Our bodies are temples!

nickers970 —  May 3, 2012 — 2 Comments

A friend and I recently had a discussion about the application of a well known passage. I believe we’re all in agreement that no Bible passage is of any private interpretation. Historically, this verse seems to have had many applications.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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.

I understand this verse as a warning not to sin with our bodies, especially because we inhabit the Holy Spirit of God. The context of this passage is a discussion on fornication, a sin one commits with his body. In addition, we are exhorted to glorify God with our bodies.

I feel that this verse is misused, particularly as a “blanket” so we can label socially distasteful activities as sin: using tobacco, getting tattoos, etc… Yes, these things do harm our bodies, but it seems like a stretch to apply this verse that way. It seems like a contrived application, especially if God’s intended application was, “don’t sin with your bodies.”

Even if we make this application, we must apply this consistently. Should Christians box or play football? Should we eat Big Macs? Should we donate plasma? Or organs? All of these practices definitely hurt our bodies.

I was going to try to present both sides of the argument, but since my bias would clearly shine through, I realized it would be better just to explain my point of view and let someone else argue the other side. I’m really not trying to be controversial, just making sure we accurately apply God’s Word. So please, let me know what you think!

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2 responses to Our bodies are temples!

  1. 

    I see your point, and have been agreeing to a point for some time now. I figure, that if the same people that used the verse really believed it, they would be the most fit people on the face of the planet. But what do you usually see? Bloatedly Fat people at church picnics loading up their third plate of food, and using the excuse of ‘fellowship’ while preaching against other things as vile. Granted, I agree that most, if not all of those other things (not boxing and football and MMA though) are not good, Obesity does way more harm. More people die or have serious health problems every year than from cancer, if I remember my statistics right, and I am pretty sure you could combine STDs and alcohol related problems together and it will still not outweigh obesity. I do not have facts to back that up, but am fairly confident in saying that due to the the stats I do vaguely remember. I am well aware also, that we can not prolong our lives by how we live them (at least by many interpretations), but the poor quality of life can inhibit how we can demonstrate our love for Christ. Also, with the growing subculture of fitness there will be many who will not see a fat person as credible.
    I am sure by reading this you can tell I have to fight the urge to judge fat people, but what I would also like to add is that I have been fat myself.
    Also, I have, in the past, partaken tobacco and alcohol. I have since realized that, although my arguments for those being ok (or just not caring) were based on scripture, but a misunderstanding of the principle of grace. Grace does not mean I do what I want if I can justify it. Grace means I see Christ’s mercy to me, and in my faulty returned love to Him I seek to not harm his cause by doing anything that could hurt it. That comes from the “if meat make my brother to offend’ idea, and also by the concept of “letting our works shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.”
    I think I am done for now.

  2. 

    With passages like this we can use it for our soapbox issues. As with any part of Scripture we are bound to context. We can create principles that don’t necessarily have a “shall” or a “shall not” verse but we cannot take our personal application and make it the dogmatic Biblical truth if the text does not give room to do so. When we do this dogmatically we can twist Scripture to what we “feel” it should say. Be a slave to the context and allow the Spirit to direct you as you apply the truths we find in Scripture. We must be prayerful as we carefully apply Scripture; it is a huge responsibility!

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