Your Body is a Temple

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, July 17, 2014 0 comments

by Steve Risner

So what's a temple? The dictionary will say something like a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence. To the Jews, the Temple (of which there were two) was the site on which Abraham, in obedience, nearly sacrificed the son of the promise, Isaac. God provided a ram for the sacrifice and Isaac was spared. Nearly a millennium later, David purchased this same place to build the Temple of God. Solomon actually constructed it and it was magnificent. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. It was rebuilt in 516 BC and added onto in 12 BC. After Jewish Zealots took control of the city in 66 AD, Rome laid siege on Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.

To the Jewish people, the Temple was the holiest site on earth. It was the one place on earth that God would manifest Himself within the Holy of Holies once a year. The high priest was the only person able to enter this place and atone for his sins as well as the sins of the people. This area was separated from the rest of the Temple by a very thick veil because there was a great divide between God and man. The priest would have to go through a lengthy ceremonial cleansing/washing to enter and would burn incense before going in. This was to partially block his vision so he, an imperfect man, would not be struck dead for looking on the perfect, holy, awesome, righteous God. Personally, as life changing and indescribably amazing as it would have been, I think I would not have wanted the job. I know myself too well. I probably wouldn't have made it out alive.

But on the cross, as Christ breathed His last breath, there was an earthquake and the veil that separated us from God was torn. Now, so there is no confusion, this tearing had nothing to do with the earthquake. It was not a result of a “natural” occurrence. The veil was torn from top to bottom signifying that God Himself had opened the Holy of Holies. The veil was traditionally the thickness of the width of a man's hand—or about 4 inches and was extremely durable. All this to say that since God Himself tore the veil, we have access to Him through Jesus Christ—our High Priest—so we don't have to ask another person who is a sinner like us to go through a week of preparation to enter into the Holy of Holies and atone for our sins. Praise God for this wonderful fact!

As a result, and as I wrote last week concerning the Holy Spirit, God Himself resides in us. We are the Temple of God. According to 1 Corinthians 6:15, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?” And just a few verses later Paul writes, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 bodies.”

All this is to say that at least here in America, a very large portion of us are in disrepair. The number one killer in the US, heart disease, is primarily a lifestyle related disease. The number two killer, cancer, can largely be attributed to lifestyle although we know less about cancer than we don't know. The number three killer, stroke, is very often related to lifestyle. Number four, lung disease, is most often a lifestyle disease. Number five is quite often lifestyle related as well—that being diabetes. About 10% of cases of diabetes are type 1 diabetes. Most cases of type 2 diabetes are lifestyle related. We're not taking good care of our Temples.

About 70% of us are overweight and half of those that are overweight are obese. Obesity means your BMI is over 30 and the excess fat you have accumulated will likely decrease your life expectancy. That's pretty heavy stuff, no pun intended. Over the last 20 years, researchers have concluded that our overall caloric intake in the US has not increased but our overall obesity rate has increased by about 10-15%. In America, we generally like convenience. We eat from a box, a can, a bag, or a window more often than not. Eat real food! We also like to eat those carbs—breads, noodles, rice, potatoes—just about anything that will increase a meal size but not cost much. We've been told things like we should eat margarine, we should eat all the grains we can, we should eat artificial sweeteners, we should avoid eating fat, etc. Most of the things we commonly see on TV or learned in school regarding eating right are wrong. That is the unfortunate truth. If you care enough about your health so you can live a longer life that you actually enjoy rather than being sick for much of it, do some research on eating right. After you look into it long enough, you'll find something that works well for you. There's no silver bullet. You can contact me personally if you like and I may be able to direct you to some great resources.

Research has also found that the number of people who are participating in physical activity has decreased quite a bit in the last 20 years as well. “I walk a lot at work” or “I have to keep up with my grandkids” are often excuses I hear for not exercising. What these people are saying is they're active and that is not a bad thing. But there is a MAJOR difference between being fit and being active. Being active means you move around sometimes. Being fit means your cardiovascular endurance as well as your joints and muscles can tolerate exertion. Exercise is what gets you fit. Walking in a factory or whatever doesn't get you fit. It keeps you active. One is okay. The other is terrific and has been shown to improve your life expectancy and your quality of life (which to me is far more important). Start out small. Go for a walk for 30 minutes. Get a bike you can peddle while you watch TV or read a book. Join a gym. Get a partner who will keep you accountable. Do something! Anything! I must stress, however, that being “in shape” is about 30% exercise and 70% what you eat.

It's also critical to get the proper amount of water. Water is a clear, odorless liquid that comes from most faucets. It doesn't fizz. It doesn't have any calories, caffeine, or sweeteners. It can be very inexpensive. Take your body weight in lbs and cut that in half. This number is, for most, the number of ounces you should drink of WATER (not pop, not coffee or tea, not whatever else you're drinking) a day. What this does for you is amazing.

Our Temple also needs a little rest from time to time. A good 8 hours a night or so will do wonderful things for you including helping you feel better during the day, fighting off illness, give you more clarity of thought, help you lose weight (for a few reasons), and just make you smile.

There are many other things that one can do to help maintain or improve their Temple, but these few things I've mentioned—eating properly including drinking enough water, exercising, and adequate rest—are not optional if you want to be healthy and enjoy the number of your years. Take care of the Temple and “honor God with your body.” Your loved ones need you to.