What Does the Bible Say About Our Bodies? | 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

A Bible-Revering Church

God cares deeply about our physical bodies, so we should too. In this message, TA continues the series, “A Bible-Revering Church” by zooming in on what the Bible says about how God created, redeemed, and owns our physical bodies.

Timothy "TA" AteekJun 23, 20241 Corinthians 6:12-20

In This Series (10)
What Does the Bible Say About Contentment?
Luke FriesenJul 21, 2024
What Does the Bible Say About Ambition? | Mark 10:35-45
Kylen PerryJul 14, 2024
What Does the Bible Say About Money? | Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:6
Timothy "TA" AteekJul 7, 2024
What the Bible Says About Politics | Mark 12:13-17
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 30, 2024
What Does the Bible Say About Our Bodies? | 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 23, 2024
Jesus and Gender | Colossians 1:15-20
Dave BruskasJun 16, 2024
Marriage | Ephesians 5:22-33
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 9, 2024
Jesus and the Word | Matthew 15:1-9
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 2, 2024
The Markers of a Bible-Revering Person | Psalm 119:97-104
Jermaine HarrisonMay 26, 2024
The Word of Revival | Nehemiah 8
Timothy "TA" AteekMay 19, 2024

Summary

God cares deeply about our physical bodies, so we should too. In this message, TA continues the series, “A Bible-Revering Church” by zooming in on what the Bible says about how God created, redeemed, and owns our physical bodies. God even has an eternal plan for our bodies, as we will be resurrected and perfected when Christ returns. But until then, our bodies are meant to glorify him as members of Christ’s own body in worship.

Key Takeaways

  • The Importance of the Body (1 Corinthians 6:12-13, Psalm 139:13-14, Colossians 2:9). God cares about our bodies because God created them for Himself. To be human is to have both a rational soul and a physical body. One is not human without both. This is made clear when God the Son took on a human body at the incarnation. Jesus Christ, in whom the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, shows that God truly cares about human bodies because he cares about humans. Therefore, we ought to care about every person by caring for those struggling with self-harm, decisions toward abortion, and physical violence toward others.
  • The Future of the Body (1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:51-57). God has eternal plans for our bodies. Though we suffer today from pain, disease, and disabilities, the Bible gives us hope that God will resurrect and perfect our bodies when Christ returns.
  • The Owner of the Body (1 Corinthians 6:15, 19-20). Jesus Christ unites believers to His own body. We are not our own. By His blood, Jesus redeemed every part of us, including both soul and body. He is the true owner of our bodies.
  • The Purpose of the Body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Our bodies ought to glorify God. By fleeing sin, exercising proper care, expressing thanks, being present, worshiping, and rehearsing the gospel concerning our bodies, we respond rightly to God with our bodies.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Do you see your body as something outside of yourself, or do you see it as actually you? What changes about us when we realize that our bodies are handcrafted by God and vital for us to be truly human?
  • Why is the human body important? What does the world say about the importance of our bodies? How does the Bible speak otherwise?
  • How ought we, as Christians, care for others in our world because we see their bodies as valuable to them as whole humans? What issues come to mind (e.g., self-harm, abortion) as the most prevalent today?
  • Take a moment to sit with God and ask Him, “In what ways am I gratifying self instead of glorifying you with my body?”
  • TA encouraged Watermark to “rehearse the gospel concerning your body.” What does that mean, and how ought it help us flee from sin, care for our health, express thanks, be present, and worship with our bodies?

Good morning, Watermark. How are we doing today? Good to see you. Happy Sunday. I hope it has been a good weekend for you. If this is your first time ever joining us, thank you for trusting us with your Sunday morning. I hope this place feels like home very quickly. We're about to jump into the Bible, which we believe is the Word of God. We believe God is here, that he wants to meet with us and speak to us today.

I don't know if you came here expecting to hear from God, but I want to give you a moment really quickly to stop and pray and ask God to speak to you. So, take a moment and say, "God, would you speak to my heart today?" Then pray for your family, friends, and everyone else in the room that God would speak clearly to them. Then would you pray for me? Would you ask God to speak clearly through me to you today?

