(141)Thesis:The sanctification of the body consists of God's removal of the "issues" of the body to the back burner.
Introduction:In our study of "sanctification" so far, we have seen that the sanctification of the spirit consists of God's blunting of our lust for status and fear of humiliation. We have seen that the sanctification of the soul consists of God's provision of a real sense of security and the corollary of a real diminishing of fear. This evening we are going to look at God's "sanctification" of us in regard to our bodies.
The body is the one aspect of our temptability that is clearly declared by the Scriptures to be pursued in the face of the fact that there will be no consistent amelioration of the processes of death that are at work to gradually degrade our physical bodies until they are no longer capable of functioning. This indicates that God's "sanctifying work" is done at the level of our hearts and minds and not at the level of the "target areas". In other words, He does not "fix" the "spirit", or the "soul", or the "body". This He will eventually do at the Rapture/Resurrection, but until then we are summoned to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and hearts.
Our study this evening will focus upon the rather profound weaknesses of the body so that we may understand what they set us up for in terms of "temptation".
I. The True Nature of The Body.
A. Paul's term is "house" (2 Corinthians 5:1, 4).
1. This term is buttressed in this text by the additional term "tabernacle" because the concept of "house" is significantly general.
a. The term "house" often refers to a building; it also often refers to the people dwelling in the building; and sometimes it refers to the family of the owner of the building.
b. The term "tabernacle", alternatively, signals a more specific identity: both Acts 7:44 and Revelation 15:5 call it "the tabernacle of the testimony".
2. It is further buttressed by a second noun, "a building of God" because it signifies the fact that our "house" is a product of God's piece-by-piece assembly suitable to our task-needs.
3. The conclusions I draw are two:
a. The verb and noun of the concept of "tabernacle" are focused upon the "body" as an instrument of revelation specifically regarding the one/One dwelling within [John 1:14 specifically says that the outcome of the Word becoming flesh and "tabernacling among us" was that "we beheld His glory"].
b. The concept of the "house" as a "building" seems to be that God is deliberately indicating that He is the Architect Who is building us toward the objectives already established by the text: Kingdom service.
B. The concept of "this house" is a concept of "humanity" in its basic makeup so that we are promised a "house eternal in the heavens"; we are not fully "human" without a "house"/"tabernacle"/ "building".
II. The Areas of the Body's Susceptibility to Temptation.
A. Both Eve and Christ were tempted to "eat".
1. This indicates that the body has a fixation upon self-preservation.
2. This also indicates that the body's fixation upon self-preservation is to be deliberately subjugated under other more crucial considerations.
B. The concept of self-preservation is basically neutral; the issue is keeping the body alive.
C. We all are fully aware of two other issues of the body that are not neutral.
1. The body is pretty deeply committed to "pleasure"; so much so that even food that will keep the body alive is rejected if it tastes bad (unless there are no alternatives).
2. The body is also pretty deeply committed to "escape from pain" as we are all aware because of the extreme rapidity of reaction to anything that physically hurts.
D. Though the issues of pleasure and pain are not, of themselves, evil in any sense; there is a significant level of evil involved when either of those "commitments" drive us beyond the boundaries God has set in place.
1. Paul has already brought this issue into the context with his claim that God's "sanctification" has "this vessel" implications, particularly in respect to sexual behavior (4:3-4).
2. Culturally we are seeing how this plays out with the movement among the LGBT movement which started out as nothing more than sexual pleasure taken whenever desired.
a. It then moved to attempting to squelch any "persecution" for such deviant behavior.
b. And now it has moved to attempting to force "approval" for such deviant behavior.
c. This is total body (sexual pleasure), soul (attempting to squelch "persecution"), and spirit (seeking "approval") depravity in direct opposition to God's "sanctification of spirit, soul, and body.