In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul requested, “Or do you not know that your physique is a temple of the Holy Spirit inside you, whom you’ve got from God?” The implications of a Christian’s physique being a temple of the Holy Spirit are deep and profound. Nevertheless, this sentiment can be usually misapplied. What does it imply to your physique to be a temple of the Holy Spirit? Does it imply you must train and eat proper? Does it imply you shouldn’t get tattoos or piercings? Let’s re-examine this passage in context.

How It’s Usually Used

Like most misapplied proof-texts, this passage is usually used inconsistently. As an example, I’ve heard Christians say it’s mistaken for somebody to get tattoos or piercings as a result of their physique is a temple of the Holy Spirit. These of us purpose {that a} Christian shouldn’t “deface” the temple of God.

Nevertheless, the identical reasoning by no means appears to be utilized to one thing extra conventional, like a girl having earrings. If it’s mistaken to place a gap in your nostril, why is it not mistaken to pierce your earlobes? If it’s mistaken to brighten your pores and skin with ink, then why is it not mistaken to brighten your self by hanging jewellery out of your earlobes?

One other standard utility is to evangelise that being wholesome (consuming good meals, exercising, taking nutritional vitamins, and so forth.) is a correct utility of 1 Corinthians 6:19, as a result of wholesome persons are taking good care of the temple of God. Inversely, they purpose that overeating and/or main a sedentary life-style is abusing the temple of God and is a violation of 1 Corinthians 6:19. After all, those that use this passage on this approach are inclined to make allowances for the unhealthy habits by which they themselves indulge, however not the unhealthy habits of others.

The Verse in Context

As at all times, the right approach to perceive a selected verse will at all times be depending on the context. In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul is just not speaking about piercings, tattoos, junk meals, or train. Paul is speaking about sexual sin and the way sexual sin defiles our our bodies.

The truth is, Paul is specific that sexual sin is in a class of its personal. He writes, “Flee from sexual immorality. Each different sin an individual commits is exterior the physique, however the sexually immoral particular person sins in opposition to his personal physique” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Intercourse unites the our bodies of two people; which doesn’t imply they’re married, it means their our bodies are united. When our bodies are united in a sinful approach, it’s a sin in opposition to their our bodies.

Paul taught that the our bodies of Christians are holy areas; locations the place heaven and earth are united due to the work of Jesus and the presence of the Spirit. Like the bottom on which Moses stood earlier than the burning bush or the house contained in the Holy of Holies, your physique is a holy house. To make use of that holy house for the aim of sexual immorality could be like making a sacrifice to an idol within the temple (one thing that was mistaken anyplace however was particularly a sin in opposition to the temple when it was executed within the temple).

Once we grasp this profound actuality about our personal sanctified our bodies, it’s a humbling second. It makes us admire the truth that our our bodies are one thing particular. The Spirit of God fairly actually dwells inside these our bodies and we’re sacred house, full of the invisible presence of God. As such, each Christian ought to study “learn how to management his personal physique in holiness and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:4) as a result of our our bodies are sacred.

Restricted Utility

As with every passage of Scripture, we ought to be cautious to not transcend the creator’s supposed utility. Paul particularly stated sexual sin defiles the physique in a singular approach, so to lift different behaviors to the identical stage is to disregard Paul’s level in regards to the seriousness and uniqueness of sexual sin.

Moreover, it’s notably egregious to use this passage to issues that aren’t even inherently sinful. Consuming, resting, and even placing a gap or ink in your pores and skin is just not inherently sinful. Due to this fact, claiming this stuff defile the temple of God goes far past the purpose Paul was making.

Moreover, the inconsistent methods we apply our reasoning and logic on this subject have grow to be judgmental in ways in which violate passages like (Matthew 7:1-5; Romans 14:3-4; James 4:12). It could be one factor to use this passage to different behaviors which can be inherently sinful, however it’s one other factor altogether to use it to behaviors which can be unwise or culturally uncommon however not inherently sinful.

Not How the Bible Works

All that being stated, we shouldn’t require a Bible verse for all the things, nor ought to we attempt to discover a Bible verse that solutions each query. I don’t want a Bible verse to inform me to look each methods earlier than crossing the road. Frequent sense ought to inform me it’s silly to cross the road with out wanting. To attempt to rip a verse out of context to show it’s a sin to cross with out wanting cheapens Scripture and insults the intelligence of its readers (in a number of methods).

We’ve sufficient well being data at our fingertips that you need to know what sorts of meals are wholesome and what sorts of meals aren’t. You need to know the advantages of train, in addition to the implications of main a sedentary life-style. When you select to get a nostril ring or get a tattoo, you need to perceive the advantages and penalties of your choice. It shouldn’t take a Bible verse to persuade you to make wholesome selections.

Moreover, as a result of we have now quite a lot of freedom to determine learn how to stay our lives in ways in which glorify God, there are going to be individuals who make totally different choices than you. They’ll resolve to get a tasteful tattoo, pierce their nostril, or eat an inexpensive quantity of pepperoni pizza. You’re simply going to should be okay with that, and they’re going to should be okay with the choices you make as effectively.

I really like you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams