Our Bodies Are Not Our Own (pt. 2)
Last week we began this message on, “Our Bodies Are not Our Own.” My desire for us is that I want you to see based on God’s Word that Our bodies are not our own because God is ultimately the one who has given them to us. He has uniquely designed each and everyone of us and He has fearfully and wonderfully made us. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6 this good news about our bodies.
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.
So today we are going to dive into Part 2 of this message.
Introduction: In the Game of Basketball there are rules about how you play, and what you do to score and what to do with the basketball. One of the big rules has to do with being in bounds with the ball or being out of bounds with the ball. When you dribble the ball or the ball goes out of bounds this can result in turning the ball over to the other team. You want to stay in bounds and score a basket, and if you score more than the other team you win. For many year the state and country have said NO for such a long time on what is right and wrong, that the church didn’t really have to think about addressing certain behavior. Everyone just thought certain behavior was out of bounds. So, now that states have begun to legalize certain behavior like gay marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and even abortion, which happened many years ago, the church is still not speaking about such matters. What begins to happen now is that I think many people begin to say well I guess that this sin or behavior is ok or all right now.
I mean think about this with me. Behaviors that were once illegal, but are no more. Here are just a few.
-Divorce use to be illegal.
-Adultery and fornication as we talked about last week. This was once illegal.
-Homosexual Practices. Illegal.
-Even indecency when it came to movies and such was illegal.
-Then there was Sabbath breaking and not taking a day of rest.
-And of course abortion in every state was illegal.
Today I want to do my best to help us see several other areas where there is abuse with the bodies God has given us.
1. The Abuse of Drugs and Strong Drink.
The reason why we need to speak on this is because we know that noe everyone will choose to consume pot or drink alcohol, but most everyone will be in a position to advise someone who is considering it. So, we want to give wise biblical advise. I think it is important for me to state or express that I am not an expert in this field of drugs and I have never taken this drug so I don’t know a whole lot about it other than some personal study. Here is what I do know. Marijuana is generally used as a mood-altering, mind-altering drug. People take this drug to get high or to create a kind of euphoria. The effects vary widely from person to person. All you have to do is Google, “What does Marijuana feel like?” I will just say that people don’t smoke or take it to get unhappy. Taking marijuana produces a temporary state that is felt to be better than ordinary life. That’s why it’s called a “high” and not a low.
Even those who advocate most strongly for the legalization of marijuana concede the impaired functioning that research has shown. One such site acknowledges,
The short-term effects of marijuana include immediate, temporary changes in thoughts, perceptions, and information processing. The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory. In laboratory studies, subjects under the influence of marijuana have no trouble remembering things they learned previously. However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information. This diminishment only lasts for the duration of the intoxication. There is no convincing evidence that heavy long-term marijuana use permanently impairs memory or other cognitive functions.
Some people have compared the use of marijuana too that of caffeine or alcohol. So, let me begin with caffeine. First of all many people including myself have a cup of coffee to get going in the morning. Caffeine gets me going and allows me to be more alert to reality. If caffeine didn’t do that, I think we should run away from it.
There is a significant difference in the mind being sharpened instead of made more blunt or more out of touch with reality. I don’t think marijuana is generally thought of as an empowering drug that enables you to be a more competent dad, a more competent mother, a more competent employee, or a more competent citizen.
It is, rather, a recreational escape, and from the little I know about it, what I do know is that over time it becomes a destructive force in the brain. It has lasting negative effects on the mind’s ability to do what God created it to do.
So, what about the comparison to alcohol? When it comes to this comparison there is a definite state of not being in the right mind because someone can be intoxicated or even given over to that of drunkeness. Now, clearly from Scripture we would say that moderate drinking is permissible.
(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
Also Colossians chapter 2 speaks to this.
My point in this is, that Scripture permits the moderate use of alcohol, when it can be enjoyed in faith. Alcohol was served at weddings and festivals during biblical times however we should not be given to drunkeness. This was clearly prohibited.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
Galatians 5 and 1 Peter 4 address this as well. Marijuana is like alcohol in that they are both an organic thing. They both have the potential to intoxicate or distort reality. They also both have different affects on people, and they both can be habit forming.
When it comes to the abuse of drugs and alcohol I would say this then from the principle from God’s Word that I think would lead a believer away from the recreational use of marijuana. Why? Because once again we would say that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
I would say the same thing about smoking. I would say it about excessive use of alcohol which many times leads to drunkeness and I would say it about marijuana or lots of other things. I would say, “Your body is sacred. God is for your body. Your body is for the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:13). Keep your mind clear and able to think.
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
Let’s be mature or sharp in our thinking and with the bodies Christ has given us.
One last thing that I want to address here. So, what about the issue of medical use? We see a lot of talk about the medical use of marijuana these days. I don’t think that we should oppose a regulated medical use of marijuana, controlled by appropriate physician oversight and prescriptions. Many drugs are sold by prescription which, if they were abused, would be even more destructive than marijuana.
