Friday, April 8, 2011

Cleansing Your Temple Through Christ

*Originally written on January 12th, 2011*

With this time of the year comes diets, diet pills, weight loss surgeries, healthy eating shows, 'magical' weightless clothing, reattempted new year's resolutions, crazy-packed gyms, & probably the highest profit scales make all year...its a constant reminder to me of a mindset I have to battle with, feeling like I'm a fat tub of lard of a failure and need to go crazy on cutting out everything unhealthy I eat and redesign my eating habits, eat less, workout more, push myself harder and try to achieve more and make myself actually feel proud of myself for once.  But God is gracious enough to remind me every time that there is no amount of my mental 'law' I can achieve, I can accomplish that will bring true joy. It's only through Christ, His sacrifice and grace, His unmerited favor upon my life that gives me anything, any joy or peace.  So let's refocus this health craze into proper perspective...lets go biblical!

Abraham: lived before the law was ever made & was the man God made a covenant with.  He gave Him health and the world, & that was before the law was ever even established!  This alone should show us that there is no power in the law with taking care of yourself. 

Joseph Prince mentioned that there are only 2 people in the bible that Jesus Christ calls having strong faith:  the Centurion and the Canaanite women.  Now what do these 2 people have in common?  That they are both gentiles and were never taught about the law!  All they knew was Jesus and His power and glory, no law telling them how they failed and what they didn’t achieve…This is the kind of faith we need to have!  Faith that Christ can do all and that through Him, so can we as long as it is in His will!

Next some bible verses!
Jesus Cleanses the Temple 
Matthew 21:
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God[f] and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’[g] but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’[h]
14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,
      ‘ Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
      You have perfected praise’?[i]

I would also like John's perspective on this:

John 2:

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten[a] Me up.”[b]
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them;[c] and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

Paul said:

 1 Corinthians 3:

9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16" Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." Glorify God in Body and Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 6:

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up 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 harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”[b] 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[c] and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Ephesians 2:

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. 

I think its clear that we are indeed the temple of God.  When Christ died for our sins, tearing down the old temple and He was resurrected and brought up a new temple within each of us, within our hearts.  How we care for our temple is obviously important!  Christ is living within YOU!  His clensing blood, His redemptive blood that brings grace and washes us flows continuously through us once we accept Him into our hearts!  That is quite an important job, that is a very important reason to take care of your temple, if there even is a better one. And not because its by YOUR power or YOUR ability or awesomeness or law or whatever, for nothing is done by you, but by Christ within you!  He is the reason to and the way to!

An important way to look at taking care of your temple is to see how Christ cleaned up the earthly temple. In Matthew it reports Christ comparing the temple to a den of thieves, that's powerful.  How do you steal from your temple?  What are you buying and selling within your temple?  Instead of giving a true sacrifice of yourself to God, what is it that is taking the place, what selfish and perhaps unhealthy habit are you giving into?  And this does not remain within the physical boundaries, what selfish habits or things do you have that you know you should stop that you keep putting before God?  That's taking place before could even be some sort of religious act, remember the doves were for sacrifices! 

What did Christ say the temple was supposed to be…a house of prayer!  This just shows even more how it’s not by our own strength but God's that we can truly care for our temple in the way He intended!  It first and foremost is about our communication, love, affection, and relationship with God our Heavenly Father-which we do though Jesus Christ, His son and His sacrifice that allows us to be called sons and heirs!
Right after all that, Jesus began to heal those who needed it...this shows me that once you get your temple in proper order, then and only then will you see miracles and healings. Then you will have true health and wealth. First comes cleansing and then comes healing and miracles but you limit Christ by the condition of your temple.

After that, we shall sing praises to Christ and our Heavenly Father for all His mercy, grace, & love and this will bring the last of the trio: happiness. For true happiness comes when you stop looking at yourself, your limits, and what you can and cannot do and begin to keep your eyes on the prize, on the light, on the Son of God Jesus Christ and the Father Almighty!  Then His amazing overpowering joy will come over you!

One part that John brings up also is that this was during Passover.  Passover is a time of remembrance of the story of Exodus...and the creation of the law. Christ was showing that none of their sacrifices were good enough for their sins, and their heart behind them, the most important aspect, was also totally wrong!  It took His death upon the cross to completely 'cleanse' the temple, and tear the veil of separation between God and man so that He could afterwards always have a connection to keep the temple clean!  Jesus will do all the work!  Through His awesome glory and power, through His amazing love I cannot begin to fathom, He not only cleans our temple and makes a way for us to reach the Father and be called His son, AND He'll help to keep the temple clean! 

The Son of God became the Son of Man and died for all our sins and transgressions, our sicknesses, our pains, our that we can change from being just a son of man into a son of God and spend eternity with the Father and Him!  Now that's love!

So how do we keep our temple clean?  Not by our works but by His work! Does this mean I can do whatever in the heck I want and Christ will just act like a maid and clean it all up?  Not so much people. Christ still expected them to try and keep the temple clean, keep their hearts in the right place.  And when Christ lives in your heart, He’ll guide you and keep your heart in the right place if you truly listen to Him through prayer, meditation, and a relationship with Him.

Paul mentions that how we build our temple, what it’s made of, is very important so that when we are tested we can withstand.  This applies spiritually and physically. We need to be strong in all 3 of ourselves, Physical body, Soul (emotions and mind) body, and Spirit body.  When we are tested by fire, when the world throws things at you, what we are made of will show! Remember we represent Him!  He also mentions while he can do all things, that doesn't mean he should do all things. Yes, there is a difference. He then names food and sexual sins, physical sins!  And then reminds us that we are not our own and were bought at a price, and that price was the cross!  Let’s make sure we are worth the purchase! 

Through Christ we have a peace between the law and grace, He achieves the law which we could not for us, and brings peace between us and the Father! And we are all in this together!  We are all, as Christians, the temple of God-singularly and collectively-and we should help lift each other up! We are His body!  Be a blessing to one another and inspire one another to keep taking care of themselves, reminding each other of who we are, of our identity in Christ and strengthen each other...With Christ and as a team we can achieve a true health and happiness!

*Comments from old blog:

Yet again thank you! (me)

Becca, this is really good! I really needed to read this :) It is always a good reminder of how important it is to take care of our bodies God’s way rather than “our” way, and how we don’t need to live by the law. I wonder when I’ll ever truly get that through my head! Love you :)

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