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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association

Is Your Body Important to God?

01/20/2020

In the time of the early Church, there was a heretical movement called Gnosticism. One of the Gnostics’ many beliefs was that the spiritual world was good and the physical world was bad. The Gnostics believed that you could sin in any way you wanted with your body as long as you kept your spirit clean and pure. God, in the opinion of the Gnostic heretics, was at the very least uninterested in the physical world and only concerned with the spiritual.

This heresy may not be as widespread today as it once was, but there are some relics of its impact still in existence. In the extreme, we see people who suffer from mental disorders undergoing drastic physical changes to reflect what they believe is their true “spiritual” identity. More common, and even accepted, is the idea among many Christians that they have a spirit destined for an eternity with God, but their body will be left behind.

The question we have to answer is, is your body important to God?

Let’s go back to Genesis, the very beginning. In the beginning, what did God do? He created the physical world. Just think about that for a moment. The world you exist in, the world that you are a part of, was created by God. No one told Him to do this or forced Him to. He created the physical universe because He wanted to, because it would bring Him glory, and, in His own words, because it is “good”. The physical world, though fallen because of sinful humans, is indeed good.

It is so good and so important to God that it will last for eternity. There will never be a time when there isn’t a physical world, made out of dirt and dust and atoms and energy. “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” (Revelation 21:1).

But this new heaven and new earth won’t be without its inhabitants. We, Christians, will be there in our glorified, supernatural, but absolutely physical bodies, resurrected and made suitable to last for all eternity:

“[Jesus] will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:21).

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body...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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 51-53).

Notice in these verses there is no idea of Christians receiving brand new bodies, freshly created ex nihlo for the new eternal era. These are our bodies that we have now, purified and glorified.

Yes, your body is very important to God. God intends to save your body just as much as He intends to save your spirit.

Jesus Christ Himself is a human man. We have to understand the magnitude of this. There He sits at the right hand of God, every bit as physical as you and I. He has a certain number of bones, probably has brown hair and brown skin, probably takes after His mother Mary in looks, and is most likely less than six feet tall. His heart pumps blood, His stomach can digest food, and He commands the entirety of Creation with a glance of His brown Hebrew eyes.

What does this mean for how we live now?

It means it matters what we do with our bodies and how we treat them. It matters how we dress. It matters how we eat and drink. How we exercise. How we keep ourselves healthy. God designed the body, called it good, and destined it to operate in the eternal new heaven and new earth. The human body of Jesus Christ has been elevated to a glorious position with the promise that we will one day be made like Him (1 John 3:2). Take this reality, and live in it.

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