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? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19,20
We hear people say it all the time. Even non-believers say it. We most likely say it ourselves. “My body is a temple.” And indeed, our bodies are temples. But, do any of us really grasp the true meaning of this?
The Greek word, “naos” used in the original writings, is a temple, a shrine, more than that- “that part of the temple where God himself resides.” According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, this word for temple was “used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of holies… the Holy place, where the priests officiated.” And here we have Paul telling us in the letters to the church, that our bodies are equated with that Holy place, where the priests made sacrifices to & interceded with God on behalf of the Jewish people. What an honor has been bestowed to us!
This is an honor not to be taken lightly! God Himself gave a great sacrifice for us to receive this gift- He gave His Son Jesus, so that we might be restored to Him. So that we might have the opportunity to be in fellowship with Him, as He was in the garden with Adam & Eve before sin entered the world & broke that fellowship. Because we have received Christ, we belong to Him. And if we belong to Him, the Spirit of God lives in us (Romans 8:9).
When we look at our lives & actions this way, it sure does change our though processes when making decisions about what we do. Being free, does not mean “free to do whatever we want.” Just because we CAN do anything, does not mean the everything is good for us or what we ought to do. We do not live for ourselves alone, the Spirit of God Himself lives in us, therefore, whatever we do, is a representation to the world around us, of Him. Our bodies were made for fellowship with the Lord, & He cares about our bodies (1Corinthians 6:13,16).
What does this mean for us? Well, that means it is our responsibility to care for the bodies we have. To give them proper nutrition & keep them healthy. It also means that we should not use our bodies to indulge in sin. Our bodies were not made to be used to commit immoral acts, or to indulge in earthly pleasures. These things may seem pleasing & good in the moment, but they only last that- a moment. And then what? You’re left either feeling guilty because you know you’ve done something you shouldn’t have, or you’re left feeling empty once that temporary pleasure high is gone, on to chase the next high. And then you’re just caught in a vicious downward spiral, pulling yourself further & further away from God & peace, & opening the doors to the enemy to bring destruction into your life.
As Christians, it’s easy to say that we already know these things, but at the end of the day, we’ve all fallen short. Let us all stop & think before any act- Would I do this if Jesus Himself were standing here watching me? Because He’s not just watching, He is in us!