Wednesday, December 6, 2006
I only had 24 hours in Athens, Greece. Well, what am I going to do? Well, I knew what I wanted to see - the Acropolis, and there it is. It's on this hill that dominates the city, and it's there that the ancient Greeks built this incredible temple to their goddess Athena. Even after 20 centuries, I have to tell you, it's still an impressive, imposing structure and it still dominates the city. The Acropolis was the most sacred, most protected, most honored place in all of Athens. In fact, it was a serious crime to violate that temple, as it was in many ancient cultures. Hey, everybody knew the temple got first class treatment because the gods live there.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Temple Treasure."
Now, those ancient worshippers had the wrong God, but in a way they had the right idea about His temple. It was in the time of those temples and ancient deities that Paul wrote our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 6:19- 20.
Here's what he says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." Now Paul is presenting here one of Christianity's most revolutionary and most shocking ideas. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you are the building God lives in!
And even pagan people knew that the way you take care of your god's dwelling place tells a lot about how you feel about your god. If you know Christ, you are God's two-legged temple! You don't have to go to Greece to see a temple - all you have to do is look in the mirror! So everything you do with that body of yours, God is part of. Everything you do to that body, in a sense, you do to God.
So the question is: Are you treating your body like the temple treasure that it is? If you really care about the God you say you love, you won't let His temple run down, get overweight, get abused by an eating disorder, or get all out of shape. Ancient pagans knew you had to keep the temple in good condition because your temple advertises what your god is like. That's what you and I do with the body that His Holy Spirit has come to live in. Maybe you're devaluing that temple God lives in with the junk you put in it, or by playing around sexually, using His temple to satisfy your glands or your curiosity. Do you know who lives in the body you're doing that with? The Holy Spirit of God.
It isn't smart to junk up God's temple. It isn't smart to misuse God's temple. That's what the moneychangers found out when they were abusing God's temple in Jesus' day - when His temple was a building. It's one of the few places in the Bible where Jesus is really angry. He physically, angrily goes after those who have messed up the place that is God's dwelling. Today, that's your body, and Jesus doesn't like it when you junk up His temple.
It matters what you do with His temple; what you put into it, how you treat it. The reason it matters to Jesus so much - what you do with that body of yours - with that temple of yours - is that He paid for you with His blood. You were, remember, "bought at a price." And that price was Jesus' life. He has a right to expect that the body His Spirit has moved into will be kept very special for Him.