Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Significance of being a sanctuary

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

The significance of being a sanctuary
The underlined word above, "temple", is used to describe the Christian.  Over time the place where God met with His people came to be termed a "sanctuary".  Wherever humanity and Deity would intersect one another, that "place" or "time" was considered "sacred".  That word sanctuary comes from a Latin term for Holy, sanctus.  In fact in Isaiah 6:3, where we see the Angels crying out "Holy, Holy, Holy", it would appear in the Latin "sanctus, sanctus, sanctus". 

Remarkably Christian people are termed the "sanctuary of God".  Wherever God's Eternal presence intersects the human timelines of God's people, and actually "meets with them", that time and place is termed "a sanctuary" or "sacred".  Thus a Christian is a living, walking sanctuary, since God Himself has seen fit to dwell inside the believer.

Other words we use in everyday life that come from this word "Sanctus"
As we already saw, a "sanctuary" is a place where God and His people meet.  When we are sanctifying something, we are making it ready for fit use - cleansing it and purifying it.  The act of "washing dishes" means "sanctifying them", getting rid of the dirt and preparing them for the next meal. 

As we've seen in the past couple of blogs, we cannot escape the concept of "the holy" or "sanctus".  We value clothes because the cover up those areas that are holy, special.  We wash or "sanctify our clothes", since wearing dirty clothes is unacceptable.  We wash or "sanctify our hands" before we eat.  It is impossible to escape the Holy. 

Another term we commonly use that incorporates this root word "sanctus" is the term "consecrate".  To "consecrate" means literally to "separate oneself or unite oneself with another" (con = with and sacra = to make holy, separate unto).  Consecration refers to surrender oneself to the ownership of another.  Thus when a Christian consecrates themselves to the Lord, they are acknowledging what is already fact, namely Christ's Lordship and ownership over their lives.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 conveys this truth of Christ's ownership of us as being the reason for wanting to live a holy life in consecration to Him. 

A fourth and final word that we derive from this word "sanctus" is the word which we mentioned at the beginning of today's blog, the word "sacred".  When Jacob was encountered by the Lord in Genesis 28:10-22, he called the place "Bethel", since the Divine Eternal God met and intersected with the human timeline of Jacob.  That place became a "Bethel", a "House of God", a "sacred place" or a "sanctuary". 

I always pray everyday that Christ would be through me everything a given situation requires in order that I may be in Him all He desires. May we as Christians live as those who are the sanctuary of God, wherein and whereby He gladly lives, meets and expresses Himself. 

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