The other night I had a dream. A nightmare really (though it wasn’t the typical clown one). In this dream I was traveling with some friends, going through a rather hostile country; one torn apart by war, government corruption, and and incessant desire to kill anyone who seemed like a threat. Apparently I seemed like a threat. For reasons unknown to me, I was arrested and sentenced to death by firing squad. Now, even though it was just a dream my emotions felt very real (even after I woke up) – I was perfectly alright with dying, but the knowledge that I was walking to my own death and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it was slightly frightening.
I’ve always been fine with the thought of death; I know that there is a point where everyone is going to die eventually, and I’m cool with that. I’m not afraid of death. But what is it about going to your death, not knowing why you’re dying (in the event of someone killing you), and being completely helpless? I don’t know.
Last Sunday morning I went to my old church in Princeville, had lunch with some friends and ended up going back to the evening service with them. The evening’s sermon wasn’t so much a profound teaching from scripture as an exhortation about health – a reminder that my body, as the Holy Spirit’s temple, should be maintained both through physical exercise and healthy eating.
Now, it’s pretty common for my mind to start wandering in church… I’ll hear one thing that’ll trigger a thought that leads to another, and before long I’m on a totally different subject. It’s usually an equally edifying subject, but still different. That happened last Sunday; I heard “body,” and started thinking about how the body correlates to the soul.
In the beginning God created; first animals, then people. But he created them different from each other. While the animals only have a body, humans are made of body and soul. Shortly after being created humans rebelled against God. The consequence for this rebellion was death – for the body it was physical (it’s ultimate destination is six feet under), and for the soul it was spiritual (never-ending separation from God).
Over the years laws were put in place to try and redeem the body – but despite people’s best intentions and attempts they always fell short. It wasn’t until Jesus provided a way for the soul to be redeemed that people could truly be reunited with their Creator.
So, while both the body and soul are doomed to die, the soul can be redeemed. But until the body dies the soul must fight the temptation of the body, which cannot be redeemed (though it can be given new life – Romans 8:11).
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.