Lord, I pray that you would speak clearly to our hearts. I pray that not one person would leave today without meeting with you and hearing from you. May our ears be open. May our hearts be receptive to all you want to say. In Jesus' name, amen.

A couple of years ago, I needed a hobby, so I decided to pick up a hobby from my childhood, and I started collecting sports cards again. I don't know what you think when you hear that. You might judge me, but it was a good thing for me. I was like, "I did this when I was 10. I can do it when I'm 41."

I attempted to get my kids into collecting cards. That way, when people naturally asked, "Are you getting into collecting cards because your kids are getting into it?" I could play it off and be like, "Yeah. That's exactly why I'm getting into it." But my kids have never developed the care or the love that I have for collecting cards. I've tried to teach them, and I've tried to instill in them the same level of love and care I have, but it just hasn't caught.

When I find cards of value, I'm very quick to put them in protective cases, because I don't want anything to happen to them. For the three people in the room who know what I'm talking about, I feel seen and known by you and not judged by you, so thank you for that. But my kids, whether they find a valuable card or a card that is nothing, it just might make its way into the Ziploc bag where we store cards with my kids.

I'll never forget. My son Jake opened up a pack of cards, and he actually pulled a card of value. We looked it up, and it was clearly a valuable card. Before I could get the card in a protective case, Jake slid the card across the table, and the card jammed up against a lip in the table, and it bent the corners. I was like, "Jake, you have to be careful so the cards don't get bent." His exact words back to me were, "Dad, I don't care about that." I was like, "You're grounded for a week."

I tell you that because, today, we are talking about how God views our physical bodies. This is a Sunday where we want to cultivate a correct theology of the body. As I'm going to show you in the Scriptures, God cares deeply about our physical bodies. In fact, in the eyes of God, our bodies have incredible value. He cares deeply about how we view our bodies and use our bodies. He cares about how we view other people's bodies and relate to other people's bodies.

What we have to assess is whether we share God's perspective on our bodies. Do we have the same level of care and concern God has for our bodies or are the lives we live declaring to God something similar to what Jake declared to me regarding sports cards? Are we living lives that say, "God, I just don't really care about that"?

So, today, I want to open up the Bible to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, which is one of the most extensive teachings in our Bible on the physical body. I'll tell you this. As I was preparing for this message, I read Sam Allberry's book What God Has to Say About Our Bodies. It was an excellent read. I would highly recommend it to you. It has actually heavily influenced this message today.

I'll tell you, as I was preparing for this message, studying and examining Scripture, I was overwhelmed by and struck by just how extensive the teaching in the Bible is on our bodies. What I realized is that this is, by far, one of the most important topics we can cover in this "Bible-Revering" series, because as I'm going to show you today, your theology of the Bible actually will impact how you view so many of the pressing issues in our world today.

This is so much more than a talk about eating good and exercising some. Your understanding of your physical body and other people's bodies actually will influence so much of how you view some of the most pressing issues in our world. So, if you're not there already, turn with me to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, so we can get a proper theology of the body. Let me just read you 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Here's what the apostle Paul says.

"'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are helpful. 'All things are lawful for me,' but I will not be dominated by anything. 'Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food'—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 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."

If you were here a couple of years ago when we walked verse by verse through the book of 1 Corinthians, then you know I taught this passage about two years ago. When I taught it two years ago, I focused on how to glorify God in our lives in regard to sex. If that would be a helpful resource for you, I would encourage you to go find it on our website and listen to it. Today, we're going to zoom out and look primarily at what Paul says about our physical bodies.

We see the word body mentioned seven different times in nine verses. As I've already said, this is one of the most extensive teachings in the Bible on the body. As we look at this passage, I want to unpack four things for you. I'll tell you where I'm going so you can track along. First, we're going to look at the importance of the body; secondly, we're going to look at the future of the body; thirdly, we're going to talk about the owner of the body; then, finally, we're going to talk about the ultimate purpose of the body.

1. The importance of the body. Where do we find that in the passage? Well, you really have to understand the context, why Paul is even writing to the Corinthians about the body. See, this hijacked theology was catching fire in the church in Corinth. There was this belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead in bodily form, but they believed our bodies would eventually be destroyed. There was no eternal significance to the body. Our physical bodies would not rise from the dead on the last day.

