There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery
as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’
Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not
pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving
us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never ‘become
one.’ There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all
others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies,
these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for
‘becoming one’ with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is
a sacred place [a TEMPLE], the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you
see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid
such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of
property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole
works. So let people see God in and through your body.”—I
Corinthians 6:16-20 (Message)


man is a builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he
worships, after a style purely his own, nor can he get off by
hammering marble instead. We are all sculptors and painters, and our
material is our own flesh and blood and bones.”—Henry David

an edifice or place dedicated to the service or worship of a deity or
deities; an edifice erected as a place of public worship; a church,
esp. a large or imposing one; any place or object in which God
dwells, as the body of a Christian; something regarded as having
within it a divine presence; a building reserved for a highly valued

cathedral, chapel, church, holy place, house (of God, prayer), place
of worship, sanctuary, synagogue, tabernacle

gonna be a little longer again, but it’s worth it (I think). Here we

several months now, it has been in me to refer to the
people/relationships in my life as “temple”, “inner court”
and “outer court”. Now from the moment it came into my psyche, I
was diggin’ it because it was providing me with a clear directive
(and confirmation) when it comes to setting better boundaries. I
mean, I am called to love everyone (I
John 4:7)
, but that doesn’t mean that it has to (or should) be
expressed exactly the same way to each person. I love my
mother…I love my brother…I love LaShawn Williams (love my egg,
girl! Thanks!). The foundation is the same (I Corinthians
13), but that doesn’t mean that I express it the same way to
all of them. I mean, I wish I would “love on” my (future)
husband like I do my cousin Gerard— c’mon now, + that would be
really gross!

that might seem a bit extreme, but I think if we really embraced (and expanded) this perspective, it would spare a lot of us a lot of
heartache. Not committing (physical) incest should be a no-brainer,
but how many people actually consider the fact that NO ONE is
supposed to receive “sex temple” privileges unless they are in
covenant with one another (in marriage—Hebrews 13:4)? Being that
we are all brothers and sisters IN CHRIST (Matthew 12:50,
Romans 14:9-11), and being that marriage is what makes “two” one
(Matthew 19:4-6) with God’s blessing (I Corinthians 6:16),
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: it seems to me that
fornication and adultery are a lot like committing spiritual incest, right? RIGHT?!?

this message actually isn’t about sex. Although I will say that the
longer I am abstinent, the more I see just how invaluable I am…how
a man really should earn (Matthew 13:45-46) the right to the
access of this very holy and beautiful place/space (Psalm 139:14). I
mean, Christ shed his blood so that I could be restored to my
original state (purity) and so I wouldn’t have to be “slaves of
men” (I Corinthians 7:23). CHRIST DIED to gain full temple access
and all a man has to do is honor some 90-day rule??? Uh-uh!!! Yet
while I could further elaborate (and you all know that I
can!), what the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to share with you (Luke
12:12) is the importance of placement

biblical times, in the tabernacles, there was a Holy Place (Exodus
40:26) and a Most Holy Place (Hebrews 9:3-4). When it comes to the
Most Holy area, according to an article that I recently read,
“Judging from its name, we can see that it was a most sacred
, a place no ordinary person could enter. It was God’s
special dwelling place in the midst of His people.”

when I sit and think about the fact that the Bible says that the Holy
Spirit lives in MY BODY and that he esteems it as temple worthy to live in (a humbling thought
within itself!), it does cause me to wonder why, for years, I really
did let just any “ordinary person” into a space that is deemed so
sacred. Now again, I am not speaking (just) sexually (although if
the shoe fits, please rock it), but how our entire human
trinity—mind, body, spirit—should be seen and treated as special
and sacred.

devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose;
consecrated; entitled to veneration or religious respect by
association with divinity or divine things; holy; regarded with
reverence; secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by
reverence or sense of right; properly immune from violence,
interference, etc., as a person or office

blessed, cherished, dedicated, defended, devoted, divine, godly,
guarded, hallowed, pure, revered, sanctified, secure, shielded,
spiritual, unprofane, venerable

you see it? Do you get it? Don’t you love it?!? First, we
need to start treating ourselves
as “blessed”, “cherished”
and “pure” (and can some people get “SECURE” up in here,
please?!?), but once we come to that revelation, we should
unapologetically set up our own “veils” preventing “just
anyone” from coming into our most holy spaces…of our time…our
emotions…our resources…our friendship…ourselves.

