January 15

1 Corinthians 6;15-20

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?” vs. 19

Paul was a champion of God’s grace, but he wasn’t the least bit permissive! There was no way that he could condone the visits to prostitutes that were evidently taking place in the congregation at Corinth. In his estimation such a practice was a sin against the Body of Christ and should not be tolerated. He concluded his argument by affirming the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, implying that the only dwelling fit for the Spirit was one that was pure and holy. While Paul’s intention was good, his words have triggered guilt pandemics among the followers of Jesus. Many have tried hard to be pure and holy vessels of the Spirit and tet have come up short–some have been driven to despair. Countless people carry chronic burdens of guilt–it’s the way they feel all the time. It is true that we should take good care of our bodies, treat them with respect, and avoid damaging behaviors. Our bodies are gifts from God! But the idea that we need to be pure and holy before the Spirit can work through us is ridiculous. The Holy Spirit is present in all people and works in and through them for the good of all. Of course we will mess up and then deal with feelings of guilt–it’s the Spirit who makes us holy! By grace are we saved! 

Thought for the Day: How often am I plagued by guilt?

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