Quotes about Body
They that would keep themselves pure must have their bodies in subjection, and that may require, in some cases, a holy violence.
Modern Christians, especially those in the Western world, have generally been found wanting in the area of holiness of body. Gluttony and laziness, for example, were regarded by earlier Christians as sin. Today we may look on these as weaknesses of the will but certainly not sin. We even joke about our overeating and other indulgences instead of crying out to God in confession and repentance.
Quite possibly there is no greater conformity to the world among evangelical Christians today than the way in which we, instead of presenting our bodies as holy sacrifices, pamper and indulge them in defiance of our better judgment and our Christian purpose in life.
As we become soft and lazy in our bodies, we tend to become soft and lazy spiritually. When Paul talked about making his body his slave, so that after having preached to others he himself would not be disqualified, he was not thinking about physical disqualification, but spiritual. He knew well that physical softness inevitably leads to spiritual softness. When the body is pampered and indulged, the instincts and passions of the body tend to get the upper hand and dominate our thoughts and actions. We tend to do not what we should do, but what we want to do, as we follow the craving of our sinful nature.
We have to take control of our bodies, and make them our servants instead of our masters.
To put to death the misdeeds of the body, then, is to destroy the strength and vitality of sin as it tries to reign in our bodies.
Bodily exercise will profit nothing if abstracted from those more spiritual. The glory that God hath, and the comfort and advantage that will accrue to your souls is mostly from the spiritual exercise of religion.
Discipline, for the Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.
The Scriptures teach…that persons have two constituent parts that exist in one unique whole; these constituent parts are called the “body” and “spirit” or the “inner person” and the “outer person.” The two elements may be distinguished but cannot ultimately be separated. Both are an essential aspect of a human being. Christians, therefore, should never discount either the spirit or the body. We do not counsel people to overcome their physical distress with some sort of “mind over matter” willpower. Instead, in harmony with Scripture, we take the body seriously. Scripture affirms that people need food (James 2:15-16), water (Rom. 12:20), and sleep (Eccl. 5:12). Paul affirmed the use of medicinal substances for the body (1 Tim. 5:23).
There is no use trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it. I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity taught that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body – which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, and that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy.
If your body makes all the decisions and gives all the orders, and if you obey, the physical can effectively destroy every other dimension of your personality. Your emotional life will be blunted and your spiritual life will be stifled and ultimately will become anemic (Michael Quoist).
You were placed here to train for eternity. Your body was only intended to be a house for your immortal spirit. It is flying in the face of God’s purposes to do as many do – to make the soul a servant to the body, and not the body a servant to the soul.
The biblical view of the body is…quite positive:
1. God created us as physical beings. We are both material and immaterial (Gen. 2:7).
2. The body must be distinguished from the flesh.
3. The importance of the body is seen in the fact that:
a. Our bodies were redeemed by the blood of Christ no less than our souls (1 Cor. 6:20).
b. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
c. Our bodies are designed “for the Lord” (1 Cor. 6:13).
d. Our bodies are members of Christ Himself (1 Cor. 6:15).
e. Our bodies are capable of being sinned against (1 Cor. 6:18).
f. Our bodies are to be used to honor God (1 Cor. 6:20).
4. Our bodies will be resurrected and glorified. In other words, we will spend eternity as physically glorified beings (Rom. 8:11, 23; 1 Cor. 15:35-49).
5. At the judgment seat of Christ we will have to give an account for what we have done in our bodies.
Whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind – that thing is sin to you.
No second class citizen, the body is a “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19) and is indispensable to the activity of the heart. Without it we would have no access to the physical world and we simply would not be persons. Accordingly, Paul could not imagine a person without a corporeal nature (1 Cor. 15). The whole person consists of body and heart together. Both are essential and neither can function in the material realm in isolation of the other.
[The body] is the mediator of moral action rather than the initiator. In a sense, it is equipment for the heart. It does what the heart tells it to do; it is the heart’s vehicle for concrete ministry and service in the material world. In this capacity, it is not the source of sin and is never called sinful.
Our bodies are inclined to ease, pleasure, gluttony, and sloth. Unless we practice self-control, our bodies will tend to serve evil more than God. We must carefully discipline ourselves in how we “walk” in this world, else we will conform more to its ways rather than to the ways of Christ.