Wk 4 | Body and Soul
God has made us both body and soul.
Genesis 2:7 – then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
We are called to love God and others with our bodies and our souls.
One way we love God with our souls is when we learn to think biblically.
Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The way to love God with your body is to responsibly steward your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
What are some of the greatest things people have created…like wonders of the world? What can people create that lasts the longest?
God has created humans with the capacity to make something that lasts forever—other human beings.
Physical things in this world pass away, including our bodies, but each person has a soul that will literally last forever. Think about this…after a trillion, trillion, trillion years from now, you will have just as much time left in eternity as you do today. Crazy!
I love what C.S. Lewis said about there being no ordinary people.
“You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
This is why Satan is intent on twisting God’s good design for sex and the family.
To understand Satan’s schemes for today, we must go back to the Genesis creation story and see what it reveals about his character.
In Genesis 1 we see over and over that everything God made was good, and He made humans to populate the earth and live in it, which shows us, among other things, that sex is designed for good. God has made a good world so people can populate it and live in loving relationship with Him and with other people.
In Genesis 3, though, Satan shows up and begins to undermine God’s good plan and design for the world and people. As a result, sin entered the world, corrupting it, and nothing has ever been the same.
Satan hasn’t changed his tactics. He is the same now as he was then. Here are three elements of Satan’s strategy that we can see from this story and apply it to our battle with living out God’s good design.
1. Satan corrupts.
He takes that which God has made good and corrupts it. John 8:44 tells us he is the father of lies. He corrupts goodness and truth. He corrupts the good purposes of food (nourishment, pleasure) by tempting people to either eat too much (gluttony) or eat too little (anorexia). He corrupts the good purpose of work by tempting people to either ignore it (laziness) or find their identity in it (workaholism).
Satan takes the same corrupting approach to sex, love, and relationships. He corrupts biblical marriage by encouraging divorce. He corrupts natural human desires by disseminating pornography. He corrupts God’s design for humans as gendered beings by undermining the objective reality of male and female. Satan is a corrupter of good.
2. Satan deceives.
He didn’t directly tell Adam and Eve that God is not good. Rather, he asked them questions to subtly undermine their confidence in God’s character…His goodness. He does the same for us today. He seeks to subtly deceive us, without us knowing.
2 Corinthians 11:14 – even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
He is also a cunning deceiver. He talked Adam and Eve into doing the wrong thing and convinced them they were doing what was right. He does the same thing with us today, as you can see from the culture around us. What is wrong is seen as right, and what is right is seen as wrong. This is why we shouldn’t gauge God’s Word by our feelings, but rather gauge our feelings by God’s Word.
3. Satan twists.
The first question Satan asks Adam and Eve is about the words God spoke.
Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Satan’s strategy is to twist God’s words. When he did to Adam and Eve, they gave into the temptation and ate the fruit. In contrast, think about Jesus. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness by twisting God’s Word, but Jesus overcame him by accurately quoting God’s Word back to him. Jesus knew that Satan twists the words of God, but that true freedom comes from aligning our lives with the truth of Scripture.
This is what Satan does with sex. He twists it and changes its intended meaning and purpose. God created sex as part of His very good creation. Sex is a big deal, but Satan twists it in our culture to make us think it is the biggest deal. Songs. Memes. TV. Social Media. Advertising. And so on.
What is called the “sexual revolution” has tried to convince us that sex is the route to happiness. Sex is undoubtedly good, and a wonderful gift from God, but it is not the most important aspect of human existence as the world would make you think.
On the other end, Satan also convinces believers that sex outside of marriage is the worst sin. That they can never come back from it. That they can never be forgiven. That they are “used goods” incapable of experiencing God’s best. But, that is also a lie.
The church of Corinth had serious sexual problems. The sexual culture around them had crept its way into the church. As Paul writes to them, he still refers to them as saints. He describes them as “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Sexual sin is serious, and it brings undesirable consequences, but it is certainly not unforgiveable.
God forgives you when you ask Him.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Even the apostle Paul called himself the chief of sinners. But, God came into the world to save sinners. That includes you and me.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 – 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
 C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (HarperOne, 2001), 45-46.