Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mortality Swallowed up by Life

2 Cor. 5:1-5 (ESV)
For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [2] For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, [3] if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. [4] For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. [5] He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

Ever get the feeling we make to much about this tent we live in, out earthly home, our body, that is being destroyed? I don’t have anything against diet and exercise and generally living healthy. I like to get up and run, and work out with weights. I would like to lose a few pounds, and look physically better than I do. I don’t like being worn out on Chukar hunts, and surpassed in physical stamina by my partner who is almost 3 decades older than me. But do we have to make all of this a spiritual thing in today’s so-called Christian society? Why do we have this nonsense about our bodies being a temple of God? I know 1 Corinthians says just that, but there it is applied to whoring about town, and not to smoking a cigarette, or eating a Whopper. Paul isn’t warning them against herpes, syphilis, aids or other stds either. He is warning them about spiritual consequences of becoming one flesh with prostitutes. But that is totally ignored in evangelical circles, instead the phrase is ripped out of context and given Gnostic content. Given the rhetoric one might think they are somehow a bad Christian if they can’t run a marathon.
Our bodies are dying. They are being destroyed. We might enjoy the blessings and freedom that comes from being physically fit. But lets not forget that we can’t attain immortality at Gold’s gymn. I get the impression that so much of this your body is God’s temple stuff is just more and excuse to worship the self, to worship our bodies. That is unchristian. As Christians we look forward to the day, we long for the day we can put on our heavenly dwelling. The day our sanctified soul is fitted with a body of life, and our mortality is swallowed up. God has prepared us for that, when he sanctified us with the washing of water and the word, and gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. We have a heavenly home waiting for us, a heavenly body, and when we die, that will be put on, and mortality will be swallowed up by life.


Brigitte said...

In a way both is true. It will all go and we are waiting to put on something much better. Yet, if we don't do something right in our sedentary, too lazy to cook a vegetable society, we will be killing ourselves on purpose.

Bror Erickson said...

Nothing wrong with maintaining good health, indeed our body is a gift from God. Yet we need to be sure that we don't begin to worship the gift rather than the giver, and keep in perspective that we have a new and more glorious body waiting for us.
Of course, it isn't that I am too lazy to cook a vegetable, but that all too often I don't care for them.