Because they believed that, the Christians in Corinth began to believe, "Whatever I do with the body doesn't really matter. I can do whatever I want, and I can still glorify God. So, I can sleep with whoever I want to sleep with, and I can sleep with them whenever I want to sleep with them, and it's okay, because in the end the body is going to be destroyed. God doesn't care about it; therefore, it's mine to do with what I want." That's why Paul is writing.

If you look at verses 12 and 13, you might notice some quotation marks. Those quotation marks indicate the arguments being made by Christians in Corinth. Paul is essentially quoting their arguments. What we find in verse 12 is that Christians were saying, "All things are lawful for me." Another way of saying that is, "I can do anything." That's what they're saying. "I can do whatever I want."

Another thing that was being said in the church is found in verse 13. They were saying, "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food." Now, what you need to understand is quotation marks were not in the original Greek. They were added later. So, we actually need to move the quotation marks. This isn't just my opinion. This is not the "TAV" (Timothy Ateek Version) of the Bible. Commentators agree the quotation best ends after the words "…and God will destroy both one and the other."

So, what's the argument? "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food—and God will destroy both one and the other." What were they saying? Christians were believing this idea that, "You know what? The body is eventually going to be destroyed, so it doesn't matter what we do with the body. Our bodies, made by God, get hungry, so we eat to satisfy that hunger, and in the end it doesn't matter, because God is going to destroy food and the body. It's the same with sex. We have bodies that feel desire. Sex satisfies those desires. In the end it doesn't matter, because God is going to destroy sex and the body."

Yet what does Paul say at the end of verse 13? He says, "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." He's saying, "Guys! Hello, McFly! Is anybody home? Wake up. You've got it all wrong." God actually cares deeply about the body. Your body and my body have actually been made for the Lord. The Lord has specific plans for your body and my body. They matter deeply to God.

When you open up the Bible and begin to read through it, you see that that message is actually congruent with the rest of Scripture. Take the creation of the body all the way on pages 1 and 2 of the Bible. Think about the rhythm with which God created. How did God create everything else in all creation? He created everything in creation by speaking it into existence. "Let there be light. Let there be land. Let there be sea. Let there be sea creatures. Let there be plants. Let there be animals." Yet what did he do to create the first human body? He formed it. He broke his rhythm, and he formed it out of dust of the ground.

Notice he didn't create a soul first and then create a body just as a home for the soul, because the soul is what is ultimately important, so you just need a shell to protect it while it's here on earth. No, he created the body first. Why? Because God cares about the body. The body is actually very important to God. Then God actually breathed his own breath into the physical body, giving incredible value to our physical bodies.

He didn't just form the first human being. David picks it up in Psalm 139 and says, "For you formed my inward parts. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." David is saying, "Look, God. I have been handcrafted by you. My body is a custom job, and it has the imprint of the God of the universe on it."

So, you see this theme in Scripture that the physical body is very important. And where does it culminate? It culminates in the person of Jesus Christ. What does Colossians 2:9 tell us about Jesus? It says, "For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily…" I love what Sam Allberry says about the incarnation of Jesus, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, taking on flesh.

He says, "Jesus' incarnation is the highest compliment the human body has ever been paid. God not only thought our bodies up and enjoyed putting several billion of them together; he made one for himself." Isn't that good? He's like, "Look. If you want to know how important the human body is, well, the eternal Son of God left heaven, came to earth, and became a human person. Meaning, he became a human body." Why? To save us.

We are human beings. You cannot be a human being without a human body. In order for God to save us, he had to become one of us, which meant he had to take on flesh. I just want you to think about the implications of that. Have you ever thought about God himself becoming a human being? That means at one point Jesus was actually a fetus in the womb. At one point he was a toddler who had to learn to walk. Mary was with Jesus at some point, like, him taking his first steps and falling to the ground.

