit enters, bringing in
His train, life, light and order? One brief sentence of Divine truth
will more correctly and vividly describe it than the most elaborate
human production. "Sensual, having not the Spirit." But the Spirit
enters. He comes, in accordance with the eternal purpose, in harmony
with the covenant of grace, borne on the wings of His own love, and
traveling in the greatness of His own strength. What a triumphal
entry, when He takes possession of the temple, already purchased by
the Savior's blood! At His approach, darkness, enmity, pollution and
death retire, and are succeeded by light, love, holiness and life. It
is true that He meets with fierce opposition from within, for "the
strong man armed keeps his palace," and "his goods are in peace"; but
"a stronger than he comes," and puts to flight all opposition, bends
the will, subdues the enmity, dissolves the heart and implants the
sweet response, "Come in, blessed of the Lord, why do you stand
outside? Enter, and take full possession for Yourself. Long have I
closed my heart against You, too long have I resisted all Your
importunities. But now You have conquered and prevailed; come in,
blessed Spirit, and seal me for Your own." O blissful moment, when the
Spirit enters, convincing of sin, breaking the heart with godly
sorrow, laying the soul low in the dust in the spirit of
self-abasement and self-condemnation before God, then leading it to
the atoning blood of Jesus and speaking pardon and peace to the
The Spirit dwells in the believer as a manifestation of the Divine
glory. The temple that Solomon built was one of great magnificence and
splendor. But it was an earthly glory; and although He who "dwells not
in temples made with hands" condescended to reveal Himself in it, yet
it possessed no glory in comparison with the glory that was to exist
in the new spiritual temple which the Holy Spirit was to erect and
inhabit. Speaking of the legal dispensation, with which the temple
prepared by David and built by Solomon was designed to harmonize, the
apostle argues that it possessed no glory in comparison with the
Gospel economy. And why? Because there was less of the Spirit in the
former than in the present dispensation. It was the enlarged
manifestation of the Spirit, especially His indwelling of the saints,
which constituted the peculiar and far-surpassing glory of the new
economy. "How shall not (says he) the ministration of the Spirit be
rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory,
much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For
even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by
reason of the glory that excels."
The superior glory of the new dispensation then is that it is more
spiritual; there is a more enlarged and rich effusion of the
quickening, sanctifying and sealing influences of the Holy Spirit;
there is more of Christ, more of the holy liberty of adoption, a more
simple, spiritual and child-like approach to God. But especially does
the indwelling of the Spirit in the saints form a distinguished
feature of the new economy. Here is an especial manifestation of the
Divine glory. That the Spirit should, on the broad basis of Immanuel's
finished atoning work, call a poor sinner by grace, regenerate,
sanctify and then take possession of him forever, dwell in him,
witness in him, work in him and make him fit for the inheritance of
the saints in light- this is a marvellous display of the Divine glory.
The electing love, infinite wisdom and omnipotent power of God are
glorified; the atoning work, all-sufficient grace and unspeakable
compassion of Jesus are glorified, the irresistible power, infinite
patience and efficacious work of the Spirit are glorified in the soul
that becomes "a habitation of God through the Spirit." We even dare
assert that the conversion of a soul, the sustaining of the work
wrought in that soul, the keeping of the believer through a long life
of holy, upright and close walk with God, and the bringing of him safe
to eternal happiness, are greater displays of the mighty power of God
and more glorify Him than the creation of ten thousand worlds like
The Spirit dwells in the believer as the ever-living Spirit of all
grace and comfort. All that is really holy and gracious in a child of
God is found in the work of the indwelling Spirit. All the holy
breathings and desires of the soul, all the longings for God and for
conformity to His will and image, all that is lovely and like Jesus in
the saint, are the result of this gracious act of the eternal Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Himself would direct us to this truth. John 4.14:
"Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water
springing up into everlasting life." That this well of water is the
indwelling of the Spirit, seems clear from the loth verse: "Jesus
answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God," etc.; that
"gift of God" was the Holy Spirit, alluded to again still more
emphatically in ch. 7. 38, 39: "He that believes on me, as the
scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which those who believe on
him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because
that Jesus was not yet glorified.")
