Thursday, August 8, 2013

What does (1 Corinthians 6:19) mean? My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Would this forbid me from doing anything that is bad for my body (ie. overeating, drinking caffeine etc.)?

Wisdom and common sense dictate that a person should take care of their bodies. God has blessed us with a body, and the principles of good stewardship would encourage one to make smart choices about what they eat and whether or not they exercise. 

There has been a lot of well-meaning Christians over the years who have wanted to keep people from harming themselves (like telling people not to smoke) who have used this verse as support for their advice. It is good to have Bible verses to support beliefs and teachings, however, when a person uses a verse out of context to support a belief or teaching they are misusing the text and hurting their argumentation.

What is the context of (1 Corinthians 6:19)?

Contextually 1 Corinthians 6:19 is a command for the Christian to not participate in sexual immorality.  Before using a single verse or verses to support a belief, it is wise to read the passages surrounding that verse to make sure you are using it the way the Bible author intended. Note the surrounding verses around (1 Corinthians 6:19):
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:16-20)
The point of the section of Scripture is "don't commit sexual sin"! The motivation for not committing sexual sin is the reality of the Christian being a temple of the Spirit. When a person is baptized into Christ they “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). At that point our bodies become a dwelling place for the Spirit. When one "joins himself with prostitute" it is as if he is defiling the very temple of God. 

Our bodies are designed to glorify God and not participate in sin. This passage does not apply to tattoos, piercings, eating fatty foods, not exercising or the many other points people try to make from it. It is, however, a great passage for proving the importance of not committing sexual sin.


You should take care of your body. You should encourage others to take care of their bodies. When you are healthy you will have more energy to spread the Gospel and help others. You do not have to have a verse to support this idea. Using a passage out of context does more harm than good.

By Cliff Sabroe
Quotes from -
Image from Wikipedia
Quotes from NASB95 Bible