This is a body conscious world. Many products to clean up, paint up, and fix-up. Concern about physical shape is ever on the increase. Diets abound: low fat this, low fat that. Diet pills industry is on the boom. Exercise clubs, exercise machines, etc. There is a great investment on physical health. Watch that cholesterol, reduce that salt, and eat more roughage. It is good for the body to be health conscious and will enhance our performance physically, mentally and spiritually. The Christian adds another dimension to concern for the body. The day you became a Christian, something happened to your body. Another dimension was added to your being.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
This reminds us of the temple in the O.T. What great care was given to its design? What immense wealth was placed into its construction? (1 Chronicles 29:1-5).
The eternal covenant, God’s desire to fellowship with His creation, the walk in the garden, Exodus 25:8, John 1:14, 1 Corinthians 1:9.
“Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). Your body is the temple of God. Be careful where it goes. Be careful what it does. Be careful what it ponders. Be careful how it reacts.
The Holy Spirit lives within you.
Jesus makes the promise (John 14:15-26) “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever –the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17). With the Spirit indwelling you, every word, every thought, and every deed is in His view. The Holy Spirit knows you. He knows your strengths and your weaknesses. He knows your sinful acts and your holy deeds. He knows you better than you do.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to build you up in the body of Christ to the glory of God.
He regenerates (John 3:3-5). He indwells (Rom. 8:11). He anoints (1 John 2:27). He baptizes (Acts 2:17-41). He empowers (Micah 3:8). He sanctifies (Romans 15:16). He comforts (John 14:16-26). He gives joy (Romans 14:17). He gives discernment (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). He bears fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). He gives gifts 1 Corinthians 12:3-11).
Surrender your body to the Lord. Glorify God in your daily life.
God is the owner of the whole man. Soul, body, and spirit are his. God gave his only begotten Son for the body as well as the soul, and our entire life belongs to God, to be consecrated to his service, that through the exercise of every faculty he has given, we may glorify him. We are God’s workmanship, and his word declares that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He has prepared this living habitation for the mind; it is “curiously wrought,” a temple which the Lord himself has fitted up for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Man was the crowning act of the creation of God, made in the image of God, and designed to be a counterpart of God. Man is very dear to God, because he was formed in his own image. This fact should impress us with the importance of teaching by precept and example the sin of defiling, by the indulgence of appetite or by any other sinful practice, the body which is designed to represent God to the world.
Have I not the right to do as I please with my own body? — No, you have no moral right, because you are violating the laws of life and health which God has given you. You are the Lord’s property, — his by creation and his by redemption. Every human being is under obligation to preserve the living machinery that is so fearfully and wonderfully made.
Live in the present moment: “See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). We can only make decisions in the present moment, and we can only encounter God in the present moment. “One day at a time.” No one is saved alone: “We are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25). “Action requires interaction”. We are healed by sharing our experience with each other, by listening to each other.
We depend upon a Power greater than ourselves: “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). “I cannot, God can, and am going to let Him”. What God does is immeasurably greater than what we do, but the active involvement of our free will is also essential. Repentance (like forgiveness) is not a feeling but a decision. There should be a spirit of humility and self-questioning, and it will speak to our hearts and to do our will.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5: 17)
Body is the expression of the whole person. Christ has redeemed us so that we might become united with him, for “anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him”. Each person who has been spiritually united to the Lord must not join in sexual immorality. Those sanctified by the Lord are now his holy temple, where he dwells by means of the Holy Spirit. Because they are inhabited by the Holy God, they must live in holiness.
If one place one’s body at the disposal of casual sex, the body has taken the wrong turning, and becomes flesh, which for St Paul has often a bad sense, signifying human nature perverted – not perverted because it is material but as a totality it has fallen away from God and is living man centred. The body is also capable, however not in its own strength but by the operation of the Holy Spirit, of turning to the right direction and living God centred: if this happens it moves into the realm not of flesh but of spirit – not because it has ceased to be material but because as a totality it is controlled by the Spirit of God. God provides the means by which man may achieve the God centred existence which means life in the spirit.
Church/Individual is the shrine, in which the spirit dwells – when the unity and purity of the moral life of the individual are threatened, he recalls that the spirit dwells in each Christian, who ought not therefore to defile the Spirit’s shrine. So use your bodies for the glory of God.
Freedom and Sexuality:
“I am free to do anything, but not everything is for the best. I am free to do anything, but I will not let my body be dominated by anything…..sexual immorality, the body for the Lord and the Lord for the body”
(i) The Holy Spirit does not lead us away from the body, but defines existence in the body as existence before God.
As one who has bodily existence, I belong to God; or to put in otherwise, the body is the place and the means of glorifying God. Body is in virtual corporate relations with others. It is impossible to become “one body” with a prostitute and remain a bodily “member of Christ”. We have an enlightened and empowered individualism by persistently calling attention to the relationships with God, Christ, the Spirit, and one another in the assembly that constitutes their new life.
(ii) Our temple is not made of bricks and mortar, but consists of those who do so glorify God by believing and obeying Him.
If God is in us, we will not dare to do any of the things we do. Do not put unworthy material into the construction of the temple of God. It does involve relation with God, and if a man wrecks the relation of the Church with God, this can only mean that he has rejected grace for himself; he has denied his own relation with God. We are the temple of God. It is our responsibility to take care that we are not defiled in any way.
(iii) God has consecrated us as a temple for Himself, at the same time He has appointed them a keepers of His temple.
For every Christian is a living stone for the erecting of God’s building. Our faith should last in the obedience of Christ and Christ alone. We are the temple because He dwells in you by His spirit; for no unclean place can be God’s dwelling place. God pours out the power of His Holy Spirit. To keep our bodies away from all filthiness: Our bodies are temples of the spirit. We are not under our own jurisdiction because the Lord has acquired us for Himself as his own private property. What a great honour God bestows upon us in wishing to dwell in us! So we should be all the more afraid lest we should drive Him away and He should abandon us, angered by our acts of impurity.
(iv) We have to do more than just exist. As a source of divine grace for the church we have a key role to play in the sanctification.
We are set apart to radiate the holiness of God. Thus to defile the spiritual temple by inappropriate behaviour was not only to negate its holiness, it frustrated the carrying out of the plan of salvation. Human body is important in God’s eyes and has a definite place in His plan of salvation.
The sexual act is sacred and creates a permanent bond. Physical love makes two people ‘one flesh’ – fused into one – happily married for a long time. They are incomplete without each other. However, physical union for mere pleasure – the definition here is transitory. Permanence and stability are excluded from this and therefore the act is in a way a lie. Body – God dwells within it, making it the temple of God. Our bodies are holy and must be used to give glory to God, not to act out a lie and insult Christ.