2 Corinthians 4
16That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
16I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.
10In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.
[All Bible quotes are from the New Living Translation.]
Paul speaks of our bodies which are dying in contrast to our spirits, which he refers to as having a brand new nature that is continually being renewed within us. In a general sense all people have a spark of good within them which is the image of God in which we were created. The fall of man and the entrance of sin in the world has largely hidden this element of good which is potentially in all men but if it weren�t still there no good whatsoever would be done by anyone on this earth. Both believers in God and unbelievers do good works. Atheists, skeptics, and agnostics have written good literature, made scientific discoveries beneficial to humanity, and have done many other helpful things in the world.
Having said this, I believe that there is a genuine experience of being "born again" which is referred to many times in the Bible. This restores once again to man, in beginning stages, what was lost through sin. The Scriptures clearly teach that this seed once planted must be cultivated in order to grow and bring forth fruit. When a person surrenders his life to Jesus Christ and opens his heart to receive the life of God he becomes a new creature in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The big mistake that most people make, including professed Christian believers, is to focus largely on the body as though that were the reality of our existence. So people talk endlessly about the pains and pleasures that pertain to the body. People love to tell of their trips to the doctor, their surgeries, their medications, all the health care professionals they are depending upon, etc. People also do everything possible by and large to abuse their bodies and inflict pain and suffering upon themselves. Most of this is done without realizing what is happening because of the focus on the body and supposedly bringing some pleasure by various bad habits of eating and drinking. Often people will talk of their pleasures in eating too many sweets, especially during holiday seasons. On the other hand, we have those who are very obsessive about taking care of their bodies thinking that this is who they really are. They may spend hours working out in gyms, taking lots of vitamins, etc.
I take the best care of my body that I possibly can for I want to glorify God and be free of as much suffering as possible, and be able to live sensibly and productively. But my main focus is not on my physical body but upon building my walk with God, finding my fulfillment in Him, and sharing His love with others. I eat the best food that I can find, exercise regularly, and seek to live in simplicity but I know that someday I will need to lay aside this earthly tent and go on to live in the Presence of God forever. This physical body will cease to function at some point but my spirit will not die. This eternal existence is where I seek to put the emphasis in my life and to help as many others as possible to do the same.
Written by Tom Durst of Spokane WA