12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:12 - 20 (ESV)
Jesus’ cleansing of the temple has significance for us today. This account in John was written as a sign to show that God wants pure worship from us, and sin will not be tolerated. Jesus isn’t just speaking against the sin of profiting from God in the Temple, He is speaking against sin in the body altogether. The place of worship, the Temple, had become a den of thieves and it was in desperate need of a cleansing and purification.
The Church is the Body of Christ. We are the Church and God does not tolerate deliberate sin to be present in His body. Of course, there will always be sin present in the church and in our lives, because sin is ever present in us as humans, but when the Church or believers openly accept or welcome sin in the Body of Christ and refuse to deal with it (i.e. looking past it or not wanting to confront it head on) then there will be consequences and God will clean house. This truth is comforting to some and simply terrifying to others.
In I Corinthians 6:19, 20, Paul writes, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple (emphasis mine) of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” The building you enter Sunday mornings is not the church. We are the church and if the people of Christ turn a blind eye to sin amid His people, then God cannot bless the body.
I have seen God clean house before, and it can be ugly, but it can also be a beautiful thing. I don’t write this to scare you or to make you feel as though you are the cause of judgment. I tell you this because God has called us to be His children, His representatives and His dwelling place. He desires for us to be a holy body and we cannot be holy on our own. We can only become holy through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. I pray that God would search our hearts and our lives and that He would do a spiritual “house cleaning” in our lives, so that He may bless our lives and bless the Church in ways that we could never imagine.
Understand this, God is not against you and He is not waiting in the dark corners ready to punish you and expose your sins to the world. God is for you and He wants to have a relationship with you and with His Body that is unhindered by sin, so let’s seek His forgiveness and repent of the sins we know of that are present in us today.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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