“learned the hard way experiences” have been that you can’t treat
something as sacred until you become sacred. You can’t expect a man
to treat you like you’re pure when he’s profane. You can’t expect a
woman to be devoted to you when she lays (did you know “lay” was
an antonym of “sacred”?) up with other folks. You can’t expect a
person to defend, guard and shield you when they don’t do that for
themselves (if you wanna know how a person feels about themselves,
watch how they treat others).

get it
…now. One year into my abstinence journey, I was
spending so much time healing from the wounds (Psalm 147:3) that I
wasn’t ready to receive this kind of revelation. Oh, but right
before entering year two, God started reminding me of the kind of
temple that I was, that the Holy Spirit dwelled in it (shout out to
the friend of mine who describes masturbation as “assaulting the
Holy Spirit”…a sobering thought, indeed!), and that people needed
to be of a certain level in (spiritual) stature and character to gain
access to such a CHERISHED space.

I am called to love everyone, I don’t refuse anyone from being in my
outer court (unless God instructs me to). “Outer court” people
have earned, just by being a child of God, courtesy, respect,
spirit-led assistance and prayer. My “inner court” people, by
being individuals who continually exemplify not just a love for God,
but an instinctive and distinctive love for me (in word
and deed-I John 3:18), they have earned the right to quality (high grade, superior) time and care.

but the temple? Let me tell you something about the temple:
If that is where the Holy Spirit dwells, you can best believe that
ain’t just anybody rolling up in my most divine space; the place that
is most venerable!

today, I was talking to someone about a sacrificial seed that I
planted into her life. When she commented on how she couldn’t
believe it I said, “You are a ‘temple’ friend…you earned it.”
That woman prays for me, feeds me (literally), forgives me, protects
me, defends me, supports me, accepts me, affirms me and encourages me
on a CONSISTENT basis. And, she’s done it for YEARS….even when I
wasn’t doing it for myself (or to her). She treats me as BLESSED and
so, as sacred is defined, I am going to treat her as BLESSED in
return. Not everyone would get that kind of treatment because not
everyone has earned that right…and that’s OK. There’s nothing
wrong with being “outer” or “inner”…everything has its
place and purpose (Ecclesiastes 3). I’m just learning how to better
discern what those places (and purposes) are. And, I think, with the
help of this message, God is encouraging you to do the same.

  1. Begin
    to acknowledge yourself as a holy place…the place where the Holy
    Spirit lives.

  2. Treat
    yourself daily as someone who is “dedicated” and “devoted”
    to honoring oneself.

  3. Get
    clear on how close people should get to that sacred space.

  4. Ask
    God to categorize your “outer”, “inner” and “temple”
    people for you (trust me, HE WILL).

  5. Live
    by the motto, “Privileges are earned based on the level of
    responsibilities performed. Love all. Reward accordingly.”

people walk into a church/synagogue/mosque, there is a certain level
of reverence. You can’t just do or saying anything up in there. It’s
revered as holy, hallowed and blessed. The Bible tells us that WE
ARE TEMPLES; therefore we shouldn’t settle for anything less than
some edifice does. We should be seen (and treated) as having a
DIVINE presence as well…as something “anointed”, “beautiful”,
“magnificent”, and “wonderful”.

a little over-the-top? Get over it. According to my Bible,
to think this way is not a sign of arrogance, but a
demonstration of obedience. When people see a temple, they
need to act accordingly, whether on the “outer court”…the
“inner court”…or (lucky them)…the temple.

the place of a highly-valued function, right? Treat it as such.

and amen.


R. Warren/2009