We are Temples of the Spirit
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
I Corinthians 6:19-20
In the beginning God created man and woman in His image. The book of Genesis could not be clearer that both man and woman were created in God’s image. This reference is repeated 4 times in Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Obviously, this is an important point if Scripture mentions it multiple times. The image of God is not a tangible thing. This does not mean that God has two arms and two legs like we do. The Bible refers to God as a spirit, not a physical being like we are, so this image of God in man and woman cannot be the same as physical likeness. We do not look like God does physically, but man and woman carry the likeness of God in our souls and spirits. We were created to be eternal like God – to never die. We were created to have communion with God – without sin. The creation of man and woman is immediately followed by a blessing which holds a few commands. Genesis 1:29-30 tells us,
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Man and woman were created in God’s image and instructed to fill the Earth with His image. They were to have children and to oversee the Earth representing God in their actions and deeds. However, sin shortly after creation, corrupted this world. Sin caused the image of God to be distorted in the lives of the man and of the woman. The Bible tells us that they recognized they were naked, and that they ran to hide from God. Sin had distorted their views of God, of each other, and of themselves; it had destroyed the perfect body that God had created to bear His image.
As reborn Christians, God calls us to again represent Him. He tells us that Christ living within us gives us power over this sin nature that has so crippled us and distorted our lives. He tells us that through Christ, we can overcome sin and that we are to obey God’s commands with our bodies and our minds. This is not easy, but through faith in Jesus and the Spirit dwelling within us, we can overcome our sinful nature. The Bible tells us that our bodies, again, are to be used to glorify God, to fill the earth with His image. Our lives are to be lived out to show others the light of Christ. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works ad give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matt 5:16
In I Corinthians, the apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth, instructing them about many sins that have come into the lives of the Christians worshipping in Corinth. In chapter 6 verse 19-20, Paul instructs them to use their bodies to glorify God. This refers to their representing Christ in all that they do. He reminds them that they are not their own, but that they are bought with the blood of Christ. He reminds them that Jesus paid a price for their lives and their bodies are not theirs but His. This means that everything that they do should again be glorifying to God by showing a right view of life and of each other.
When we sin with our bodies, we are defiling the image in which God created us. If Christ bought our lives with His death on the cross, and purchased us with His blood then everything we do should be again to fill the Earth with the image of God. By acting in obedience to God’s word in all things, including how we dress, how we behave, and how we relate to others, Jesus will be glorified in our lives. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and by allowing the Spirit to rule us, we can obey God’s commands and be glorifying to god in our bodies. Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is our gift, which allows us to show God’s glory and to fill the earth with His image.
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- English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.