Many people who emphasize the importance of the spiritual realm often discount the importance of the body. In Hinduism, the highest spiritual state (nirvana) is to become so dead to the natural realm as to be virtually unaware of it. In the years after Christ’s death, there was a popular heresy that came out of Greek thought called Gnosticism. To the Gnostic, the body was evil and “knowing” was everything. Today, much Christian thought is similar to Gnosticism. Many believe that a simple acknowledging of God is all that is needed for a person to be ok spiritually.
The biblical picture of spirituality is much different. How blood functions in a body illustrates how a person’s spiritual part interacts with the natural realm. Where do you find a person’s blood? How do you separate the blood from the body? In Genesis 9:4, God forbids the eating of the blood of an animal because the “life” is in the blood. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients and hormones and everything else that is needed to the body. But where would the blood be without the lungs? Or without the liver for cleansing? Or the digestive system for nutrition? Where does the life of the blood come from if not from the body?
Even so, our spirit, soul, and body are designed to work together in perfect harmony. When a person connects with the presence of God and receives peace, that peace is not supposed to be confined to the spirit level. It is supposed to overflow into the thoughts, the emotions, and even into the body. Spiritual connectedness should result in the body being more healthy and more alive (Rom. 8:11).
Unfortunately, a form of religion is being taught that allows a person to give lip service to God and since God is a forgiving God, the actions of the person don’t really matter. Can blood flow through an infected part of the body and remain healthy? Either the blood will have enough healing qualities in it to transform the sick part of the body, or the sickness will get in the blood and spread to other parts of the body.
IN THE NAME OF FORGIVENESS...
Even so, in the name of forgiveness, much Christian thought today allows people to continue in lifestyles of sin, pretending that it will have little or no impact on the bigger picture. The actions of the body spill over into the spirit even as an infection spills out into the blood. When the body is working right, the body cleanses and heals. When the blood is healthy, it too brings life. When the blood is sick, it carries sickness.
Godliness is not godliness until it is carried out in real life. Forgiveness does mean that we have the access we need to reconnect with God. But if that connection with God does not result in a change in behavior, the sickness of the body will simply re-infect the blood all over again.
Even so, any doctrine that teaches that a person can be spiritually whole without the entire person being involved is not biblical. Strongholds of the mind can be poisonous. A negative emotional focus is death. Perverse words or habits continually spew a toxic waste into the stream of the spirit.
Biblical godliness declares that every part of every person is important. The body is not inferior, but is the place where the goodness of God can be most firmly established. Godly habits overflow life into the believer. When a person has a pattern of reading the Word of God, of connecting with other believers, and of maintaining a pure life, it keeps the spiritual blood flow in a healthy place.
Solid godliness. Are the words of your mouth and the actions of your body strengthening the life of God in your spirit today?