My Body & My God

April 14, 2024 | Brandon Cooper

This sermon discusses how our bodies belong to God and are meant to honor him through worship, sanctification, and discipline. It addresses sins related to the body like lust, gluttony, and sloth. It encourages caring for our bodies through exercise, diet, and rest while recognizing our resurrected bodies will be fully submitted to God. Our worth comes from Jesus purchasing us with his blood, not from our physical appearance.


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning church. Well, Kyle is not kidding. We’re about to tip over again. He’ll sit on this side today. All right, that’s fine. That’s fine. Go ahead, grab your Bibles open up to First Corinthians six will be in verses 19 and 20, especially this morning, although we’ll be jumping around a bit as we did last week as we try to develop this Theology of the Body. As you’re turning there. It was in 1966, the English men’s national team won their first and only World Cup in the sport that they invented soccer or football as it’s more properly called. They’re in their home stadium at Wembley. And so they want under the captaincy of Sir Bobby Moore. And so he had the privilege of receiving the trophy from Queen Elizabeth the second. And he’s ascending the steps in your thinking like this is the crowning glory of his life, except it wasn’t as glorious a moment as you might have thought. Why? Because as he’s ascending the steps, he notices that the Queen is wearing pristine white gloves. And he has to shake her hand. And he is not pristine anymore. He is caked in mud, including his hands. So as you can see on the video, he’s actually frantically wiping his hands on his you know, wherever he can find a dry spot, trying to get them clean enough to shake the Queen’s hands. I mentioned this. Why? Because it’s how many of us feel as we worship God bodily. Like how dare we approach God when we’re as as filthy as we are, as we start wiping our hands, in the hopes that that will make some difference, not without reason, by the way, like I understand why Bobby Moore was actually caked in mud, we are actually caked in filth, we use our bodies to sin, to offend God and defile ourselves regularly. Paul talks about this all over the place. Here’s Romans seven, for example, he says, For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. But I see in my members, that is the parts of my body, another law waging war against the law of my mind and make me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members, wretched man that I am Who will deliver me from this body of deaths marked by death characterized by death, we use our bodies to sin. And perhaps most egregiously, as we’ll see, in the passage we’re looking at this morning, sexual immorality would be one really obvious example. And that’s not all we’re going to talk about this morning, but it is the context. So as I mentioned, gonna be in First Corinthians 619, and 20. I’m gonna read 12 to 20, though, just so we’ve got some context, as we get to these all important verses. Let me read it for us. Starting first Corinthians six, verse 12, I have the right to do anything you say. But not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but I will not be mastered by anything. You say food for the stomach and the stomach for food and God will destroy them both. The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body. By His power, God raised the Lord from the dead and He will raise us also, do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never, do not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her and body for the said the two will become one flesh, but whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit, Flee from sexual immorality, all other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sin sexually sins against their own body, do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? Who is in you whom you have received from God, you are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body’s so what does Paul say here? The body is not meant for immorality, sexual immorality, yes, but it’s not meant for immorality, but for the Lord. Because our bodies are now in fact, members of Christ, they are united with Christ. Our bodies are actually a temples of the Holy Spirit. That is He dwells within our bodily frame. And it’s all climaxes with the last part we are not our own, but we have been bought at a price and others we have been redeemed by Christ. We saw this last week when we did the new city catechism together the first question in the New City catechism what is our only hope in life and death that we are not our own, but the long body and soul to God? In fact, we are twice his if we are Christians, because he made us and so we belong to him, and then he redeemed us. He purchased us back from sin reminds me the story of the Little boy who built a wooden model ship and actually sailed it out on the lake near his home and the wind took it. And it was gone. And he, you know, went around the shore as best he could couldn’t find it anywhere. Last last last couple of weeks later, he sees it again in the store of his local thrift shop. So he had to save up his money to buy back the ship that he had made. That is a picture of us. And Christ God made us the only difference between us and the ship is the ship didn’t do anything wrong. Whereas we rebelled we didn’t get carried away by the when we rebelled, we ran away from him. And so God purchases back those whom he had made at the cost of his son. Reminds me of the story of Hosea the prophet, and the Lord has him marry a prostitute is a picture of what we are like. And what happens. Sure enough, his wife Gomer, leaves him, and goes back to her old way of living back to prostitution. And Hosea has to go and purchase back his own wife from her pimps. And why does God Hosea do that so that we would know what we are like and what his love for us is, like, such love that he would purchase us back even though we’d run away from him love like that. It’s enough to make us put away our desire for bodily autonomy, and run back to God. I mean, you just wonder, don’t you we don’t get the end of the story. How did Gomer respond after that? After Hosea bought her back? Was that love enough that at that point, she went okay. I would rather this than that. Certainly, that is the hope for us. You are not your own. You were bought at a price. So honor God with your bodies. That really is our big idea. So last week, our big idea was I am my body, right? I don’t have a body I am a body this week we take it the next step. I am my body but my body is the Lord’s my body is not my own. Not my own. It is not I know it’s a mantra today, my body my choice. But that’s not the case, biblically speaking, not when it comes to abortion, not when it comes to anything else whatsoever. Why not? Because I am God’s thank God, because he purchased me back. So what? So what does it matter that my body is the Lord’s? What sort of body am I meant to be? In that case? That’s what we’re gonna look at this morning. So we’ll do what we did last week, we’ll kind of fill it in with what sort of body we are meant to be. First of all, my body is the Lord’s that means that I am meant to be a worshiping body, a worshiping body.
