Your body was created by God and it is very good. If that doesn’t feel true to you, this episode is for you.
We’re challenging the lie that says your body is to blame. And that’s harder than it sounds.
What would it look like to allow the words in this podcast to make their way from your ears to your brain, to your heart all the way to your fingertips? Be willing to believe your body is not the enemy.
This shift in mindset matters so much as you find yourself wrestling with temptation and sin. Your body is an ally, fight for it not against it.
Jesus himself saw fit to move into the human body. God is not against your body. He is for it.
God is not against our bodies. God is for our bodies.
If our bodies are bad then the incarnation of Christ ceases to make sense.
Jesus became flesh – fully God and fully human. The incarnation of Jesus is affirmation of the goodness of the body.
Whether you’re wrestling against pornography, food, alcohol – Consider your battle to be not against your body but FOR your body. How does that change your approach? Your choices?
Romans 8 We are waiting the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
1 Corinthians 6 “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 bodies.”
“That which He has not assumed He has not healed.” Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
For more on this topic, check our latest article What It Means When Your Flesh Is Weak
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
Years ago, I remember watching I think was Saturday live skit, I’m not sure if some late night skit and I remember there was a guy on the in the skit who had this affliction and the affliction was that these red laser beams red lights would come out his eyes and point exactly on where he was looking. And so if he looked at, you know, somebody’s wallet on a desk, they would know he’s looking at the wallet, if he’s reading over the shoulder, they would know he’s reading over the shoulder, he’s looking at a part of a woman’s body that he shouldn’t be looking at, then that person would know and you got it all sorts of trouble with it. And his key line throughout the thing was, every, every time he’d get discovered for looking somewhere just glancing somewhere that that somebody might miss perceive. He would say, damn these eyes, damn these eyes. Why to bring it up, I bring it up. Because a lot of us I think, including us Christians, we live with a mindset that is against our bodies against our eyes. I think in the realm of sexuality, I think in the realm of eating, I think in the realm of aging, I think a lot of us approach our bodies as though our bodies are the enemy. So our bodies are against the life we really want. And it’s understandable because we feel lots of stuff in our bodies, that isn’t good, we get sick in our bodies, it doesn’t feel good. I mean, obviously, there’s something wrong. When we sin, we sin with our bodies, we eat too much we sin sexually, we, we drink too much, I mean, etc, etc. That’s what we do with our bodies. And so we and even our bodies, as I mentioned here on this podcast before, sometimes our bodies, even in the area of temptation, our bodies can feel pleasure, they they that’s where we feel we feel moving us towards temptation and things that God has forbidden us to do. So we can take on this position where we kind of have that same mindset, you know, damn this body. The guy who founded our ministry shares that before he came to Christ, he and a co worker of his they were nominal Christians. And they used to talk they used to say things like, you know, I can’t wait till I go to heaven. And I’m finally free from this body, and I can just be a spirit floating around. I remember growing up thinking that, you know, when we die, we became angels. Well, the truth is that Christianity doesn’t teach that when we die become angels. And Christianity doesn’t teach that when we die, we become spirits. Christianity does not teach that when we die will be rid of our bodies, that we will no longer be embodied creatures. Christianity, that the test that scripture testifies in Christianity really teaches that our bodies are created by God, and that they are very good. And that in the last day, our bodies will be raised again. So God’s heart is not against our bodies. God’s heart is for our bodies. And this matters so much as we are wrestling with temptations and sins and afflictions on this earth that hit our body. Why does this matter? It matters because if we believe that our bodies are the enemy, then we’re going to be fighting against ourselves, if we believe that the wrong enemy is the enemy, and we’ll be fighting against something that’s actually meant to be our ally. So let me unpack this because I believe that actually, sometimes scripture confuses us on this. And we we pick certain passages out and can get more confused about the role of our bodies. I think one of those passages is romans eight. So Paul talks in Romans eight, the first part of Romans eight about the opposition of flesh and spirit. And he says things like, let’s see here, for those who are in accord with the flesh, this is verse five, set their minds on things in the flesh, but those who are in accord of the Spirit, the things of the Spirit, for the mindset in the flesh is death. But the mindset on the spirit is life and peace. Because the mindset in the flesh is hostile toward God for does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so. And those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Well, if we misunderstand what Paul is saying here, we actually end up vilifying our bodies, and, like I said, turning against our bodies, but we know that Christianity doesn’t teach this because, because because the center point of our faith, the center point of our belief is Jesus Christ embodied, that the Word became flesh. This is john one, the Word became flesh. So if our bodies are automatically bad, if our bodies are bad, and then the incarnation of Christ ceases to make sense, first of all, the old the ancient heresy of Gnosticism taught that the body in essence had taught that the body is bad the things on Earth, the fleshly things in the physical world is bad. It’s just inherently bad. But the spiritual world is good, the spiritual world is good. And that leads to what that leads to one of two conclusions. One Nasus is in that view of Gnosticism leads people to just indulge the flash because it doesn’t matter anyway, can’t do any good. And so we might as well just indulge it, you know, eat, drink, be merry, have sex spatola. For tomorrow, we die because this is our body, who cares. And I think we see remnants of