Finding God's Direction for Your Physical Body
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Sermon Summary

This message discusses the fact that God wants us to take care of our physical body. Some folks take great care of their body but neglect their spiritual lives, but by the same token, there are those who are very focused on spiritual things while they neglect to care for their physical body. The Bible tells us that our physical body is actually the temple of the Holy Spirit and as such we should seek to honor God with our physical body. Sometimes we forget that our witness to the world can be seriously hindered if our  physical body is obviously neglected and uncared for. There are people with physical maladies they can do nothing about and in that case they should do the best they can with their given situation and depend on God to take care of the rest. In doing so, they will bring glory to God by their faith. God will give us the strength and health to be instruments in His hands to carry out His divine plans for our lives and to help us make an eternal difference in this world. One of the major points of this message was the fact Jesus paid a very high price in order to save us and as such we no longer belong to ourselves, but to God! We are not saved by how good we live our lives in this body, but by the life Jesus lived while in His physical body and by the sacrifice Jesus allowed His body to become for us! As a result, we should live our lives in loving gratitude for the amazing gift we’ve been given. This loving gratitude should include caring for our physical body which is the temple of The Holy Spirit!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Most of us have great respect for the church building in which we worship and wouldn’t think of defacing or defaming it or its contents. However, the Bible tells us our body is the temple of The Holy Spirit. How should this effect the way we treat our body?
1Corinthians 6:19-20.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,
whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

2. We are not saved by our good works or by how good we care for our physical body, but by the life and sacrifice of Jesus. How should the price Jesus paid for our salvation effect the way we live our lives and treat our physical bodies?
1 Pet 1:18  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
1 Pet 1:19  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

3. A good mechanic needs quality tools in his tool box and a wood carver needs quality tools in the sharpest of conditions. The Bible is clear that God wants to use us as instruments in His hands to accomplish His will here on earth. We should desire to be the sharpest, most useful, highest quality tools available for the Master’s use! If our body is poorly cared for and maintained, how will that effect our usefulness in God’s work?
Rom 6:12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Rom 6:13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Rom 6:14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

4. What are some things we can do to better care for our body, the temple of The Holy Spirit? What are some things we can stop doing to better care for our body, the temple of The Holy Spirit?
Phil 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Phil 4:5  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Phil 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Phil 4:7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Phil 4:9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Full Sermon Notes
"The Savior of the world was fallen. His body on the cross, His blood poured out for us. The weight of every curse upon Him." Bethel Music

When I think of the price Jesus paid with His physical body in order to cover my sin, live in my heart and take me home to heaven someday, it causes me to want to give back, and pay back! But then I realize I could never do enough or be good enough to pay Him back. Thank God He doesn't require us to pay Him back! If He did it would take us an eternity and beyond. In other words, if we had to pay for our salvation we would never have salvation because we couldn't pay for it. But thank you Jesus it's a gift!

So while we can't pay for it or earn it, we should let God's gift to us influence the way we live our lives. In other words, we should live our lives in continuous gratitude and seek to bring Him honor and glory in every aspect of our lives! This includes the way we treat our physical body. Let's pray and ask God to show us the way and give us His direction for caring for our physical body. It matters!

Let's pray…
"Father God I pray with all my heart and soul You will speak to our hearts in powerful ways today. Help us understand why it's so important to take care of our physical bodies in a way that brings honor and glory to You! It's the least we could do after all You've done for us! Lead me and speak through me today as I share Your wisdom to each of us! Amen.

Paul the apostle wrote several letters to the church at Corinth. These letters are filled with correctives for the young church. Many issues were being dealt with. Our text for today is only two verses and is found in the context of instructions on sexual immorality and instructions on marriage. Let's read it.
1Corinthians 6:19-20.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,
whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

ETS: God has placed great importance upon our physical body!
ESS: We should also place great importance upon our physical body by caring for it!
OSS: I want my hearers to begin caring for their physical bodies.
Probing Question: What are the reasons we should care for our physical body?
Unifying word: Reasons
Transitional Sentence: Let’s look at the reasons we should care for our physical body.

Reason #1 to Care for your Body

The Holy Spirit Lives There!

1Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

God Himself lives in our hearts by His Holy Spirit! Our Body is His temple. Paul had already stated this earlier in his letter...

1Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

Had this always been the case? No! Back in the Old Testament God's presence was with the people through His presence in the physical temple or tabernacle. You might remember the Holy of Holy's, the ark of the covenant, the Shekhinah Glory. Shekhinah is a Hebrew word which means dwelling place. Before the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus ascended back to heaven, His presence was seen in the physical building, and only came upon individuals at specific times of need. Although there was a longing even back then for The Holy Spirit's presence daily. Listen to David's cry in Psalm 51:11...