Here is a gracious truth. The Spirit in every believer is a deep and
living well of all spiritual blessings. He dwells in the soul "not
like a stagnant pool, but like an ever-living fountain that flows at
all seasons of the year, in heat and cold, and in all external
circumstances of weather, whether foul or fair, wet or dry." Nature
could not produce that which the indwelling Spirit accomplishes in the
saints of God. The hungering and the thirsting for righteousness, the
rising of the heart in filial love to God, the sweet submission to His
sovereign will, the longing for more knowledge of Christ, the constant
struggling with the law of sin, the mourning over the indwelling
principle of sin; all this is above and far beyond nature. It is the
fruit, the precious fruit, of the indwelling spirit.
It may be, reader, that your heart is often anxious to know in what
way you may distinguish between nature and grace, how you may clearly
discern between that which is legal and that which is spiritual,
between that which is the work of man, and that which is the work of
God. In this way you may trace the vast difference- that which at
first came from God, returns to God again. It rises to the source
where it descended. Divine grace in a sinner's heart is a springing
well- "a well of water springing up into eternal life." Did nature
ever teach a soul the plague of its own heart? Never! Did nature ever
lay the soul in the dust before God, mourning and weeping over sin?
Never! Did nature ever inspire the soul with pantings for God and
thirstings for holiness? Never! And did it ever endear the throne of
grace, and make precious to the soul the atoning blood, the justifying
righteousness of Jesus? Never! never! All this as much transcends the
power of nature as the creating of a world. Is this your real state,
reader? O look up! "Flesh and blood" did not reveal it to you- but the
eternal God has revealed it and that by the indwelling of His own
blessed Spirit in your heart.
We must not overlook His indwelling as a Spirit of holiness. This is
His great and crowning work in a believer. It is in vain that we look
for Him as a Witness, or as a Spirit of comfort, if we slight Him as a
Sanctifier. Although we have assigned a distinct chapter to the
subject of the sanctification of the Spirit, we would yet briefly
allude to it in connection with His indwelling of the saints. The work
of holiness forms a great and glorious part of His operation as the
Indweller of His people. He has come to restore, not only order, but
purity to the temple. He has come to restore the reign of holiness, to
set up the law of God in the soul, to unfold its precepts, and to
write them upon the heart, and, shedding abroad the love of Christ,
under its gentle but powerful constraint to lead the believer to "run
the way of God's commandments." He is pre-eminently a "Spirit of
holiness" in the believer. For a more full unfolding of the manner in
which the Spirit carries forward the work of holiness in the soul, the
reader is referred to the chapter on that subject.
Nor must it be forgotten that He dwells in the believer as an abiding
Spirit. It is a permanent indwelling. Our dear Lord laid especial
stress upon this feature. When on the eve of leaving His disciples to
return to His throne, He promised them "another Comforter," whose
spiritual presence should more than make up for the loss of His bodily
presence. And lest there should be any painful apprehensions as to the
time of His dwelling with them, He assures those who the Spirit should
abide with them forever. "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give
you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." Do not
overlook this truth. Let no spiritual darkness, no workings of
unbelief, no sense of indwelling sin, rob you of the comfort and
consolation which a believing view of it will impart. There may be
periods when you are not sensible of the indwelling of the Spirit.
Clouds and darkness may be around this doctrine; there may be severe
trials, gloomy providences, foreboding fears, the way rough and
intricate, the sky dark and wintry, faith small, unbelief powerful,
and your soul, from its low depths, led to exclaim, "All these things
are against me. Will the Lord cast off forever? and will he be
favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? does his promise
fail for evermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? has he in anger
shut up his tender mercies?" Oh do not forget that even then, dejected
saint of God, then when all is dark within and all is desolate
without, then the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier and the Comforter and
the Glorifier of Jesus, dwells in you, and shall be with you forever.
True, you may be assailed by powerful corruptions, the "consolations
of God few and small" with you, and your prayer like David's, "Cast me
not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me";
yet He, the blessed Indweller, is there, and His still, small and
soothing voice shall soon be heard amid the roaring of the tempest,
hushing it to a peaceful calm. He shall "abide with you forever." No
wanderings, no neglect, no unkindness, no unworthiness, no
unfaithfulness shall ever force Him from your bosom. He may withdraw
His sensible presence; He may withhold His comforting influence; He
may be so grieved by a careless walk as to suspend for a while His
witnessing and sanctifying power, permitting indwelling corruptions
for a moment to triumph; but He restores the soul; He brings it back
again; He breaks the heart, then binds it up; wounds, then heals it,
fills it with godly grief, then tunes it with thanksgiving and the
voice of melody. "For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with
great mercies will I gather you." "He restores my soul."
