Thursday, July 6

The care and use of the body

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6

Observation

Paul bases his discussion of sexual immorality (6:12-20) on a high view of the human body. Some people have mistakenly assumed that Christians hold a low view of the body, that the body and its desires are inherently evil and to be suppressed, but that is more gnostic than Christian. (Yesterday, I heard a passage in Leon Uris’ novel Trinity in which an Irish priest told a married woman that if she had sex with her husband she would go to hell. Even married sex was considered “carnal” and evil. This is not a Christian view of the body or sexuality.)

Look at what Paul says about the body.

6:13 The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 

The body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body. Your body belongs to God and is sacred, not dirty.

6:14 Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power. 

Your body will be resurrected by God’s power. We will not be disembodied spirits in heaven; we will have resurrected bodies. Christianity is an embodied faith. We worship a God who was incarnate and resurrected.

6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? 

Your body is part of Christ. Not just your spirit, but your body is joined to Him as well. 

6:18-20 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body”—but the immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

  Sexual immorality is a sin against your own body (and the body of another). And your body belongs to God. It is holy. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit—God’s house. It doesn’t belong to you—you can’t say, “It’s my body.” You are not your own. You were bought at a price—the blood of Jesus. You belong to Him—body, soul and spirit. Therefore, glorify God with your body.

Application

I was talking with someone recently who commented that many Christians, pastors in particular, take terrible care of their bodies. They grossly underestimate the importance of the body. If you are weak, sick, tired, and overweight, you will not only live a shorter life, but have far less ability to do what God has called you to do. Body, soul and spirit are all connected. When one area is low, it affects all the others. 

Your body is the temple, the home of the Holy Spirit. It’s God’s house, not just yours! If you were sharing a home with someone, how would you take care of it? It’s God’s house! Think care and use of the body.

Care for our bodies includes getting adequate sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise. These are important spiritual investments that pay lasting dividends. 

Use your body in God-honoring ways. Glorify God with your body. This means doing positive things that benefit others and serve God. 

What does it look like for me today to honor God with my body?

Prayer: Lord, I love You. Thank You for the body You’ve given me and that I share with You. Thank You for the good health I enjoy, and for the abilities to serve You. Help me take care and use my body to honor You. Particularly as I get older, physical exercise becomes more difficult. Help me maintain good habits so that I have energy and ability to serve You all my life. 

More: 1 Chronicles 14-15, John 6