I had the privilege of teaching Bible class in a Reformed Christian school in Carman, Manitoba. One of the books I taught was 1 Corinthians. Every year I taught it, I came across 1 Corinthians 6:19–20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” One year I bought a treadmill; the next year I bought new runners; the third year I bought Fitbits for my wife and me (she still wears hers). The truth is, I have a fundamental conviction that “I am not my own,” that I belong to Jesus Christ and that he has made me a temple of the living God by having the Holy Spirit dwell within me. At the same time, I find it quite difficult to get into the healthy habits of eating healthily and exercising regularly. So, as I prepare this article you can imagine I am taking breaks while walking on the treadmill downstairs, recharging my Fitbit (if I can find it), and having a salad for lunch!
In my faith tradition (Reformed), we make use of the Heidelberg Catechism, which asks and answers questions about some of the fundamental truths of Scripture. The very first question is “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” (Heidelberg-catechism.com). The answer:
That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.
The apostle Paul makes it clear that “you are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:19). When he then refers to our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, we need to understand that this is a radical claim on our entire lives. Our bodies cannot be both our own and also temples of the Holy Spirit. Either Christ dwells in us, Christ owns us, Christ rules in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, or He does not. The only alternative to belonging to Christ is belonging to the prince of this world, the devil. There is no neutral ground.
Chris deBoer recently completed his EdD through Western University in London, ON. He has spent fifteen years as a classroom teacher and seven of them as principal at independent Christian schools in Ontario and Manitoba. Today, Chris serves as executive director of Reformed Perspective Foundation. He is married to his wife, Joanna, and they are blessed with four children.