Derek begins this message today with a scripture from David proclaiming he was fearfully and wonderfully made. He then lists some scientific facts about the make-up of our bodies only God could have done. We are then admonished by scripture to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God.
Now I’d just like to put a question into your mind. When Paul says, “...may our whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is involved in our body being preserved blameless? Have you ever given any thought to that question? I think some of the answers will come in what I’m going to speak about.
My theme this morning is How Do You View Your Body? Many of you probably hardly have ever given any consideration to that question. And yet you live in a body. There is one thing sure about all of us here, each of us has a body. I want to say right at the beginning, that my words are addressed to people who have potentially healthy bodies. I say potentially because a lot of you don’t have healthy bodies, but you could have. But there are people here who could not have healthy bodies—people who are handicapped. My words are not addressed to them, but I want to say we appreciate you. You are not inferior. You are not second-class. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits I’ve ever encountered lived in very limited handicapped bodies. So please don’t take anything that I say as any kind of condemnation. I’m addressing people who could be healthy.
When we talk about viewing our body there are probably two extremes. One is people make their body an idol. They worship it. They cater to its every need. They spend half their time thinking about what to do for their body. How to eat, or how to clothe themselves, or how to make themselves look smart, or pretty, or important. Then there are the other group of people who are at the opposite end who view their body as a kind of weight that they are going to have to drag around until they die. Many of those people are dragging that weight around because originally it was their idol. If you make anything an idol, God will curse it because God curses idols. So between those two extremes most of us here today are found.
I want to turn to a Scripture which is very relevant in Psalm 139:13–14. These are the words of David. He had a revelation about his physical body. Psalm 139, verses 13 and 14:
“For You [God] have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
David had a revelation about his physical body. He said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” He was in awe of what he had in his body. He said, “I am fearfully made. I am wonderfully made.” And then he said something that most of us probably could not say, “My soul knows that very well.” Does your soul know just how wonderful is the body that you live in? Do you have a revelation? David saw that his body was a creative miracle of God, and he sensed in a sense, that he was personally responsible for that body. You know, having a body is a tremendous responsibility. Did you realize that?
Now, I am no scientist. Far from it. I used to be a philosopher. Philosophers and scientists hardly blend. There is information available and I want to give you some simple facts about your body. I had a very elaborate education. I was 16 years in continuous education, always in boarding institutions. You could say the last seven years of my education are what would be called higher education. And looking back I realize something amazing. I never had one lesson about my body in all those years. Somehow it was just taken for granted well your body’s there and it goes on functioning and you know, but let’s deal with the important things, the philosophical questions. And I suppose today included in education is a certain amount of teaching about the body.
Anyhow I’m going to share with you some simple scientific facts which could be available to anybody who would do just the minimum of research or who is in the happy position that I am to have a secretary who does it for me. So here are the facts. And these facts could be multiplied dozens of times.
Number 1: Millions of light sensitive nerve cells in the back of each eye relay the information to your brain through a bundle of nerve fibers that form the optic nerve. Your brain analyzes this information and as a result you see. The whole process takes a fraction of a second.
Number 2: The lens focuses light onto the retina, the back wall of your eye. To focus the lens changes shape. In a single day, your lens may change shape 100,000 times.
Did you know that was going on inside you? You see, you couldn’t say like David, “I know I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Number 3: Compared to other animals, and I really don’t believe you’re an animal but this is the way it was presented, you have a big brain for your body. The gray part of your brain is folded to fit inside your skull. Flattened out it would cover an ironing board. Do you know that?
Number 4: Now here is a most stupendous statement. You have 60,000 miles of blood vessels, enough to stretch almost two and a half times around the earth. Did you know that? 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside your body.
Another interesting fact: You have about 5 million hairs on your body, but only about 100,000 grow out of your head. And you remember Jesus said, “Even the hairs of our head are numbered.” So whatever the number may be, God knows exactly how many hairs there are on each head in this place this morning.
Next fact. Most of the cells that make up your organs are so small that over 200 of them could fit onto a period at the end of this sentence. I believe we have almost one trillion cells inside our bodies.
The last of these interesting facts, about 50 miles of nerves snake through your body. Like a network of telephone wires, they relay messages between your brain, spinal cord, and body. Again, did you know you had about 50 miles of wires inside you?
So when David said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” he was simply stating an objective, scientific fact.
Now, I want to speak about the place of the body in redemption, and it has a much more important place than many spiritual people are aware. In Romans chapter 12 Paul speaks in the light of all preceding 11 chapters of Romans. He starts with a therefore. “I beseech you therefore brethren...” And some of you who are familiar with me will have heard me say, when you find a therefore in the Bible, you want to find out what it’s there for. And this therefore is there because of the previous 11 chapters. In the most comprehensive and most wonderfully logical presentation, Paul has unfolded the whole redemptive purpose of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The law, redemptions from the law, oh, the part of the Holy Spirit; all this marvelous plan of God has been unfolded. And then Paul says, “Therefore...” In other words, in the light of all that I’ve shared with you, how should you respond? What should be your response? And he tells us very plainly.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
So the first response that God requires from us when we hear and respond to the gospel is what? We do what? We present our body. I thought you could say, “Well, God, I thought my body wasn’t that important. I know it’s my spirit and my soul that really matter. Why are you worrying about my body?” God is so wise. He says, “You give me the vessel and I’ll have the contents too. Give me your body and your soul and spirit are inside it.” But if you leave out the body you’ve made an incomplete surrender to Me.”
Then He says in the next verse:
“And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [that you may find out in experience] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
So what you do with your body determines how much you’ll appropriate of God’s will. If you don’t present your body, you’re not in a situation to find out God’s will for your life.