Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Glorify God In Your Body
As the Creator and Savior, the Lord God desires His children to glorify Him in every part of their lives. Worship has been central to the relationship between God and man. Cain and Abel understood the need for worship when they offered their gifts to God. Abraham worshipped God throughout his life as he built altars for the Lord. The Law of Moses established for the Jews a pattern of worship governing the lives of the Hebrews. Jesus told the woman at the well His Father sought those who would worship Him in spirit and truth. The early church thrived in worship as they assembled in praise of the Father. Glorifying the Lord is found in every part of worship, but it is not contained within the walls of a building.
Paul wrote to the saints in Corinth, urging them to refrain from the practice of sexual immorality so common among the Corinthians. The world accepted fornication and adultery, but the Christian could not defile his body with the lust of the flesh. Paul explained the body was the temple of the Holy Spirit. It mattered what the Christians did with their body. Sexual immorality sinned against the body that was to be used for the glory of God. Worship was not only the praise of God through the spirit but the way the body is used in everyday life. What is striking about the appeal of Paul is to consider the body as part of the glory that must be given to God.
It is easy for some to ignore the counsel of the Lord concerning the body. The argument is made that it does not matter what a person does with his or her body. To glorify God is to sing the right songs in the right spirit, take of the supper properly, and offer prayers in the appropriate pattern; but there is more to glorifying God than what is done in public worship. The greatest example of glorification to the Father is what Christians do with their bodies. This includes how a body is dressed, whether it glorifies God or not (most often, it does not). The subject of modesty has been placed on the back burner of insignificance because judgments cannot be made about what is modest and what is not. God said to glorify Him in the body and the way some women dress, God is not the one being glorified.
Glorifying God in the body comes from the speech of the Christian. Do the words that proceed from the mouth give honor to God? Crass jokes, filthy language, angry outbursts, and gossip do not glorify the Lord when His people follow the ways of the world. Drunkenness is not only a sin, but it abuses the body that is to be used for the glory of God. Smoking does not glorify the body. Some tattoos do not give glory to Jesus Christ. There are many things the world does with the body that is without control, but the Christian learns to buffet his body to bring it under subjection for the glory of God. It matters to God what His people do with their bodies.
Jesus died to save men from sin, and when He died, He purchased the bodies of His disciples to be used for the glory of His Father. Paul clearly reminds the Corinthian saints their bodies belonged to God and their bodies had been bought at a price. He reminds them their bodies do not belong to them but to the Lord. God must be glorified in the body so the world can see the consecration of a pure life; not only in spirit worship but also in the example of the body. How is God glorified in your body – it matters to the Father.