For those who are believers today and know Christ and He has truly changed your life than I think you would want to turn away from marijuana and other destructive, mood-altering drugs, and move toward a sound mind and clear thinking for the glory of God.
2. The Abuse of Food or Overeating.
Gluttony is having a craving for food that conquers you. God’s Word tells us that food in and of itself is not bad but it becomes sinful or abusive when food dominates us or controls us.
“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.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
I think one of the most subtle sins or abuses to the body is gluttony. What happens so easily for me is I overeat or snack too much. I get home from a long day at work or from a difficult meeting. It’s eight o’clock in the evening, and i head to the kitchen to reward myself. I have a ton of chips, lots of snacks and of course a Dr. Pepper, Mt. Dew or Cherry Coke. I didn’t eat what I should have because I just ate a ton of snacks and a whole lot of sugar.
For the last several years, as my schedule and responsibilities have grown more crazy, I get regularly tempted to use evening snacks as a way to deal with my end-of-the-day depletion. And I have grown more and more convinced that, while drugs, alcohol or adultery may be able to destroy our bodies more quickly and decisively than snacking and overeating both kinds of temptation can appeal to the root issue of gluttony.
Again we should desire to “glorify God in [our] body” (1 Corinthians 6:20) — especially when we get depleted at night. We should also do the best to take care of our bodies by having a time of exercise and getting rest. So often, we feel that we have to work hard a meet all the deadlines that we don’t get proper exercise and rest.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
We need to take a day off and rest. It is good for our bodies. So, the next time you deal with hunger or the temptation of snacking and overeating use that time to worship God and to talk with him and ask for his help. Pray for your meal and choose to eat healthy.
3. The Abuse of the Body by taking a Life. Abortion.
This past January 22 was the 49th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision called Roe vs. Wade. This was the decree that made abortion legal in our country all the way up to birth, if the health of the mother is at stake; and the health of the mother has been construed to mean any discomfort that would come from an unwanted pregnancy. So what we have had for 49 years is virtually abortion on demand. In that time, the lives of millions and millions of unborn children have been ended by abortion in the United States.
I want to give you several reasons today why I believe there is abuse to the body by that of abortion. First of all, God’s Word tells us that Murder is wrong. In fact, we are commanded not to murder.
“You shall not murder.
Of course, when we open up to the Old Testament clearly killing is endorsed in the Bible. Often times the nation of Israel and the Leaders of the time were told to go into battle and wipe out the enemies. The word for "kill" in Exodus 20:13 is the Hebrew word (rahaz.) It is used 43 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. It always means violent, personal killing that is actually murder or is accused as murder. It is never used of killing in war or (with one possible exception, Numbers 35:27) of killing in judicial execution. So, what we see here is a clear distinction preserved between legal "putting to death" and illegal "murder". When the Bible speaks of killing that is justifiable or ok it generally has in mind God's sharing some of his rights with the civil authority. When the state steps in and acts in its capacity as God's preserver of justice and peace, it has the right to "bear the sword" as Romans 13:1-7 teaches us. This right of the state is always to be done in order to punish evil, and never to attack the innocent (Romans 13:4).
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Therefore, "Thou shalt not kill," stands as a clear and resounding indictment of the killing of innocent unborn children.
The second reason we see from Scripture about what is happening here when a life in the womb is aborted is this. Psalm 139:13 says, "Thou didst form my inward parts, Thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb." The beginning of the life of a person in the womb is the work of God. God is the "Thou" in this verse. So, we can say that the formation of life in the womb is not merely a mechanical process, but is something on the analogy of weaving or knitting, this putting together."Thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb." The life of the unborn is the knitting of God, and what he is knitting is a human being in his own image, unlike any other creature in the universe. Since God is the one who has given us life it is not ours to take.
The third reason is this. God’s Word points to this phrase "innocent blood" which occurs about 20 times in the Bible. The context is always one of condemning those who shed this blood or warning people not to shed it. Innocent blood includes the blood of children.
they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.
Jeremiah puts it in a context with refugees and widows and orphans: "Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place." Surely the blood of the unborn is as innocent as any blood that flows in the world.
At the end of the day church there is some good news. If you have gone through this yourself or know someone who has there can be forgiveness. Jesus offers forgiveness for women who have aborted a child. He offers it to men who have encouraged their girlfriend or wife to abort their child. He offers it to employees of abortion clinics. And he offers it to those who are apathetic and doing nothing about this great evil in our society. This is the good news.
So, church family we don’t have to be deceived with the popular culture’s messaging on these issues. We don’t have to believe that drugs or alcohol or food or the taking of a life can bring any kind of peace or joy. So, while life is hard and escapes are tempting, these issues I have mentioned today are not the answer. Thankfully, Christ is our answer, and not only does he fill our hearts with himself but he forgives us for seeking other things we feel can help us.
God’s Word is clear for us today. Don’t get drunk with wine, and don’t intoxicate yourself with a plant. We don’t have to abuse our bodies with food or drink. Instead, we are to be filled with the Spirit, be sober minded, and stay alert for the coming of Christ. We are not to murder or take a life that God has designed.
(Close and Lead into Communion)