The Least Command…

In my studies for this Sunday’s sermon, I ran across the dustiest of Christian Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 says,

‘Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But
since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each
woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife,
and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her
alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not
belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by
mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then
come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of

I wonder why in the teachings of the church, many of us fail to lay out a theology of the body. Paul talks about it rather often in his writings. Yet, we allow a worldview that says, "It’s my body" to continue to be propagated unchecked.

According to the Bible, my body belongs to God…and to my spouse…if I’m married. So, I take care of it, keep it pure, and use it to serve God and Emily.

Why is this taught as little as it is?  What are some constructive ways it could be taught.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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5 thoughts on “The Least Command…

  1. Much of our dichotomized theology of body and spirit come not from Plato more than our Bibles. While Scripture does make a distinction between heart, soul, mind, and strength, this may be more of the reality of first century philosophy and we must admit that the apostles are not writing a scientific treatise as they right down their letters and gospels. They are writing testimonies about God more than philosophies of the mind/body problem.
    We also have to affirm that Scripture values the body. Many of Jesus’ miracles involve touching others. He also cares for their physical needs as he brings them spiritual healing. Paul also emphasizes that our “bodies” are resurrected (in some sense) in 1 Corinthians 15, but much of the rhetoric I hear about heaven has to do with our souls more than our bodies. At times, we are more gnostic in our understandings of eschatology than distinctively Christian as we talk about our souls leaving our “physical tents.” This seems a bit troubling. If we read a gnostic dualist text into our buildings, would our people know the difference?

  2. I have a friend I heard preach on this subject years ago. I e-mailed him about that sermon. He said: “The lesson is from a concept made popular by Bill Gothard of
    the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.
    It is in a section of his week-long seminar about AUTHORITY and God’s plan for “freedom under authority.””
    He’s going to e-mail me some of the text.Randy

  3. Great post.
    It is a new look at a text that I look over a lot. It is something that I think every Christian should look at in their lives and strive.
    I am glad I cam across your blog. It looks great. I read Bill Hybels but didn’t know he had a new book out or I haven’t read that book yet. I just finished His book “Too Busy Not Too Pray” it totally changed my prayer life. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog.
    God bless your ministry in the Power of His Holy Spirit.