Your body is a temple.
This phrase, which is true according to Scripture, is most often associated with working out or going on a diet. So, if you’re into Whole 30, Crossfit, running half-marathons, or the paleo diet, you’ve probably justified doing said thing via truths like this. Your body is a temple that should be cared for.
Now, let me say right off the bat, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that at all!
I personally ‘enjoy’ running, lifting small weights, and doing sit-ups. My body is a gift of God (as is yours, as is all of life) that should be cared for (just don’t ask me to eat any of those nasty vegetables).
That being said, the truth from Scripture that my body is a temple of the living God speaks to far, far more than just my exercise and diet routine.
My body is a temple.
As a follower of Jesus, your body is a temple.
This means that the Holy Spirit, the presence of God, resides in us.
Read that last sentence again, I don’t think you got it.
How amazing is that.
Let’s rewind thousands of years to a moment that is unpacked for us in 2 Chronicles chapter seven.
Solomon, the son of David, is building a temple for the presence of God to reside in for the sake of the people of God. Remember, the presence of God lead the people through the wilderness while manifested as a pillar of smoke and a pillar of fire. Remember, when Moses encountered the presence of God, his face shone like a flashlight and freaked everyone out.
In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon and the people of God are dedicating this elaborate, glorious temple that they have built for the Lord. Then, this passage happens:
When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” – 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
So, once Solomon prays, the presence of God comes flying down and fills the temple. This manifested presence of God is so glorious, the priests could not even enter. When the people encountered this presence of God, they fell face down in awe and wonder and lifted up praises to the faithful, loving, and good God.
I read this yesterday and was in awe myself.
How terrifying and awe-inspiring would it have been to be there to see that?
Now, sin has obviously marred our ability to fully experience the presence of God in our own lives each day.
But that presence still resides with us, in us.
If you are a follower of Jesus, your body is a temple for the Living God.
Now, don’t you think then that this truth impacts way, way more of my life than just my choices when it comes to exercising and eating? I surely think so.
In one New Testament passage that talks about our bodies being temples, we are told to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6). It would seem then, that there truly is more to this than we think.
Here are some implications.
If our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, we should strive to be pure (not only in our actions, but in our hearts and minds as well). We will all fall short in this. That being said, it should drive our decisions when it comes to the conversations we have, what we fill our eyes and minds with, what seeps into our hearts and affects them. Maybe I am the weakest of believers, but what I allow to get into my heart always comes out in thoughts, words, and deeds. As a temple for the Lord, purity should be our priority. Do you give more thought to your body, or to your heart?
I see innumerable posts from people who are seeking to inspire others in regards to their health choices. This clearly is important to many.
Where is the value on purity of heart, mind, and eyes? It seems to be missing. As temples of the Living God, it shouldn’t be.
In Romans 8, we are told that the Holy Spirit is what brought Jesus from death to life, and we are reminded afresh that the Holy Spirit resides in us.
Now, let me be clear, sanctification is a long process. I state this all the time on this blog. I want to remind all of us that becoming like Jesus is a lifelong battle. You can’t snap your fingers and become like Jesus immediately. Don’t believe anyone who tells you you can.
That being said, the Holy Spirit more or less removes any excuse we have to willfully sin.
If you are a follower of Jesus, the very power that raised Jesus from the dead resides in us.
Think about your battles with pride, greed, gossip, lust, anger, envy, selfishness, addiction.
Are those more powerful than death?
No, they’re not, even in the moments when they feel impossible to overcome.
If the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from death to life, then the Holy Spirit is more than capable to help you fight.
Stop willing yourself to avoid temptation.
Pray. When you are tempted, remember that you are a temple of the Living God. When you are tempted to sin, remember that the Holy Spirit is within you. Rely on Him for the strength to fight. Stop trying to do it alone.
I’ll say it one more time to close. Being a temple of God is not primarily about exercising or eating. It’s about purity and power.
In His Name,