PrayerAndWorship

Our Bodies Should be a Temple of the Lord

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By Denise ShickBarbWire guest contributor

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

On more than one occasion, a Christian who wanted to transition from the gender God gave him or her has asked me, “What’s the harm?” This seems like a good time to answer that question.

We feed, clothe, and exercise our bodies to try to keep them healthy. We might even go on special diets and take expensive vitamins and nutritional supplements because we want what’s best for our body. Consciously or subconsciously, most of us usually take good care of the body we’ve been given. We benefit by doing so. But the fact that someone gave each of us a body has a profound implication, doesn’t it? The body I inhabit is not just mine; it also belongs to the One who made it. “Do you not you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?”

My body houses the Holy Spirit, God, the Third Person of the Trinity. If you are a Christian, the same is true of your body.

Perhaps, because of pain and despair or because of profound cultural influences, the Christians who asked me, “What’s the harm?” have forgotten that every Christian serves as a temple for the Holy Spirit.

But consider the great reverence Israel’s King David had for the inanimate structure—the temple—his son Solomon was about to build for the Lord:    

Then King David said to the whole assembly: My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord? (1 Chronicles 29:1-5)

If King David was that zealous for a temple made of inanimate objects, how much more zealous should we be for our temples, made of living, breathing, functioning flesh and blood?

Transitioning from one gender to the other requires ingesting unnatural synthetic drugs and undergoing complex surgeries that dramatically alter a body God created to house His Holy Spirit. That’s not just physically perilous; it’s also spiritually hazardous. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s nothing short of rebellion.

Some justify the act as being true to self: “If I was meant to be a male, then I’d feel comfortable in a male body. The fact that I don’t feel comfortable in this body tells me something went wrong, and I was meant to be a female [or vice versa]. I need to transition to become the person I was meant to be.”

The truth is that no one has ever felt absolutely comfortable all the time in his or her God-given body. Here’s why: Everyone who has ever lived on this sin-cursed, fallen planet has lived in an imperfect, disease-plagued, injury-prone mortal body. Somewhere, deep inside, each of us recognizes that the body we inhabit, wonderful and marvelous as it may be, is imperfect and could be far better than it is. And one day, each Christian will be given a new, resurrection body, far superior to the one we inhabit throughout this mortal life (see 1 Corinthians 15:35-58).

So, you don’t like your body; it doesn’t seem to fit right? What should you do? Wait. Trust God. One day you’ll be given one that fits just right. That new body will be stronger, disease-free, injury-free, ageless—completely free of all effects caused by sin.

Meanwhile, I plead with you; don’t be fooled into believing that drugs and surgeries can now give you the body you truly desire—the body your spirit longs to inhabit. The idea that changing your gender will fulfill you is a costly and futile illusion. It will not heal your broken heart. Only the Holy Spirit living and reigning within can do that.

“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23, emphasis added).

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17, emphasis added).

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Romans 8:11, emphasis added).

Christians, the Holy Spirit is with you wherever you go and whatever you do. Enjoy His spiritual presence in your life. Allow Him to guide you through life’s good and bad times. And wait with wonder and anticipation for the marvelous resurrection body you will inhabit throughout eternity, when God will dwell physically with His people (see Revelation 21:3).

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