Honor God with your bodies, we are made to honor God with our bodies, we are to use our bodies to worship him rather than defy him. Now, William Temple, about a century ago defined worship as the submission of all our nature to God. Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. conscience, mind, will heart. Interestingly, by the way, when he lists all these things, he forgets the body. That seems like an important one. But we know our bodies to inevitably, because we quite literally embody our wills. We know what our will is based on what we actually do in the flesh. Jesus says something similar, right? He says, Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So it’s the mouth part of your body, right, that reveals what’s in your heart, we embody our will. So John Stott, the great British preacher of the last century, he says this, a little bit provocative. I like it. He says, No, worship is pleasing to God, which is purely inward, abstract and mystical. I don’t even know what that would mean. Honestly, it must express itself in concrete acts of service performed by our bodies, right? Because I’m not even sure what obedience would look like, without physical action. In most cases, I can maybe think of an exception here or there. But for the most part, we have to act out physically our obedience. So to worship God, we offer our bodies to him, take my life and let it be concentrated Lord, to the Take my hand, take my feet, take my mouth, take it all. That’s kind of what Paul says, isn’t it? In a very famous verse, Romans 12, verse one. Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. Now notice, we do not offer our bodies to God in order to earn or win his favor, but because he has already given us His favor in Christ in view of His mercy, but given what God has done for us in Christ, the only reasonable response and that’s that phrase true and proper in your translation might even say spiritual, your spiritual act of worship. The word there means reasonable. The only reasonable response to love like that is complete surrender. In other words, it is worship. Now surely that is more than physical. What Paul’s describing here in Romans 12. One more than physical, yes, it involves our thought and our imagination and all that, but it is not less than physical, which is probably why he says offer your bodies specifically. And in fact, Paul’s already explained what this looks like a passage that many of us are memorizing and journey groups right now, Romans 612 and 13. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness. Rather, offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness, every part every member of our body. So think about this for a moment because we’re going to offer every part of our body either to sin or to righteousness, how would we offer as a sacrifice the parts of our body to sin? Again, Paul’s already told us back in Romans chapter three, he’s quoting a lot of the Old Testament, he says things like, well, your throat is an open grave, are your tongues are deceitful, your mouth is full of curses, your feet are swift to shed blood. Elsewhere, we read about hands that are prone to violence, eyes that looked lustfully whether at people or possessions, ears deaf to the cries of those in distress. But in view of God’s mercy, we were bought at such a high price that he set his love on us. We don’t do that anymore. We don’t do that anymore. No, now we offer every part of ourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness, we offer our feet to walk in his past our lips, to speak the truth in love our tongues to bring healing our hands, to wash the feet of those around us literally and figuratively as we’re kneeling, of course, on our knees, our ears, to hear in our eyes to see the needs around us. If we’re going to honor God with our bodies, that if they are places of worship, right, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to offer our selves concretely. And so maybe this just looks like a simple prayer each morning where you offer every part to God, Lord, I offer you today, you know, I offer you my mind. Like what I’m gonna think about I wanted to honor you, I offer you my eyes where I’m gonna look, I wanted to honor my ears, what I listened to what inputs I’m willing to allow in my life, my mouth, my you know, just on down the line we offer ourselves to God, my body is the Lord’s, and is made to be a worshiping body. As long as we’re talking about a worshiping body, and it’s probably worth mentioning how we use our bodies during public and private worship. I mean, think of something like prayer. You could hardly imagine a more internal moment than prayer. Unless you’re speaking out loud, which is fine too. But you know, you could be praying in the silence of your heart. It’s so internal and yet, look at how it gets described in Scripture. Paul tells us in First Timothy two that he wants men in corporate worship to be lifting our hands in prayer. Caitlyn, are you ready for us? Psalm 28, verse two, this is not in corporate worship. This is private worship. Hear My Cry for mercy as I call to you for help as I lift up my hands toward your most holy place. Paul is kneeling in Ephesians three as he prays for that church. John doesn’t one better he’s flat on his face prostrate before the Lord in Revelation 117. And Psalm 121. The Psalmist lifts his eyes to see where his help comes from. Whereas, the penitent tax