Matter Matters: On the Body

Amy_Leon_008

I established in two earlier posts (1 and 2) that God created matter and said that it was good.

In fact, the word “good” (Hebrew: טֽוֹב) is used seven times in the creation story of Genesis 1; each of those times depicting what God says about the stuff he made. When God gets to humans on the sixth day, he says that we are “very good”.

So, bodies were made good. 

Then of course, we fell. But, notice that we fell doing a physical act, and notice too that Christ’s redemptive work required a physical passion and a physical resurrection. Our bodies caused us to sin, but Christ’s body lead the way to our salvation.

Contrary to Gnostic belief, which asserts that the body is bad and that the soul is good, the Bible clearly teaches us that God cares about the physical as well as the spiritual. Moreover, Christians do not believe that heaven is just a place for a floaty-soul-thing to go to after the body dies. Rather, we look forward to a bodily resurrection in the afterlife (see earlier post).

However, while we wait in eager expectation for this future glory, we are told to use our current bodies to honour God:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”  – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1

So, just like all things that God created, our bodies matter to God. It matters what we do with them and it matters what we don’t do with them. It matters whether we look after our bodies through exercise and healthy eating, and it matters when we abstain from things that are harmful. Moreover, it matters to God when somebody is sexually abused or beaten up. God cares about these things deeply.

We need to wake up and stop pretending that God only cares about our ethereal spirit-selves on Sunday. He cares about every aspect of our lives. Spiritual warfare is not just about praying against evil and casting out demons. Spiritual warfare is also about our everyday choices in the material, physical world.

Matter matters.

S

 

 

 

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