Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which belongs to Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you know that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” But the person who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. [1 Corinthians 6:15-20]
Scott referred to this passage and I have been thinking about it (I added verses 15-18). My answer to his question ” But is that all He wants of us in treating our bodies as a temple unto Him?” is nope. I believe sexual sin is the most damaging, and the hardest to come out of, but it is not the only sin you can do against your body. Drinking, smoking, taking drugs, gluttony, tattoos, piercings, etc, all can be things to keep God from being glorified and honored with your body.
Are they sins in and of themselves? No, the motivation is the sin and the thought behind the action(s) is the sin. A drink to celebrate someone’s wedding is a completely honorable thing to do, going out and having a drink with a friend to hang out can ultimately be used to glorify God. Smoking, I do not see any real good use, but usually it is a replacement for something, or was, and now the person is simply addicted. God will fix the addiction or fill the emptiness when the person gives God the control. All of the things that cause us to dishonor and deglorify our bodies stem from other issues in our life.
Sexual lust is the sin, not the masturbation, but masturbation is the result of the sin. In all my years of living, talking with other guys (I have not talked to a girl who has struggled with this problem, but now know they are out there), the masturbation was triggered by lustful images, thoughts, etc. Once you give into the lust, you have lost, and you fall into the trap, sometimes you can jump the trap, but the sin and damage are done. I do not know anyone (including myself) who fell into this trap, without triggering it with lustful images and thoughts. Yes sometimes in the morning (and other strange times) it can be a temptation, thoughts and images always fuel more, and then it becomes sin once I/we give into the temptation.
All I know is that I am feeling a hundred times better since some very trustworthy friends are now watching the source to most of my motivation. In addition, I am keeping care of my body much better since I came here; as a result, I have more energy and am quicker at changing my thoughts before they go too far. I also believe since my body (or temple) is in better shape I can see and hear God more clearly now, a well-maintained temple has much more to offer than one which has been destroyed. I choose to honor God with all my body, mind, soul, and spirit. Thank you Scott! All honor and praise ultimately to God.