collector and Luke 18 lowers his eyes because he sees himself unworthy to look to God and beats his breast, so much physical expression. But of course, it’s similar in the corporate setting. In Ezra, we read the whole assembly lifting their hands in worship, we are commanded over and over and over again to sing to God, even to shout to the Lord to make a joyful noise and you have to be singing right can just be grunting because that’s all you got. You’re not a good singer. That’s fine. We shout for joy to the Lord all the earth worship Lord with gladness come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100. we clap our hands we even dance, we kneel and bow. It was interesting about all of that, of course, is there no commands other than the singing in the shouting? Nothing else is specifically commanded in Scripture. You must pray with this physical posture. It’s not a command, but we had a whole lot of descriptions that belie an expectation which is that our worship, our prayer should be an animated And physically engaging activity. But it is not play acting. We got to be careful there. Because of course you can do this and have a heart that is far from the Lord Sam Albury tells the story of his priest who grew up the Anglican tradition is priest who every week would kiss his Bible as part of the Anglican liturgy, and then would go on to deny the Bible’s authority week in and week out, probably not worth kissing the Bible at that point, right? We just did the Sermon on the Mount, we know that the external better match the internal or we’re in trouble. And honestly, that takes us to the second point. We are to be a worshiping body, we are to be a sanctified body as well. We are made to honor God with our bodies. It’s a command, therefore, honor God with your body. So we obey the command we take steps to make this reality in our lives. And the good news, of course, is that he just told us, verse 19, that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. And that’s good news, because the Spirit is the power for change so that we can be sanctified. But we take steps as Paul says elsewhere, Philippians, 212, and 13. Work out your salvation with fear and you work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good pleasure. So if worship is the submission of our whole nature to God, then maturity must of necessity be holistic sanctification, including bodily sanctification. One of my favorite benedictions in Scripture is Paul’s at the end of First Thessalonians five and what does he say? He says, may God Himself the God of peace sanctify you through and through May your whole spirit, soul and you guessed it, body, be kept blameless, coming by our Lord Jesus Christ, when it calls you is faithful and He will do it.
We are to be a sanctified body now, sanctification, one of those words that we use in church and nowhere else. And so some of you are like, I don’t know what he keeps saying, Alright, here’s your definition. Here we go. Right. Sanctification is the cooperative work of God and Christians, that sees us transformed into greater Christ’s likeness. We look more like Jesus, we act more like Jesus as a result of what he is doing and what we are doing. And that’s really important. Okay, justification is by grace alone, through faith alone. That is that moment when we are declared righteous in God’s eyes as a result of what Jesus did for us. But hear me now, sanctification is by grace alone, through faith and works. We are sanctified as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is still all of grace. Yes, let’s never strip any of the glory from God is only because what he is doing, but he calls us to participate in it. So God does his part God works in convicting of us, us of sin, empowering our obedience. We respond in ways like discipline, mortification, surrender to the Spirit. But we can emphasize spiritual growth, rightly in areas like the mind, the will, emotions, our motivations. Again, if you’re in Journey group, you’re in the how we change unit right now, we just talked about all those things. Those are all really important. We can emphasize those rightly but neglect the body, as we do. So, getting there is a bodily sanctification that occurs. So Greg Allison, I mentioned him last week, he is the father of one of our missionaries. And his book was very helpful. To me, as I was preparing for this series, he writes this, it’s kind of a funny quote, but he says, When was the last time you heard a sermon on physical discipline? When was the last time you participated in a Sunday school class that broached the topics of gluttony and sloth? Three years ago? A decade? Never. I thought, so. We’re gonna crack that today. Now you got an answer for him when you meet him. Okay. You can say Dr. Allison, it was just a week ago. All right. So we’re gonna make progress in bodily sanctification. That’s our goal here as we consider the three Sins of the body historically considered. So you’ve heard the seven deadly sins that don’t come from Scripture specifically that come from Gregory the Great’s commentary on Joe, but very helpful breakdown of what Scripture says. Three of those seven deadly sins are considered the bodily since they are lost gluttony and sloth. Let’s take them kind of one at a time here and look at what this what it is and how we progress in bodily sanctification in this area. So Gluttony is the moderate consumption of food. Like the