2 Corinthians 6

Scripture 2 Corinthians 6:16  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Observation-What does it say?  One of the constant threads seen through the letters to the Corinthians is to separate from the paganism which is so common among the residents of the city.  Earlier in the letter, Paul encourages the Corinthian church to live in the freedom that we have in Christ.  But this freedom does not come without a cost, or without difficulties.  In chapter four verses seven through ten, Paul takes time to reiterate that we will have strength to overcome this affliction in the power provided to us through Christ.  Here in chapter six, we see a cry similar to what Paul charged in Romans 12, to be separate from the world and its troubles.  This is not to say we are to act as elitists, but in humility knowing that what we have is intended to save the world.

Understanding-What does it mean?  I was in Idyllwild on a seven week summer ministry trip one summer.  I was fortunate enough to have a visit from my mom during one of the weekends.  I was excited to show her all the new places I had been, and particularly the bakery that was in town there.  Much to my surprise, she shared with me a special place to her.  I had never known that she had visited Idyllwild as a kid, and been to a Christian summer camp.  As we meandered in the mountains, she pointed out a little white chapel at the camp she had been at and told me that was where she had been baptized.  For a while, I got really wrapped up in these kind of “sacred places”.  Even still, I can get a little wrapped up in sentimentality to a building where something happened in my spiritual life.

However, I still struggle with the way I treat people.  I find myself frustrated with the behaviors of others and want to just tear them apart or just plain leave them behind.  But God’s word tells us that our bodies are the temple (1 Corinthians 6:13), we are all separately part of God’s body (Romans 12:4-8), and that we don’t live for ourselves but for Christ’s purpose (Romans 14:7-8).  So behind every “sacred place,” like a chapel or a church building, lies the thing that is truly important, the people that Jesus died to save from death.

In separating our actions from the actions of the rest of the world, we are putting God’s body on display.  In treating my brothers and sisters with the respect that a temple deserves, it should draw curiosity of the world around me, wondering why I care so deeply for others instead of tearing them down.  So my actions need to display a deeper care for the true temple of God, His children.

Life Application  Jesus, help me to look for ways in which to honor your temple.  Remind me to treat others with the care and respect they deserve.   And when my temper runs short, help me to humble myself and seek forgiveness from my brothers and sisters.  

-Tyler Galloway