Jesus went through puberty. Isn't that crazy to think about? The God of the universe had voice cracks. I haven't found it in the Scriptures yet, but I'm positive that Jesus had acne. He became a human body. Why? To save us. Our bodies are inseparable from who we are as people. I tell you that just to say that our bodies are incredibly important to God. That's what the Scriptures declare. That means how we view our bodies and use our bodies matters deeply to God. How we view other people's bodies and relate to other people's bodies matters deeply to God.

Our bodies are gifts to us from God. This is why it's so important that we begin to see and treat our bodies as God would have us. This is why it's good for us to care about what we eat. This is why it's good for us to exercise. This is why it's good for us to fight to get consistent sleep, because when we do these things, we're agreeing with God. We're saying, "God, I agree with you. I agree that my body is important. It's a gift from you. It has been handcrafted by you."

This is why I want to beg those in the room who are struggling secretly with self-harm, whether you're cutting yourself or starving yourself or contemplating suicide… This is why I want to beg you to reach out for help. Would you allow us to help you? Would you reach out to a friend and let them in on what's going on? When you do, when you crack the door to help, you're agreeing with God. You're saying, "God, I agree with you. I agree that my body has been handcrafted by you. My body is important to you, and I don't want to destroy what you have made."

If you're here today, and you have an anger issue that is manifesting itself in being physically forceful or hurtful to your spouse or to your kids, let me call you to repent and to accept the consequences, but to submit yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ, because when you do, you're saying, "God, I agree with you. I agree that my spouse's body and my kids' bodies are incredibly important to you, yet I've been extremely careless with them. Would you forgive me? I repent. I accept the consequences, but those bodies have been made by you for your glory."

This is why we must stand firm against abortion. This is why we must help women get the care they need to carry a baby to term. This is why we must lean into adoption. When we do, we're saying, "God, I agree with you. The body that is being formed in that womb is being formed by you. He or she is important to you. You have plans to glorify yourself through that life." So, if you're here this morning, and you're contemplating abortion, can I just beg you to reach out for help? Would you allow us to walk with you and to help you?

I promise you there are people in this church… There are families in this church that would consider it the greatest joy to walk every single day of your pregnancy with you and even to adopt that child and to spend that entire child's life pointing them to Jesus. For you to take that courageous step, even though it's a scary one, is a way for you to say, "God, I agree with you. I agree that my body is important to you. I agree that that body being formed by you inside of me is extremely important to you."

See, when we want justice for sexual abusers, when we fight against human trafficking, when we're grieved by the horrific conditions people endure in war, when we're unwavering about there only being two genders and that gender isn't something you choose or change, when we want the law to be upheld while also caring about the health of immigrants in border facilities, and when we stand against any discrimination because of the color of someone's skin, all we're doing is agreeing with God.

We're just saying, "God, I agree. My body, that body, their bodies are incredibly important to you. They are gifts from you. They've been handcrafted by you." Do you see how a correct theology of the body actually impacts so many aspects of life today in 2024? This is so much more than just eating well and getting some exercise. This transforms the way we operate and live with one another. So, that's where we have to start. That's by far the longest point. We have to talk about the importance of the body.

2. The future of the body. Remember what the Corinthians were struggling with. They were struggling with this belief that the body was going to be destroyed, that it had no eternal significance, so, because the body was going to be destroyed, it didn't matter what they did with the body. So, what did Paul just say in verse 13? He says, "Look, guys. You need to understand that the body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body." Then listen to what he says in verse 14. "And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power."

Paul's point is "Look at Jesus." Jesus is actually both the model and the means. Jesus was raised forevermore in a glorified body so that through faith in Jesus we, too, can have hope of being raised forevermore in a glorified body. This is why in the same letter, just chapters later, in chapter 15, we have this glorious passage that Paul writes about the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as the resurrection of our physical bodies on the last day. Here's what he says in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57:

"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' 'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Jesus is the model. Christ was raised from the dead in glorified bodily form as a model that that's what we can expect. A day is coming when these physical bodies… These perishable bodies will put on the imperishable. These mortal bodies will put on immortality. That's incredible news. He's the model, but he's also the means. This is only possible through Jesus Christ.

