Our bodies are “temples of the Holy Spirit” according to the Bible, but what exactly does that mean? How do we honor our bodies and what does it mean that our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit?
1Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”
A Temple is defined as “a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods or other religious objects”.
As a Christian, our bodies are temples, sacred and holy because they house the Holy Spirit which was a gift from Jesus.
Jesus says in Acts 1:4-5, “‘…Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'”
The Holy Spirit guides us, strengthens us, gives us wisdom and discernment. He speaks to us if we are willing to listen. He draws us closer to God and that is just the beginning.
What does this mean?
Because our bodies are sacred and are temples of the Holy Spirit, we need to treat them with respect. We only get one body and if we don’t take care of it, it will give out on us. How we treat our physical body, affects our mind and our spirit as well. All three are interconnected and affect each other
When we don’t get enough sleep, we get tired and have a hard time focusing the next day. When we dwell on negative thoughts, we get either bitter or depressed or angry. None of which are good for us. When we eat too much, we gain weight. When we don’t get enough exercise, we get weak. When we don’t keep sex within the confines of marriage, we get heartache, STD’s, etc.
Keeping our bodies pure means being very careful about everything that goes into our bodies through any of our senses such as what we watch on tv or what types of music we listen to, the types of thoughts we dwell on, how we eat, etc.
There is a common expression “garbage in, garbage out” which means the quality of your input, determines the quality of the output (definition by WhatIS.com). This is a computer science and mathematical term but also applies to how we treat our bodies.
We Can’t Do This By Ourselves
Without Jesus, without the gift of salvation, there is no way that we can keep our bodies totally pure and acceptable to God. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin.
He says in Romans 7:15-20 that “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living me that does it.”
Even after being saved, we will struggle with sin. The mind and spirit are willing, but the flesh is weak. It is a process that will continue throughout this lifetime. While salvation happens in a moment when you ask for forgiveness for your sins and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life, you will continue to struggle against sin your whole life.
However, the closer you get to God, the more time you spend with Him in prayer and worship and in his Word, the more he will be able to help you with whatever it is you struggle with. It is a process of constantly turning it over to God and laying it at the foot of the cross.
For me, just keeping the fact that God himself, the Holy Spirit lives inside me, helps me to make better decisions and resist temptation. Oh, I know I am far from perfect, but that is where God’s grace comes in. He knows we are going to fail and make mistakes, but he still loves us.
More than helping us with our struggles with sin, the Holy Spirit also gives us many gifts which I will go into later in another post. But 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11, NIV says this:
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
These gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the benefit and edification of the Body of Christ. Also, as we continue to draw closer to God, the fruits of the spirit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, NLT) will manifest themselves in our lives as we draw closer to God and let him purify us and work in us.
You will begin to see a change in yourself. For instance, as a kid, I was anything but patient. I had to have my own way or I would get upset. Now, although far from perfect, I have a lot more patience, I am much more giving, etc. This is because of God working in me throughout the years. He will never stop working in me or in you if we let him. He won’t force himself on us but asks to be invited. He is a gentleman.
One last thing, by remembering that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and letting him work in us. we have full access to the power of Almighty God. When you really think about it, that’s overwhelming. The more we let God change us from the inside out, the happier we will be and the more of a difference we can make in the lives of our families and those whom God puts in our path. Take time today to get with God and let him work in you, renew you and purify you.