way one writer put it, where he said it is the desire for more or other than what God Odd provided it is often in Scripture, connected with drunkenness. So just as an example, here’s proverbs 23 verses 20 and 21. Be not among drunkards are among gluttonous eaters of meat for the drunkard and the gotten will come to poverty. Do you see they’re just put together drunkenness and gluttony. Why? Because they both involve the moderate consumption of food or alcohol. Right? So, drunkenness is to alcohol, what Gluttony is to food. In other words that will help us out. It is a serious sin. You’re gonna look at a glutton in Scripture, you would look at Esau because he was hungry. He committed one of the stupidest acts in all of Scripture, and shamefully immoral as well. He sells his birthright the blessing of God for a bowl of soup. Or he could consider the wilderness generation as well. So because their lack of trust in God their die in the wilderness, instead of making it into the promised land, where does this show up over and over and over again, food they’re complaining about? Look, remember I said it’s more or other than what God provides. God is literally raining down a bread from heaven for them. But it’s not what they want, but it’s not what they want. Okay, so that’s gluttony, and they all die in the wilderness as a result. In other words, it is really a deadly sin, gluttony. Now, we’re gonna be little bit careful here, of course, gluttony is not a sin because it makes you fat. In fact, it might not make you fat. And on the other hand, we got to be again, so careful here. There are other reasons why people might have a different shape body than you do. All right. So we got to be really, really careful about that. What makes gluttony wrong is because it’s the fruit of self indulgence. And so when you read writers talking about gluttony, they will mention all sorts of other things. It’s not just eating a lot of food. That’s not the only definition for gluttony. They mentioned finicky picky eaters, I will only eat certain foods, other than what God provided like the wilderness generation, or those who will only eat sumptuous foods, right? Like I’m sticking lobster and that’s it. You’re not getting anything that came out of the box, or those who eat speedily. I want actually caught me off guard, I’d like to stop and think about this for a moment. But because you’re doing it without gratitude, and usually without considering others in the process, see this in First Corinthians 11, where they start eating the rich people before the poor get there to celebrate the Lord’s supper together. And of course, obsessive eating as well. Again, obsessive doesn’t mean a lot of food, necessarily, but it means food is the orienting principle in your day. So you thinking about when’s the next time what’s the next food I’m gonna be? I’m not talking about like your anniversary dinner, and you’re so excited to go to your favorite restaurant. That’s great. That’s good. Feasting is commanded in Scripture. Absolutely. I’m talking about this is what you do all the time. How do we overcome gluttony, we feast on Christ, right? He is the bread of life. He’s the one who satisfies the deepest hunger within us, which frees us from our slavery to food. We receive it with thanksgiving, as we saw last week, and we ask the spirit to produce the fruit of self control in us as we eat. Sloth then. Now what is sloth sloth is weary or in being weary or indifferent toward the work that God has given you. So of course, we think laziness for the most part, I think that’s right. But sometimes it’s also looks like the person who is always frantic with their work. I mean, picture you know, the college students, the ones pulling an all nighter, go and look how much harder I am working and the straight A student who’s sleeping soundly right now. But it’s possible that the one point the all nighter was procrastinating earlier. That would be sloth as well. So lazy, frantic or misdirected work. A lot of this comes from not understanding that our work is our vocation. God’s calling on our lives. We need a theology of vocation we did that last summer and the series faith at work. If you weren’t here, and you got questions about this, check out that series. I’m not going to repeat it all today. But we have this responsibility to use our God given abilities to serve others. That is part of the creation mandate. That’s true of all people, Christian or not, but the slothful refuse that responsibility. Proverbs has strong things to say about the sluggard here just a couple of examples. Here’s proverbs six nine to 11 where it says a little sleep a little slumber a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. Or another series of three images kind of rapid fire proverbs 2613 to 15. I love this one a sluggard says there’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets, which then means lion doesn’t have to enter the slavery doesn’t have to do anything. You don’t want to go outside and be killed. So, I mean, there’s always a danger. I’m gonna run over by a bus. It’s probably best if I just stay in my basement playing video games on my couch as a door turns on its hinges so a sluggard turns on his bed. I love that one. Your door moves a lot. Does it ever go anywhere? Same with a slugger. Right? A sluggard buries his hand in the dish, he’s too lazy to bring the chip with the guacamole on it back up to his mouth.
