Religion and Spirituality. Which is better to have? Do we need both? The Bible talks about worship and spiritual worship. Why would we need both?
Regardless of what denomination we are; learning how to use our Bible; learning the scripture and God's word is important. Attending church, be it in the form of a church, temple or another place where we can receive lessons helps to give us a foundation on which to grow in a spiritual sense with the Lord.
Yet, there are many who do not attend a specified building and still have a spiritual walk with God. And you would probably ask, how can you have a spiritual walk if you do not have religion?
The Bible states in Matthew 18:20, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Then in Matthew 28:20, "teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
The Bible does not state anywhere that we must attend a designated place adorned with crosses, statutes of the disciples (apostles), or other "icons" in order to worship the Lord. Rather it says to teach everyone Gods word and his commandments.
Some will say, but if you go to church then you are fellowshipping with other followers of the Word; that you are in a place where God dwells and you must go to Church for otherwise you will not be saved.
Jesus said to us though, if we believe in Him and follow his teachings, that we will not die but instead have everlasting life.
In the book of Matthew, Chapter 7, verse 7, it is talking about prayer and the Golden Rule. It states, ""Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
Here is a precept in three words to the same purport: Ask, Seek, Knock (v. 7); that is, in one word, "Pray; pray often; pray with sincerity and seriousness; pray, and pray again; make conscience of prayer, and be constant in it; make a business of prayer, and be earnest in it.
Ask; represent your wants and burdens to God, and refer yourselves to God for support and supply, according to his promise. Ask as a traveler asks the way; to pray is to inquire of God.
We must not only ask, but knock; we must come to God's door, must ask importunately; not only pray, but plead and wrestle with God; we must seek diligently; we must continue knocking; must persevere in prayer, and in the use of means; must endure to the end in the duty.
So where is God's door? Many will say, it is the door to the church. Many other's will say, the door to God lies within us. All we need to do is open our hearts to God and ask Him to be with us and guide us and believe in Him and to build upon that foundation of asking Him to be a working part of our lives on a daily basis for the rest of our earthly lives until we die and our soul goes home to God's heavenly kingdom for ever lasting life.
Now you are probably thinking, huh?
In the Old Testament the Lord God had a temple for His people; however, in the New Testament He has His people for a temple.
Paul taught, You are the temple of God (I Corinthians 3:16). The reason he can say that is because we have been redeemed by the death of Jesus Christ. Because of redemption, the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in the redeemed.
In the old dispensation of the law, the tabernacle and later the temple were given over entirely to God for His sacred use. They were called holy because they were separated and used for His purpose and glory alone. It symbolized the house of God on the earth.
Under the new dispensation of grace, the Christian is now called Gods temple. The believer must yield his or her whole life without any reserve to God. Our bodies are sacred temples, holy unto the Lord. God has claimed by means of redemption our bodies, and what He claimed for His holy purpose we must yield to Him. I beg you, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). We will do what the apostle admonishes as we remind ourselves that we are His holy temple. If we have learned that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we not defile our body. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, the temple in the old economy was given over to the Lord God for His unique possession. When Moses dedicated the tabernacle to God, He filled it with His glory. When King Solomon completed the temple, The cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord (I Kings 8:10-11).
From the moment you believe on Christ as your Savior, the Spirit of God dwells in you (Rom. 8:9). "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (Romans 8:11)
Paul clearly has in mind the glory of God filling the temple. Therefore, as the glory filled the temple of old, so the Holy Spirit dwells with the believer of Jesus Christ. He dwells in you. When a sinner has been born spiritually, God dwells in that holy place and that person can commune in fellowship with the Lor God in holiness. The Holy Spirit is a living person in the Godhead, who literally indwells us. The dwelling of the Holy Spirit in our bodies is a real indwelling of a real individual, spiritual person. That divine person is very God of very God; equal with the Father and the Son.
To the obedient disciple, Jesus promised that He and the Father will come unto him and make our abode with Him (John 14:23). That alone is the secret of the normal Christian life. We are to be God-possessed and indwelled by Him. Let us trust Him to do all that He has promised to do in and through us.
What I yield to God He accepts, cleanses, fills, and then uses me to His glory and honor. It is God within the soul of man, possessed today by faith, and throughout eternity.
The indwelling Holy Spirit, a living person, a divine presence, is Gods means of reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:17).
In the old dispensation, God took possession of His temple and indwelt it so He could bless His people and they in turn bless the world. The Holy Spirit invades the temple of your body, assumes residence in you, and begins the re-creation of Christ to the glory of the Father. One by one, as we yield to His sovereignty, He is changing the world. He gives us whole new strength and vitality. He brings us to the fullness of His life.
There is no greater pleasure to the Holy Spirit than to dwell in His temple and do extraordinary work through ordinary people who have learned to make themselves available to Him to reign with ungrieved sovereignty.
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