Paul is communicating that God has eternal plans for our bodies. A day is coming when these physical bodies will be resurrected and perfected, which means no more chronic pain. Amen? It means no more autoimmune diseases. Amen? It means no more cancer. Amen? It means no more physical disabilities. Amen? It means no more mental illness. Amen? For those struggling with gender dysphoria, no more feeling out of place in your own body. Amen? It means no more temptation to sin with our bodies. Amen? Is anyone ready for that day?

Now, don't miss this. If God clearly has eternal plans for our bodies, then that means he has plans for our bodies one day, but he also has plans for our bodies today. So, we can't just spend all of our time longing for that day when God has called us to be faithful with our bodies today. So, how do we do that? How do we faithfully live in and live out God's plans for our bodies today? Well, that's what I'm going to unpack for you in the last two points.

3. The owner of the body. Paul is driving home a point in 1 Corinthians 6. What he's trying to drive home is that Jesus Christ is the owner of our bodies. Listen to what Paul says in verse 15. "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!"

That word members means limbs and organs, which is a really interesting thought, because what Paul is saying here is when you put your trust in Christ, you become inseparable with Jesus. Somehow, you become so connected and so attached to Jesus that your body is his body in some way. Your arms are now Jesus' arms. Your eyes, in some way, are Jesus' eyes. Your feet are somehow Jesus' feet. You're so connected that your organs are Jesus' organs.

Then skip down to verse 19. Look at what Paul says. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?" That word temple is the Greek word naos, which means sacred shrine or sanctuary or place where deity dwells. Have you thought about that? If you've put your trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, God has actually put his Spirit in you, which means God himself actually lives inside of you.

Your body is the home of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is called in the Scriptures the Spirit of Christ, which means Jesus now rules and reigns in your body through the presence of the Spirit of Christ. So, what's the point Paul is driving home? He's driving home the point, "Hey, Jesus is now the owner of the body." In case you've missed that point, all the way from verse 12 to verse 19, Paul just spells it out at the end of verse 19. He says, "Listen up. Don't miss it. I don't want any confusion."

Here are the words: "You are not your own…" Period. You're not your own. Here's what that means. In our world today, there's this mantra, "My body, my choice." That phrase never makes sense on the lips of a Christian. For a Christian to say that is so incongruent, so out of touch with reality. God himself lives in you. You are so inseparable from Christ, for you to say, "My body, my choice" is incongruent. We're inseparable from Jesus. Jesus went to the cross to buy all of you, not just your soul but your entire being, including your body. He's the owner.

I don't know if you saw it in verse 15, because we were going quickly, but Paul actually gives his friends an example, because he really wants to put this home. He's like, "Look. When you become so inseparable from Jesus, and then you go and sleep with a prostitute…" He's like, "That's crazy, because when you do that, it's like you're taking Jesus to that prostitute. You're actually joining Jesus to a prostitute, and that's the last thing Jesus wants to be doing." He's like, "It makes no sense." That's how we have to begin seeing our bodies, that they're owned by Jesus Christ, that our members, our limbs, actually belong to Jesus Christ.

I want to use this illustration carefully. By bringing it up, I'm in no way trying to be lighthearted about it. I'm in no way trying to mock it in any way, but as I was preparing for this, I thought about something that hit the news cycle a few years ago. I don't know if you saw it, but there were conjoined twins, and one of the twins got married, which I thought was so interesting.

Think about that. There are conjoined twins, and one of the twins gets married. As I thought about that, you can't help but think about the twin who didn't get married, which means the twin who didn't get married is now inseparable from the other twin's marriage, which means that twin is invited into all of the worst moments of their marriage and all of the best moments of their marriage.

See, that's how we have to think about our relationship with Jesus regarding our bodies. We are so joined to him that anything we do with our bodies, Jesus is doing it as well. So, a good question we should ask ourselves, as followers of Jesus Christ, is this. I would encourage you to ask this question all throughout the week. "Is this what Jesus wants for his body?"

Look. We're not trying to go legalistic here. God has given us things in life to enjoy, yet it is good for us to ask, "Jesus, is this what you want your eyes looking at right now? Jesus, is this what you want your body doing on this date or on this work trip? Is this the amount of alcohol, Jesus, that you want your body consuming?"

