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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Many people think of stewardship only in terms of offerings for some worthy cause.

The principle of stewardship applies to every area of life.

“Taking the Stew out of stewardship” is the theme for next few Sunday mornings.

Today we are talking about The Stewardship of the Body.

Text

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMP)

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? 

20 You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.

Scripture Reading

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (AMP)

Prayer

Father, we thank You for the opportunity to think together about You and Your plans for us this morning.

We pray that as a result of our meditating on Your Word and what it teaches us about our physical bodies, that our attitudes may be different and we may in deed and in truth be acceptable stewards of our bodies, which You have so wonderfully designed  and so freely given to us.

Bless us now as we come to you with our offerings on Your alter, acknowledging Your ownership of all we are and all we have.

Bless them to the expansion of Your kingdom on earth.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

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 if you understand this to include ethical and moral cleanliness.”

Paul did nothing to impair the functions of his body, to weaken its powers, or to prostitute it to poor uses.

Concerning the relation of the body to religion, human opinion has moved between two extremes.

On 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 inception.

James 1:14-15 (AMP)

14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 

15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.

If we overcome bad thoughts and evil suggestions, we will not have so much trouble with the body.

The other extreme was represented in Greek religion.

The temples that stand in ruins, the works of art that have survived the centuries, these things all illustrate the devotion 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.

They 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.

We can’t 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.

Let’s look at four questions and try and get some answers.

  1. The body, whose is it?

The body is God’s.

This is why, as far as our bodies are concerned, we have a stewardship.

  1. The body is God’s, He designed it.

From ancient times people have studied the heavenly bodies, yet until modern times, they never dared to investigate the human body.

The scientific study of anatomy about four hundred years, and even today, what doctor would say that four hundred years later, that medical science has no need for further knowledge of the human body?

None!

Centuries ago the Psalmist said, Psalm 139:14 (AMP)

14 I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

What would the Psalmist have said had our modern knowledge of anatomy been available to him?

We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Think of the giants of the body, the brain, the heart, the lungs.

Even primitive humans sensed that these organs played dramatic roles within the body, though their functions remained in mystery and superstition.

Think of the remarkable parts of the body, the eyes, the ears, nose, throat, and skin.

They keep us in contact with the world around us, introduce us to its delights, and protect us from its dangers.

Think of the amazing framework of command and control.

Together the muscles, nerves, and bones give us the control we need to carry out the incredibly complex commands of the brain.

Think of the laboratories of the body, the stomach, the liver, the colan, the gall bladder, the pancreas, and the kidneys.

Think of the chemical balance of the blood and the glands.

God designed the body.

Only He could have done it.

B. The body is God’s He created it.

In the simplest language possible, the creation record tells us the true nature of man.

Genesis 2:7 (AMP)

7 then the Lord God formed [that is, created the body of] man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit].

It is the fact that “God breathed” that makes us humans and different from the animals.

In this sense, Humans are like God, because God’s breath is in them.

Because they have a body, they are like the animals.

Humans, therefore, enjoy the privileges of participating in a good world with the capacities of growth and fellowship with God.

C. The body is God’s, He redeemed it.

Long ago God spoke thus to His people.

Isaiah 43:1 (AMP)

Israel Redeemed

43 But now, this is what the Lord, your Creator says, O Jacob,

And He who formed you, O Israel,

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you [from captivity];

I have called you by name; you are Mine!

Just believe this word, and your body, your life, becomes sacred, and daily living is a sacrament.

You will hear with joy Paul’s appeal to the Roman Christians, Romans 12:1 (AMP)

Dedicated Service

12 Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

2. The body, what is it?

In the simplest terms, the Bible tells us the body is a dwelling place, the house of the inner person.

Paul tells the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 5:1 (AMP)

The Temporal and Eternal

5 For we know that if the earthly tent [our physical body] which is our house is torn down [through death], we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

  1. The body is the dwelling place of our minds, our rational nature.

In the creation records, we are told in, Genesis 1:26 (AMP)

26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.”

Created in the image of God could not refer to man’s body because John 4:24 (AMP) says

24 God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Therefore God has no body like we have.

It must be, then, that the rational, moral, and spiritual nature of humans are all included in the “image of God.”

B. The body is also the dwelling place of the human spirit and soul.

We have a body, we are a soul.

It is good to care for the body but only as we would care for something that is made to serve us.

The Christian body is the dwelling place, the instrument of the soul.