I can present, in this chapter, a mere outline of the remaining
operations of the Spirit as the Indweller of the saints. I regret this
the less because some of those parts of His work are more fully
discussed in the chapters especially assigned to them in this
As a Spirit of adoption He dwells in the believer.
Gal 4.6 "And
because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into
your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
As a Witness He is there.
Ro 8.16: "The Spirit itself bears witness
with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
As an earnest and pledge of future glory He is there.
Ep 1.13, 14:
"In whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy
Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance," etc.
As a Teacher He is there.
John 14.26: "The Comforter, which is the
Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my
name, he shall teach you all things." "He shall guide you into all
As a Remembrancer He is there.
Jn 14:26: "He shall teach you all
things, and bring all things to your remembrance."
As a Glorifier of Jesus He is there.
John 16:14: "He shall glorify
me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."
All these gracious operations works that one and self-same Spirit,
dwelling in the hearts of all believers.
In reviewing this subject, the following important reflections suggest
themselves to us.
How amazing the grace of God that makes the heart of a poor sinner His
dwelling-place! O what grace is this! How it prostrates all high
thoughts of self, how it brings down the lofty look, and lays the soul
where it should ever lie, "low in
a low place." "Will God in very deed dwell with man?" "I will dwell in
them," says God, "and will walk in them."
Let us not forget that it is the humble broken heart that forms the
true temple of the Holy Spirit. He only dwells here. And here He does
dwell. It may be a temple despised by man, but God prepares and
chooses it for His abode. The proud and haughty spirit of
self-righteous man may overlook it as valueless; the tear that falls
in silence, the sigh that is breathed in secret, the heart that mourns
over sin may be thought little of by the passer by, but with God it is
of "great price." He has a bottle for that tear, a record for that
sigh, and that mourning is music in His ear. "The high and lofty one
who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high
and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I
refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant
hearts." Isaiah 57:15. Perhaps your cry is, "Come, blessed and eternal
Spirit, into my heart; make it a temple, now and forever, for Your
abode worthless though the offering be, yet it is all I have to
present You; enter, with all Your humbling, sanctifying, sealing and
comforting influences, and take full possession for Yourself."
O blessed cry! O sweet fruit of that loving, faithful Spirit, who
already has entered (unknown and unsuspected, it may be, by you) and
has planted there this desire, the sure and certain pledge of future
glory! Be assured, precious soul, that this cry, feeble as it is, is
an evidence of the indwelling of the Spirit. It is the first gentle
springing up of the living fountain within you, and it shall continue
to spring up even unto eternal life. Cherish it as you would your
greatest blessing. Pray that it may be increased and strengthened more
and more, and closely watch against the slightest thing which would
tend to enfeeble it.
How holy should the temple of the Spirit be!
Reader, are you a temple
of God the Holy Spirit? Then dedicate yourself unreservedly to God.
You are not your own. Your body, your spirit, your family, substance,
time, talents, influence, all, all belong to God. He dwells in you-
lives in you- rules in you, and calls you His dwelling-place. "Don't
you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit
lives in you?" Then what a separation should there be between you and
the world that lies in wickedness! How should you guard against every
unnecessary entanglement with it; how cautious and prayerful, lest, by
contracting an unholy alliance with it in any form or degree, you
should defile the temple of God, "whose temple you are!" Oh, what
heavenly wisdom, holy circumspection and ceaseless prayer do you need
that you may walk with unspotted garments- that no rival should enter
your heart- that no lofty views of self, no spirit of worldly
conformity, no temporising policy, no known sin, no creature idolatry
should enter there- that, like the heavenly temple, nothing that
defiles, neither whatever works abomination, should be cherished or
entertained in the abode and in the presence of the Holy Spirit; for
"what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the
temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and
walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
Reader, whose temple are you?
Solemn question! Does
God or Satan dwell in you? Christ or Belial? Light or dark ness?
Either the one or the other has, at this moment, possession of you.
You cannot serve two contrary masters; you cannot entertain two
opposite guests. You are living either for God or for Satan. You are
traveling either to heaven or to hell. Which? On your bended knees
before God, decide; and may the Lord the Spirit renew you by His
grace, and if renewed, make you "a vessel unto honor, sanctified and
fit for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (This
is the chapter entitled
The Believer a Temple
from Octavius Winslow's book entitled
THE HOLY SPIRIT - click here for index to all 8
Bishop J C Ryle's treatise on THE HOLY SPIRIT
Horatius Bonar - The Holy Spirit