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You (together and individually) are a temple for the Holy Spirit

March 5, 2024

Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-17, 6:15-20

1 Corinthians 3
10 I laid a foundation like a wise master builder according to God’s grace that was given to me, but someone else is building on top of it. Each person needs to pay attention to the way they build on it. 11 No one can lay any other foundation besides the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, because God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.

1 Corinthians 6
15 Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of Christ? So then, should I take parts of Christ and make them a part of someone who is sleeping around [Or a prostitute; commonly, women who sell their bodies to multiple sex partners but includes those who are sexually immoral *]? No way! 16 Don’t you know that anyone who is joined to someone who is sleeping around is one body with that person? The scripture says, The two will become one flesh [Genesis 2:24]. 17 The one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 18 Avoid sexual immorality! Every sin that a person can do is committed outside the body, except those who engage in sexual immorality commit sin against their own bodies. 19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? 20 You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Like most ancient Greek and Roman cities, Corinth had many temples for the wide variety of pagan gods they imagined as dwelling on Mount Olympus. But there were no physical, architectural Christian temple buildings (yet). Paul used this letter to tell the Christians in Corinth that they, as a community of faith and as individual members of that community, were the “temple” of the Holy Spirit. They were the visible sign of God’s presence to draw their neighbors to their God.

  • In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul was concerned about people who set one church leader against another, putting loyalty to their favorite leader above loyalty to Jesus (cf., 1 Corinthians 3:3-4). It’s clear that “This [Temple] image refers to the church community as a whole, not its individual members, as the holy place of God’s presence.” ** Why would Paul say trying to destroy the church community is worse than taking a sledgehammer to a physical church building?
  • In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul spoke to converts, likely formed by Plato’s Greek ideas, who thought God hated their bodies anyway. Paul knew that was false: “The body isn’t destined for destruction but for resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15:50-57)…. Individual Christians are united with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17) through the presence of God’s Spirit in them. This makes the human body a temple for God’s presence through the Spirit. *** How can it shape your lifestyle to see your body as the Holy Spirit’s temple?

Lord Jesus, you created me as a physical as well as a spiritual being. Guide me into a fuller understanding of how you wish to dwell in me, and in all my fellow believers, as your ultimate temple. Amen.

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Megan DelGrosso

Megan DelGrosso

Megan DelGrosso serves as the rezlife Student Ministry Director for Resurrection's Leawood location. She is a Pennsylvania native who moved to Kansas City with her husband and two children when she joined the Resurrection staff in 2021, after 10 years of student ministry and non-profit work in Pittsburgh. Megan loves spending time with her family, beach life, Marvel movies, and exploring new places. She first shared this blog with us in 2022.

A few years ago I did a candy challenge with my preschooler. It was trending online at the time, and I just couldn’t help myself. I set up my phone on the table in front of my daughter to record and set a plate of candy in front of her–her favorite, of course, the Mini Strawberry Starburst. The rules were, if she waited until I got back and didn’t eat any candy, she could have ALL the candy. If she took some of the candy, she didn’t get any more of the candy. That’s a tall order for a 4-year-old. (Honestly, that’s a tall order for me.) I walked away, and waited, for just about 45 seconds. It wasn’t too long, but long enough that she could have eaten every piece if she had really wanted to. When I came back, I asked if she ate any, she said no, and the recording showed that she didn’t touch the candy. The reward of all the candy was worth the wait.

As I was reflecting on temptation, I had the brilliant idea of seeing how my 3-year-old son would react to this same candy challenge. I was thinking that it would give me this beautiful moment to write about when he gave in immediately and I came back to a face full of chocolate to talk about the risk vs. reward of giving into temptation. Then, I could talk about the ease in which we can give into temptation, contrasted with the strength of character Paul called the Corinthians to have. A great plan–except that my son did not eat the candy. What chocolate-obsessed 3-year-old doesn’t immediately eat a plate full of candy with no adult supervision? Apparently, mine.

Maybe a plate full of Mini Strawberry Starburst or M&M’s isn’t something that would tempt you to indulge, but we all have things that tempt us. Maybe your plate of candy is a group of people gossiping about someone else and you have a choice to participate or walk away. Maybe your plate of candy is an argument, and you can choose to engage or wait until everyone cools off to talk calmly. Maybe it’s something else. Regardless of the temptations we face, just like the Christians Paul wrote to (and apparently like my children presented with plates of candy), the Holy Spirit can help us walk away from these temptations. We can live a life pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace, and because of the goodness of God we don’t ever have to face those temptations alone.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* “In the ancient world prostitutes were the people who slept around, since sexual access was generally controlled outside prostitution. For many in today’s world, sex has become much more casual, and such behavior isn’t confined to prostitutes. This explains the translation of the Greek word pornē as someone “sleeping around” rather than as “prostitute.” (Charles A. Wanamaker, study note on 1 Corinthians 6:15 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 314 NT.)
** Charles A. Wanamaker, study note on 1 Corinthians 3:16 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 309 NT.
*** Charles A. Wanamaker, study note on 1 Corinthians 6:13, 19 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 314 NT.