1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)
“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.”
There is so much emphasis on wellness today. You can’t read a publication or watch a broadcast without reading or hearing of some new diet or innovation that’s’ designed to make you healthier or get you physically fit with little to no effort. Celebrities are paid a great deal of money to entice you to use this new diet or buy that new invention. What we don’t hear is “why” we need to have our bodies in the best possible shape. It doesn’t take modern technology or innovation to tell us that our bodies are precious. More than just gifts, they have been purchased for us at a price we could never afford.
When Paul wrote this particular chapter, he addressed the cultural norm of the day that considered the body of secondary importance next to the soul. They believed that anything could be done to the body. If it felt good, people would do it. That way of thinking led to gross sexual immorality and perversions in the city known as Corinth. It was so rampant that it become famous for its sensuality and sacred prostitution. The defiling of the body was routine in that culture, and was influencing the church. Paul spoke directly to this issue.
Paul rhetorically asks if they knew that their bodies were the temple of the Holy Ghost. He asks if they were aware that the Spirit of the Lord Himself lives within them and if they knew that their bodies didn’t belong to them. He tells them that they are different and must behave differently because their bodies were the dwelling place for the Spirit of the living God. They were to respect their body in the same way they respect the Lord Himself.
Today, we live in a society that has similar perversions and many other enticements and/or predispositions to illnesses that effect our lives. Opiate use has become an epidemic, crack still decimates communities and destroys families, there still is no cure for HIV/AIDS, obesity challenges one-third of the nation, and the number of people with diabetes and hypertension is steadily rising.
Because of technological advancements, we now have more successful medical procedures, life preserving drugs, and we have improved our knowledge of the benefits of consuming certain foods and engaging in certain activities that impact our quality of life. Changing some of our behaviors can extend our lives well into our 80’s, 90’s, maybe even 100. But even if we control our perversions, lose weight and eliminate or control every disease in our bodies (and well we should), without recognizing the indwelling Holy Ghost, we may prolong our lives, but it won’t take us to eternal glory.
Paul says that we must recognize that our bodies are actually the dwelling place of the living God. Once we know this, we understand why we present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. Paul says that this is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). The indwelling Spirit cost Jesus His life, but He thought we were worth it.
Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Email us at email@example.com, and be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, catch us in Twitter @jlorenr.