That’s bad. I know, like guacamole, talking about receiving with thanksgiving, there it is. The New Testament does not modify this approach to the sluggard. By the way, Paul sets the standard and Second Thessalonians three that those who don’t work, don’t eat. Because there’s a group of people who had that Gnostic tendency that we talked about last week, the body is bad, you know, physical is bad, the spiritual is good. So I’m not going to solely myself by manual labor, I’m gonna sit over here and philosophize with my bros. And Paul said, that’s great. And you’re gonna be hungry, because we’re not feeding you. You don’t get any benevolence funds if you’re able but unwilling to work. In fact, Paul says one of the reasons we work hard is so that we earn enough that we can support others that we can give generously to those who are not able to work, for example. And then Paul goes on to say, First Timothy Five, Verse eight, that those who are unwilling to provide for their own families, this is strong, he says, that is someone who is worse than an unbeliever. That’s crazy. worse than an unbeliever sloth is a deadly sin. How do we overcome it? Well, we need a theology of vocation. And we talked about that already, you can go back into that series. Some people probably need structure in their lives. Like if it’s not your strength to provide the structure that ensures that you get the work done. You need to be in a field or perhaps in a school where that structure will be provided for you. You may need counseling to get at the source of the indifference towards work, for example, but more than anything else, you need to know what God did on your behalf. Of course. I mean, Jesus said, as my father is working, so I’m working like Jesus worked for us. He was tired when he was here on earth, he worked in order to save us You have been so loved to so love in action. And then lastly, lust. objectifying others to satisfy yourself takes on so many forms, of course, porn, ogling fantasies, and then eventually embodied in all sorts of illicit sexual activity. Again, we covered a lot of this in greater detail in our series, a better yes, on this passage, in fact, so you can get more of it if you want it there, but we just kind of breezed through it a little bit here. You’ll note the argument of the Corinthians there in verse 13, right food for the stomach and the stomach for food and got them destroy them both. It doesn’t really matter what I eat, because it’s going in the body and the body is going away anyway, Gnostic tendency once again. And so it’s the same thing with sex, like, we’re just dealing with a bodily appetite, who cares, the body goes away. But then Paul says, except it doesn’t. Right, the body is meant for the Lord. Like that’s our destination. As Christians, we will be raised bodily to dwell bodily with the Lord for ever in glory. And then he also says, of course, that we are now in our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit. So already God is dwelling with us in our flesh, which makes us a really serious sin. Then he says in verse 16, because sin sexually is the sin against our own bodies, all sorts of ways that yes, you can harm your body through sin, like drunkenness and gluttony that we’ve already mentioned. But this is sexual immorality involves not just like degrading or defiling your body, but but dragging your whole self into the sin spirit as well. Why? Because physical union brings about spiritual union, the two become one flesh that is about more than just flesh. And of course, we bring Jesus with us when we sin in these ways, because we are united with Christ, we are members of His Body, verse 17, which means you can’t check Jesus like a coat at the door of a strip club. And that, of course, all that as temples of the Holy Spirit. We don’t do temples today. So I think we can miss the force of Paul’s argument here. So, the picture this, you know, Paul is saying that we are the most holy place, because that’s where God dwells, and he dwelt in the most holy place, you know, sitting on the Ark of the Covenant in the temple in Jerusalem. Now, one guy, the high priest, could go into the most holy place one day, a year Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. If you read like lipstick or something, you know that the high priest had to wear bells on his robe, so that he’d make noise as he walked, so they would know if God struck him dead. And they tied a rope around his ankle so that they could drag his body out because they’re not going into the most holy place to go get the dead guy. And Paul says, imagine having sex with someone who isn’t your spouse in that room. Like, I’m trying to even imagine what a New Testament equivalent would be for that. And it took me a while. So this is not like a pastor having an affair happens, right? Common enough, pastors are sinners like the rest of us. This is not even like a pastor having an affair in the church building, which I’m sure has happened many times before, also, because this building is just brick and mortar. So I wouldn’t call this room in the sanctuary. It implies that this is the holy place. It’s not we do holy things here. Yes. But it’s just a big enough room where we can all gather holy things happen at home, and in your car, they could even happen in a bar. So the closest equivalent I could think of in a New Testament would be like a pastor having an affair while serving you all communion, because that’s one of those times where the veil between heaven and earth is parted. And you know, Heaven and Earth, kiss prayers, the