The Review and Herald

1094/1902

November 6, 1900

The Temple of God

EGW

“Know ye not,” Paul asks, “that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Man is God's workmanship, his masterpiece, created for a high and holy purpose; and on every part of the human tabernacle God desires to write his law. Every nerve and muscle, every mental and physical endowment, is to be kept pure. RH November 6, 1900, par. 1

God designs that the body shall be a temple for his Spirit. How solemn then is the responsibility resting on every soul. If we defile our bodies, we are doing harm not only to ourselves, but to many others. Christians are under obligation to God to keep soul, body, and spirit free from all that defiles; for they have been bought with a price. He who defiles himself by false doctrines or by any unholy practice, is helping to defile the church; for his influence is corrupting. RH November 6, 1900, par. 2

How many there are, blessed with reason and intelligence, talents which should be used to the glory of God, who willfully degrade soul and body. Their lives are a continual round of excitement. Cricket and football matches and horse-racing absorb the attention. The liquor curse, with its world of woe, is defiling the temple of God; but it brings a revenue into the public treasury: therefore it is legalized. By the use of liquor and tobacco men are debasing the life given them for high and holy purposes. Their practices are represented by wood, hay, and stubble. Their God-given powers are perverted, their senses degraded, to minister to the desires of the carnal mind. RH November 6, 1900, par. 3

The drunkard sells himself for a cup of poison. Satan takes control of his reason, his affections, his conscience. Such a man is destroying the temple of God. Tea-drinking helps to do this work. Yet how many there are who place destroying agencies on their tables. RH November 6, 1900, par. 4

No man or woman has any right to form habits which lessen the healthful action of one organ of mind or body. He who perverts his powers is defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Lord will not work a miracle to restore to soundness those who continue to use drugs which so degrade soul, mind, and body that sacred things are not appreciated. Those who give themselves up to the use of tobacco and liquor do not appreciate their intellect. They do not realize the value of the faculties God has given them. They allow their powers to wither and decay. RH November 6, 1900, par. 5

God desires all who believe in him to feel the necessity of improvement. Every intrusted faculty is to be improved. Not one is to be neglected. As God's husbandry and building, man is under his supervision in every sense of the word; and the better he becomes acquainted with his Maker, the more sacred will his life become in his estimation. He will not place tobacco in his mouth, knowing that it defiles God's temple. He will not drink wine or liquor, knowing that, like tobacco, it degrades the whole being. RH November 6, 1900, par. 6

Christ gave his own life that men and women might be lifted above the cheap, common, perishable things of this world, to the life which measures with the life of God. But Satan has thrown his shadow athwart the pathway of thousands. He desires to darken the spiritual horizon by eclipsing the light shining from the throne of God. He is pleased when man uses his God-given powers in games and amusements, in selfish nothingness. RH November 6, 1900, par. 7

With his own life Christ has bought man, and given him a probation in which to work out his own salvation. God asks his children to live a pure, holy life. He has given his Son that we may reach this standard. He has made every provision necessary to enable man to live, not for animal satisfaction, like the beasts that perish, but for God and heaven. God is not satisfied when human beings live merely a selfish life. Christ died that the moral image of God might be restored in humanity, that men and women might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to use no power of our being for selfish gratification; for all our powers belong to him, and are to be used to his glory. He who does nothing to glorify God might better never have been born. Those who live merely an animal life are by precept and example teaching others to leave eternity out of their reckoning. RH November 6, 1900, par. 8

The violation of a moral obligation which man owes to himself means robbery of God. Thus we work contrary to our highest interests, and utterly fail of representing God. The physical penalty of disregarding the laws of nature will appear in the form of sickness, ruined constitutions, and even death itself. But a settlement is also to be made by and by with God. He keeps an account of every work, whether it is good or evil, and in the day of judgment every man will receive according to his work. Every transgression of the laws of physical life is a transgression of the laws of God; and punishment must and will follow every such transgression. RH November 6, 1900, par. 9

The human house, God's building, requires close, watchful guardianship. With David we can exclaim, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God's workmanship is to be preserved, that the heavenly universe and the apostate race may see that men and women are temples of the living God. RH November 6, 1900, par. 10

The perfection of character which God requires is the fitting up of the whole being as a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Lord requires the service of the entire being. He desires men and women to become all that he has made it possible for them to be. It is not enough for certain parts of the human machinery to be used. All parts must be brought into action, or the service is deficient. RH November 6, 1900, par. 11

A lawyer came to Christ with the question, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ placed the burden of the answer upon the questioner by asking him, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Before the whole multitude the lawyer replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbor as thyself.” And Christ said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” The whole being—heart, soul, mind, and strength—is to be used in God's service. What is there left that is not devoted to God? RH November 6, 1900, par. 12

The physical life is to be carefully educated, cultivated, and developed, that through men and women the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness. God expects men to use the intellect he has given them. He expects them to use every reasoning power for him. They are to give the conscience the place of supremacy that has been assigned to it. The mental and physical powers, with the affections, are to be so cultivated that they can reach the highest efficiency. Thus Christ is represented to the world. By this painstaking effort man is qualified to co-operate with the great Master Workman in saving souls unto life eternal. This is why God intrusted us with talents,—that we might have life, eternal life, in the kingdom of heaven. RH November 6, 1900, par. 13

Is God pleased to see any of the organs or faculties he has given man neglected, misused, or deprived of the health and efficiency it is possible for them to have? Then cultivate the gift of faith. Be brave, and overcome every practice which mars the soul-temple. We are wholly dependent on God, and our faith is strengthened by believing, though we can not see God's purpose in his dealing with us, or the consequence of this dealing. Faith points forward and upward to things to come, laying hold of the only power that can make us complete in him. “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me,” God declares; “and he shall make peace with me.” RH November 6, 1900, par. 14