Temples of the Holy Spirit

Posted on September 12, 2014 by VMMissions Staff

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

Bethany was walking down the road one day when a motorcycle taxi driver buzzed by, then turned around and came back. He asked, “What’s your religion?”

“We believe in the Lord Jesus,” Bethany answered. He nodded and buzzed away, only to circle back, asking, “What temple do you worship in?”

Bethany said, “Well, we believe that each person is a temple where God lives, and believers in Jesus can gather anywhere to worship.” He looked confused, so Bethany said, “But actually, yes, we usually pick a building of some kind to meet in.”

He nodded and drove off, but then again came back. “Do you have a sacred book?” he asked.

“Yes, we do. The Bible.” Bethany thought this was a strange way to make conversation, so she asked, “Why are you asking, do you want to read it?” He gave the enigmatic Thai smile and sped off.

On his commute to school, Steve admires the devotion of Thai animistic Buddhists as they present offerings and prayers before the patron spirit houses, morning and evening. He meditates on the temple imagery of 1 Corinthians 3:16.

Buddhism distinguishes between the viharn(temple) and the boht(gathering place), with two different buildings inside the wat(temple complex). Buddhist-background believers, in turn, gather in a boht, not a viharn.

We are where God dwells, and just as Paul stressed to the Corinthian pagan-background believers, this has a very pertinent emphasis here. God honored us by making His dwelling place among us.

How does this amazing gift impact our motorcycle-driving friend and the many others who revere each spirit house they pass by? How does it impact us as we relate with others, bearers of the image of God? Ten chapters later, Paul shows the most excellent way.
Buddhist temple in Bangkok

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