spirits we present in the bread and in the wine. Now, hopefully that was like a shocking and grotesque, absurd image. That’s the force of Paul’s argument here. Like that’s what sexual immorality is. It is a deadly, deadly sin. So look at verse 18. What does he say flee? And runaway? Which is interesting, because so often Paul tells us stand firm, stand firm in the faith, not with sexual immorality, you run you get out of there as fast as you possibly can. That changes how we look at things. Like we’re checking out the new TV show that everyone’s recommended to us, we don’t go, you know, how much nudity is it? No, how can I honor God with my body here? We don’t get into a relationship and go How far is too far? How far can I go and still be like, No, how can I honor God with my body? First, Thessalonians, four, three and four, it is God’s will that you should be sanctified. I know a lot of you spend a lot of time praying God, like I’m looking at college students back there, right, Lord, what’s your will for my life, here’s God’s will for your life, be sanctified, didn’t care, we go to college, be sanctified, that’s his will for your life. That you should avoid sexual immorality, that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, my body is the Lord’s and it is meant to be a sanctified body. Lastly, than it is meant to be a disciplined body. Or we are commanded to honor God with our bodies.
And we know that we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. So we need to take specific steps. To honor God with our bodies, we need to discipline ourselves bodily, in other words, like if embodiment is the proper state of our existence, as we saw last week, if the Spirit indwells our bodies as we see in our passage, and if we will dwell with God bodily in glory, it’s safe to say the body matters. And so we should discipline it caring for our bodies in areas like eating and exercising, and sleep. Neither over emphasizing nor under emphasizing the importance of the body. Like some overemphasize the importance of the body, this is the guy flexing in front of the beaten the mirror being like yeah, my body is a temple. That’s right. Like, we don’t want to be that guy. You know, the obsessive exercise, meticulous diet, you know, sculpting their body, sometimes even physically sculpting and like plastic surgery, whether driven by a desire for health or for looks, and more likely, deeper idols underneath those, like security and love. I mean, we got a body image problem in our culture, don’t we? Photoshop not helping for sure, leading to all sorts of eating disorders and the like. I know what this looks like. So Lindsey, Kate, tells a story in her book more than a body. She was on a swim team like starting at age six or something like that. And she says she, you know, she used to have our heart race as she was about to start the race because she was so excited for the sport itself. As she got older, she started think about her body more and more in her heart would race because she would wonder what she looked like in her swimsuit. She said it became all consuming if she wasn’t, you know, like on the starting block athletes. I mean, she makes sure she had her hand in a certain spot to cover up a birthmark that she had. And she made sure she stood in ways that were most flattering to her figure. She didn’t do this, but you mentioned other girls on our swim team would hang up pictures of girls from the Victoria’s Secret catalogs. I thought only boys did that. But no, the girls did it too. They did it as motivation. Remember, those are airbrushed ladies. By the way, that’s not what people look like, but they still put them up there as motivation for themselves. What happened? Of course, she stopped excelling as a swimmer because she went swimming anymore. She was just trying to show off, she stopped doing much of anything actually, she goes back and she looks with regret and all of her missed goals and missed relationships because she was obsessed with her body. That’s an overemphasis, others under emphasize the body, though, because the body is not important. It’s the spiritual that matters most right? And so who cares what happens with it? This is actually how Greg Allison starts his book embodied. He tells a story of a man named Drake, who came to see him in his office as a student at the time. And he was in bad shape physically, like, couldn’t sleep, constipated, you know, out of breath all the time and all this stuff like clearly just messed up physically struggling with anxiety struggling with all the rest. And Dr. Allison began asking him like, so what are you eating? That was junk food, by the way is all that you know, like, how often do you sleep like I just told you I had insomnia. I don’t ever sleep, you know, like, so he actually started get angry with Dr. Allison for asking him physical questions. When he wanted a spiritual diagnosis, like, Hey, you got demonic activity in your life? And like, No, you’re eating 20 Cheetos. That’s your problem. Like that was the problem here. But he didn’t want to hear it. That’s an under emphasis. And these, by the way cause divisions in the church, don’t they? Like we know we got judgment going both ways. Here. The people who are in good shape eating well exercising all the time, looking down on the fat slobs in the congregation, or on the other side, those who are going to look they’re clearly worshipping their body. Right? I mean, I’ve had I remember going to exercise when I was a teenager going to exercise with my buddy and somebody else saying, There you guys are