In the Old Testament, we see that God’s plans for the construction, materials, and service in both the Tabernacle and Temple were to be marked by purity. God’s earthly Temple was to be kept free from any form of defilement. The reason for that was the fact that God would fill the Holy of Holies within the Temple with His glory. God would not fill a defiled Temple. God’s standard for Temple worship and sacrifice was absolute holiness and obedience. God established very specific rules regarding service and sacrifice in the Temple. It was set apart for God’s glory.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the Bible says, “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.” In the Old Testament, God’s Temple was a physical building where God would dwell, and which served as a constant reminder of God to the people. God would dwell in the midst of His people in the Holy of Holies within the Temple. In the New Testament, God literally “tabernacled” among us in the person of Jesus Christ. God’s manifest presence took on a physical body of flesh and walked on the streets of earth. When Christ ascended back to heaven, the physical presence of God in the person of Jesus Christ was removed. However, God would not leave His people alone. God would dwell among His people in another way. The Bible says that the moment someone is born into the family of God, they are “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13) and become the dwelling place of God. If you are saved, God lives in you.
This truth should be a startling reality. When we got saved, the Bible says that we revoked the rights to our own body. Jesus Christ, our sinless Substitute, “hath purchased [us] with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). We have been bought with a price and that price was the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have no right to think that what we do with our body is up to us. We have given up our self-willed autonomy for His perfect and loving lordship. The “it’s my body, I can do what I please” mentality is foreign to biblical Christianity. It may be your body, but it is God’s temple and He is the rightful owner. Therefore, our goal ought to be to bring glory to our God. We must not only render praise to God with our lips but also with the way we use our bodies. Just as the physical Temple of the Old Testament was a constant reminder of God, so our physical temples (i.e., bodies) are to be an ever-constant reminder to the world of the manifestation of the power and grace of our Mighty God.