“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:29-30).
Who doesn’t love his flesh? We may not like our physique and certain processes in the body – aging, excessive thinness or fatness. But whatever it may be we protect the body – we nourish it and cherish it. We dress warmly and want to eat better.
“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle”, which all concern things which perish with the using – according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion,false humility and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:20-23).
Apostle Paul says that it is bad to be careless about your flesh.
Today there are different directions of body transformation – in fact, man is demonstrating his distorted sick soul. If he had peace inside, he would not distort his body. Why would a man distort himself? – Because his soul is exhausted, tormented, groaning and languishing. Man is wearing his body, tormenting it. Who will heal his spirit?
Christ in the Gospel, for the most part, is called the Son of Man. It speaks of integrity, of the trinity of man – his spirit, soul and body.
When today we tear off and take the body away from the spirit and the soul, we distort the doctrine of the Son of Man.
If we take the word “Christian” in an integral understanding of the primordial plan of God, then it is written that the spirit, soul and body will be preserved in integrity. This doesn’t mean that we will not die and our body will not decompose in the ground. But integrity must be maintained. Unity of spirit, soul and body. Therefore, today, whoever neglects his body, he also neglects his soul. He is like that man who tortures his body to make his soul feel better.
But the body is given to us as a blessing, not as a curse. Not without reason Christ, speaking of the Church, chooses the term “Body”. Apostle Paul says: “Do you not know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
What a high attitude to the body! Not as to the cursed flesh. Not that which is doomed to corruption, but the reservoir of the soul that has received the Holy Spirit.
Perceive what tender words – “nourishes and cherishes it as the Lord does the Church.”
I would like our conversation today to result in the right attitude towards our bodies. What good news!
Your bodies are your dwelling places – live happily in these homes! Do not neglect the house, do not slander it. Paul writes about loving his body, that this is proper.
We must understand about the Body of Christ, that it is Christ Himself. Is it not so? Is the head Christ, but the body is not? The head can’t live without the body. And the Body of Christ is Christ in us. And we are His Body, and individually members to each other. Therefore, “if one member suffers, the whole Body suffers; if one member rejoices, the whole Body rejoices.”
It is important to understand the Body of Christ – then we will understand our own bodies. Because “we are His members of His flesh and of His bones.”
A tormented soul torments the whole body. A soul that has lost peace needs consolation from outside. The world seeks as the world gives. But the Lord gives, not as the world gives. He breathed and said, “Receive My peace.”
We are talking about our attitude to our bodies. God’s gift is to be appreciated. God gave you your body. Realize it as the temple of God. The temple has always been perceived as a place of God’s presence, and it was supposed to impress man. And we are a temple, which is much higher than earthly temples.
Separate the spirit from the body – everything starts to change. The body is very important, it is a home. And the body without the spirit is dead. It’s like an empty house. Like a temple without a spirit.
So God gave you your body as a reservoir. You were created in the womb, then came into the world, began to make sounds, then communicate your condition. If a person lives a righteous life, he will certainly come to God.
Love your body! This is the dwelling place of your God, the dwelling place of your soul. But you slander it, reject it. Either the hair is not the way you want it, or the hands and so on.
Let’s look in the mirror and say to God, “Thank you!” As David exclaimed: “Wonderfully I am created!”
Each of us suffers. For a mystic there is no “good” or “bad”, he doesn’t compare himself with anyone, he is looking for his true “self”. There is intimacy, belonging, the identity of oneness, but “good” or “bad” is of people.
In every sphere we have suffering. We all suffer.
But not everyone has to be a mystic. Paul said to imitate him as he imitates Christ. Paul was an Apostle. A mystic is associated with forsaking all things, but Paul is associated with people. And although Paul was drawn by the mystical, he remained with people. Because the calling of this particular Apostle is to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles. This was his specific goal and assignment. Therefore, do not imitate Paul, but imitate him as he imitates Christ – his striving, his love, his sacrifice, his compassion.
Reconsider your relationship with your body. No need to rejuvenate it like an obsession. But consent with it! Agree that this is such a temple. One man approached a temple and thought it was a very ridiculous building. But from the inside, it “boomed” with the worshipers. So it can be with the body, if you hate it. But the Spirit of God lives there, God chose it to dwell in it, and put your soul in it. Treat it like a gift, a gift that God gave you.
Don’t “kiss your hand”. But proclaim how wonderfully you are made: the heart pumps blood by itself, the breath goes on its own, you can’t sleep for a long time, but still get “knocked out”, if you get hungry – you will find something to eat. This is a whole macrocosm. A most complex system.
And take the spirit out of the body – everything changes: color, smell, weight, density. The spirit leaves – the body is destroyed. God breathed the spirit of life into the flesh. This means that this is a temple – a temple in which God lives. How can you neglect your body?
How happy you are to hear this! The unity of spirit, soul and body is your true “self”. Break this unity, as many do today when they involve austerity or other things – which is necessary for the discipline of understanding the difference between flesh and body, between sin and holiness of the body, between the Bride and the harlot – but break this integrity – and we lose the doctrine itself. Paul says, “Be of sound mind.” Our body is a blessing.
The body may have signs of death – for example, a disease is its younger sister, a failure of some processes. But we’re not talking about that. It’s flesh. And the body is spiritual. This is a temple.
You need a bodily identity. Spirit, soul and body must be preserved whole. But then what about the flesh – after all, it will decompose? How to keep it whole? – Keep yourself whole for as many days as you are allowed on earth. And if there are flaws – make them peculiarities – these are martial arts of the spirit. Love, care, bless your body.
The body is the key. I believe that prophets and prophetic teachers will come to this. They’ll put the body in its right place in theology, which belongs to the Latter Day Bride. The body was not mature with the bride, whom the Bridegroom couldn’t take. She was still young. The Mature Bride says, “I am a wall, I am mature, I am complete.”
I believe that the doctrine of the body will be raised to the right level. Now you do not understand what you hear, but later you will understand. The body is one of the keys. The key to understanding and entering.