Service Video Message Video Message Audio The service video is unavailable at this time. The sermon video is unavailable at this time. The sermon audio is unavailable at this time. Scripture Verses 1 Corinthians 6:19, Genesis 1:27-31, 1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Galatians 5:16-26 Downloads & Resources Respecting Your Body Dr. Jon Morrissette - 8/26/2001 The human body. Our human bodies are a bio-engineering marvel. Consider the following facts about the body. In just one inch of skin lies four yards of nerve fibers,one thousand three hundrednerve cells, one hundred sweat glands, three million cells, andthree yards of blood vessels. Nerve impulses travel to and from the brain at one hundred eight miles per hour. A sneeze generates a gust of air up toone hundredmiles per hourand shoots debristhirty feet. In one hour your heart works hard enough to produce the equivalent energy to raise almostone ton of weight one yard off the ground. If automobiles were as efficient with gasoline as the human body is efficient with carbohydrates, automobiles would travel overnine hundredmiles per gallon. The human brain weighs approximatelythree pounds, contains six billion cells, exhausts up totwenty-five percentof our body's energy supply, and generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world's telephones combined together. Of course, we've all met people for whom none of this is true! Writing out the information contained in just one cell of the human body would takethree hundredvolumes, with each volume being five hundred pages pages thick.One human body contains enough DNA that if it were stretched out, it would circle the suntwo hundred sixtytimes. If you yelled for eight yearsseven months and six days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat only one cup of coffee. Soknock it off!The human brain stops growing and starts shrinking at age eighteen, but your ears and nose continue to grow throughout your entire life. So if someone tells you that you’re an old guy with big ears, it's personal! Our amazing bodies. As you survey creation, nothing compares to the sophistication of the human body. No camera will ever outperform the human eye. No engine will ever be more efficient than our heart. No computer will ever outsmart the intuitive brain. No instrument will ever be so versatile and perceptive as our five senses. When God created our bodies he did his absolute finest work. Our bodies were the crowning achievement of his creation. Genesis 1:27 (NIV) tells us that God createdus, "in his own image." Genesis 1:31 (NIV) tells us that when the work of creating man was complete God pronounced his creation, "very good." 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV) takes things further by saying, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" Our bodies are not only the crowing achievement of God’s creation but they are also the very dwelling place for God’s Holy Spirit. God holds his creation of our bodies in high esteem. We are his masterpiece. We are the centerpiece of his creative action. It makes perfect sense that we should want to take excellent care of our bodies and that we would want to be good stewards of these bio-marvels, bodies, that God has given us. Unfortunately for many of us, this is our greatest area of failure and frustration. The challenge of self-control. A while back, I picked up a copy of Leadership Magazine. On the inside cover there was a quote that read, "The greatest challenge for leaders is self-management." It would seem that we rarely gain the level of self-control that we desire. We are always dissatisfied in the area of self-management. Resting on our consciences is how we should go about being better stewards of these bio-marvels, these bodies, that God has graciously given to each of us. Skipping back to 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 (NIV), we read these words by the apostle Paul. "Everything is permissible for me— but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me— but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food— but God will destroy them both. The body isnot meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." Unfortunately, the legacy left for us by the human race throughout the generations is a legacy of being dominated by created things rather than by our creator. At its core, the stewardship of our bodies is really the issue of management of God’s gifts to us. At its core, the stewardship of our bodies concerns not being dominated or mastered by food or by our sexual appetites or by any other good gift from God. The stewardship of our bodies is all about achieving balance. Out of control eating. The truth is that all of us are struggling to be good stewards of our bodies. It is a tremendous struggle for us to achieve balance and to manage God’s gifts. Paul mentioned food saying, "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food— but God will destroy them both." Food is to be the servant of our stomachs, not the master of our stomachs. And our stomachs don’t lie! For many of us food is more the master and less the servant. It is no secret that obesity is an area of tremendous struggle for many Christians, but so is bulimia and anorexia. We just don’t talk much about eating disorders. Some of us are addicted to the wrong kinds of foods. We eat and drink high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and sodium. For many, their primary diet is Ruffles potato chips, chocolate, popcorn, pop and Krispy Krème donuts. I’m guilty of that one! There are some of us who binge for a while, but then go on a starvation diet. Others are dieting fanatics, obsessing about every last calorie and carbohydrate. Others just pull out all the stops and never exercise and use food to cope with stress. So often we are mastered by food instead of letting food be the servant. This is an issue of bodily stewardship. God has given us a precious giftof our bodies, and we can destroythem in a minute when food becomes our master. Sexual immorality. Another area of struggle Paul mentions is sexual immorality. