The New Temple

This Week's Scripture Reading: 

Isaiah 1:18 - Ezekiel 36:25-27 - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Titus 2:11-14

Do we reserve the right to govern our bodies in any manner we choose? In a free society the answer is a resounding YES, sometimes to our own detriment. Is the statement, "My body, my choice" accurate?
The Apostle Paul has a lot to say about our bodies as followers of Christ. Notice I used the term "followers" and not just believers. The minute we accepted Jesus as our LORD and Savior we gave up the right to choose how we treat our bodies. Paul clearly tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Don't you (followers of Christ) realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."
The question we must ask ourselves is this, "Is what we are doing to our bodies honoring God?" Because if it is not honoring Him, then it is dishonoring not only God but also the cross He bore for our sins. I don't know about you, but that is a sobering thought (pun intended).

What about things like alcoholism, drug addiction, body altering, gender reassignment, profane tattoos and/or extreme piercings? Do these choices honor God or dishonor Him?  Does this conflict with what Jesus said in Matthew 15:11 where Jesus tells us, " is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person."

The same premise applies to the body as the new temple of the Holy Spirit. For instance, if a person injects illicit drugs into their system, what is the direct result? Their reality becomes altered. They may no longer have control over their behavior or actions. When Jesus says, what comes out of the mouth (body) defiles a person; is it not the behavior that results from those choices that comes out? It is!!

It is the same with any choices we make with our bodies that is in conflict with the will of God. For instance, abortion. Uh oh. You're crossing political boundaries here Pastor Paul.
Is it the will of God that we terminate an innocent life inside the womb? Is God pro-choice? I think we, as followers, know for certain that God is pro-life. But wait, the government allows abortion. Isn't that a choice we have the right to make about our own bodies? While it may be a legal right, it doesn't mean that it's a moral right. As an example, the Roman Empire, under Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula), allowed sexual immorality including incest, homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, religious prostitution, public orgies, as well as murdering any opposed to these governmental provided rights. The point being this, just because we have a legal right does not provide us with a moral right to make choices about our bodies that are contrary to the will of God. Not only that, but as followers of Christ, when we choose to remain silent while our society deteriorates into the immoral abyss, we are essentially co-conspirators by providing tacit approval. If we vote contrary to biblical direction and guidance, we are voting against the will of God thereby dishonoring Him with our choices. Our brain and its thought processes are a part of our bodies. Therefore, the mental choices we make results in actions performed by guess what, the body.

What does voting have to do with our bodies? Good question. Portland Oregon along with San Francisco and Philadelphia voted to allow open air drug use. All three supported defunding the police and actually cut police budgets and hiring to the detriment of their cities. The result? Massive increases in drug overdoses and murders. We always hear the phrase, "Vote your conscience." What we really need to do is vote for biblical values and standards. Please notice what's missing in the last statement. Hint: political affiliations.
I know right!?! Political issues from the pulpit is taboo for a lot of people. If only politics didn't play a huge role in our society. Unfortunately, it does. Our elected officials represent us, our economic and social values. If we say we represent Jesus and His values, shouldn't we represent Jesus and His values in the voting booth? The challenge for us as Americans is this: we believe that freedom extends to doing whatever we choose with our bodies as long as it doesn't cause anyone other than ourselves any harm. But, as followers, we have given up those rights for the one who gave up His right to a physical life so that we could be free from the power of sin and darkness. Jesus looks at every single one of us and says, "You were worth it then and you are worth it still." Let's honor God's sacrificial love with our bodies. Because, as Paul writes to all of us, we are not our own any longer. We've been purchased with the blood of Jesus.

This week's prayer:

Father God, we thank You for Your Word. We thank You that it is not only our spiritual guide, it is a guide for our lives that includes every facet from worship, work, home life, political decisions, and how we treat our bodies which is Your Holy temple where Your Spirit dwells. We ask for wisdom and discernment in these areas so that we have the knowledge of Your will and the courage to carry it out in our daily lives. LORD, bless us and keep us. Make Your face shine upon us and be gracious. Give us Your peace. Amen.


Michael - May 10th, 2023 at 6:49am


Teresa - May 12th, 2023 at 9:18am

Well said, appreciate this share. Tough topic to converse with others about so the more bible verses and resources the better.