Sabbath, February 21, 2015
“Man is God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, created for a high and holy purpose; and on every part of the human tabernacle God desires to write His law. Every nerve and muscle, every mental and physical endowment, is to be kept pure.
“God designs that the body shall be a temple for His Spirit. How solemn then is the responsibility resting on every soul.” –Temperance, p. 142.
A dwelling for God
1. What does the apostle Paul write about our bodies?
1 Corinthians 6:15, first part, 19, 20 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?… 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
“Our bodies are Christ’s purchased property, and we are not at liberty to do with them as we please. Man has done this. He has treated his body as if its laws had no penalty. Through perverted appetite its organs and powers have become enfeebled, diseased, and crippled. And these results which Satan has brought about by his own specious temptations, he uses to taunt God with. He presents before God the human body that Christ has purchased as His property; and what an unsightly representation of his Maker man is! Because man has sinned against his body, and has corrupted his ways, God is dishonored.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 18.
2. What counsel does the apostle John write about glorifying God in our bodies and emotions?
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
“When men and women are truly converted, they will conscientiously regard the laws of life that God has established in their being, thus seeking to avoid physical, mental, and moral feebleness. Obedience to these laws must be made a matter of personal duty. We ourselves must suffer the ills of violated law. We must answer to God for our habits and practices. Therefore, the question for us is not, ‘What will the world say?’ but, ‘How shall I, claiming to be a Christian, treat the habitation God has given me? Shall I work for my highest temporal and spiritual good by keeping my body as a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or shall I sacrifice myself to the world’s ideas and practices?’ ” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 18, 19.
3. What does the apostle Paul beseech God’s children to do in Romans 12:1, 2?
Romans 12:1, 2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
“God requires the body to be rendered a living sacrifice to Him, not a dead or a dying sacrifice. The offerings of the ancient Hebrews were to be without blemish, and will it be pleasing to God to accept a human offering that is filled with disease and corruption? He tells us that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; and He requires us to take care of this temple, that it may be a fit habitation for His Spirit. The apostle Paul gives us this admonition: ‘Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ All should be very careful to preserve the body in the best condition of health, that they may render to God perfect service, and do their duty in the family and in society.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 21.
“The flesh, in which the soul tabernacles, belongs to God. Every sinew, every muscle, is His. In no case are we by neglect or abuse to weaken a single organ. We are to cooperate with God by keeping the body in the very best possible condition of health, that it may be a temple where the Holy Ghost may abide, molding, according to the will of God, every physical and spiritual power.” –Messages to Young People, p. 69.
4. When we eat, drink, or do anything, what should be our objective?
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
“The people whom God is leading will be peculiar. They will not be like the world. But if they follow the leadings of God, they will accomplish His purposes, and will yield their will to His will. Christ will dwell in the heart. The temple of God will be holy. Your body, says the apostle, is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
“God does not require His children to deny themselves to the injury of physical strength. He requires them to obey natural law, to preserve physical health. Nature’s path is the road He marks out, and it is broad enough for any Christian. God has, with a lavish hand, provided us with rich and varied bounties for our sustenance and enjoyment. But in order for us to enjoy the natural appetite, which will preserve health and prolong life, He restricts the appetite. He says, Beware; restrain, deny, unnatural appetite. If we create a perverted appetite, we violate the laws of our being, and assume the responsibility of abusing our bodies and of bringing disease upon ourselves.” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 72.
5. What demonstrates that many people do not consider the negative consequences of their chosen lifestyles? What will happen to those who do not respect the temple of the Holy Spirit?
Isaiah 56:12; 22:13 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant…. 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.
1 Corinthians 3:17, first part If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;…
“The physical penalty of disregarding the laws of nature will appear in the form of sickness, ruined constitutions, and even death itself. But a settlement is also to be made, by and by, with God. He keeps an account of every work, whether it is good or evil, and in the day of judgment every man will receive according to his work. Every transgression of the laws of physical life is a transgression of the laws of God; and punishment must and will follow every such transgression.” –Temperance, p. 143.
6. What exhortation of the apostle Paul is as applicable today as ever?
1 Corinthians 15:33, 34 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
“When men take any course which needlessly expends their vitality or beclouds their intellect, they sin against God; they do not glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His.
“Yet despite the insult which man has offered Him, God’s love is still extended to the race; and He permits light to shine, enabling man to see that in order to live a perfect life he must obey the natural laws which govern his being. How important, then, that man should walk in this light, exercising all his powers, both of body and mind, to the glory of God!” –Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 118.
Eternal life in view
7. If one maintains his body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, what will be the result in both this life and eternity?
Colossians 3:23, 24 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Philippians 3:20, 21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
“The sacred temple of the body must be kept pure and uncontaminated, that God’s Holy Spirit may dwell therein. We need to guard faithfully the Lord’s property, for any abuse of our powers shortens the time that our lives could be used for the glory of God. Bear in mind that we must consecrate all–soul, body, and spirit–to God. All is His purchased possession, and must be used intelligently, to the end that we may preserve the talent of life. By properly using our powers to their fullest extent in the most useful employment, by keeping every organ in health, by so preserving every organ that mind, sinew, and muscle shall work harmoniously, we may do the most precious service for God.
“When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health.” –My Life Today, p. 134.
For personal study
“The human house, God’s building, requires close, watchful guardianship…. The physical life is to be carefully educated, cultivated, and developed, that through men and women the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness. God expects men to use the intellect He has given them. He expects them to use every reasoning power for Him. They are to give the conscience the place of supremacy that has been assigned to it. The mental and physical powers, with the affections, are to be so cultivated that they can reach the highest efficiency.” –(Review and Herald, November 6, 1900) Temperance, p. 143.