Peninsula Community Church
Body Soul and Spirit – The Body Part 2
February 9, 2014
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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.
Two weeks ago we started our study on the Body, Soul and the Spirit. In the first week of our study we looked at the overall concept of the body, soul, and spirit. In the study, we confirmed that we are a creation of God; and as a creation of God we are a three-part being. In our study from last week, we looked at the body specifically. During the study, we saw that the body is made up of the five senses and that these five senses are a gateway to the soul and the spirit. We found that what we allow to enter into our soul and our spirit, by way of the five senses, impacts who we are and what we are becoming. It also impacts our view of God. The impact of the five senses can be positive or negative depending on the information or experiences being filtered through the five senses.
We also discussed that the fact that what we feed grows and that we become what we eat. It is for this reason that we say that what we focus on will determine the formation of our hearts and how well the mind will be renewed. If we feed the flesh and fail to walk in the spirit, we will see the flesh begin to control our lives. If we feed the spiritual man, we will see the spirit grow in us which results in the spirit controlling our lives, as it should. In Romans 8:5-8 we see this expressed by Paul. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
One of the illustrations I used last week was about dieting. I shared about the cake that I began to devour by eating one small piece at a time. I ate a small sliver and then another until I had almost eaten the entire cake. I also noted that I did not feel an immediate response from my body although I did much later that evening when I began to feel sick to my stomach. The opposite is true as well in the sense that when we continue to study God’s word, pray, and stay in fellowship’ we may not have an immediate response but as we are faithful, we will have a positive response of growth and development in our lives. We remain faithful to do the things we need to do even if we don’t experience an immediate response.
We had also talked about the eyes as one of the gateways to our heart and soul. We recognize that what we see, what we watch, and what we read effects who we are and what we are becoming. David in Psalm 101:3 stated I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Job added to this idea when he stated I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin (Job 31:1)? I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word (Psalm 119:15-16).
Why did these guys make these radical statements? They wanted to remain pure and holy so that they would not be tempted toward sin. They understood that the eyes were a gateway to the soul. It for this reason that the quote “The eyes are window to the soul” is an accurate statement in that the eyes are a gateway to the soul’s foundation and formation. The eyes reveal the depth of the soul.
Today, I want to move to a second sense that makes up the body. This would be the sense of listening. The ears have a role to play in the formation of who we are. The fact is what we listen to impacts the formation of who we are and what we are becoming. To illustrate this, think about how music effects your attitude. What kind of music do you listen to? Have you ever had that song that comes on the radio that reminds you of an important point in your life. For the longest time the song “Angie” by the Rolling Stones had a major impact on me. You see I was 16 and my girlfriend had just broken up with me. On my way home I had stopped to get a big gulp to drown my sorrows when this song came on the radio. I sat in my car and cried. I thought my world was over. For a few years every time that song came on I was ushered back to that place and time in my life.
It is to be noted that researchers have found that music impacts us in both positive and negative ways. For example, researchers have found that if you listen to peppy or happy music, the brain begins to produce serotonin which in turn makes us feel more happy. The same goes for relaxing, soothing music that relaxes us or hard, loud, angry music that elicits strong emotions from us. The fact is music elicits all kinds of emotions.
In your reading of the Bible you might recall the story of David and Saul. King Saul was being tormented by a harmful spirit that had been sent from God to bring Saul to conviction. The writer of 1 Samuel rehearsed the story this way. And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:23). The playing of music by David transformed Saul’s heart and his spirit in the moment.
While listening can relate to the kind of music we listen to and what kind of TV shows we watch, it is more than that. Let me share this in this way. Do we listen to gossip? Do we entertain the evil words spoken by another? Do we listen to unwholesome words? Do we accept words of rejection and hurt that may have been hurled at us or do we take them for what they are, e. g. words spoken by one who themselves are hurt and wounded.
When we listen to such things as gossip our view of others is skewed. This leads to a judgment and a distrust of others even though we may have not experienced any direct problems with the person being slandered or gossiped about. The problem with listening to lies and gossip is that we begin to believe the report given to us by another person and that report begins to effect our outlook of that person. It is interesting to note that the word “gossip” is the same word as “a whisperer.” It is one who does not want anyone else to hear what they are sharing but they do so any way. A second term that is synonymous with the word “gossip” is the word “slanderer.” The problem of gossip is that this it is so opposite of what God’s standard of living is all about. He desires we speak the truth in love and that we go directly to the person we have an issue with. God also desires that we remove the log of contention to put out the fire.
Listen to what the writer of Proverbs says in Proverbs 26:20- 22. For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
What we allow ourselves to listen to can reveal the nature of our heart and our soul. Do you crave gossip? When you hear gossip what do you do with it? Do you dwell on it? Do you add your commentary to the gossip and add your feelings to what is being said? When you think gossip remember that gossip and slander is included in the sins of Colossians 3:5-10. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
The other aspect of this idea of the ears as a gateway to the soul is that too often we listen to the lies of the enemy whose primary goal is to create doubt, regret, and insecurity in us. You see there is the aspect of physical hearing but there is also the emotional hearing that takes place. We have those voices that tell us that we are not good enough, that we are not worthy, and that we will never change. That my friend is the voice of the enemy and not of God.
The question we must answer is “do the things we listen to build us up or do they discourage us and cause us to live in fear, confusion, and distrust?” As many of you know I am a conservative and I love to listen to talk radio and watch Fox News. But, to be honest, there are times where I have to turn it off because I walk away feeling angry, discouraged, and unsettled in my spirit. The issue is not a matter of whether they are speaking the truth or not but rather it is the effect it has on my heart and my soul. The emotions experienced through excess negative news does not move me to positive action but rather creates in me an attitude of depression, anger, fear, and hopelessness. Therefore, I must choose to not listen to those things that create anxiety and fear.
This leads us to a secondary aspect to this. If what we listen to is important then what we say is just as important. Notice the words of Proverbs 15:4. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Again in Proverbs 18:21 the writer states Death and Life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits.
What we say and what we hear effects us. For that reason Paul made this statement. Ephesians 4:29-32 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. While the above verse deals with what is being said, we can apply this to what we hear as well.
How do we assure that our bodies are healthy? Our attitude will make all of the difference. First, we must remember that we belong to someone. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We have the privilege of the Spirit residing in us and working through us. The second idea presented here in this passage is that we have value. We are bought with a price. Therefore we do not want to tarnish our value by opening ourselves to things that do please God, which brings us to the last concept. Remember we have a purpose. Because we are a channel for the Holy Spirit and we have been bought with a price, we are then called to glorify God in our bodies and for that matter with our bodies. When we understand this, we also understand that this is why it is so critical that all that we are must be in alignment to God’s will and God’s purpose for our life.