that in our culture today, you know, the body doesn’t matter, it’s insignificant, even to the point where your body isn’t really you. And so if your body doesn’t feel like you then just change it have surgery, you can even change your quote unquote, change your sex, which Christianity disagrees with, you can’t This is who you are. So So one is we just indulge the body, we just, you know, do whatever with it. The others, we become stoics. And we move that direction where we just try to deprive the body of everything. And I think a lot of Christianity has gone this route as well, where we just have this, we are highly suspicious, our bodies highly suspicious of our bodily desires. And we it because because the body is vilified, we ought not trusted with anything. But this is this is not congruent with what Christianity teaches. It’s not congruent with the testimony of Scripture, Jesus became flesh, he became fully human, even as he retained himself as fully God. So he’s fully God and fully human. And the early church fathers really went to great lengths to teach and as and to support the reality, that the incarnation of Jesus was an affirmation of the goodness of the body. I think it was it was, Which one was it? Athanasius, who talked about when when God moved into the realm of human body, he, in essence, moved into the neighborhood and declared that the body is good. And I think we could extrapolate from that just kind of think about, you know, if somebody, if a really well known, well respected, famous person moved into your neighborhood, that would speak really, really highly of your neighborhood. Well, guess what? God moved into your neighborhood, he moved into your enfleshed experience. And that means that he is dignified forever and ever, in all of creation, the angels look and they go, there’s something special about the human body. How do we know because God Himself, the creator of all saw fit, to move into the human body. This is part of why is the center point of our faith incarnation. The other reason that it’s the central point, or one of the center points of our, the center point of our faith that Christ became flesh. And again, the church fathers taught about this, they said, that which is not assumed, is not healed, that which is not assumed cannot be healed. And what they meant by that was, as human beings afflicted by sin, we are in our condition. And so we can’t, we can’t take ourselves out of our condition, we can’t fix the problem, because we are so enmeshed with the problem. And so we needed someone we needed a power greater than ourselves, we needed our Creator Himself to enter into our condition, to assume our condition, so that we could be rescued from our condition. And so when Jesus became flesh, he assumed into himself, the fullness of our human experience, so that we could be redeemed. So again, all this to say, we don’t want to vilify our bodies. One final point here, I was reading from Romans eight before, read on in Romans eight, and the end of Romans eight Paul talks about how we are awaiting the redemption of our bodies. So why do we seek to to walk in healthy and holy ways bodily? Why do we reject stoicism the vilifies the body? Why do we reject Gnosticism which rejects the body? Why do we reject those those extremes? Why do we reject indulging bodily desires The point is away from God, we do so not because we are against the body, but because we are for the body. Christ becoming flesh means he is for the body. He loves our bodies and actually was not did not see fit to just discard them. But to enter in, they could be raised, they can be redeemed, and that we could come to honor God in our bodies. And Paul writes about that in Romans 12. When he says, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice to God offer your bodies as a living sacrifice. Well, what does that mean? It means that God desires our bodies. Why would we offer our bodies to God? If they were loathsome? Why would we be instructed to offer our bodies to God, if he had no, no appreciation if he did not value them, but he does value them. And Jesus reveals that to us when he became flesh. So, practically speaking, say you’re battling last year, you’re battling some type of unwanted sexual behavior and you feel in your body desire towards a person who’s not your spouse or towards elicit material online. What does it change for you to recognize that this battle is not a battle against your body? But it is a battle for your body? That resisting is not you resisting? Your your, your body? It’s resisting sin on behalf of your body? And how might you even invite your body through because the Holy Spirit in dwells your body, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? Another another testimony that God does not despise our bodies? How might you include your body? in moving away from the unwanted sexual behavior? If you’re wrestling with what you eat? How might you How about knowing that your body is good and that God loves your body? how might that change how you approach your you’re wrestling with or your your journey with food or drink or whatever it else is that you’re wrestling with? What if it’s it’s scrolling through mindlessly through a newsfeed? Why do you pull yourself away? Why do you discipline your body because you love your body because God loves your body? I heard one put it one person put it this way. He said, he said we is not that we have a body. We are a body. Not that we have a body but we are a body. To be a human being is to be both spirit and body. We are this evening fusion of the two. You take the body away and you cease to be human. You take the spirit away and you cease to be human. We are spirit and body. And isn’t that a beautiful thing. God does not want you to split your body off from your spirit. And Matter of fact, he wants to unite his spirit with our spirit in order to give life to our mortal bodies. When final thought here First Corinthians six, Paul writes these promising promising words he says the body is not for sexual immorality. He’s talking about sexual morality in this one section. He says the body is not for sexual immorality. But this is the point. But the body is for the Lord. Meaning God has created your body uniquely, specifically, he has designed your body for the Lord, the Lord fits with your body. The Holy Spirit is meant to reside in your body, that’s the shape of your body. It is a perfect fit. And then he goes on to say, he says your body is made for the Lord and the Lord is for your body. Be blessed with that today. I hope that’s encouraging to you.
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