GIVE YOUR BODY TO GOD AND LIVE IN MORAL FREEDOM
By: Frank Tunstall, D. Min.
A few days ago, a pastor serving a church in a denomination near Oklahoma City was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a nine-year-old boy at a school bus stop. The story has made national news. I was heartbroken for the man whom I do not know, his wife and children, and his church.
Immorality was very rampant in ancient Rome, and the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Paul clear instructions on how to live in moral freedom. Paul included it in his letter to the believers in Rome. He began at Romans 6:11-14 and resumed at Romans 12:1-2.
“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:11-14).
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).
Many people who have received teaching on what it means to be born again have never been taught to dedicate their bodies to God as a living sacrifice.
I wish to link Romans 6:11-14 with Romans 12:1-2 and use a military illustration to present this vitally important teaching. An army out in the field will have its perimeters of defense that start with the outer line of defense and work back to the command-and-control center.
Godly moral living needs moral perimeters of defense. I will offer seven perimeters that need to be established in a person’s walk with God to secure moral living. If these moral perimeters are not built in advance, it will almost surely be too late to try to construct them while in the middle of the temptation. I will begin with number seven, the outer perimeter, and work back to what I think of as the spiritual command-and-control center – Protecting God’s Good Name.
7. Giving Your Body to God will help you admit it could happen to you.
“He that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV).
Pastor Chuck Swindoll wrote about his system of accountability for his church staff. Each employee has an accountability partner. The partners are responsible to meet weekly and ask each other the following seven questions:
Have you been with a woman or a man in this past week that might be seen as compromising?
Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
Have you viewed any sexually explicit material in the past week? (The internet can easily be a silent mistress.)
Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
Have you given priority time to your family?
Have you fulfilled this week the mandates of your calling?
Have you just lied to me?
Remember Samson. He had no moral defensive perimeters and it meant Delilah could destroy him, and Satan saw to it that she did.
Giving your body to God will help you recall your vows to your spouse.
“I, __________, take you __________, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and
in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance, and this I pledge in full faith.”
Couples would benefit to read their vows together again and again at special times in the year, and especially when their anniversary rolls around.
Giving your body to God will strengthen your covenant with your eyes, your hands, your feet, your desires, and your imagination. It will also help you understand the law of attraction – there are some men/women you should never spend time alone with
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”
This includes the whole sphere in modern culture of pornography, including internet porn, as well as videos and movies, especially movies rated R and X.
Giving your body to God will strengthen your understanding of your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:13, 9-20
“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
Therefore, honor God with your body.”
Giving your body to God will help you be willing to run!
“[Joseph] left his cloak in (Potiphar’s wife’s) hand and ran out of the house.”
Please read Genesis 39:1-18 for Joseph’s full story.
2 Timothy 2:22
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
Giving your body to God will motivate you to minimize the benefits and magnify the consequences.
Please, please, please receive this carefully. When you have multiplied by even a hundred times how bad you think the consequences might be, you will find the results will be worse still.
[THE COMMAND-AND-CONTROL CENTER] GIVING YOUR BODY TO GOD WILL INSURE YOUR DEEPLY FELT RESPECT FOR GOD’S NAME.
Genesis 39:9: “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
Isaiah 52:5: “As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’”
The minister charged with abusing the child at the school bus stop probably realizes now how God’s name is being mocked across America and overseas.
2 Samuel 12:13-14: Nathan said to David, “…by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt…” (2 Samuel 12:13-14).
Seven perimeters, and #1 is at the command-and-control center and is the most important – guarding the good name of our Lord.
Dear Reader, if you have never done so, please consider offering a sincere and heart felt prayer of dedication to God, akin to this:
I dedicate my whole body to you, making it a “living sacrifice.” In doing so I give my heart anew to you.
I also present to you what the Apostle Paul described as “every part” of my body. I make a living sacrifice of:
My mind, including my imagination.
My arms and hands