C. Most important for Christians is the body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Our text makes this clear.

Jesus told His disciples the night He was betrayed. 

John 14:17 (AMP)

17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.  

This is the full impact of our text 1 Corinthians 6:19 (AMP)

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?

1 Corinthians 6:20 (AMP)

20 You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.

Too often we are filled with something other than the Holy Spirit.

Too often we are filled with ourselves instead of Him.

3. The body, how should we use it?

There are two sides of the coin to consider.

  1. On the one hand, there are the wrong uses of the body.

This is to be unfaithful in our stewardship.

  1. Whatever impairs the body’s normal functions is wrong.

We know the habitual use of alcohol can cause cirrhosis of the liver and damage parts of the brain.

Who has the right to treat his body this way?

No faithful steward of the body would do it.

Smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases.

How can any pleasure from smoking compensate for damage to the body like that?

The point is that whatever impairs the body’s normal functions is wrong, is sin, and is poor stewardship of the body.

2. Whatever takes away the body’s power is wrong.

Whatever makes it old before its time is sin.

3. Whatever prostitutes the body to its lowest uses is wrong.

In the paragraph our text comes from today comes, fornication, or sexual impurity, that’s the concern at hand.

There is a corporate application in 1 Corinthians 6:15-18 (AMP)

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Am I therefore to take the members of Christ and make them part of a prostitute? Certainly not! 

16 Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall be one flesh.” 

17 But the one who is united and joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 

18 Run away from sexual immorality [in any form, whether thought or behavior, whether visual or written]. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the one who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.

Fornication, as a form of unfaithfulness to God, has no place in the church.

Fornication characterised worship in the temple of Aphrodite in Corinth.

It has no place in the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is the body.

The Holy Spirit, Paul said, cannot be joined to a harlot in versa 16.

4. Whatever defiles the body is wrong.

In the days of Napoleon, when he captured a city he would often stable his horses in the cathedral, or churches.

Think of it!

He let the horses live in the light of stained glass windows before an alter that was meant for prayer.

He defiled the temple.

How often do we dp the same to the body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.

5. Whatever permits the body to become a vehicle of uncontrolled passions is wrong.

When we study the parable of the prodigal son, we see that everything the boy had came from his father.

His body, which he used for the lowest purposes, came from his father.

His body became a vehicle of uncontrolled passions.

Make no mistake, this prodigal is dramatising our lives.

As we look at him we are compelled to say, “There I am, I am that boy.”

B. Now on the other hand, there are the uses of the body that God intended.

  1. God intends that our bodies be used as instruments of His worship and praise.

The parts of the body, the eyes, the tongue, the mind, the emotions, all have important parts to play in worship.

2. God intends that our bodies be vehicles of righteousness.

For the Christian, a twofold process is taking place as the years pass.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 4:16 (AMP)

16 Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day.

The body decays as time destroys it.

But while we are wearing out a body, we are growing a soul.

3. God intends that our bodies be instruments of His glory.

The resurrection body of Christ bore the print of the nails in His hands and of the sword thrust into His side, John 20:27 (AMP)

27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place it in My side. Do not be unbelieving, but [stop doubting and] believe.”

Paul’s battles for Christ left scars on his body, but he did not consider them a disgrace.

They were a badge of honour.

He wrote to the Galatians in, Galatians 6:17(AMP)

17 From now on let no one trouble me [by making it necessary for me to justify my authority as an apostle, and the absolute truth of the gospel], for I bear on my body the branding-marks of Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me].

Paul prayed that Christ might be magnified  in his body in Philippians 1:20 (AMP)

20 It is my own eager expectation and hope, that [looking toward the future] I will not disgrace myself nor be ashamed in anything, but that with courage and the utmost freedom of speech, even now as always, Christ will be magnified and exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Wow, how I pray that that prayer might be ours.

4. The body, what of it?

What conclusion are we to come to?

The supreme revelation of God was in His taking on of human flesh in the person of His Son.

John 1:14 (AMP)

The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). 

This is why we as Christians must think of our body as sacred.

Jesus our Saviour, had a human body subject to all the sickness and pains that the “flesh is heir to.”

He shared all of 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. 

Conclusion.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (AMP)

42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. The [human] body that is sown is perishable and mortal, it is raised imperishable and immortal. 

43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength; 

44 it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. As surely as there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.

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.

In 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 on the other side.

Meanwhile, let us wear this physical body well.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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