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1. Temple Maintenance:

 

You and Your Body

1 Corinthians 6:20 'You were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.'

Romans 12:1 'I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.'

Your body is important

Some teach that the body is a hindrance, tying us down to this material world, and that what matters is the realm of the spirit, where we can soar away to higher things. But this is not biblical Christianity. The Bible teaches that the body is important…Your body: a temple of the Holy Spirit

1. Because Jesus came in bodily form

He didn't come purely as a spirit-being, but 'the Word became flesh' (John 1:14).

Hebrews 10:5 'When Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me."'

2. Because Jesus has a glorified body now

After his resurrection Jesus did not 'graduate' out of his body to some higher spirit-realm. He was not a ghost but retained a real body (Luke 24:39).

His resurrection body did, however, have greater powers. He apparently had the ability, for example, to appear in a locked room without coming through the door (John 20:19-20, 26). In this same resurrection body he later ascended to the Father's presence (Acts 1:9-10). He has that same body now.

3. Because our bodies are 'temples of the Holy Spirit'

A temple is the special and honoured place where a god dwells. Our bodies are worthy of great honour if the Holy Spirit of God has chosen to live there:

1 Corinthians 6:19 'Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?'

Toothbrush: personal hygiene4. Because Scripture assumes that we care for our bodies

To give attention to your body isn't a waste of time. It's natural and proper:

Ephesians 5:28-29 'Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no-one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it.'

5. Jesus' healing ministry confirmed the body's value

A large part of Jesus' public ministry was devoted to restoring sick and ailing bodies to healthy normality. His was not merely a ministry of 'saving souls'. He addressed the needs of the whole person, the body included.

6. Our eternal state is to be a bodily one

Your ultimate destiny, at Christ's return, is to have a resurrection body like his. You won't for ever be a spirit-being. The transformation that will take place is called by Paul 'the redemption of our bodies' (Romans 8:23). Elsewhere he describes it as being 'clothed with our heavenly dwelling', in contrast to 'this tent', or mortal body, in which we now live (2 Corinthians 5:4).

Philippians 3:20-21 'Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.'

The body's needs and drives

In the meantime, your body's needs and drives are all God-given and therefore good. They are:

Malachi 4:2 'For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.'

Self-control by the Holy Spirit

While it's true that all these physical drives are God-given and good, they can quickly get out of hand if not kept in check. They then become means by which sin can take hold. The best preventive against bodily excess is the development of the spiritual side of your being:

Galatians 5:16 'Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.' (NASB)

Only when the impulses of the soul (mind, will and emotions) and body are kept subservient to your spiritual drive will you enjoy true freedom in living. Paul saw the importance of self-control in this area when he said:

1 Corinthians 9:27 'I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.'

How, in practice, can you exercise this self-control? What does it mean to 'beat' your body and make it your slave? It will include:

Right eating and drinking, and fastingThe four basic food groups

Proverbs 23:20-21 'Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.'

Ephesians 5:18 'Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.'

This verse teaches that the key to avoiding bodily excess is being filled with the Holy Spirit. If you're filled with the Spirit, part of whose fruit is self-control (Galatians 5:23), you'll be able to exercise restraint.

EatingThe Bible assumes that we will fast from time to time. Jesus, who said: 'When [not if] you pray' (Matthew 6:6) also said: 'When [not if] you fast' (Matthew 6:16). See also Acts 13:2-3.

Sexual restraints

The world sees it as normal to be sexually promiscuous. But in his love and grace, God only permits sexual expression within the marriage bond:

1 Corinthians 7:2 'Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband .'

We'll be looking at the whole subject of sex in some detail in Lesson 7. In the meantime, God's word to you is, 'Keep yourself pure' (1 Timothy 5:22).

An ordered life

Sleep is a gift of God, and you need rest and relaxation to function efficiently. But unless you take care, it's all too easy to lapse into idleness and time-wasting.

Discover your sleep requirements and, as far as possible, tailor the rest of your life accordingly. If youSleeping need seven hours of sleep, don't take nine. For most of us, the set hours of school or job give a basic structure to our day. If, out of every twenty-four hours, you sleep eight and work eight, that still leaves you eight to organise—more than enough time to do all you want to do and ought to do. Plan those precious eight hours to the best advantage:

Ephesians 5:15-16 'Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.' (NASB)

Set goals in every area of life. Check periodically as to how well you are succeeding. Don't let the TV rule your life. Exert your mastery over time and leisure!

Fitness and grooming

Mind, emotions and spirit function best in a healthy body. Since normal living today often fails to keep us physically fit, you need to build some kind of exercise into your personal schedule.

1 Timothy 4:8 'Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.'

Caring for your appearanceIt goes without saying that smoking and drug-taking can have no place in your life as a Christian. They offer no benefits whatever and are proven dangers to good health. Steer clear of polluting the temple of the Holy Spirit with such activities. Also, think twice before yielding to the trend towards tattoos and body-piercing.

Proper attention to personal hygiene and good grooming will add the finishing touches of proper self-respect to you as a man or woman of God who's healthy in spirit, soul and body.

Appearance and mannerisms

These should express your sexual identity. The blurring of the difference between the sexes so common in our generation is strongly opposed by the teaching of Scripture. For example:

Deuteronomy 22:5 'A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing , for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.'

This is not to deny a woman her trouser-suit or a Scotsman his kilt but to warn against the onset of transvestism or similar sexual perversion. In general, if you're a man, aim to look like a man; if you're a woman, aim to look like a woman. See 1 Corinthians 11:14-15.

Remember, you're God's shop-window to the world. People can't see into your mind or spirit; all they can see is your outward appearance. So let them see something that commends the Lord.

Learn
by heart

1 Corinthians 6:20  'You were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.'

Heart

GiG1: You And Your Body
Woman exercising
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