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV), "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." I think that too often our sexual appetites get a bad rap. We always speak of our sexuality in negative, derogatory ways. It's offensive to most people to even mention such a topic. The scriptures teach that our sexuality is a gift from God’s hands. It is one of those created things that is to be the servant of our bodies, not the master. Whenever our sexuality becomes the master of our bodies, the scripture places it into a different category and refers to it as sexual immorality. It is natural for a man to be attracted to a woman and a woman to be attracted to a man. But that attraction is to find its expression exclusively within a committed relationship between a husband and wife, a male and female. When this attraction is expressed outside of a marriage relationship, it becomes pornography, infidelity, fornication, premarital sex, or adultery. It becomes sexual immorality! The sad truth is that so many are enslaved to their appetites for food or for their next sexual encounter. Over time these appetites not only take over our bodies, but actually begin to destroy our bodies. These appetites destroy the very temples in which God’s Spirit is to dwell. We can broaden the circle far beyond issues of food and sexuality. I believe that television and the internet are good gifts from God's hands. But like other gifts, they have become vehicles for immorality and excess. The television and the internet are to be servants of our bodies. And yet we waste our lives and time away mesmerized by their images and messages. We don’t talk about television or the internet as an addiction, but they often times master us! Sports and athletics. Exercise and athletics can become our master. The scriptures affirm that physical training is of some value, but it loses its value when it becomes our master. So many today are addicted to exercise programs, extreme dieting, physical conditioning, athletics, and perfectionism. These individuals drive themselves to the edge, often as a result ofvanity. In high school I went to an exercise club to work out throughout the week. For hours on end people would do curls with dumbbells in front of mirrors. Some of these guys were just huge, but at what cost? Exercise was their life to the extent thatthey did not know life apart from their exercise and athletics. Exercise was their master, and they were empty. Substance abuse. A growing number of people have become the servant of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. There are lot of functional alcoholics among us who regularly drink to the edge. They aretipsy and loose and they are destroying their families.Butthey have convinced themselves that they are in control when in fact, they are not. We haven’t really even begun to scratch the surface. Gambling is another one of those out of control areas for so many today. Money management is another problem, the overspending of money, hoarding money, and materialism. Sleeping, recreation, shopping, video gaming, and laziness are other examples. As good stewards of our bodies we should be master of these gifts. But instead we have allowed God’s gifts to dominate us and dictate life to us. Today we are feeling less and less in control of our lives andmore and more out of control. This is just one of the reasons why there are over twelve million people involved in12-Step programs nationally. This is also why self-discipline ranks at the top of the self-improvement lists of virtually everyone. Overall we are really struggling with being good stewards of the bodies God has given us. We know we are failing. We want to do better. We want to have more self-control. We want to find balance. We want to improve ourselves, but we keep failing. It is true that God wants us to be good stewards of our lives. But God wants this to happen in his way, not in our way. The secret and victory of Spirit-control. The buzzword and false gospel that is always proclaimed today is self-control. The gospel of self-control is best illustrated in the story of American folk hero John Henry who byhammering a six-foot-long steel drill, tried to out-race a steam drill tunneling through a mountain. In the end, through self-effort John Henry managed to beat the machine but at the end of the tunnel he fell over dead from the superhuman effort; overheated, dehydrated, and completely spent. Our culture tells us that the only way to be good stewards of our bodies is through self-effort. Our culture says, "Just roll up your sleeves and try a little harder! Just do it! Just control yourself! It is that easy!" But our gospel is not a gospel of self-effort or self-control. In fact, if you want to be a bad Christian steward of your body, make it your goal to live a self-controlled life. Do a John Henry and whip up every last once of energy and determination and see where it gets you. In the end you will collapse in exhaustion and failure. In the end you will end up no better than you started. Good stewards don’t try to live self-controlled lives. Instead they live spirit-controlled or spirit-filled lives. Remember what I said earlier. 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that God specifically designed our bodies to be the temple for his Holy Spirit. God wants to dwell within our bodies andwithin our lives through his Spirit. The scriptures only speak of self-control within the context of our dying to self and living according to the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) says, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." You can insert anything you want in the place of wine. Do not get drunk on television. Do not get drunk on internet. Do not be mastered by food. Do not be mastered by your sexual appetites. Do not be mastered by sports and recreation. Do not be mastered by sleep and laziness.Instead, fill the temple of your body with the Holy Spirit of God. Live a Spirit-controlled life and be a good steward of your body. Being filled with God’s Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:16-26 (NIV) Paul has this to say about being filled with the Holy Spirit. "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." The secret behind self-mastery is to be mastered by God’s Holy Spirit. God designed our bodies to be mastered and filled with his Holy Spirit. This is the truest and most pure form of Christian stewardship. And when this happens our bodies bear fruit. We selflessly love. Joy and peaceare restored as God’s gifts are made the servant and dethroned as master. Kindness and goodness and gentleness permeate our existence. Faithfulness to God comes as we desire nothing greater than to serve him. And we gain self-control through being Spirit-controlled. God wants us to be good stewards of the bodies he has given us. There is absolutely no way that is going to happen without God’s Holy Spirit living within you, empowering you and changing you from the inside out. The question this morning is, "Who will be your master. Will it be the creator or the created? Will it be the sinful nature within or the Holy Spirit? Will it be yourself or the Lord?" This morning, will you be mastered by the master instead of being mastered by those things that were created to be the servant of your body?