Honoring God With Your Body

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  6 : 19-20
Subject: Body, The Human; Eternity; Judgment

In the early days of the evangelistic ministry of Billy Graham, a singing cowboy came to Christ. Billy Graham led Stuart Hamlin to the Lord in a motel room near Los Angeles, California in the 1940s. Hamlin was well-known and was intimate friends with many Hollywood movie stars. One of his friends was The Duke, John Wayne. After his conversion, Stuart Hamlin was walking on the lot of a movie studio with John Wayne when the Duke asked him if it was true that he had "got religion." Hamlin unashamedly answered, "Well, it's no secret what God has done. It's true all right, I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior." The words of his answer stuck in Hamlin's own mind. From his own answer to the question by John Wayne, Stuart Hamlin wrote the famous song, "It Is No Secret What God Can Do."

Hamlin wrote other songs, one of which became very popular in the early fifties. He wrote the song, "This Old House," creating an analogy between the aging of an old house and the aging of the human body. Hamlin was drawing upon the Biblical idea of the human body being nothing more than a house out of which we must move one day in the future. While we are here every Christian should honor God with his or her body.

Today we shall look at the house called the body. 2 Corinthians 5:1 tells us that this body is a house or a tent that shall one day be folded up and laid aside. In Job 4:19-20 death is described as pulling up the tent cords and folding up the old tent. But we will not be preoccupied with the idea of death today, rather we are going to look at the body from the Biblical perspective, from the Divine view-point.

Our text today tells us four things about the body which can serve as a springboard for us to understand this very important subject. Paul addressed these issues beginning with:

I. The Problem of the Human Body

Corinth was a place of extreme wickedness. Drunkenness, immorality, prostitution, perversion, gluttony, among other sins, were common activities in the city. It was so bad that if you wanted to insult a person in the ancient world you could do so by simply calling the person a Corinthian. In the midst of this vile world system there stood a church – The Church at Corinth. This church, like far too many in every generation, was more affected by the environment of the place and time in which it existed than the place and environment was affected by the church.

The Greeks thought the body was evil and of little value. They felt that the heart or spirit was all that was important in life. So they further concluded that one could satisfy any bodily desire since the body did not necessarily affect the spirit. Whether they will admit it or not, many people still believe this way today and many of them are in our churches.

Today people say, "Well, all that really matters is what you have in your heart!" Really? Did Jesus teach that? Does the Bible teach that? NO! A thousand times no! You see, this is the problem - we are sometimes ignorant about Spiritual matters.

I heard about a woman who was ignorant about Jehovah's Witnesses. One day one of them came to her home carrying a satchel and asked to come in to talk with her. It just so happened that the lady was busy but she told her to come back later and she would see her. The Jehovah's Witness said that she could not come back but that she would send someone else over.

After the Witness left the woman got concerned about her lack of knowledge of the Jehovah's Witnesses so she called a friend and asked for help. The friend said, "You must establish that the woman is a Jehovah's Witness. If she is, do not let her in.”

The other woman asked, "Well how will I know?"

The friend said, "A Jehovah's Witness will not say the pledge of Allegiance nor will they sing a song like Amazing Grace."

Just then the door bell rang and looking out the window the woman on the other end of the phone suddenly realized that a woman was standing at the door with a satchel in her hand. She told the friend, "Well, the Witness must have sent someone else for she is at the door. Thanks for your help, I know just what to do."

She hung up, went to the door, opened it and without hesitation said, "You want to come in to talk to me don't you"?

The lady standing at the door nodded and said, "Yes."

Then the nervous housewife said, "Alright, if you want to come in to my house say the Pledge of Allegiance."

The woman at the door never hesitated. She dropped her satchel, threw her hand over her heart and said, "I pledge .....".

The housewife never blinked, she just said, "Now sing Amazing Grace".

The woman stood on the door steps and sang all the verses to Amazing Grace. The housewife said, "Say, that is great, you can come on in now."

The woman on the porch picked up her satchel starting in and said, "Gee, thanks, I just wanted to drop by to visit for I am the new Avon lady in town."

