But to believe that our physical temples, our bodies, are a form for us to sacrifice our lives daily to god is somewhat a dangerous idea. For we on our own cannot sacrifice anything, not even our most precious possessions, our lives, in order to be granted salvation from the Lord. Men are living in the bondage of sin, which comes delivered to us from Adam. There is no way that man can overcome his sinful nature and be made righteous in God's eyes of his own accord.
One might say that it is easier to slide a camel through the eye of a needle than it is for any man, let alone a rich man, to get into heaven. Despite our hardest work and our best efforts the fact remains that we are sinful creatures. We all fall short of the glory of God. Only once in the history of the universe did a man ever walk the Earth who could make himself right in the eyes of God. This man was Jesus of Nazareth who was and is the Christ.
Christ did not need temples. He knew that everyone is able to come in direct communion with the Lord without the need of temples. He did, however, visit the Temple of Jerusalem, which throughout the history of Judaism until its destruction in 70 AD the center of the Jewish faith. When the time came for the perfect man to offer up his own sacrifice to God, however, it was not to be made in the Temple of Jerusalem. As we have said, Christ did not need temples. His sacrifice was made on the hill of Golgotha, the place of skulls.
When Jesus Christ died upon the cross he made the ultimate sacrifice. Being without sin he allowed himself to die to take on all the sins of the world. Every sin that has ever been committed, every sin that will ever be committed, was placed upon Jesus while he hung from the cross. He paid the price for all of our sins so that we, who could never hope to achieve the salvation of the Lord, might overcome our sinning nature and become right with God.
Our bodies are temples, but they are temples of Jesus and Jesus' sacrifice. When Jesus died upon that cross he gave himself totally and completely to us. When we become Christians, we accept Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, into our hearts. Christ lives with us, Christ lives through us. Our bodies are temples that house the Almighty. It is for this reason that we refer to our bodies as temples.
This is also why we speak of not degrading our bodies, because it is like degrading a temple of the Lord. Just as we would respect and revere a building that we referred to as a temple, just as we respect churches, so should we respect our own bodies. We should not denigrate them externally with vile additions such as tattoos or piercings, nor should we seek to destroy them from the inside by eating unhealthily, smoking or the like. Our bodies are our temples; they are the place where Jesus Christ lives within us. We should take care of them.