off, you know, heading your temple to worship, your body’s going I was like, like exercises worshiping my body like I didn’t. But that’s the disdain that we start to feel for each other. The good news is that the Bible threads this needle. It has a proper emphasis on our bodies as part of ourselves. I am my body and my body is the Lord’s. Think of First Timothy four. Again, we saw First Timothy four last week, where Paul says, you know, people who are, like, inspired by demons teach things like you should abstain from certain foods and not get married. So very bottling, and Paul says, no, no, we received these things with thanksgiving. And there’s nothing wrong with them. What happens right after that, we’re just like a few verses later, First Timothy four verses seven. And he’s going against all that false teaching, but it culminates there at the end, rather, train yourselves to be godly. There’s discipline that needs to happen if we were to grow in godliness, we would expect in light of the context here, we’re talking about some of these physical areas like eating insects, that he would have a physical implication, sure enough, we see it. Here’s First Timothy four, verse eight, for physical training is of some value. But godliness has value for all things holding promise, both for the present life and the life to come. Right physical training has some value like mere exercise, as a non Christian as somebody who rejects God entirely. Mere exercise still has some value, but as Christians who are disciplining ourselves for godliness? Well, of course that discipline then would include the physical as well. So yes, the spiritual disciplines prayer, fasting, study, memorization, meditation, silence, solitude, you name it, of course. But bodily discipline to exercise, eating, sleep. Let’s look at this for a moment. Okay, so exercise like we know the value that exercise has physically promotes health, health, reduces the risk of disease and early death. But there is a spiritual element to this too, isn’t there? Like I remember a journey group leader some years ago, as someone who’s prepping to lead a new group. And we always have a little conversation of like, if you’re gonna take on this responsibility, what do you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing so that you’ve got the time and energy to do all this? And this guy, he said, what he needed to start doing was exercising, so that he would have energy at the end of the night to lead his group? Well, because he could just tell he was he was done by the end of the day. Like there you see the spiritual benefit of exercise is actually a loving act for others. What does it look like in terms of eating? Of course, here, we’re talking about a nutritious diet. You know, we’re not that when we hear the word diet today, most of us think like that crash experience right before swimsuit season or something. That’s not what the Bible would be talking about here. We’re talking about eating well regulate. It’s actually another moment where natural law comes in. Talk natural law last week, there are things that we are supposed to put into our bodies. And there are things that we really probably shouldn’t put into our bodies, and some other things we should put into our bodies in very limited quantities. And we want to get those proportions right because we see God’s good design and how he made us and how he made the world but also looks like times of regular fasting. But also times of regular feasting. I mentioned scripture commands feasting. We see a lot of great feasts there commanded in the Old Testament, certain times we’re gonna celebrate what God had done in the history of Israel. We do this at like Christmas and Easter and stuff, great time to feast. What happens when the prodigal son comes home? Feast? Where are we going? A feast, the wedding supper of the Lamb and His Bride. And of course, the feast that we’re commanded to participate in most regularly is the Lord’s Supper. And then their sleep which I hid last week, right? We sleep so that we stop pretending that we are God. Victor Hugo, the novelist said, go to sleep and peace, God is awake. That’s good, right? That’s the mentality. So here’s the counter example because I want you to see how important this is spiritually. The counter example to all this is Robert Murray machine. A lot of you probably know him Scottish preacher, when the most famous preachers of his day came up with a Bible reading plan that a lot of us still use to this day. In fact, he died of overwork and exhaustion before his 30th birthday. Because he didn’t do this stuff. He said this as he was dying, he said, The Lord gave me a horse to ride and a message to deliver. Alas, I’ve killed the horse and cannot deliver the message. I want you to notice something in that. Did you see how bad his theology the body was? The Lord gave me a horse to ride. It’s not me my body. It’s just an instrument for something else. No, I am, my body began to sow into the body, right, he probably wouldn’t have died at 29. But he also recognized even with that bad theology, the body that he’d messed up what he did with a horse, even though it’s not a horse, really pointed out in his pulse devotional this week that this is a form of idolatry, right? This kind of over work, trusting in our own strength. And we need to discipline our body so that we can serve God for the long haul. You know, Paul’s using athletic imagery in First Timothy four for good reason, right? Because athletes do this. Well, they eat well, they exercise well. They also know how to rest.