I can tell you that was one truly embarrassed housewife. But spiritual ignorance can produce far more than embarrassment. In fact, it can be dangerous, especially when it comes to the subject of the human body. Did you notice how Paul began the text today: "What, Know you not...?" In other words, he was shocked that they were spiritually ignorant regarding the Biblical, divine view of the Christian and his body.

What does the Bible teach about the human body, especially the body of a Christian?


At the end of Genesis, chapter 1, the Bible records that God looked at all he had made, including mankind, and he saw that it was "good." The Lord never meant for us to look upon the humanbody as something wicked. God made man and then He said, "It is good." Then God made woman and Adam said, "It is good." In the eyes of God, the human body was a beautiful creation.

B. It was meant to be a BLESSING

God told Adam and Eve to eat of the trees of the Garden of Eden. He told them to be fruitful and to multiply. The enjoyment of food, sex and bodily comfort was not sinful within the parameters of God's will. One can see that God meant for man to see his body as a blessing.

C. It became something BAD

Sin entered the world as an intruder. Sin did not start in the Garden of Eden. Sin started when Lucifer rebelled against God and the earth became the battlefield. Sin started with a heavenly rebellion and then human sin began in the Garden of Eden. The body was a tool Satan used to lure Adam and Eve from God's will. The Bible says that Eve saw the forbidden fruit, that it was good for food, and that is could make one wise, so she ate of it.

Please note that part of the temptation Satan used to bring about sin on earth was through the desire of the human body – the desire for food. But it was also through the human will – the desire to be free of restraint. Those combined desires, once given over to rebellion, formed the birth of human sin.

To be sure, there was nothing wrong with Eve wanting food. God gave Adam and Eve the food of the Garden to eat; God only prohibited them from eating from the one tree, but Satan lured them outside God's parameters. He did this through the desire of the body and through the rebellion of human will.

There is a sense in which the body is bad. After sin entered the world things became really bad for the human body. Hard labor, painful childbearing, sickness and death entered the world through the rebellious sin committed by Adam and Eve. That brings us to another truth.

D. It can definitely be a BURDEN

The body became something of a burden following the sin of Adam and Eve.

Ask Job who sat among the ashes and scratched his sore, sick body with a piece of broken pottery.

Ask Paul bore a thorn in the flesh and prayed earnestly that it would be removed from him.

Look at Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 5 and note that Paul refers to the fact that we groan in this flesh while waiting to be clothed from on high with our new bodies in our new heavenly home.

While Jesus was in a human body he ate, slept and enjoyed his body, within the confines of God's will. He committed no sin at all through His body. That is hard for us to grasp, since we are so burdened with the sins that come through our bodies. The body of man, however, will not listen to God on its own! The body desires what it wants and desires it anyway it can achieve it. Jesus made his body fall in line with the divine will. Even for Jesus, the body was a burden. On the Cross He bore our sins and suffered beyond anything we can describe - not for His wins, but for our sins He suffered!

So what do we learn? Our bodies are good, God made them and then He said that His creation was good. When God made human kind, He created us different from others things that He made. There is unconscious matter that He created - plants and flowers, etc. Then, there is conscious matter that He created - animals; and, then there is self-conscious matter that He created - humans. Think of all the different types of plants. Think of all the different types of animals. But there is only one species of humans. God made only one creature in His own image. We are in His image - our bodies are good. Our bodies are meant to be a blessing, but because of sin, our bodies have become a burden.

It is up to you, the only self-conscience creature God made – the only creature made in the image of God – to listen to God and then make your body follow His will.


Paul goes on to say that the Christian has a unique body, for the Christian’s body is a temple. This is true because Christ lives in the Christian in the person of the Holy Spirit – you are possessed! When a person receives Jesus as Savior and Lord, he experiences something the world cannot understand - He is possessed by the Lord! Jesus sets up residence in that person's body! Wow! We like to say that Jesus comes to live in our hearts, but the Bible says he came to live in your bodies! Since we belong to Christ, who redeemed us through His blood, we must bring our bodies under His control. We have to ask some questions in regard to the use of our bodies.