Psalm 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

David was so desperate for God's presence and His Holy Spirit he said this...

Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

God heard David's prayer and knew the need of humanity for His constant and daily presence, and had a divine plan to make that a possibility, but it was going to be so different than King David or anyone else could have ever imagined. God was not going to require people to live within the walls of the temple in order to experience His presence. He was going to do the unthinkable. He was going to make a way for His Holy Spirit to no longer be confined to a temple made of stones, behind a thick veil or curtain. More on this in a minute. Paul made the following statement when he was sharing the gospel in Athens, a place with many pagan temples...

Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.

So what does this have to do with taking care of your physical body? So, so much! Your physical body is the temple of The Holy Spirit!  God lives there! Now let me get really practical! So practical, it's going to make some of us uncomfortable. Before I do, let me remind you again of something I said several sermons ago...

"I'm not here to judge anyone!"
"I'm not here to cast stones!"
"I'm not here to condemn!"

I'm going to share because I care about you and I want what's best for you and I know God wants what's best for you! Most people who believe in God and have trusted Him to save them, have great respect for the things of God. For that reason, you wouldn't think of sitting on the front row and lighting up a cigarette while I'm preaching. Now it's not that people who smoke cigarettes are evil people or that the act of smoking a cigarette is some kind of wicked activity in and of itself. What's the problem? We now know clearly it has damaging effects on your physical body and for that reason it's not a good idea. And before you think I'm picking on the smokers, let me say this...

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, don't exercise and are just plain out of shape, eating a Cheesy stuffed crust pepperoni pizza would be just as disrespectful! Boy, the preacher's meddling this morning isn't he? Most of you wouldn't think of this sanctuary as an appropriate place to down a six pack or two. Why? Because we all know what can happen when a person is under the influence. Now, I know the Bible doesn't say don't drink a drop, but it does clearly say not to be drunk. Again, I'm not here to pick on certain sins, and as I've said before, we like to pick on the sins that are obvious, things we do we shouldn't. But never forget there's things we should do we don't do and that's just as much a problem.

Where in the world I'm I going with this? Glad you asked! You see there's certain behaviors we would never do the sanctuary, but we've forgotten, God doesn't live in this building or any other man made building. You are His sanctuary. So when you don't take care of the body He's given you or you abuse the body He's given you, it's like taking a can of spray paint and vandalizing the church building. When you're making decisions about what to do with your body, or what not to do with your body, remember your body is the temple of God! His Holy Spirit lives within you! This should cause you to want to avoid some things and it should cause you to want to do other things. All to the glory of God. And this takes us to the second reason you should care for your body...

Reason #2 to Care for your Body

Your Body Doesn’t Belong to You Anymore!

1 Corinthians 6:19b …You are not your own;
20a you were bought at a price...

Like the song we sang earlier says..."The Savior of the world was fallen. His body on the cross, His blood poured out for us. The weight of every curse upon Him."
I can't even begin to fathom the price God paid for me, the price He paid to ransom me from darkness, the price He paid to secure a place for me in eternity. The writer of Romans puts it into perspective...

Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

My sin had made you and me enemies of God, and this broke God's heart, so He made a way for you and me through the shed blood of Jesus. You might wonder why Jesus had to suffer and die such a horrible death. Why did He have to shed His blood? The reason is this: The Hebrews considered life to be in the blood. They didn't have all the modern understanding of what the blood does for the body, but they knew if you lost your blood you you lost your life. Therefore they used terminology like, "He lost his life blood!" "His life blood poured out!" In the old sacrificial system, it was explained in Leviticus 17:11...

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. So when Jesus poured out His blood, He was pouring out His perfect life in order to save us from our imperfect lives. So let me be clear about what I'm saying this morning. We are not saved by our good works or by how good we take care of our bodies, we could never be that good or be able to do enough to earn God's grace and forgiveness. We are saved through the perfect life Jesus lived! So you might be tempted to say, "well then it doesn't really matter what I do, so I'll just live however I want to and not really bother to honor God with my body. God anticipated some people would try to use the concept of grace as an excuse for sin so He led Paul to write the following words...

Romans 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

You see, I'm not my own anymore. I've died to my old ways and have decided to live the new ways of Christ! Besides, why would I want to continue to live in the old ways that destroy the life of the body and the spirit? When I gave my life to Jesus and He gave His life to me, my motives began to change. I know longer wanted to live for my selfish wants and desires, but for His greater purposes and for His desires! I began to want to please God with my body and with my life. Again, Paul weighs in on the subject...

