15-November-2020

Stewardship of The Body
Text: “Or know you not that your body is a temple of the Holy spirit which is in you, which you have from God? And you are not your own; for you were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body”.  1 Cor, 6: 19-20
Full passage is: 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20
I am sure that you like your body.
Well, maybe not the shape it is in.
It changes shape way to easily.
I have been encouraging us to view all that we have, in ourselves, in our possessions and our abilities as a trust from our maker.
Today we come to the vessel in which we live, our bodies.
Have you had an out of the body experience?
I was given morphine for the pain of my “accident”.
It was a unique experience.
When I perked up for the next shot the nurse said, “No more for you”.
I had a new reference point for addicts.
Then when I had some work done on my body I was told that as I came out of the drug to knock me out I would have an out of the body experience.
As I woke up I heard the nurse say for me to take a deep breath.
As I pondered if I wanted to take a deep breath I felt and heard my body do it.
I was disconnected from what was going on.
That is a strange experience.
In my death experience it became apparent that there was a part of me separate from the body that this part of me was living within.
All of this is to establish that fact that there is a part of us that dwells within what we call our body.
Our body is a temporary home for the Spirit that comes from God.
Life on this earth is a gift from God the Father.
Is it our proving ground or is it just a temporary gift?
I guess we will know that when we exit this body for our Eternal Home.
All of this has become very real for me since my experience.
I no longer have to just believe for I know that my existence will be going to be with God in His Kingdom.
What a comfort that is!
I was pleading with God to remove all doubt of His existence, and He did!
As I like to say, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
We are speaking today of the stewardship of our bodies.
Paul took a high view of the body, its care and discipline were an essential part of his thought.
Would Paul have agreed with the proverb, Cleanliness is next to Godliness”?
No doubt he would have said, “Cleanliness is a part of Godliness, especially so if you understand this to include ethical and moral cleanliness”.

Paul did nothing to impair the functions of his body, to enfeeble its powers, or to prostitute it to base uses.
Concerning the relation of the body to religion, human opinion oscillated between two extremes.
On the one hand, some have considered the body to be the seat of sin and have set themselves to degrade and debase it with every indignity and torture.
But sin must be dealt with in the heart and soul, where it has its inception.  See James 1:14-15.
If we overcome bad thoughts and evil suggestions, we will not have so much trouble with the body.
The other extreme was represented in the Greek religion.
The temples that stand in ruins, the works of art that have survived the rages of time, the poetry and literature that have survived, all sustain and illustrate the devoting of the Greek mind to beauty.
Surely it ought to be evident that our modern society with its cult of “body beautiful,” its worship at Aphrodite’s shrine of sex appeal, is more inclined to go along with the Greeks than with those who suppressed and debased their bodies.
Both extremes are wrong.
There are two ways not to be spiritual.
Undue and unnatural suppression of the body will make one materialistic, as will unbridled and uncontrolled indulgence.
Both put a disproportionate emphasis on the body.
One cannot do that and be a spiritual person.
The Christian position is that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the instrument of the mind, the dwelling place of the inner person.
In considering its stewardship, give attention to four questions.
The Body: Whose is it?
The body is God’s.
This is why, as far as our bodies are concerned, we have a stewardship of it.
Our body belongs to God for he designed and made it.
From ancient times people have studied the heavenly bodies, yet until the modern era, they never dared to investigate the human body.
The scientific study of anatomy dates back to the work of Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius and the publication of the book, On the Fabric of the Human Body.
Today what doctor would say, hundred years later, that medical science has no need of further knowledge of the body?
Centuries ago the psalmist said, “I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.  Ps139 What would he have said had our modern knowledge of anatomy been available to him?
We are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Think of those giants of the body: the brain, the heart, the lungs.

Even primitive humans sensed that these organs played dramatic roles within the body, through their functions long remained clothed in mystery and superstition.
How wonderfully is it made with eyes, ears, nose, throat, and skin.
They input information to the brain so it can stay in contact with the world around us.
We sense its delights and angers for an appropriate response.
Together the muscles, nerves, and bones give us the control we need to carry out the incredibly complex commands of the bran.
All the inner organs and chemical wonders work together to make us capable to function.
God designed and created it.
For God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of live, and man became a living soul.  Gen. 2:7
Being God breathed sets us apart from the animals.
We posses the very breath of God.
We, then, enjoy the privileges of participating in the good worlk with the capacities of growth and fellowship with God.
And the Body is God’s for he redeemed it.
“Now thus saith Jehovah that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel: fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name, you are mine.”  Isa. 43:1
Just believe, this word and your body, your life, becomes sacred, and daily living a sacrament.
Then you will agree with Paul when he said, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God”.
Romans 12:1
The body: what is it?
Our bodies are a dwelling place, the house of the inner person.
“We know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.”  2 Cor. 5:1
The body is the dwelling place of our minds, our rational nature.
God made man in his image after his likeness.
This is most likely in reference to our
Spirit being a part of His Spirit.
It must be our rational, moral and spiritual nature that is made in the image of God.
The body is also the dwelling place of the human sprit and soul.
We have a body; we are a soul.
It is good to take care of the body but only as we would care for a complex and fine piece of machinery made to serve us.
For the Christian the body is the dwelling place, the instrument of the soul.
For the Christina the body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
For: “He abideth with you, and shall be in you”. John14:17.
“Or know you not that your body is a temple”?
Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
All to often we are filled with something else.
It is often ourselves that pushes the Holy Spirit out.
 
The Body: How should we use it?
We can be unfaithful in our stewardship of the body and use it for wrong purposes.
How about this: whatever impairs the body’s normal functions is wrong and is a sin.
Putting harmful substances in the body for our pleasure is the misuse of God’s body.
Whatever enfeebles the body’s power is wrong, whatever makes it old before its time is sin.
Sort of like: if I had known I would live so long I would have taken better care of myself.
Any impurity is wrong.
We must not do anything which is an affront to the Spirit that lives within us.
Whatever defiles the body is wrong.
We must be careful to never defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Uncontrolled passion is the wrong use of the body.
Such as in the story of the prodigal son.
We can easily be like him and we will need to return to the Father.
How about the uses of the body that God intended?
Instruments of his worship and praise.
Vehicles of righteousness.
The outward man must decrease while the spiritual man increases.
We might be wearing out a body but we are growing a soul.
God intends for our bodies to be instruments of his glory.
We must pray that Christ be magnified in our bodies.
The Body: What of it?
To what conclusions are we to come?
In ancient Greece there was a thinker named Porphyry who was so devoted to the life of the Spirit that he was ashamed of his body.
There could be no greater error.
The supreme revelation of God was in his taking on human flesh in the person of his Son.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
This is why Christians must think of their bodies as sacred.
Jesus, our savior, had a human body subject to all the ills and pains that flesh is heir to.
He shared our sorrows and woes but not our sins.
Wherefore, let no one despise his or her body, abuse it, pollute it, defile it, or fail to be a steward of it.
God himself once took on a human body.
To speak thus is to put our finger on one of the most precious elements of Christian hope.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “So also in the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown . . . A Physical body; it is raised a Spiritual body.  If there is a Physical body, there is also a Spiritual body.  1 Cor, 15:42-44
What does he mean, a spiritual body?
We cannot know fully.

But we do know this: the body is the carrier of our individuality, and that individuality survives the grave.  I speaking of a spiritual body, the New  Testament is saying that, by God’s grace, we have a means by which we can be known nm the other side.
Meanwhile, let us wear the physical body well.
Knowing it belongs to the Lord  God Almighty and he has entrusted us to use it to his glory and our neighbor’s benefit.

 

 

 

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