Will what I am drinking bring honor to God?

Will what I am wearing bring honor to God?

Will what I am watching on TV, in a movie or on my computer through these eyes that belong to God bring honor to Him?

Does my sexual life bring honor to God?

These are not the questions of a prude, they are the questions a Christian must ask since he or she has a body that belongs to Christ!

Note with me three things about this possession of your body as a Christian.


Jesus does not change our lives by reforming us from the outside. He does not try to make us better so that He can live in us. Jesus comes into our lives when we trust Him by faith and He comes in to bring His cleansing, healing, saving power into our being. He does not reform us, he transforms us! He does not get us to turn over a new leaf; He creates new hearts in us!


Jesus does not take a lease on this house called the body, He takes ownership! He does not mean to live in us a while and see if he likes the place and then move out when He is unsatisfied. No! He comes to stay. His possession is permanent!


Jesus does not work his way into our lives by making the flesh better. He comes in and saves us, takes up residence and begins to work from the inside out.

I was in revival in South Carolina a few years ago, and the preacher took me to his home. On the outside it did not look like much. He told me that, and he was right. He said, "Wait till you see the inside." When he opened the door I could hardly believe it. There was the most modern, beautiful home one could imagine! He then told me how they had decided to rework the inside and move to the outside this summer. Jesus works on the inside and then move to the outside.

Jesus works from the inside out in the Christian life. If you don’t give Him full charge of the inside, you will never comply with His plan for your life on the outside! I must chose everyday whether to listen to Jesus from the inside or to the world from the outside. Which one I listen to will determine what I do with my body.

You and I are possessed but we are not plastic. We are not department store dummies. We must decide who to listen to in order to become who God plans for us to be. Because we are possessed we are God's temple, we must be careful to listen to the owner and allow Him to change our thoughts, desires, attitudes and beliefs. If we do that, our bodies will follow on the outside what He is doing on the inside.

Our bodies house the very living presence of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. We must keep this thought in mind as we go on to the third truth found in our text.


"You are not your own, for you were bought with a price."

We have learned that the body is good, but has been corrupted from inward rebellion against God. When we are saved, the Lord moves in and begins to shape us from the inside out. He doesn’t paint the outside and leave the rotted interior of our lives the way He found it. We have learned that the Christian body is possessed by the very presence of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. Now we find that the body of a Christian does not actually belong to the Christian. Your body, if you are indeed a child of God, does not belong to YOU!

There is a lot being said today in regard to abortion. The mantra of the liberal left is that a woman’s body is her own. The Bible disputes that in two ways. First, if she is married, her body does not belong to her, but also belongs to her husband. Likewise, the married husband’s body also belongs to his wife. But, first and foremost, our bodies belong to Jesus! Look at 1 Corinthians 7:4-5.

Sadly, many Christians today simply do not think about their bodies the way the Bible reveals speaks of them. In order to fulfill God’s purpose in your life, you must submit your body to His ownership.


The human body, without the Lord, is but a very poor piece of property. In fact, there is a “Condemned” sign hanging in the window of every unsaved heart. Our bodies are moving toward death every day. We are born and begin our journey toward the grave. The value of property on earth is usually connected to its location. Well, a human body on this earth is in a location that is temporary, and the body on this earth is temporary. And, this temporary place is under condemnation. It is all falling apart. One day the wrecking ball is coming to take it all down.


But the Lord came to this earth to pay a prime price for your body and your soul. He gave a perfect life to save our worthless one. He died at Calvary to save me from condemnation. When I received Him, He moved in, took the condemned sign of out the window and took up royal occupancy (Romans 8:1). He did not do that because the property was worth the price; He did it because His love was greater and His grace was greater than my sin!

Jesus gave His body at Calvary to provide me a new life here and new body in the world to come. He became sin so that I might know the righteousness of God. Just read 1 Peter 1:18. Look at the price paid for your redemption and mine! With such a price paid for our redemption, we should commit our bodies to the owner so that He is in control of the decisions. After all, He does OWN them!