Romans 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live...

This passage makes it clear that those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God and once again reminds us that The Holy Spirit of God lives in us if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior. This Holy Spirit wants to lead us into the ways of life by giving life to our mortal bodies. In fact, Paul tells us we have an obligation, with the help of The Holy Spirit to put to death the misdeeds of the body and live! An obligation? Yes! Jesus paid an awful huge price to give life to us, why would we not want to live that life in a God honoring way?

If you were drowning in a rain swollen river and someone jumped in and pulled you to safety, would you not owe them a debt of gratitude. And what if that person lost their life saving yours, would you not want to live your life in a way that would honor the sacrifice that person had made for you? Would you not have a new perspective on how valuable every moment of life really is? Wouldn't it be wrong for you to forget the sacrifice given for you and to live recklessly and end up loosing the gift you had been given at the expense of someone else? That's why it matters how we live after we are saved even though we are not saved by how we live, but by how Jesus lived! As a result want to live lives that honor His sacrifice!

And this takes us to our final reason to take care of our physical bodies.

Reason #3 to Care for your Body

Your Body is an Instrument of God!

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

We are to honor God with our bodies! Why? Because our bodies are the vessels of the Holy Spirit, and the price that was paid for us to be vessels was the death of God's Son and we are now not only vessels, but instruments of God in this world. As such, we should seek to honor God by being the healthiest, strongest, best vessels we can be. And why do I say the best vessels we can be?

I realize some of us have limitations that are beyond our control. Some of you have serious health issues and it limits what you can do. Some of you may not be able to attend the gym and work out! You may not be able to jog, lift weights, do crunches, but there are some things all of us can do. And even if you can't do strenuous exercises, you could commit to being more active in some way. And one of the things I'm most guilty of is not getting enough rest! I push the limits. I sometimes like to think I'm not bound by the need for rest like everybody else. But as I get older, I'm beginning to realize just how important rest is. I can't stay up all night working and then go strong the next day. I find my eyes doing that "slow closing" thing even when I'm talking to someone if I've not had the rest I needed. It's just not good to push the body non-stop day after day and week after week. My dad has a saying, "Son, if I would have known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!" How true.

I think about this when I see young people living like tomorrow doesn't matter! When you're my age, you might find yourself a bit angry at that young twenty year old who was so arrogant in thinking "the laws of physics don't apply to me!" I'll tell you young people this, for most of us, the desire to live is just as strong at 55, 65, and 75 as it was at 25.
And maybe we should eat more and eat less! How can we do that? We could eat more healthy when it comes to what we consume, and for most of us we could stand to consume a little less! Maybe go back for seconds, but thirds and fourths no so much!

We could ask God to help us stop doing things that are unhealthy and which harm the temple of The Holy Spirit! We could set goals for better physical health so we could be better instruments in God's hands to fulfill our God-given purposes. You see, I believe God will give us the health and strength we need to do the work He has called us to do if we are willing to let Him and if we are willing to do our part. What do you mean let Him? Let Him help you overcome the unhealthy habits you have. Let Him help you develop healthy habits and activities. The Holy Spirit who dwells within you will help you begin to make better life choices. He will do that because He cares about you and wants you to get the most out of this life.

The Holy Spirit can and will give you the self-control you need to say no to unhealthy life-styles and the self-discipline to start saying yes to healthy life-styles! Listen to God's Word to us in Galatians 5...

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

And about being that instrument in God's hands. We die to our selfish desires so we can live the life God wants us to live and accomplish the things that will build His kingdom and last for an eternity! And trust me on this one, living for His divine purposes and adopting them as your goals in life will fulfill you like nothing else ever could! I love the way God's Word puts it in 2 Corinthians 2:5ff

2 Corinthians 2:5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.

I want the life of Jesus to be revealed in my mortal body! It's my goal. I know my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I know the amazing price He paid for me, so I want to be an instrument, a vessel, a willing servant to be used of God to reach and help rescue the lost, the lonely, the hurting, those who've yet to know God wants them to also be His sanctuary, His temple, His body, His servants!

Next week we'll find God's direction for serving God! So no matter where you are physically or what you've done in the past, start with today and move forward. Make a commitment to honor God with your body, realizing The Holy Spirit dwells within you, the cost God paid for you was high, and God created you to be an instrument in His hands for a greater cause, a greater good!

Ask God today to help you and show you how to begin honoring Him with your body!

Let's pray!