Thursday, July 11 2019
Have you ever been to the weight room in the gym? You don’t know what to do the first time that you go. “What do I lift?” "How do I lift it?” “How much should I lift?” You need a trainer or instructor to use the weights and other equipment properly. You may need a physician or physical therapist’s guidance for you to produce results and avoid injuries. Training needs teaching and guidance. The Bible teaches that Christians need training in self-control to live holy lives.
Do you pray for the wisdom to live a holy life? The apostle Paul prayed to God for the Christians in Thessalonica to increase in love for one another and to establish their hearts blameless in holiness (1 Thess 3:11–13). Paul revealed that God’s will is that Christians be holy and abstain from sexual immorality — sex outside of marriage (1 Thess 4:3, 7).
Paul pleaded with Christians to cleanse themselves from every defilement of the body and spirit bringing holiness to completion (2 Cor 7:1). Holiness includes the body. Some people say that the body does not matter and that they can do anything that they want with their bodies. They say that they will not need their bodies after they die and their only going to become ashes. However, the subtle recognition that their body is their body and identifying as “me” as the body admits that the body is meant for more.
The gospel promises bodily resurrection from the dead (John 6:40; 1 Cor 15:53). The apostle Paul made this point when he declared, "And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!" (1 Cor 6:14–15 ESV). The Greek pornei for “prostitute” may refer to any woman having sex outside of marriage. Paul explained that sex outside of marriage is contrary to God’s institution of marriage when “the two will become one flesh” (1 Cor 6:16). Those joined to the Lord should not be joined in an unholy state to another person in sex. Paul noted that this sin is against the body (1 Cor 6:18). God made the body for the Lord not for sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:13).
By the gospel, sin no longer enslaves believers (Rom 6:7). Jesus died to sin and His followers must do the same (Rom 6:8–11). For this reason, Paul declared, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions" (Rom 6:12). How does someone do this? The Christian must present oneself as a servant to God everywhere and all the time. The servant of God must present the members of one's body to service for righteousness unto holiness (Rom 6:19).
For this reason, the apostle Paul noted that for one to have self-control then that person must discipline the body. Holiness necessitates training for the body. Paul observed that running and boxing require training and discipline (1 Cor 9:24–26). Likewise, he wrote, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor 9:27).
The faithful are set free from sin to be servants of God. The fruit of that freedom is the process of becoming holy and its completion is eternal life (Rom 6:22). Therefore, the baptized believer must commit oneself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ to become holy and receive eternal life (Rom 6:22–23). A person must cleanse oneself to be of honorable use to God (2 Tim 2:20–21).
Thank God for He is gracious and merciful showing every believer the way to live a holy and pure life.