What Are The Implications Of Our Body Being A Temple Of God?
Reading on the temple of God in the Old Testament, you will notice just how extravagantly beautiful and valued it was. The high premium put on the maintenance and decoration of the temple when built first by King Solomon was something that could even be considered as other worldly.
It has been said that if the cost of building God's temple were to be translated into today's money, a contractor would spend no less than $216,603,576,000 on it. That's how valuable the image of the temple was at that time. The desecration and defilement of temples is therefore something unimaginably wicked and intolerable.
While not all Christian churches today have an expensive or extravagantly beautiful building, the Bible does speak of one temple that we all have that is to honour God - our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Understanding the implications of our physical bodies being a temple are paramount to Christian living. Here are two implications of this realisation and how we are to respond to them.
Because our body is a temple, we are to value it
Anything that brings glory to God is obviously valuable to Him and what is valuable to God must be valuable to us. The human life is undeniably valuable, but when we are not careful we can make the mistake of acting in a way that contradicts the Jesus-imputed value that our bodies have.
From the way that we handle stress, to the things we partake in and even the way we allow other people to treat our bodies, we must ask ourselves if the way our body is treated is proportional to the immense value God has put on it. Immense value is always succeeded by careful stewardship and that follows as well when it comes to dealing with our bodies.
Because our body is a temple, we are to keep it holy
The direct context Paul writes of in 1 Corinthians 6 relates to abstaining from sexual immorality. The immediate danger that lies behind sexual sin is the impurity that it brings to the body. In the same way sexual immorality degrades the soul, it can also degrade our body. And as wonderful as it can be that Jesus has redeemed us body, soul and spirit and made us just like new, to live a life that lives in sexual impurity or any impurity for that matter does not back up that claim.
If we truly believe in the regenerating work of Christ in our life, we will also ask for the Holy Spirit to give us the ability to say no to anything that defiles the body and to walk in the holiness that Jesus paid so dearly for. That's not to say that we will be perfect at this overnight, but the goal is to walk more in Christ's righteousness as He has cleansed us once and for all from all unrighteousness.