«Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…» (1 Cor 6:19)
You may have heard the expression «you are what you believe.»
In the area of self-perception, this is literally true.
So many people have grown up with negative self-images or faulty self-perceptions. These false images usually come from the outside of a person.
Perhaps we had parents or relatives that treated us poorly or were highly critical until we internalized their painful words. Or the faulty images can come from teachers, authority figures or anyone who has shaped us. «You’ll never amount to much» isn’t just a line in a funny movie.
The result is that many of us don’t feel like we quite measure up. We’re not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough or whatever other standard society or others have drawn up for us.
We may even get to the point where we dislike some aspect of ourselves like a personality trait or a physical characteristic.
But I would like to suggest that on the topic of self-worth, there is only one voice that matters on this issue, God himself.
Allow me to explain.
The Temple in the New Testament
The New Testament has a few words for «temple.»
One of these terms (hieros) describes the entire temple grounds, including the buildings, walls and courtyards. It is the general word that is used for «temple.»
However, there is another word (naos) that is used to describe only the most sacred space of the temple. This includes the most holy of holies where God’s presence and glory was said to dwell. Indeed, only a consecrated priest could enter this place, and only once per year.
Your Body as a Temple
In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul tells the Corinthians that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
Can you guess which word Paul uses for «temple?»
If you guessed naos, the second term, you would be correct.
Think about that!
Your body is the naos of the Holy Spirit, that very sacred place where God’s holy presence dwells.
This is a profound statement!
That God himself, by his Spirit, would choose to live within each Christian is nothing short of profound. This goes right to the heart of who you are as a person and as a believer in Christ.
Your value and your worth cannot be measured by a mere outward standard. No amount of words can change this fact.
Surely this should dramatically change what we believe about ourselves.
We are God’s prized temple, that holy of holies where God himself resides. Your value is infinite, so don’t forget that!
In the next post in this series, I’ll talk a little about what it means for your body to be a temple. Does that mean no overeating or that you must exercise to keep your body fit?
You may be surprised by the answer.
All of God’s blessing to you as you keep studying his word.
P.S. By the way, diving into the meaning of a word like temple is based on Rule #4 – Word Up from our signature course. If you’d like to learn how to do that, including how to use an online Bible concordance you can check out our course here.