Summary: God is as interested in our bodies as He is in our spirits. He want us to be healthy body, soul, and spirit.
I Thess 5:23-24, I Tim 2:4, I Cor 6:19-20,
Rom 12:1,I Tim 4:7-8 05/28/06
Why are we at Vineyard Community Church committed to a health and fitness ministry? I Thess 5:23-24
1.Most people think a pastor is not supposed to talk about losing weight, exercise, or motorcycles, or hunting or fishing from the pulpit on Sunday. They think that kind of stuff does not belong in church. Some people think that all we are supposed to talk about on Sunday is getting ready for heaven. Obviously they have not read the Bible. Since the Bible talks about all sorts of stuff; like criminal justice, welfare, civil disobedience, inflation, how to go on vacations. It talks about tort law and caps on civil judgments, private property rights, and about health issues. Some people actually think that talking about healthy living in a church sermon is unspiritual. They think if they want to learn about health they will go to their doctor. Although most doctors would tell you that the majority of office visits are not only physical but emotional and spiritual. Many people don’t see the connection between their spirit and their health. It is interesting that God in the OT clearly made the connection between healthy living and your spirit. Who do you think were the doctors in the OT? The priest, when someone was sick they went to the priest for healing and instructing on living healthy.
2.Paul in the NT saw the connection between our spirit and our body. Turn to I Thess 5:23-24. “May God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
3.We need to see the connection between the body/soul and the spirit. We are triune beings, that means we are comprised of three parts, all three being equal. Most Christians think that their spirit is most important, and the body and the soul are secondary. This is simply not true, it is never taught in the Bible. God is very concerned for your body and you soul as much as He is concerned about your spirit. When we die and go to heaven we will be spirit and soul but there will be a resurrection of our bodies and we will live forever with God as body, soul, and spirit. We are not going to just be spirits floating around in heaven we are going to have bodies!
4.Our spirit is our eternal life that is within us, given to us by God. Our soul is our personal identity, personality, our intellect and our emotions. Our body is our flesh.
What does this mean “sanctify you completely?”
1.“Sanctify you completely” means that God wants to bless you spiritually, physically and mentally. Sanctify actually means to be set apart for special use to make holy. But we have come to think that holy only refers to our spirits. Holiness refers to our spirits, our bodies and our soul. Holiness refers to wholeness. God is not just interested in blessing you spiritually. He wants us to be blessed in all areas of our lives. Paul is not praying that just our spirits be conformed to God but he is praying that our whole man, every aspect of our lives would be conformed to God’s will.
2. What this is saying is that you can’t separate your spirit from your body or your soul. Many today try to compartmentalize their lives. They think that what they do with their bodies does not affect their spirit or their minds, or some think that it does not matter what goes on in their minds, it does not affect their spirit or their bodies. This is just not true, we are the total of spirit, soul and body. They can’t be separated. We are integrated beings, we can’t really separate our souls or our spirits from our bodies.
3. Some of you are sitting there thinking, “Pastor Dave I am having enough trouble just trying to keep my spiritual life on target and now you are telling me that God wants my physical life and my mental thoughts in line with His ways. Wow I don’t know if I can do that.” You are right, YOU can’t do it, but don’t get discouraged, read verse 24, “He who calls you is faithful and also will do it.” God is faithful and will do it, all we need to do is stay close to Him and obey His Holy Spirit. He will do it in us, we just need to listen to Him. We need to believe that He wants to sanctify our bodies and minds. If we don’t think it matters to Him we will make no effort. We know that God is concerned about our spirits and therefore we make an effort to keep our spirits right with Him by repenting when we sin. We need to have the same view about our bodies and out minds. We need to work with God to allow Him to sanctify our bodies and our soul.