“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
In the mind of every believer I am quite certain that specific things are recalled when they read today’s passage. These are the things that we should not be doing to and with our bodies because “our body is a temple”. You know the things, you should not smoke, you should not get drunk or high, you should not get a tattoo, you should not have piercings, you should not use your body for sexually immoral things, you need to dress modestly, and the list goes on. The Bible calls these the works of the flesh and I don’t really need to talk about that stuff because you already know what you should and should not do — even though sometimes you do that which you should not anyhow. Instead, let’s break down the verses.
What? know ye not
Now that ought to get the reader’s attention and should cause them to think as they read on that the writer knows that they already know this stuff. Paul, as inspired by the Holy Spirit (Ghost), wants to remind the audience (the church at Corinth) that they should be thinking about what they are doing. This 1st letter to the believers at Corinth was written as an admonishment to a church that was living in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. Paul saw that the church was going the wrong way and took an opportunity to teach them (or re-educate them) in the things of the Lord.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God
Your body is a temple — a sanctuary for He Whom is holy. How many of us refer to the church building as the sanctuary? Some will go as far as to say that you must be totally quiet in the “sanctuary” because that is God’s house and we must respect it. Well according to this passage Paul says our body is the “sanctuary” of God — God the Holy Spirit (Ghost). We know this because at the moment of salvation the Holy Spirit takes up residence — indwells the believer:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:12-14)
And ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price
Paul also wrote something similar to the Romans:
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. (Romans 14:8-9)
We are not our own because we are bought with the precious blood of Jesus. Jesus bought us with the ransom that was His blood. He owns us now and so we are not “free” to do with our body as we please. We see this in Scripture in other places too:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 19-21)
[Also look at Ephesians 1:14 above “the purchased possession”]
Sure we can still choose to do those things that we know we ought not to do, but with that choice will come consequences. Consequences might include a lung disease, traffic violations, missed wages because you could not get out of bed to go to work, liver failure, sexually transmitted disease, blood poisonings or infection. Or, you may continue to live on earth with what appears to be no consequence to poor choices whatsoever. But what about your testimony? What about the folks that do not know Jesus and watch how you live your life. Are you putting Jesus on display for them to see?
Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s
When we keep things in perspective we don’t need to have the “thou shall not” list because when our eyes are on the Lord we do the things that please Him. This is called walking in the Spirit. We cannot walk in the flesh and walk in the Spirit at the same time because the two are contrary one to another (Galatians 5:17). We don’t owe God anything because He gave us the gift of salvation freely out of His abundant grace. However, just as we show gratitude to anyone who gives us a gift we should give glory to God because it is the least we can do for all He has given us. This gratitude can be a life of continual thanksgiving and the proof of our thanksgiving is the living sacrifice that we present with our bodies.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
You belong to Him, does your life prove that?
Things for Think About and Do
1. Take a look at how you are caring for your body. Is it in a way that is pleasing to the Lord?
2. Purpose to change one thing. For example, perhaps you love to drink soda pop and sometimes even drink as many as 6 cans a day. The effects of all the sugar or even the artificial sweetener and other ingredients in that soda are causing your body to gain weight and possibly retain water and even damaging your skin. Cut out just one soda today.
3. Find at least one more verse in the Bible that talks about the precept of caring for your body.