Before they moved to a newly constructed house, the Johnson family met with the architect and the builder to design the perfect home for their family. The kitchen and dining area, where they spent so much of their time, was built to their specifications. Knowing they would be hosting company often, the living room was designed as a space to make others feel comfortable. Upstairs, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson chose a south-facing bedroom with beautiful lighting. The entire home was designed to accommodate the function of those who would live there.
Our bodies, claims Paul, are the dwellings where the Holy Spirit lives. The Lord does not dwell up in a heavenly cloud in the sky. Nor does He reside above our heads, as in a cartoon thought-bubble. No, God has made a home in our hearts. The omnipresent God has chosen to designate His people as His dwelling place. The Holy Spirit, whom we have received from God, is residing in us, makes our physical bodies holy space.
Ancient gods such as Baal and Ishtar were worshiped in temples throughout the near east. To guarantee abundant crops or healthy livestock, worshipers would engage in fertility rites by uniting their bodies sexually with temple prostitutes. We can still identify ways in the twenty-first century that people are tempted to justify sexual sins.
Because our bodies have become the temple where a holy God dwells, it’s no longer just in pagan temples where a holy God is dishonored by sexual immorality. What we do in these bodies matters, says Paul, because God lives in us. While we once behaved as if our bodies were our own; we do so no longer. Rather, the house in which the Holy Spirit lives is to be treated as the holy temple it is.
Apply the Word
Today, as you consider that the presence of God dwells in you, will you behave differently? When you are tempted to sin in thought, word, or deed, you can draw from the power of the Spirit—which is present in your own body—to refuse to use your body for sin and instead use it to bring glory to God.