And He Healed them all: The Link between Holiness and Healing III.mp3[powerpress]
1 Peter 3:15
1 Cor. 3:16-20
1 Cor. 6:12-20
1 Cor. 9:24-27
We began with a review, since some of the topics we are covering are relatively new, many of the foundational thoughts bear repeating.
There is a cohesive link between health/healing and holiness. That link according to scripture is tied together with our devotion to God. That devotion is expressed in the New Testament most often by the words “Sanctify” & “Holiness”.
Paul tells us that our bodies are the temple of God that if we work to destroy the temple of God through various sins, God will work destruction within our bodies as well.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” ~ 1 Cor. 3:16-17
The word destruction means a whittling or a wearing away at, a pinning or eroding away. The word does not seem to allow for the idea of immediate destruction but a slow process of failing health which graduates with time until the bodies full and final destruction.
In what ways do we “destroy” our own bodies? Well, the Apostle seems to link this erosion of our bodies to active sin in our lives.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” ~ 1 Cor. 3:11-15
Also, Paul mentions the same idea in another way in the following verses…
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.
[Here he uses the example of food]
“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”–and God will destroy both one and the other.
[Here he uses the example of sex]
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.” ~ 1 Cor. 6:12-20
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” ~ 1 Cor. 11:27-32
In the first reference above Paul uses the two most common areas of sin – abuse of food/drink and abuse of sex. Paul never seems to mince with words, he, like Christ, was direct and to the point – often successfully capturing his whole audience at once with just a few simple examples. Overeating, alcohol abuse and sexual sins are the most prominent sins in the church both 2,000 years ago and today.
In the second example Paul is referring to a topic he addresses through out this letter to the Corinthians. They are petty, bickering, selfish and unloving of their fellow Christians. Here in chapter 11, he addresses a lack of respect for male/female roles and interrelationships and their child like behavior of selfishness when taking the Lord’s supper. In this way they were not “discerning” the Lord’s body. This was something Paul was particularly attuned to because he was confronted about the same at his conversion on the road to Damascus…
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” ~ Acts 9:1-5
Paul knew very poignantly that to oppose Christ’s body was to oppose Christ Himself!
Now what did Paul tell these Corinthians Christians who were failing to walk in deferential love for their brethren?
“That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”
This agrees with both I Cor. 3 & I Cor. 6 which we read earlier. God here is destroying there bodies, so that in the end they may be saved from the corruption pervading their entire being and thus suffering the ultimate destruction of eternity in hell.
“If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” ~ 1 Cor. 3:11-15
“But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” ~ 1 Cor. 11:27-32
So this is our LINK between health/healing and Holiness.
Today we went a few steps further by explaining the process which leads to destruction, which Paul through the Holy Spirit made certain the body of Christ would know so that they might avoid such destruction.
I will only introduce a few of the scriptures we covered here in this overview.
First off, Paul tells us that he kept his body under control lest after he had preached the Gospel to others he should be cast away and finally disqualified.
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” ~ 1Cor. 9:27
Now many will attempt to water this word “disqualified” down into something which is no concern at all, yet Paul seemed to view it as of ultimate importance.
The word disqualified means,
“Unapproved, unworthy, spurious, worthless. In a pass. sense meaning disapproved, rejected, cast away”
This word is represented in the following verses and is used with the same meaning…
- 2 Cor. 13:5-7 – here it means that you are no longer “in the faith”. You are again…lost.
- Heb. 6:8 – here it is used of those who have apostate themselves against Christ…lost.
- 2 Tim. 3:8 – This one is interesting. It refers to two otherwise unknown people in the bible which according to “the unwritten teaching of the Jews” by Theodoret, were the two magicians who opposed Moses with their magic, matching his miracles one by one until they were unable. So in like manner the ones Paul refers to in this verse are those who whether they are Christians or not, oppose the work of God by having an outward appearance of godliness, yet deny it’s true power over sin. These are disqualified for salvation as well.
- Titus 1:16 – again referring to those who are or become disqualified for the faith – apostate.
So Paul is being rather clear and candid here – he recognizes and admits that such a fate was not beyond him even though he had so faithfully preached the gospel to others … he himself could become a reprobate if he failed to keep under his body.
This is a deeper problem than physical sickness. It is pervasive and eventually destroys the soul & spirit.
The reason we are looking at this is because the same actions which can lead to sickness and death, can eventuate in apostasy as well.
It is a two step process:
In brief the two steps are getting “entangled” & being “overcome”.
I will offer a few scriptures here, but for more information on this very important subject please listen to the audio.
2 Tim. 2:4 defines “entangled” by way of an example.
“Every one who serves as a soldier keeps himself from becoming entangled in the world’s business–so that he may satisfy the officer who enlisted him.”
“For if, after escaping from the pollutions of the world through a full knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, people are once more entangled in these pollutions and areovercome, their last state has become worse than their first.
For it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandments in which they were instructed.
Their case is that described in the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO WHAT HE HAS VOMITED,” and also in the other proverb, “The sow has washed itself and now goes back to roll in its filth.” ~ 2 Pet. 2:20-22
This is the most awful of all sins and it does not always happen all at once. Generally one becomes “entangled” in the world’s affairs first. Once they are firmly entrenched and thoroughly caught up, their souls pine away and eventually change allegiances. For many it is a painless process of which they are woefully unaware. It is very much like what happened to Charles Darwin, who I will use now in closing as an excellent example of being entangled and overcome.
Charles Darwin began his career as a minister. He enrolled in Christ College, Cambridge University, studying to be a clergyman in the Church of England and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Theology in 1831. During his tenure as a student at Cambridge, Darwin befriended botanist and mineralogist named John Stevens Henslow (1796-1861), one of his professors. It was Henslow who recommended Darwin to Captain Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865) of the HMS Beagle, who was in need of a naturalist. In August of 1831, Darwin received an invitation to serve as naturalist aboard the Beagle. Darwin accepted and set sail on a fateful five year voyage (1831-36) during which he .
Before Darwin set sail, Henslow recommended that he take Sir Charles Lyell’s (1797-1875) Principles of Geology, Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth’s Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation (1830-1833, a three volume work). Darwin took the first volume of Principles of Geology with him on his voyage and he had the second mailed to him while he was at sea.
Lyell’s book did two things in Darwin’s mind.
- It undermined the Bible’s Genesis account (Lyell’s work was diametrically opposed to the Biblical account).
- It gave Darwin the time scale necessary to accommodate the idea that all life had evolved gradually.
So it happened that Darwin, who began as a minister in the Church of England, ended up one of its most influential opponents. Lyell’s Principles of Geology, with its geologic timescale, was his turning point. He had become entangled and eventually overcome.
Here is a quote from his own journal…
“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.
But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress.”
Paul’s advice to Darwin would have been,
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;” ~ 2 Cor. 10:3-5
For much more depth concerning this teaching please listen to the recording.