Then, in the most anxiety-inducing moments of life, "Jesus, is this how you want your body to be altered or changed? Jesus, do you want the body growing inside of me, which belongs to you, to be terminated? Jesus, do you want this body to be terminated in suicide?" We have to begin to see Jesus as the owner of the body. Our bodies are not ours to do with whatever we want.

4. The purpose of the body. The best thing we can do is gain clarity on what the ultimate point and purpose of our bodies is. We get that right at the end of the passage. Listen again to what Paul says in verses 19-20. "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." That's such a beautiful line.

How were we bought with a price? We were bought with Jesus' broken body and shed blood, which just shows you how much value God is placing on our beings, which includes our bodies, that he would give his Son for us. "…you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." That's the point and purpose of your body. Your body exists to glorify God.

What does it mean to glorify God? We use that language all the time. We say, "I just want to glorify God." But do we know what it means to glorify God? To glorify God with your body is to praise God with your body, to please God with your body, and to point to God with your body. That's what it means to glorify God. So, here's what I want to do. I just want to get really practical on how you can glorify God with your body this next week.

1. Flee from sin with your body. The command Paul uses in verse 18 is the word flee. The verb tense it's in implies "Hey, make fleeing a habit." Like, do it all the time. Flee. Flee from sin. I just want to encourage every person in this room, especially the Watermark members, to spend time with God this week and ask God this question: "In what ways am I gratifying self instead of glorifying you with my body?"

Just ask him that. Sit with him. Ask him and listen. "What ways am I gratifying self instead of glorifying you with my body?" If he brings to mind something like pornography or gluttony or infidelity, promiscuity, physical or sexual abuse… If he identifies these things, then repent. Seek forgiveness from him. Surrender again to his lordship, but flee from sin with your body.

2. Care for your body. Here's the reality. In the world we live in, we wear busyness around like a badge of honor. We love being busy. We love telling people how exhausted we are from being busy. We feel pride when the time stamp on our email says a ridiculous hour. We feel significant and irreplaceable when we survive off of four hours of sleep consistently because we're working 60, 70, or 80 hours a week every week.

Can I just tell you? There is nothing noble about an unbalanced life. There's nothing good or godly about an unbalanced life. Something God has convicted me of is if we're too busy to exercise regularly and to get six to eight hours of sleep consistently, then we are too busy to glorify God in our bodies.

3. Express thanks for your body. Social media fuels so much comparison, and that comparison fuels so much discontentment in us concerning our bodies. We carry around so much discontentment and shame regarding our bodies. It is so easy to wish we were a different size or a different shape or a different shade or in a different season of life.

Just think about it. There is so much shame attached to our bodies. We spend so much energy trying to change what God has made. I'm just going to let you in on a little insecurity in me about my body. I'm sharing this a little lightheartedly, but it's also a reality. Back in college, a girl… And it wasn't my wife. After the first service, Kat was like, "Could you please clarify that it wasn't me?" I've shared this before.

Back in college, a girl told me, "You could be a male model if it wasn't for your legs." You might hear that and be like, "What's up with your legs, man?" Well, I'll tell you. I'm pretty much an orange on two toothpicks. Here's the thing. Most of you can touch your knees together. I'm going to attempt to do that right now. That's it. That's as close as they get. God has made my legs with a curve to them.

That's the way he has made me, but do you know what's interesting? Just this week… I'm a 43-year-old man, and I'm thinking about my legs. I started going into a gym, and I was wearing shorts, and there was something in me that was like, "Man, I wish these things were different." How crazy is that? I tell you that just to say an act of worship with our bodies might be to thank God for what he has made and what he has given us as gifts.

4. Be present with your body. Sam Allberry puts it this way: "Physical presence matters because we are physical people." We're physical beings in a virtually driven world. So, let me encourage you. Keep making time for lunches and dinners with other people. Don't put your Community Group on the back burner. Don't be seduced by the convenience and comfort of just streaming church from home. One of the ways you can glorify God with your body is being present with your body, physically present.

