Brothers and sisters, you are the temple of the living God, as God said, "I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people (Leviticus 26:12). Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them," says the Lord, "and touch nothing unclean, then I will welcome you (Isaiah 52:11). And I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty (Jeremiah 3:19). Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
"You are the temple of the living God," God dwells in us because He chooses to do so, not because of anything we have done or may do. In the Old Testament, God chose to dwell, to be present with His people, in the Temple in Jerusalem. The purpose of that Temple was sacrifices that people would bring to God. Our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all those sacrifices, we no longer need to bring the best of our cattle, the best of our crops to the Temple to sacrifice to God in thanksgiving, in repentance, or for ritual cleanness.
We are the temples of the living God now. God dwells in us if He chooses to do so and if we allow Him. He would not want to be where He is not welcome or needed. In order to prepare our bodies to be honorable temples of the living God, we still have to make a few sacrifices. For example, we sacrifice our pride. A pride person makes a barren temple, unlivable for God. We sacrifice our selfishness in order to make our body not only a vehicle for consumption of passions, but the temple of the living God. Sacrifice is still required, but it is no longer an external one. We still offer the best to God, but that best is not something we possess, rather something we are.
And what has God promised in return for us offering our best selves to Him? He promised to be our Father and we will be His children. Now, there are many fathers out there in the world, some better than others. A man can't be a father without children. A man without children is just a man. And, a father is someone who takes care of his children, who provides for them, who guides them, so that they would learn to live on their own.
Therefore, God has promised to be our Father, and He tells us to "touch nothing unclean." Meaning, touch nothing is would make us unworthy of the high calling of being Christians. Touch nothing that would defile us and separate us from God, like pagan idols.
You might say, well, pagan idols don't exist. Yes, they do. If we are not temples of the living God, then we become temples unto ourselves, we begin worshipping ourselves, we begin indulging ourselves, we become our own idols.
But, we know what God has promised. And we know what we need to do, so as Saint Paul says above, "let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Yours in the Lord,
Father Aleksey - your friendly Singac priest