So Michael Jordan, undisputed greatest basketball player of all time, can I get an amen? Thank you. We in Chicago, right? Okay. You know, he was famous for you know, you did all that stuff. Of course, too. Like, there were times when he would just walk back on defense. Everybody else is hustling back on defense, he would walk back because he knew he need to play all four quarters, the team was gonna win kind of thing. And so he would conserve his strength. Sometimes we got to walk back on defense, because we’re not God, we got to rest. We got to eat well, we got to exercise my body is the Lord and it is meant to be a discipline body. So what should you do walking out of here? In this area, at least I would say evaluate. Where are you in terms of exercise, eating and sleep, and maybe develop a plan of discipline, something that we can talk about in our community groups as well. There is one more point to be made here. Because we cannot eat or exercise our way to immortality. You can eat as well as possible you can exercise as often as you should, you can sleep well every night and your body is still decaying, and you will die. And that truth reminds us that one day, we will get a resurrection body. We said it already this morning, the Apostles Creed right, I believe in the resurrection of the body. That part’s talking about our bodies, not Jesus’s body, our bodies. Yes, Jesus was resurrected to but the first fruits of our resurrection. We see it in this passage, verse 14, by His power, God raise the Lord from the dead end, he will raise us also. And the good news is that we will be raised in power, meaning that we will no longer have those moments of the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, the flesh will finally be strong to obey. That’s the glory of Your coming body. We will obey God perfectly in it. It is not. In other words, when we get to glory with the resurrected body, I’ll have more hair, you’ll have a flatter stomach, right? Like that is not what is being talked about here. What the glory of the bodies that were fully submitted and offered to Jesus so that we honor God with our bodies for the rest of eternity. Like I think we have such a wrong conception in our minds of what a glorified body is. And it is conformed to our culture’s ideals. And of course, our culture is steeped in sin. Like, can I suggest something and I’m guessing this is conjecture? Hear me okay, not scripture conjecture. I’m gonna give you a little scriptural warrant for it, though, in a moment. Like what if we get to glory, and you find out that your resurrected body still has stretch marks? Or that as a carpenter, you still have calloused hands. Why? Because that’s part of your glory. That’s the well done good and faithful servant. I did what I was supposed to do in my body and here’s the glory And here’s the scriptural warrant for that when Jesus was raised from the dead, he still had his scars. These weren’t his appendectomy scars. Those probably go away. But they were the scars that revealed His glory, His great love for us. Like I understand some of you are in a broken body right now. And we will all be at the end of our lives because of age or an accident or an infirmity. I mean, you might have been listening last week with, like pain, like fearfully and wonderfully made this. You think this is fearfully and wonderfully made. But the resurrection of our bodies reminds us that it is fearfully and wonderfully made. It is wracked by sin and it is incomplete. But that day is coming from the blind will see and the deaf will hear and the lame will leap for joy. I read two accounts just this past week of human sex trafficking. It is hard to a imagine a more horrific fate than to be literally bought by somebody, not your own, but owned by someone else stripped of all dignity and worth and freedom. And get here in verses 19 and 20. That’s exactly how Paul describes us. You are not your own. You were bought at a price. But here the opposite is true. Of course. This is where true freedom and real dignity is found. Why? Because nothing shows us our worth more than Jesus being willing to shed his own blood for us. That is our only hope and life and death that we are not our own, but belong to God, body and soul. My body is the Lord’s Let’s pray. Father, we pray that You would help us by your Spirit indwelling us even now to honor you with our bodies. We are yours. You made us all of us in this room. And if we belong to you by grace through faith, then we are yours twice over because you’ve redeemed us as well. We’ve been bought at a price we are so deeply and dearly loved. Would you help us Lord, to love you in return? By doing all that we can to offer every part of ourselves to you as instruments of righteousness for the glory of your name, amen.

© 2020 Cityview Community Church