What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 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 Corinthians 6:19,20
When teaching on the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, I sometimes say that when the Holy Spirit moved into our hearts, He hung pictures on the wall; He put rugs on the floor; and He settled into a comfortable chair inside our hearts. But He has done much more than that! He has taken our spirits, once dead in trespasses and sin, and raised them to new life, recreating them into a marvelous temple of God.
Obviously, what the Holy Spirit accomplished in our salvation was not just a decorating job. He created a dwelling place on the inside of us that is so wonderful, so marvelous, so fantastic, and so outstanding that the Holy Spirit — the Third Person of the Godhead — was willing to make it His home! Paul referred to this miraculous work in First Corinthians 6:19 and 20, when he wrote, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 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.”
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The word “temple” is taken from the Greek word naos, which always describes a highly decorated shrine. It paints the picture of a beautiful cathedral with tall, vaulted ceilings, marble columns, granite floors, hand-carved woodwork overlaid with gold and silver, crystal chandeliers, silver candelabras, and burning incense around the front of the altar.
Being raised in a Protestant denomination, I was accustomed to the interior of a simple Protestant church. We had pews, a baptistry, an attractive carpet, and heavy oak pulpit furniture. That was our style of church decoration. It was nice, but moderate and simple.
The first time I ever entered a cathedral, I nearly fell over! I was just a small boy when I participated in my uncle’s wedding at a large Catholic church in our city. I remember walking down the aisle of that church building, awestruck by the high ceilings and the beauty of the statues and paintings.
In my journeys from one end of the former Soviet Union to the other, I often stop to see large Russian Orthodox church buildings. The architecture; the craftsmanship; the gold, the silver, and precious stones; the inlaid marbles; the painting and icons — the talent and gifting required to create all that beauty is so much more than I could ever imagine! Some of these buildings are nearly unbelievable in terms of size and visual grandeur. To say they are spectacular is a great understatement.
This is precisely what Paul meant when he wrote that we were “temples” of the Holy Spirit. It is warm and cozy to think of the Holy Spirit making Himself at home in our hearts, but because Paul used the word naos (“temple”) in First Corinthians 6:19 to describe us, he was painting a very different and much more magnificent picture of our spiritual interiors.
The Holy Spirit performed the ultimate miracle when He came to dwell in our hearts. He came to occupy our spirits, which were dead in trespasses and sins (see Ephesians 2:1) and then He quickened us together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5). In that miraculous moment, He created us to be like God in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). The work inside us was so glorious and perfect that when it was all finished, He declared we were His workmanship created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). From start to finish, we were apprehended by Him, regenerated by Him, and molded and fashioned to be a magnificent temple, fit for the Spirit of God Himself to make His permanent habitation.
The change in our previously dead spiritual nature is truly miraculous. He resurrected it with glory and power and recreated us to contain the revelation, holiness, splendor, righteousness, the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and the life and character of Christ. He adorned our inner man until, spiritually speaking, we became a shrine unto God!
Inwardly we are so beautiful and magnificently created that Almighty God, through His Spirit, is willing to take up permanent residency within us. What kind of home do you think God would require? Would He desire a shabby shack of dirt and sticks? No! He has built for Himself an unspeakably beautiful temple, fit for His glory, within our hearts!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for the amazing work You have done inside my heart. By Your Spirit, You took my spiritually dead condition, raised me to life, and moved into my heart. My spiritual interior has been recreated and embellished so richly that You were even willing to take up residence within me. I am not a shabby shack made of dirt and sticks, but a magnificent temple that You have built for Yourself. You recreated my spirit, and then You adorned my inner man with Your revelation, holiness, splendor, righteousness, the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and the life and character of Christ Himself! Holy Spirit, help me gain a deeper revelation of what You have done inside me than I’ve ever had before.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that because of the new birth, my spiritual interior has been miraculously and marvelously recreated to be a suitable residence for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. I am a magnificent temple where the Holy Spirit dwells. Inside me are the power, glory, and splendor of the Holy Spirit. God’s meticulous attention to detail within my inner man was so glorious and perfect that when it was all finished, He declared me to be His workmanship created in Christ Jesus. I may not see this manifested yet in my outward appearance, but inwardly this is exactly who I am. I will therefore stop speaking poorly of myself. Instead, I will honor the Lord by speaking words in agreement with the mighty work He performed in my inner man, and I will begin to speak words that honor my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you ever pondered what your spiritual interior must look like in order for the Holy Spirit to be pleased to dwell there? Why don’t you stop and reflect on this question. It could revolutionize the way you see yourself!
- Are you guilty of judging yourself by your exterior appearance instead of by your interior reality? Is it possible that you’ve been putting your focus on the wrong part of you? Think about that!
- Why don’t you take time to think of the supernatural work the Holy Spirit has done within you, such as regenerating your spirit, filling you with His power, and so on. How would it affect your confidence and boldness to walk through the situations of life if you continually meditated on what the Holy Spirit has done in you rather than what you’d like to change about your exterior appearance and characteristics?