Summary: encourages renunciation of the ownership of your body
Imagine waking up in the morning and finding that your neighbor has built a fence in the corner of your front yard and has moved in some hogs. It then begins to rain, and in a few hours your rich, green lawn is turned into a swamp of mud and filth. Your outrage would certainly be justified! To use the property of another against his consent and for purposes which are dishonoring to him is both inconsiderate and illegal. In the same manner, the body of the believer is not his; it belongs to the Lord.
I think all of us tonight would agree with David when he said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Man has been studying the body for centuries and still does not understand all there is to know about the body. I am also afraid that Christians don’t understand the body as well. I am not talking about a physical understanding of the body but rather a spiritual understanding.
In the days that Paul wrote this epistle, the Greeks looked down on the body. There was a proverbial saying that stated, "The body is a tomb." The important thing was the soul and the spirit of man. The body was a thing that did not matter. Some felt the body was unimportant, and you could do what you liked with the body. Nothing done with the body was considered wrong. What was done with or to the body did not matter.
However, Paul wanted them and us to know that to God the body is important. Paul informs us what our attitude should be with regards to our body. Paul challenges us to view the body from God’s perspective.
That which God so honors as not to allow it to remain forever in humiliation should receive most careful attention from us. The resurrection of the body indicates its importance to the Lord.
The body was made for the Lord’s use and glory. Our bodies were designed to serve the Lord in this life and in the life to come. The body is the instrument wherein a man serves God. It is the instrument whereby he glories God.
Let us consider the body under three headings tonight!
I. The BODY– a TEMPLE
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,”
In the OT God had a temple for His people; in the NT God has a people for His temple. The Body of every believer becomes, at the moment of salvation, the temple of the Holy Sprit. He comes to indwell us and make our body a sacred habitation.
We take great care of our church buildings. The sanctuary is maintained with special attention to its cleanliness. A high degree of reverence is shown for what we commonly call “God’s House.”
See Acts 17:24. He dwells in the body of every believer.
How must the Sprit of God be grieved by many of the uses to which the Christian body is subjected. To defile the body is to insult the one who lives within. NOTHING THAT WOULD BE WRONG IN THE BUILDING CALLED THE CHURCH IS PROPER FOR THE BODY OF THE CHILD OF GOD.
My body is the temple of God.
A. The claim which believers must admit - “Not your own”
Ye do not belong to yourselves.
B. The Christ before which believers will appear
See II Corinthians 5:10. Every day should be viewed in the light of the last day, and then we shall live in this body as we should.
Several years ago I read an article about Queen Mary, who made it her practice to visit Scotland every year. She was so loved by the people there that she often mingled with them freely without a protective escort. One afternoon while walking with some children, she went out farther than she’d planned. Dark clouds came up unexpectedly, so she stopped at a nearby house to borrow an umbrella. “If you will lend me one,” she said to the lady who answered the door, “I will send it back to you tomorrow.” The woman didn’t recognize the Queen and was reluctant to give this stranger her best umbrella. So she handed her one that she intended to throw away. The fabric was torn in several places and one of the ribs was broken. The next day another knock was heard at the door. When the lady opened it, she was greeted by a royal guard, who was holding in her hand the old, tattered umbrella. “The Queen sent me,” he said. “She asked me to thank you for loaning her this.” For a moment the woman was stunned, then, she burst into tears. “Oh, what an opportunity I missed,” she cried. “I didn’t give the Queen my very best!”