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; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”        

  – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

When you read this verse, what does it make you feel?

I know when I read this verse, up until probably a few months ago or so, it always made me feel like I wasn’t doing good enough. Like I wasn’t keeping my “temple” clean enough for God. I always read it and pictured a big, marble room with huge pillars that was spotlessly clean,and thought, “that’s not how my body is! I’m filthy! I need to do better!”

And then I realized that temple in my head was empty. And I realized God’s temple is never empty.

This post is a warning. It’s a challenge for you to ask yourself what these verses that we quote so often in Christianity (and often for the wrong reasons), make you feel. Do they make you feel shame? Guilt? Do they make you feel like you need to work harder to clean out your temple for God?

Or do they make you realize that the God who has created the earth and everything in it has taken up residence with YOU. Do you read these verses in the context with which you have likely heard them? Or do you read these verses and really READ them.

“Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” = God lives in you. And because He’s in you, you can do everything He asks of you through Him. One of the best parts of being a Christian is living with God in control. It should be comforting to know that the Designer is the one leading and guiding His design. Life before Christ is like getting into an Abrams tank because you drove one in Call of Duty. You might have some fun, and there might be some explosions, but in the end all you’re going to do is wreck stuff. He knows you better than you do. He knows what you’re capable of, and He wants to teach you how to use every part of His design. Listen to Him and let Him teach you.

“You were bought at a price.” = You’re worth something. And in this case, something is EVERYTHING. Something is a live lived in perfection. The Designer loves His design so much that He decided He’d pay with His own blood in order to get it back for eternity. He already knows you, and He wants you to get to know Him. He doesn’t want you to say, “He bought me, I better be a good person and follow the ten commandments and do stuff for Him like go on a short-term mission trip.” He wants you to say, “THAT’S what I’m worth?!” He wants you to realize how highly He thinks of you. He wants you to realize that He paid the ultimate price for something incredibly broken, and He wants you to realize that He sees what you can look like when you’re fixed. He didn’t buy you so He could have another worker. He bought you so He could work.

“You are not your own.” The context of this verse is Paul talking about sexual immorality. I think that’s why people tend to get legalistic with this verse. But look at verse 15. Paul calls our bodies “members of Christ.” He isn’t telling us to not sin. He’s telling us to let Christ have control, because there is no sin in Christ. With Christ in control, sexual immorality, or any other sin, isn’t even a consideration. Remember, condemnation says, “You lied, you’re a liar.” Conviction says, “You’re way too awesome to be doing that.” Condemnation calls out our brokenness. Conviction reminds us of His repair.

“But whoever is united in the Lord is one with Him in spirit.”   – 1 Corinthians 6:17

5 thoughts on “I AM A TEMPLE

  1. I like what you have said here. I think i would propose that guilt and shame are proper when we have something to be guilty or shamed about. I also think that once we have repented that guilt and shame should be gone since Jesus has paid the price already for it. I would combine that concept in with the rest of what you said. That is just me. Well written again. Thanks

    • First of all, thanks for your comment and for reading! Second off, I’m getting that you’re using guilt and shame as synonyms here. I agree that we will feel both from time to time, because we’re not yet perfected in Christ. However, I’d say that shame is a dangerous feeling because it creates a desire to not be seen. It makes us want to hide our sin from God for fear of a lack of acceptance. Guilt, however, brings us to repentance. Guilt is the feeling where you can’t hold it in any longer and you have to confess to whoever you hurt. Because of this, Christian guilt is logical and useful because it draws us to repentance. Shame is completely illogical once we know God, because it makes us think we can hide something from the One who sees everything. When we feel shame, I think we need to take notice and realize how harmful hiding can be. God is trying to help us get through that struggle and overcome it. When we realize that, and realize He has already paid for what we’ve done, it makes no sense to hide anything from Him and we can come to Him and embrace His nature of being the Wonderful Counselor. I agree though that it’s all about bringing it to God and completely trusting that the price He paid was enough to cover whatever our sin might be.

      • Thanks for responding you are correct I was not clear. I see shame and guilt as two different things. You are also correct that shame (as well as guilt) can be bad. I would say I was thinking more along the lines of “I have brought shame on Christ by my actions” or “I feel ashamed of what I have done. Both are correct to feel a but not correct to allow to fester like guilt shames needs to be brought to God like you said He already knows. Anyways this i my view having shamed Christ in my life and having recovered through His healing and forgiveness.

      • Good thoughts. As someone who has definitely shamed Christ as well, I agree it’s really all about how you react when guilt or shames creeps in. The key is acknowledging who God is, what He’s done, and what His purpose for you is – and that, above all, is to continually be made more like Him.

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