Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at ways that we can honour God in our everyday lives. Two weeks ago we looked at how we can take God to work with us and ways that we can honour Him there. And then last week we looked at how we can honour Him with our finances. I thought I would continue this general theme over the next few weeks and look at how we can honour God with our bodies. I’m going to take two weeks because it is a really big subject with many aspects.
This week we will look at a biblical perspective of our bodies and then next week we will look at a few practicalities.
As always, I will back up what I say with bible verses. An important one on this subject is:
..do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
The Apostle Paul in this letter to the Corinthians has just been spelling out the fact that our bodies are important and God cares about what we do with them. In ancient Greek culture they were very strong on a subject called dualism. Basically they separated the spirit or soul and the body. They considered that the soul was the most important thing, but the body didn’t really matter. In some cases it was even considered evil. They thought that it really didn’t matter what you did with the body, hence they were happy to over indulge sexually or with food and drink. As I hope to set out in the following few points, God has a different view of the body.
- It is very significant that God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ took on a physical body
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)
Do you think that God himself would live in a physical body if it was not important?
- God created the world (including our bodies) and stated that He thought it was very good
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
- Psalm 139 talks about us being knit together before we are born and being fearfully and wonderfully made. That sounds really special to me:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14)
- We don’t need to present animal sacrifices anymore, but instead we present our own bodies as living sacrifices in order to please God.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
- The Holy Spirit Himself has chosen to honour our bodies by dwelling within us. Our bodies are the new temples:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
- God sees us as a whole; spirit, soul and body, all wrapped up together;
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
- The bible makes it clear that it is possible to honour Christ with our bodies;
it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)
- Even though our bodies are currently imperfect, when we die we will gain a new and improved body. We won’t cease to have bodies and live in a spirit state:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:21)
Next week I will continue this theme and look at ways that we can honour God with our bodies.