Identity: temple of the Holy Spirit

April 2, 2024
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by Shannon Caughey

It’s common in the sports world for people to make comparisons. “Her shooting form brings to mind Sabrina Ionescu.” “He has a sweet, Ken Griffey Jr.-like left-handed swing.” Imagine if the way you go about coaching and life caused those around you to make this comparison: “Coach reminds me of Jesus.”

Sounds great, but maybe you wonder if this is even possible. It is! Here’s why: Jesus lives in you through his Spirit. In Romans 8:9, the Apostle Paul refers to believers in Jesus as those who “have the Spirit of Christ living in them.” A couple verses later (v. 11), he says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul declares, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” If you have put your trust in Christ, this is who you are: the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Over the last several devotions, we’ve been exploring our true identity as those united to Jesus through faith. Understanding our true identity as followers of Christ is essential for all of life, including having a right perspective on and approach to coaching. In this final edition of the series, we’ll consider the difference it makes when we realize that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

This is really an astounding truth! In the Old Testament, the Israelites believed that the temple—as well as the tabernacle which preceded the temple—was the dwelling place of God on earth. It was through the temple that God manifested his presence to his people in a unique way. Now, as a result of the sacrificial work of Christ, God no longer designates a building as the temple. All of us who have surrendered in faith to Jesus are the Lord’s dwelling place on earth!

Let’s consider two ways our identity as the temple of the Holy Spirit transforms how we coach and live:

1. Our coaching and living are defined by holiness that reflects the Lord.

Paul’s reminder in 1 Corinthians 6 that our body is the temple of the Spirit is in the context of urging his readers to flee from sin. Paul goes on in vv. 19-20 to say, “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” The price God paid to redeem us from what we deserve for our sin is no less than the giving of his Son for us. We now belong to God. Our bodies are his temple.

As he dwells in us through his Holy Spirit, he is transforming us so that we increasingly reflect him in his holiness: set apart from sin; thinking, speaking, and acting according to his character and his ways. Our identity as the temple of the Holy Spirit now determines how we approach all areas of life, including coaching. Seeking to honor God through pursuing holiness is a product of understanding who we are.

2. Our coaching and living are opportunities to display Christ to others.

The Spirit, which Paul refers to as both the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ, dwells in us at all times. Because this is true, every situation is a chance for Jesus to make himself known through us. The Israelites would go to the temple building to meet with God. Now people can encounter the Lord through us because we are his temple. As we’re responsive to his work, the Spirit changes us, leads us, and empowers us so that Christ’s life increasingly flows through us and impacts others. That is the greater purpose of our coaching and life: to display Christ to others in the sphere of influence he’s given us.

Coach, embrace your true identity as someone who is united to Christ by faith. We’ve seen in this series several dimensions of who you are: a new creation, a child of God, chosen by God, treasured by him, secure in Christ, a friend of Jesus, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Coach and live according to your true identity. May it be said of you by others, “Coach reminds me of Jesus!”

For reflection: How does knowing that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit change your perspective on or approach to coaching? Talk with the Lord about this. Ask him to enable you to coach more fully out of your true identity in Christ.



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