Our Bodies—A Temple
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
The moment we rested our all for Eternity on the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, the Holy Spirit entered and we were born of God. Simultaneously our bodies became the temples of the Holy Spirit. The late Robert McCrory used to aptly say, “Not only is the Holy Spirit resident in our hearts but He should also be president in our lives.” Dr. John Heading, in his exposition of 1 Corinthians states: “The Holy Spirit has been freely given us by God. Hence, every act of the body, of seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, experiencing, tasting, must be regulated with this truth in mind. He knows all. Not only is He on high, but He dwells within us.”
Let us consider an analogy from the Old Testament: “All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve … For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God. And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them” (1 Chron. 9:21-27).
Figuratively speaking, the gates and doors to the temple of the Holy Spirit are the ears, eyes, mouth, lips and mind of the redeemed of the Lord, for He indwells them. The Apostle Paul exhorted the saints at Rome, and of course us as well: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). Our entire personalities should be wholly yielded to the influence and power of God the Holy Spirit.
There are certain matters which ought to be readily accepted through the various gates, matters which may be used by the indwelling Spirit for either our benefit or for the benefit of others.
Through eargate: Isaiah presents the Lord Jesus as Jehovah’s perfect Servant, and of Him as such, he says, “He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isa. 50:4-5). Undoubtedly this is why the Lord Jesus claimed to speak words given to Him by God. Seven times in John’s Gospel He makes this claim (Jno. 7:16; 8:28, 46; 47; 12:49; 14:10; 17:8). No wonder that our Lord could speak words that sustained and strengthened him that is weary (Isa. 50:4, R.V.).
Through eyegate: Our present educational system places great importance upon visual aids in teaching. Of course the eyes have become the symbol of perception and understanding, and it is in that light the Psalmist uses them. He prays, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” (Psa. 119:18). It is in this way that we discover new glories in our adorable Lord Jesus.
The mouth: Mr. Newberry suggested long ago that Daniel may be the author of Psalm 119, if so then it was he who wrote, “I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments” (V. 131). In this manner, he pictured his soul as thirsting and hungering for the Word of God. In answer to such a prayer our heavenly Father says, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psa. 81:10).
The heart: When we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, what is true of Lydia becomes true of us. Paul writes of “a certain woman named Lydia … whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14).
The advice of George Muller is worthy of attention, “Open the Bible first thing in the day. Let God speak to you, and then on your knees speak to God.”
It is also recorded of the temple, “And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in” (2 Chron. 23:19). This illustrates a very necessary attitude on the part of the believer; he must not allow the temple of the Holy Spirit to become defiled. We read of the man who is able to abide in the presence of God, a consuming fire, that he “stoppeth his ears from
hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil” (Isa. 33:14-15). Our constant prayer should be: “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity” (Psa. 119:37). “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not mine heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties” (Psa. 141:3-4).
Elders among the churches of the saints are deeply concerned over young Christians who expose themselves to temptation by reading the cheap novels and sexy stories found in the book stands everywhere. Such pulp literature perverts the mind and frequently proves detrimental to any testimony before others. Another wrote in regard to such reading: “A ship headed towards the rocks, a car with its occupants rushing towards a washed-out bridge, a person poised in the act of taking poison, is frightening; one thinks only of an untimely death.” Such are the dangers of indiscriminate reading. Elders, who especially care for the young should caution them, suggest better reading habits, and encourage them to properly appraise spiritual values. They should also encourage them to take time to be holy and to commune with the Lord. “For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death” (Psa. 48:14).
A certain firm in advertising a well-known food product used this appeal, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” We know what the Psalmist spiritually was because of what he mentally assimilated. “We have thought of Thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple” (Psa. 48:9). Wisdom says, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors” (Prov. 9:34).
“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning. Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:35-37 ) .