“You are the Temple of the Living God” II Cor. 6:16
Temples, shrines and altars have been built by human beings since the dawn of time. However these are mainly stone buildings, in which human beings thought they communicated with God. Christianity, however, is somewhat different from all the other religions in this regard, because it mainly sees every human being as a temple of God. This shows the depth of the Christian faith which transforms the basic religiosity of a stone temple into a developed and perfect form of Christian faith and spirituality, wherein man communes directly with the human person.
Temples of Stone
From earliest times human beings have communicated with God through signs and symbols. The temple of the Jews and the Temple of the ancient Greeks are perfect examples of ancient religiosity. In the ancient temple man communicated with God sacrifice and worship were offered to God within the Jewish Temple and just outside the Greek temple. In order to worship God at this time human beings were obliged to go to the established Sacred space in order to worship God. However, Christ brought about the most perfect form of true faith and worship and abolished the need to worship God in a particular place (John 4:21) establish the worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).
The Human Being as the dwelling-place of God.
Christ went further than this, by sending the Ηoly Spirit into the Church He showed that every believer can be a dwelling place for God. Relationship and communion with God is now direct with no need or necessity for sacred places. God communicates with man everywhere and at any time. During holy baptism the Holy Spirit establishes each human person as a temple of God in which divine grace permanently resides and thus the divine promise is kept of “dwelling amongst them” (Exodus 29:45) and the statement, “Behold the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).
Of course there are Christian church buildings, often known as temples in other languages, however these buildings are of secondary importance. Their role is an indirect one of direct, the other there, for example, to give shelter Christian faith. We know this because all the church services even the divine liturgy can be celebrated in any time place. Christian worship transcends the boundaries of any time or any place. Christian worship passes all location and time and brings about communion between God and man in the person of every believer
The Body as a Temple of God
The body has become a contemporary idol, it even seems like many people worship the body. We get carried away with our admiration where strength and bodily beauty are given the highest value. The same mindset leads people into a simple life, where they only recognise others in a carnal manner
Respect for the Body
How much genuine respect shown for this temple of God? Is both great cathedral and a small chapel. It is complete yet at the same time ruined. Our body and the body of other human beings is dwelling place for God. We’re not just talking about people with a beautiful or handsome body, but also about with weak, or disabled bodies. In every one of these cases we find ourselves before a temple to which we owe respect and honour. The disfigured body, the sick body are damaged temples of God whom we owe boundless respect and honour. Our elderly parents, sick, invalid in hospital and asylum seekers are temples God we should serve with great care and attention.
The Ministry of the Body
It is a great honour for someone to serve in the temple of God and take care of it. The church honours those who serve in church buildings. “sanctify those who love the beauty of Your house” when we are thinking about bodies is not forget that we are serving a Temple of God. Because a Christian is a temple of God in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, this life should be nothing but continual divine worship. Every Christian, every feeling, every participate in continual divine worship takes place without ceasing in throne of man’s heart of man’s heart (to paraphrase St Justin Popovich). We should bear this in mind when considering our own body and the body of other people.
God dwells in the temple, because He is pure, holy and undefiled. For God to dwell within our bodies, for the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, the dwelling-place must be pure, holy and undefiled. This is achieved through participation in the sacraments, fasts and ascetic practices of the Church.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20