The Lord intended to move in to the dwelling and thereby escalate its value. Indeed! 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 tells me that my body is sacred because it is God's temple. God has three claims upon the Christian's body:

1. Creation

2. Redemption

3. Indwelling

Christian, you are bought with a price, the price of the blood of Jesus Christ.


What then can we conclude about the human body? God meant for the body to be a blessing but due to sin it became in many ways a burden. God's plan is to redeem us from this body of death by cleansing us from all sin, and to dwell in and work through our bodies through the Holy Spirit. We can only live correctly in our bodies when we submit to His ownership and leadership. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He created us and knows what is best for us. He saved us, and the price He paid should cause us daily to yield to His Word and His will.

Now listen closely, the secret to understanding your body is to realize the truth of this last statement by Paul. Our purpose must be to honor God with our bodies


As a Christian, I must be aware that God dwells in my life. My body is a temple. I must treat my body as His temple and honor Him through it.


Romans 12 tells me that I should give my body to God as a living sacrifice. My body speaks to others about God. I must ask if the things I do in my body will HONOR GOD before my neighbors, friends, relatives and associates. I cannot say, "Well, this is my life and I will do what I want.” No, you are bought with a price. You have a responsibility to represent the owner - God is the owner.

One day we must give account of the deeds done in our bodies. As surely as we are in this place today, we will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

It is plain to see that we should have as our purpose in these bodies to HONOR GOD!!! 1 Thessalonians 5:23 states that the Divine will of God is that we present blameless bodies at the appearing of the Lord. Paul's desire was for Christ to be exalted in his body (Philippians 1:20). He even stated that he bore in his body the marks of Jesus Christ - his body had actually been physically scarred as a result of his willingness to follow Christ totally (Galatians 6:17).


Paul said that one day God will change our lowly bodies and give us new bodies (Philippians 3:21). Until that day, we must live in this body. Till then we should not eat in such a way as to dishonor Christ. We should not drink anything that would dishonor Christ. We should not wear anything that would dishonor Christ. We should not be involved in sexual practices that would dishonor Christ. We should not speak words with the tongue that dishonors Christ. We We should not do anything to our bodies that would create ill-health or that would corrupt the temple of the Lord.

But there is more. We should commit our bodies to God. It is not just a matter of what we should not do with our bodies; it is a matter of what we should do in regard to our bodies! We should take a meal without bowing our heads and thanking God for a body that is able to taste and enjoy wholesome food. We should bow our knee to God everyday in prayer. We should ask God to make us beautiful from the inside out, so that people can see Christ is us. We should use our bodies in worship. When people ask if it is really important to attend worship services, I cannot help but think how foolish that question is. We go everywhere else in this human body. He redeemed it. Should we not come in this redeemed body into His House and give Him praise and honor the One who saved us? Doesn't He deserve that? We should sing to Him in this body! We should bow before Him in this body. We should pray to Him in this body. He deserves it and we need it!

We are here today “in our bodies.” Some of us are young and feel like we are 10 feet tall and bullet proof. I can assure you that you are not! That smooth skin you see in the mirror will dry up like a grape into a raisin before you know it! Some of us are old and feel like we are not as important as in the days of our youth. I can assure you that you are far more important than you realize. If you weren’t, God would have called you home by now. Let’s do this today, let’s commit our bodies to Christ anew. Let’s ask Him to forgive us for those things we do that displease Him. Just think of your tongue. Just one small part of your body! Have you said things you shouldn’t have said this week? Come now, be honest! Let us thank Him for loving us so much that He would die for us, that He would enter our lives and then promise us a new body in heaven. And, if there is someone here today who does not know Him, come to Christ today. Confess your sin and profess Him as your Savior. He will take the condemned sign off the property of your body and soul. He will give you a new heart. He will be the Friend Closer Than A Brother throughout all your days and give you a new body when this life is over.