Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guarding Our Bodies for the Lord: 1 Corinthians 6:11-20

These verses remind us that the moment we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, God set us changed us from what we were to something that now can bring Him glory and honor. He has washed us, declaring us righteous and setting us apart because of the finished work of Christ. God desires our practice to match the position that He has brought us into. He wants us to live a holy life, but Satan seeks to entrap us in sin and defeat us. One of his methods is get us to misuse our bodies in one way or another. 

But God has made us to be a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and He desires for us to use our bodies to glorify Him by guarding and surrendering our bodies to Him. 

I have heard some people say, "It's my body, so I can do want ever I want with it!" But that really isn't true. As a Christian I belong to God, spirit, soul and body! So lets look at this a little closer and learn what the Word of God says. 

Our Bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit 
These verse remind us that when we admit we are a sinner and realizes that Christ died to pay the penalty of our sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23), that the Holy Spirit indwells us at that very moment. Ephesian 1:13 says, "..Having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the day of redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." The Holy Spirit is given that we might glorify God (John 16:14). The body of the believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. A temple is a place that ought to be holy! It is a place that should be kept clean and pure, undefiled! 

Our Bodies were Bought at a Price 
These verses show us that we now are no longer our own, that we do not belong to ourselves any more. In 1 Peter 1:18-19 Peter reminds us "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by the tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." God has paid a price for us. The Lord Jesus has paid the ransom for our redemption with His precious blood. God has purchased us for now and the future. Paul reminds us over and over again that as a Christian my life is not mine. Listen to these verses: 

"For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. Therefore weather we live or die, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14:7-8). 

"For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus; that if One died for all then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again' (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). 

"Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14). 

So we are not our own but we are His own special people. Our bodies belong to Him! 

Our Bodies are to Glorify God 
Going back to our verses in 1 Corinthian 6, we learn that our bodies are members of Christ (v15). How can we be joined to Christ and think we are independent to do what ever we want. We are bought with the blood of Jesus, redeemed and we have become the property of God. We now belong to Him and should live in a way that please Him! In Romans 6:11-14, 19 Paul puts it this way: 

"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey its lust. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." "For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness." 

There was a time when we were under the power of sin and could not do anything but give into it. But now in Christ we "have died to sin." But we must reckon, consider or count it to be so! We can not allow sin to have control, we are to glorify God in and with our bodies. With every member of our bodies. How do we do that? 

Romans 12 :1-2 challenges us, "I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Notice in these two verses the whole person is involved, body, mind and will. The Christian's body is God's temple because the Spirit of God dwells within us (Romans 8:9). It is our privilege to glorify Christ in our body. Paul desired that "Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:20-21). The Lord also wants to transform our minds (Ephesians 4:17-24, Colossians 3:1-11) and He does that by His Word. But it has been said that "your mind controls your body and your will controls your mind." We must surrender our own will to Him. 

I would like to go back to 1 Corinthians 6, because what seems to plague so many of us today is sexual sins. The Spirit of God knew this and warns us about this in the context of our chapter. Back in verse 12 He reminds us that sexual sins are harmful. They are not profitable! Then He goes on to warn us that sexual has a way of controlling us and says, "I will not be under the power of anything." Then in verses 13-14 the Spirit of God makes it clear that sexual sins God's plan and purposes for the bodies of His people. A Christian's body is for the Lord. But we learn three other things about how sexual sins affect us. They affect us emotionally, (v12) and that is connected with our soul. They also affect us spiritually by block the channels of our relationship and of course sexual sins affect us physically (v 18). 

This is why it is so important for us to present our bodies as a living sacrifices to God. Here are three practical ways to offer your body to God: 

Cleanse your body. We need to detox our bodies.“Let us purify ourselves from every pollution of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness out in God's fear" (2 Corinthians 7:1 JND). The way you pollute your body is by what you eat or drink, and the way you pollute your spirit is by what your see or hear. 

Care for your body. “No one ever hated his own body, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:29). God expects you to take care of your body by keeping it in good shape, getting enough rest, and eating the right foods for good nutrition. Not watching any thing would hurt it, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" (Ps. 101:1). We need to be like Job and make a covenant with our eyes in Job 31:1. 

Control your body. “Each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor (1 Thessalonians 4:4 ESV). This means you tell your body what to do; it doesn’t tell you what to do. Controlling your body also means to have self control “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should do” (1 Corinthians 9:27)

As we think about surrendering our bodies to the Lord, lets think about some of the individual parts of our bodies. For that let's focus on some verses in Proverbs 4:20-27 

Our Heart and Mind. We have looked at verse 23 in detail in a previous study, but look at verse 21. We are to keep the instructions of the Lord at the center of our heart. His Word must have the main stage of my heart. He must have the preeminent place in my heart (Colossians 1:18). 

Our Ears (Prov. 4:20) should be open to ear His instruction like the perfect servant spoken of in Isaiah 50:4, "He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God opened My ear and I was not rebellious nor did I run away." Each morning we ought to wake up ready to hear what the Lord wants to say to us thought His Word. 

Our Tongue, which would include our mouth and our lips (Prov. 4:24) again ought to be like the Lord Jesus who could say, "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a Word in season to him who is weary" (Is. 50:4)

Our Eyes (Prov. 4:25) ought to be looking straight ahead at the Lord Jesus "looking off unto Him the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Our Feet (Prov. 4:26-27) should be running after Him! 

Our Hands ought holy and lifted up to Him for praise, prayer and power for service (1 Timothy 2:8). 

Our bodies our gifts from the Lord and we should guard and protect it in a way that would bring Him glory and honor and show the world that we are set apart for Him.

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