March 3, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”—1 Corinthians 6:18–20 (NIV)
If you’ve been around church long enough, you’ve probably heard someone say, “Your body is a temple.” This reference was born from today’s passage, which has served as a staple reminder to believers of why it’s important they take care of their physical bodies.
Although this is still an important truth to know, the context for this verse isn’t necessarily talking about physical health as much as one may think. Paul is actually talking about fleeing sexual immorality. This is a topic we easily avoid because of its discomfort or difficulty, but Paul doesn’t avoid it because he knows the importance of addressing hard things. Paul uses the analogy of the body being a temple because he wants to remind his audience of the sacredness of the temple, the sacredness of the Spirit, and consequently the way we should treat our bodies with the same reverence we treat a holy place and the Holy Spirit!
Think about what the temple represented to the people in that time. The temple was a place of worship. It was a place where the Spirit of God resided. It reflected God’s heart to be near His creation no matter the cost. When Jesus came, He fulfilled the ultimate sacrifice so the temple and all of the rules that came with it would no longer be necessary. This means that now God dwells within us. When you repent from your sin, believe in the Savior Jesus and His resurrection, receive His forgiveness, and surrender to Him, you then receive the Holy Spirit as well! Your body becomes a living, breathing temple because the Spirit of God now dwells within you. That’s why Jesus is called Immanuel, God with us.
In view of this good news, Paul reminds the Corinthians that their bodies have also been marked by God. If they follow their hearts and indulge in physically sinful behaviors, they’ll be defaming the temple of the Spirit and disobeying God. This invites bondage into the lives of believers who are supposed to live in the freedom of Jesus Christ, and that’s exactly what sexual immorality does just like any other sin. Like Paul said, we must remember that we were bought at a price. Jesus sacrificed Himself and paid the penalty of death He didn’t deserve so we could be reconnected to our Creator, and it’s because of this gift that we can and should honor God with our bodies.
Before finishing today, I want you to ponder what it means to honor God with your body. Maybe you’ve never struggled with sexual immorality, or perhaps you have and the shame of it travels with you everywhere. Whatever the case may be, remember that God is gracious and gentle. He will call you out of that sin and into His light, but you must take that step with the help of the Holy Spirit and turn from behavior that hurts your heavenly Father.
Pause: What do you think about after hearing the phrase, “Your body is a temple.”? What are your thoughts after reading it in light of today’s devo?
Practice: Besides refraining from sexual immorality and getting help if you’re struggling with it, honoring God with our bodies can take many different forms. Today, practice honoring God with your body by doing something good for it that would be pleasing to God. Dance, exercise, eat nutritiously, get more sleep, you name it!
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for knowing what is best for me. Sometimes, I struggle to remember that and fully believe it, but I know You are good and You are perfect. Even when my flesh wants to do its own thing, I ask that Your Holy Spirit which lives in me would remind me of the truth. I want to honor You with my body because I know I’m a temple for Your Spirit to dwell in. I will seek to do that better today! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.