On Monday night we started our series looking at what the Lordship of Christ and the message of the gospel mean for our practical, everyday living. Here are the notes from the study. (Sorry about the delay…sinus infections affect posting, I guess!)
First, we took a few minutes to lay out the basic ideas that would drive our study. These are some of the foundational truths for a Christian worldview, and they are necessary to understand to make sense of the details of our study over the next few weeks.
- God is the maker of everything: Gen 1:1
- We are made in His image: Gen 1:26-28 (e.g. we are both part of creation (not God) and unique in it)
- God is Lord—the supreme authority, who is present with controlling power. Duet 4:39-40, Is 46:9-10
- Christ is Lord of everything: Matt 28:18
- All we do can (should) glorify Him: 1 Cor 10:31, Col 3:17
- He has sent us to teach His commands: Matt 28:19-20
Then we got into the topic for the night: Christ is Lord of our physical bodies.
During the discussion time, we noted that if you asked our contemporary culture some basic questions about who we are as humans and what our bodies are, it wouldn’t be able to return answers.
- Do you know what you are? The culture’s answer: We don’t know? An Animal? Nothing but matter? A part of God?
- Do you know what your body is for? The culture’s answer: Living out what you want? Experiencing pleasure?
- Do you know why you look the way you do? The culture’s answer: Genetics? No purpose at all.
Here’s the outline of the study:
A. Gen 1:26-28 → Observations
1. Our physical bodies are part of the image of God. God created a physical earth, so He gave us physical bodies to inhabit it.
2. We are “made in His image.” That is, we are the part of that creation that best shows who He is. Or you could say, our bodies show physically and visibly things that are true about God spiritually and invisibly. He sees, so we have eyes. He hears, so we have ears. Etc…
3. Our Creator gave us bodies to display, visibly, Who He is. (To show how glorious He is.)
- Our Creator has the right to tell us what to do with our bodies.
- Our bodies are high, holy, glorious things.
However…we fell. We now see the image of God marred.
B. John 1:14 → The Gospel has good news for our bodies. Christ took on a body to take our physical penalty, physical death.
C. Luke 24:36-43 → The Gospel shows that our bodies are eternal things. Jesus was resurrected physically, with a real body. In His resurrection, Christ showed that the body is “stamped as belonging to eternity.” Thus, as Christians we are now “doubly owned” by God: first by right of creation, then by right of redemption. And, we can see our bodies as part of the work of God which belongs to eternity.
D. 1 Cor 6:12-20 → Paul uses this kind of reasoning, especially the fact that our bodies will be raised, to argue against Christians committing sexual sin.
So: Our bodies, imperfect as they are now, have real meaning, real purpose, real value.
Other helpful scriptures: 1 Cor 6:12-20; Rom 8:9-23, Rom 6:12-13, Rom 12:1, Cor 4:7-11, 2 Cor 5:10, Phil 1:19-20, I Thess 5:23,
Lordship: Your body was made with a very high purpose, by a glorious Creator. It has a mission bound up with the physical universe. It belongs to the one who created it…it is for Him to use however He wants in order to bring Him glory in some unique way.
Gospel: The Creator Himself took on a body in order to give any who believe the chance to experience a complete transforming regeneration. Jesus’ resurrection shows that faith in Him means your body is part of God’s eternal plan for you. Your body is eternal. It can also do eternal things. What it does now is show the truth of what is inside the heart. It is the monitor screen for faith or unbelief. One day it will be redeemed.
Applying these truths to practical issues:
1. How we display our bodies. (What we wear.) We can answer questions about how we should dress by understanding and applying the truths about what are bodies are and what they are for. Our clothing choices should be shaped by the fact that our physical bodies are for the purpose of displaying God’s glory and calling attention to Him, not for calling attention to ourselves.
2. What we use our bodies to do.
- Pleasure – The senses are from God, for beauty, food, music, sports, sexuality,
- in the ways that agree with His purpose…
- Discipleship – Christ calls me to use my body to make disciples
- Creating – we can use our bodies to create things that display Him
- Work – it is honorable to use my body to work to eat and provide
- Eating – not idolatry, pleasure in his gifts
- Sexuality – Not simply for pleasure, for God’s use. God gives pleasure in covenant.
- Entertainment – it’s about our purpose…
- Violence – not for personal vengeance. Gen 9:6, murder destroys God’s image
- Abortion – the human body is part of God’s image…
- Intoxication – not simply for pleasure, this impairs my ability to use my body for God.
- Speech – the tongue makes our thoughts physical
3. How we care for our bodies.
Here the issue is body neglect vs. body worship → Use the purpose of God, and your calling, to determine the balance.
4. Where we go with our bodies. (The “members” in Romans 6)
Questions to guide our daily lives:
- Is this in line with what God created me for?
- Will this display God’s greatness?
- Does this show that Christ bought me and owns me?
- Does this make sense in light of what an awesome, eternal thing my body is?