• Matt Beaney

#530 (4/2/22) TEMPLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT



Sometimes when you go into someone’s house they ask you to take your shoes off. They don’t want their carpet getting dirty, which is perfectly understandable. Others have different ideas about these things and so are very happy and may even reassure you that it’s fine to keep your shoes on. Our approach to our homes is varied. However, when it comes to our view of our bodies, there should be no variety of views; the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. When we become Christians, we leave our sinful attitudes and practices at the door. A church is a group of people who have agreed to treat their community as a community that is holy for God’s presence.

‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 honour God with your bodies.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

We read something similar in chapter 3,

‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.’ (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

i) DON’T YOU KNOW?

Firstly, we need to know this. He asks them, ‘don’t you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit…’ People who indulge in sexual immorality have forgotten that they are a dwelling place for God’s presence.


ii) DON’T BE DECEIVED

We can be deceived into thinking that the Bible’s teaching is antiquated or can be read in such a way so as to endorse our sexual appetites. Paul writes about this,


But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.’ (Ephesians 5:3-7)

To embrace sexual immorality is to have forgotten Jesus’ passion for the purity of His house. Jesus demonstrates this in his casting out those who were buying and selling in the temple courts. To open the door to sexual immorality is to fail to respect God’s desire for the purity of His church.


iii) PURSUE TRUE JOY

Finally, to endorse sexual sin demonstrates that we have forgotten that true joy and purpose is found in being God’s temple rather than in opening themselves up to the very real appeal of sexual sin. Paul tells them that 'they have been bought with a price...' Jesus gave his life to purchase us for God. He has sanctified us for Himself. He has removed our sin so that His Holy presence can take up residence. This is true riches and joy.


Sexual sin is to defile God’s temple. We must not treat this lightly. I’m aware of my own imperfections as I write this, however, to recognise and seek to turn from our failures is very different from changing God’s word in order to widen the doors of God’s holy temple!


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s important that you engage with the Bible yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of this text.

‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 honour God with your bodies.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Have you ever done something that you didn't want to do and yet found it to be rewarding?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. This church has been infected by false teachers who are teaching that sexual sin is okay. Love for God and others requires that we pursue godly sexual relationships.


i) THE CORINTHIAN ATTITUDE

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.' (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

Some were teaching that they are free to do whatever they liked sexually. Paul is correcting their attitude to sexual freedom. Freedom is using our body as the Lord intended.


ii) MEMBERS OF CHRIST

'By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.' (1 Corinthians 6:14-17)

Paul reminds them that their bodies are important to God. God will raise them and renew them. They are also united to Jesus by the Spirit and so it is anathema to unite our bodies with the Lord and with a prostitute or anyone else in sexual sin.


iii) FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY

'Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.' (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

To sin sexually is to sin against our bodies in a most severe fashion. To sin sexually is also to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit. To sin sexually is to forget that we have been chosen and purchased by the blood of Christ. In response to these truths, we must 'flee from sexual immorality'. Seek to live pure lives for the glory of God.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) How does Paul seek to motivate this church toward sexual purity?

iii) What are the various ways that one can seek to 'flee from sexual immorality'?


iii) SIV - Why does the pursuit of sexual purity help to glorify Jesus in our community?

iv) SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

v) SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

vi) SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.







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