I got the sermon title from a slogan at my alma mater Trinity Bible College. It was usually plastered on the football team’s workout gear as well as on the wall in the weight room. It was directly taken from this passage. In my sermon on Sunday I was faced with a unique difficulty because this passage actually covers how we are to treat our physical body. The problem is when you preach such a passage it can be easily construed as trying to shame someone for their habits or weight or whatever but the principles are universal and the application is really an individual thing when you hear the command – ‘therefore glorify God in your body.”
The first thing Paul starts out with is a simple twofold principle about while all things may be lawful for the believer, not all things are profitable and Paul does not want us to be mastered by anything but Christ. It is really this twofold principle that will guide the rest of this discussion. He whole point is to make sure believers are not doing things that are not profitable or coming under bondage to something or someone other than Jesus. There are two other principles about this Paul emphasizes which are important here as well: 1) Our body belongs to Christ and 2) Our Body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This temple builders for Christ is what we are. Not just builders but stewards. We are stewards of our body not owners and our bodies are dwelling places for the Holy Spirit.
That being said Paul touches two areas really although he focuses more on one than the other. He touches food but remarks that it is for the belly and the belly for food but points out that some day both will be done away with. The offhanded nature of this comment is kind of a statement against gluttony but more about an understanding that we eat to live and not live to eat.
The majority of this passage focuses on immorality. The point Paul makes about immorality is that it is ultimately a sin against ones own body. Based on what we know from Paul’s statement before that all sins are equal in force from envy to adultery. The issue for Paul is that different sins affect different things. In the case of immorality it affects our own bodies. Other sins affect other things outside ourselves but this means immorality has specifically as its effect as a sin against our own body and ourselves.
The application of the principle of glorifying God in your own body requires us to think about how that applies to us individually. We should do things to our body based on the warning that not all things edify us and some things can gain mastery over us. We also should be mindful of not joining ourselves to something in our bodies makes us one flesh with someone who is not our spouse but also that God owns us and that Holy Spirit uses our bodies as a dwelling place. We are stewards of our bodies before Christ and we need to act accordingly. What that means is as individual as the individual and that means making a choice to take our bodies as part of our stewardship before God. Our habits, nutrition, fitness and many other subjects would fall under this stewardship. What choices you make become an issue between you and God.