Offering Our Bodies
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

 

“Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.”  (Rm. 6:13)

                I have just returned from a 2,000 mile journey throughout the heartland.  I was in 5 states in 8 days.  All went well on the trip, except what I have been seeing with increasing frequency as I travel down the roads:  Adult stores.  These stores litter our landscape as never before.  From a land where pornography was expressly prohibited to a land which thrives upon it and exports it around the world, this journey has taken us less than 30 years.  I have no idea what goes on in these “adult stores”, but I do know that the Church is weak when these things abound.

                I can only guess what these stores contain (and my guess is not very enlightening), but if my hunch is correct, Paul saw clearly this and other indulgences as he was writing the Book of Romans.  On three occasions, in three separate chapters, Paul demonstrates the Christian faith as something that we must throw ourselves into with all consuming effort.  Yes, he says we have been saved by faith; yes he says we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus; yes he writes that there is not condemnation in Christ Jesus; and yes he tells us that nothing will separate us from the love of God that is contained in Jesus Christ.  Yes, yes, yes to all those things – and all in the Book of Romans.  But there is more.  We must respond in some way to all God has done for us in Christ.

                The first time Paul brings us our response to God’s marvelous grace is in Romans 6:13.  We are to offer ourselves to God as people who are recipients of that grace.  We are to offer our bodies and body parts to Him as instruments of righteousness.  I cannot see how entertaining ourselves in “adult stores” fits the biblical response.  Furthermore, I cannot see how sitting on a county commission, city council, state legislature, judicial benches, or even the Congress that approves such places is consistent with the faith that most profess.  Under the guise of freedom of speech, we have allowed these places to pollute our land.  Those who allow these stores to be established are offering their brains and souls as “instruments of wickedness” so that vast numbers of our populations can offer their physical parts to unrighteousness.  We care so little about our youth when we allow such stores to enter our culture.

                That brings up the second time Paul brings this up.  He says in Romans 8 (the same chapter he tells us we are more than conquerors, free from condemnation, and inseparable from the love of Christ) that if we set our minds on those things, we will live according to those very things our minds are set upon.  In Christian counseling (maybe I should say biblical counseling since there are many in the modern liberal church who advocate pornography), one of the basic principles of recovery is vested in “mind sets”.  Paul uses this technique over and over.  Wherever you set your minds, your hearts, souls, and bodies will soon follow.  If you indulge your thought life in imagery that is unhealthy, then that which is healthy will fade in its power to captivate you.  Pornography is addictive and as a pastor I can tell you the numbers of those in the Church who are infected is horrible and heartbreaking.  But if we would begin by setting our minds on the things of God (Romans 12; Colossians 3; Phil. 4) we can break the bonds of this addiction.  Yet, those addicted need our help to remove the multitudes of temptations that prevail.

                Finally, Paul tells us that we are to make our bodies living sacrifices for the glory of God. (Romans 12)  That is where the church has become so weak.  We don’t want to a religion that requires anything from us.  We want God to do all the work and leave us free to live as we wish and approve of the evil in the world (Romans 1:32).  And when that happens there is no transforming power of our faith.  No longer are leaders in the Churches willing to make their lives as living sacrifices to the ways of God.  They want the power of office and the façade of purity without changing their lifestyles.  And the result is weak kneed churches, watered down preaching, and the proliferation of evil in our culture.

                The adult stores are there because the church is not.  We have failed to preach the transforming message of the gospel.  And make no mistake about it, transformation comes when we sell out to Jesus Christ.  And we cannot be sold out to Him and the world at the same time.


Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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