Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Mystery of the Body

"...he is the saviour of the body." Ephesians 5:23

"Can't live with it and can't live without it." At least, that's the way most of us feel about our bodies. About the time we're old enough to stop flaunting and abusing it, we find out, like everything else, it wears out. And it seldom looks or functions to the level of perfection we've come to expect. What's worse, as a new Believer, one of the first things you find out is that the default setting on your body hasn't changed; it's still vulnerable to the temptation to sin. You and I can "walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25); but we'll have to do it in the body. But, if I may, I'd like to put forth an argument in appreciation, if not praise, for the body you and I inhabit. I promise not to give it any more recognition than God does.

To my mind, the greatest endorsement for the body is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. As one writer has asked, "If human flesh and sin were indistinguishable, do you think the Word would have become flesh?" Sin starts much deeper, and works it's way out through willing flesh, in the same way that an apple rots from the inside out. It was not Christ's body that made Him sinless; and I would contend it's not our bodies that make us sinful. They're merely "instruments," says Paul, of righteousness or unrighteousness (Rom. 6:13). In the case of Jesus, they were ever and always "instruments of righteousness." He lived a life of perpetual sinlessness; and He did it in a body like yours and mine.

Not only that, can we not see Christ's high estimate of the body by the was He compassionately healed the sick and raised the dead? It may be argued that He only did it to prove His Deity and authority, but one time would have sufficed for that. He did it over and over, to the point that He could hardly rest. He would not bother to settle a dispute between two brothers over property (Jno. 11); but when He saw a poor widow following the corpse of her only son, He had such compassion for her that without being asked, He raised the boy back to life (Lk. 7). She would have seen that boy again one day, no doubt, just as Mary and Martha would have seen their brother, Lazarus, again in the resurrection. But Jesus knew these people felt an attachment to the bodies of their loved ones. And I can tell you, He understands when you and I feel that same attachment. As my young niece said at that graveside of her father, my brother, "I know he isn't in that body, but I loved that body!" And so did the Lord.

Finally, God has promised to raise our bodies one day, so that we'll have them when we meet Him. Paul says in 2 Corinthians five that our bodies that were the temple of the Holy Spirit of God will one day "clothe" again the souls that inhabited them. We will share with our Savior the glory of an empty grave! Jesus Christ is the Savior of our souls and the Savior of our bodies. He has claimed them both for His own.

Now that I've pled my case for the body in which you and I live, I want to see if I can help us understand how God...or  Satan...can use it; because, remember, for all practical purposes, it's an "instrument." How and by whom will it be used, and what will be the outcome? We'll make that our goal for next time, I promise. See you then!


  1. Hi, Salle
    I have been remiss to keep in touch with your blog. I used to get your email weekly, or however often you were sending them out, so I 'forget' to view your blog! And we all would love to be rid of our mortal bodies with their aches and pains, but God has a purpose in all his ways, doesn't He?! I am no young chick anymore, not pretty in the mirror and it seemed to happen over night. But maybe I should not set my affection on my 'body' and 'let it go' and just be that 'instrument' for the glory of the Lord. I will enjoy reading your next post on that 'take'.
    Have a blessed week!
    Teresa in California

  2. You're so right, Teresa. We're "fearfully and wonderfully made," but as I said, these bodies do wear out. The good news is, God can use less than perfect bodies. :) I plan to "flesh" that out a little bit in my next installment, which should be up tomorrow, or the next day. By the way, if you want to receive these in your home email, just let me know. Whatever is most convenient for you. I pray God will use me to be a blessing and encouragement to you, dear lady. ~ EnJOY the Lord! Salle