June 19, 2011

The Responsibility of Being A Temple of the Holy Spirit (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price" (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).

For what, brethren, did our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit? Because, we are purchased at a price. The Lord Jesus purchased us with His cares, labors, sufferings and death. Because of this price we were made worthy to become the temple of the Holy Spirit.

But, someone will say that price was paid a long time ago and we live twenty centuries later! It is all the same: the price was not paid for one time and for one generation but rather for all times and for all generations from Adam to the Dreadful Judgment. And if there would be billions and billions of human beings born on earth, the price is paid for all of them. The price is so great and rich that if all the sand in the sea were changed into men, the price would be sufficient.

Brethren, from what moment do our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit? From the moment of our baptism. Although the price is paid for all men only those who are baptized become the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Brethren, what is the consequence that the Holy Spirit lives in us? The consequence is this, that we are not our own anymore. When the Holy Spirit takes up His abode in our bodies, then He becomes the Master over us and not us over it [the body] nor over ourselves. Then, brethren, we are the possession of God the Holy Spirit.

Brethren, what does it mean at the Mystical Supper [Last Supper] when the Lord washed even the feet of Judas and when Judas received a piece of bread from the Lord, it says: "Satan entered him" (John 13:27). O what dreadful words! O what a horrible punishment upon the traitor of God! Brethren, does that not mean that when we reject God, Who washes and feeds us, the Spirit of God departs from us and, in His place, Satan settles in? O what a stern meaning! O what a terrible reminder to all of us who are baptized! The Holy Spirit settled in us during our baptism and made us a temple for Himself. But, the Holy Spirit does not dwell in us by force but rather according to our good will. If we transgress against Him, He departs from us and in place of Him, Satan enters and our physical temple is transformed into a pigsty.

O All-Good Holy Spirit do not leave us. Have mercy on us and forgive us.