Stewardship 6: Body

Watch the video or read the lesson text … or both.

Lesson Text

Scripture Reading:

Genesis 1:26-28
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
1 Timothy 2:20-21
James 3:2-12
Acts 20:35
Proverbs 31:20
Deuteronomy 15:7-11
Ephesians 5:28-30
Psalm 119:101-105
Isaiah 52:7
Romans 10:15
Isaiah 59:7
Romans 3:15-16
Matthew 6:22-23
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Romans 10:17
Proverbs 21:13
1 Corinthians 6:9-20
Genesis 2:24
Malachi 2:10-16
Numbers 3:13

Discussion:

We are stewards over our own bodies.

Looking back over the ground we’ve covered, God created our bodies. Our bodies are made for work. We are given skills and talents and are expected to make diligent use of them. We are also expected to care for the earth. Our bodies are made to be active and diligent in work. We are stewards of the gospel which requires the use of our bodies.

To quickly review, Genesis 1:26-28 teaches that we did not create our own bodies. We are not our own. The chant, “My body, my choice,” is all the rage right now. It is not our body, and it is not our choice. God made our bodies and has the first claim over us. If anything, “My body, my choice,” is a rebellious fist being shaken in God’s face demanding that He recant the bold claims we find in Scripture. The infants in the mother’s womb do not belong to her. They are God’s creation, and desiring to rule over the infant in such a way that the mother gets to decide the infant’s fate is denying that God creates life and that His creation is sacred. Psalm 139:13, Isaiah 44:2, Jeremiah 1:5

Further, we are bought with a price, and the price paid for us is the very blood of Jesus Christ. The price was paid for all people, even the unborn. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Seeing that He gave His life for us, our only proper response is to give ourselves back to Him in service.

Our highest and best use is to glorify God. Therefore, some things will of necessity be off limits for our bodies because not everything glorifies God. God desires clean vessels to use in carrying out His purposes in the world.

We who were once unclean in sin can be made clean and fit for holy service to God. 1 Timothy 2:20-21 To glorify God and to serve Him in the kingdom of heaven is our highest and best purpose in life. Ridding our hearts and bodies from the practice of sin is the calling to which we are called. Our bodies were made to glorify God.

Turning to specific instructions regarding the body, James 3:2-12 calls us to tame the tongue. These verses teach us that we are held accountable for the use of our tongue. These are important verses. We can be a curse to people or a blessing to people. James talks here of people who both curse and bless people. This is an obvious reference to an impure heart, for what comes out of the tongue comes first from the heart. James calls us to bridle the tongue, to tame it, and to subject it to the Lord. That means not using our tongue for just anything that comes to mind. We are stewards over our tongue, and we use our bodies to speak.

As we saw with talents, skills and abilities, we are to make diligent use of the talents we are given, and when we do, we will not have lack. Acts 20:35 Paul shows us that we are to care for the weak, which means a portion of the labor of our bodies is to be set aside for those who (legitimately) cannot do for themselves. In those days, the widow, orphan and lame were the weakest among them. We are not just to work for our own good but use our bodies to be a blessing to others. See also Proverbs 31:20 and Deuteronomy 15:7-11. Who is weak among us today?

In marriage, husbands are called to love their wives as their own bodies. Ephesians 5:28-30 There are many reasons why this is directed to husbands only, and when we think of how some husbands treat their wives, it makes more sense.

To please God, we are responsible for where our feet take us and to avoid evil paths. Psalm 119:101-105 This means we are responsible both for our actions and for the situations into which we get ourselves. There is an old Sunday school song that goes like this:

    O be careful little eyes what you see
    O be careful little eyes what you see
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little eyes what you see

    O be careful little ears what you hear
    O be careful little ears what you hear
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little ears what you hear

    O be careful little tongue what you say
    O be careful little tongue what you say
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little tongue what you say

    O be careful little hands what you do
    O be careful little hands what you do
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little hands what you do

    O be careful little feet where you go
    O be careful little feet where you go
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little feet where you go

    O be careful little heart whom you trust
    O be careful little heart whom you trust
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little heart whom you trust

    O be careful little mind what you think
    O be careful little mind what you think
    For the Father up above
    Is looking down in love
    So, be careful little mind what you think

Beautiful are the feet used in the ministry of the gospel. Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15 We can use our feet for many things. Isaiah 59:7, Romans 3:15-16 For our feet to be a blessing others, we use them to bring the good news of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. This does not only mean a pastor or missionary. Anyone can take good news to other people, including those in your family, co-workers, neighbors and closest friends.

The eyes are a source of sin and are key to overcoming sin in our lives. Matthew 6:22-23 We are often tempted through our eyes because we see something and want it. Adultery, envy, greed, stealing and murder are some examples of sins we can commit through the eyes. We are called to subject the eye to the Word of God, so we are stewards of the eye.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 and Romans 10:17 are two passages of Scripture which contrast each other. In one verse, we see ourselves turning our ears away from God’s truth. In the other, we find that faith comes through the ears by hearing God’s Word. We are stewards of what we hear, both in what we choose to allow into our ears and what we choose to push away. Pushing away God’s truth and His Word is the opposite of faith and leads to perverseness of heart. False teaching spreads because we allow it to spread. Christian rap artist Shai Linne wrote lyrics along these lines – those who follow after and give to false teachers to get rich are idolizing money. We often choose to hear lies rather than truth because the lies sound so enticing. This temptation is empty, but in the moment, we miss just how deceptive temptation can be.

Besides truth, we also use our ears to hear the cries of the poor – or turn our ears away from them. Proverbs 21:13

Sexuality is a touchy topic, but we find in 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 that we are stewards over our bodies – including sexuality. The body is made to honor God and to fulfill His commandments. Recall that in Genesis 1:28 God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. We do this by using our bodies for our highest and best good, which is chastity in singleness and fidelity in marriage. We are either made to be single or made to be married, and if married, we are bound to each other. Genesis 2:24 This is the design God gave to us as men and women. The family reflects the very trinity of God, and both marriage and child-bearing are holy and made by God to accomplish His purposes. In Malachi 2:10-16, God made man and woman one in marriage to produce holy offspring. Defiling God’s image for marriage through sexually perverse relationships frustrates the purposes and plans God has for you and the world as a whole. Any other use of our sexuality is a perversion of God’s original creation, which Paul so carefully lists in 1 Corinthians 6 – not to mention that it is rebellion against God’s creative work.