5. Worship God with your body. We've talked about this recently here at Watermark, and I know it has made some of you guys uncomfortable. When you look in the Scripture, when the Scriptures talk about worship, what you see is people stretching their arms out in worship. You see people clapping in worship. You see people kneeling down and putting their faces to the ground in worship to God.

I love what Sam Allberry says. I'm going to quote him one more time. This quote was very meaningful to me. I hope you don't miss it. He says, "If we wouldn't keep our hands in our pockets at a football game, it seems incongruous to do so at church. What we do with our bodies matters. And what we don't do with our bodies also matters.

People from a similar background to mine do well to reflect on the fact that corporate worship in the Bible is far more physically expressive than the worship in our own churches tends to be. Even allowing for the natural variety God has given us in temperament, it [the Bible] suggests that the determined non-use of our bodies in worship isn't neutral but unbiblical." I tell you that just to say, "Worship with your body." Do it authentically, but worship.

6. Rehearse the gospel concerning your body. We want to be a gospel-saturated church. Just imagine, in your time with the Lord this next week, journeying through the gospel in regard to your body. Like, "God, you created human beings in your image. You handcrafted each one of us, and all the way back in the garden you formed the first human being of dust of the ground, and you made human beings with bodies to enjoy your presence physically.

Yet the first act of rebellion was an act of rebellion with our bodies. The first human beings took fruit from the tree and ate it. When they did, sin and shame entered our bodies. That's why the first thing the first human beings did after sinning was to cover their bodies, because sin and shame had entered our bodies.

Yet, God, you didn't leave us in that place, because you left heaven and came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ who was all of God packed into human form. The God of the universe became a human person, became a human body. Jesus Christ, you lived perfectly on earth as a human being, and then you went to the cross, and on the cross your body was broken for our brokenness. Your blood was shed for our brokenness.

Then, on the third day, you walked out of the tomb physically and bodily, and then you ascended into heaven where you actually sat down at the right hand of God. You've made a way that through faith in you, we in our bodies can be connected to you. You've made a way where you have come to live in us by the presence of your Spirit. You have connected us in such a way that our hands are your hands.

Our bodies are your bodies, and you've made it possible, by the power of your Spirit, for us to glorify you in our bodies, but it gets so much better, because a day is coming where these physical bodies will be resurrected and perfected. Christ is coming back for us. He's going to take us to where he is, and we will spend all of eternity as embodied human beings, enjoying an embodied Christ." That's the gospel. Rehearse it this week. Remind yourself of the goodness of God.

I'll close by sharing this with you. As I got back into collecting cards, I went back to my old collection when I was a kid. I was looking through a box, and there were all of these loose cards I'd just thrown into a box. I pulled out a Michael Jordan card, and it was all banged up. I scanned it to see its value, and it would have been worth way more if back then I had realized, if I had just known what Michael Jordan would go on to do that would bring incredible value to the thing that reflected him.

Look. We've been made in God's image. We are image bearers. We are made to reflect God. May we be people who realize what has been done by Jesus and what will be done by Jesus that brings incredible value to these bodies that exist to reflect him. Let's pray together.

If you're here this morning, and you're understanding the gospel for the first time… You're understanding what Christ has done for you. You're realizing for the first time that Jesus Christ's body was broken and his blood was shed so that a day would come where not only he lives inside of you now and leads you through life, but he also takes you to where he is, and you can experience eternal life with him.

If today you want to begin a relationship with Jesus, if you want to say yes to Jesus, then I invite you right now to say, "Lord Jesus, I say yes to you. Thank you that your body was broken and your blood was shed for me. Thank you that you died for me. Thank you that you walked out of the tomb victoriously. Would you forgive me of all of my sin? Would you come and live inside of me? Would you begin to lead me now and for all of eternity, enjoying you as my Lord, as my Savior, as my King?" For the rest of us here today…

God, teach us to glorify you in our bodies. May we live knowing how important our bodies are to you, that you are the owner. Fill us with your Spirit, and would you be magnified, would you be glorified through the people of Watermark this week through our bodies. We love you. In Jesus' name, amen.


About 'A Bible-Revering Church'

God’s word is our authority, conscience, and guide.