Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
In Psalm 139:14 (NLT) the writer declares —
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it”
In the English Standard Version, it reads —
“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.”
The Psalmist is telling us in no uncertain terms that our physical bodies did not evolve. They were made and they were made by God. In Psalm 139:13 He declares, “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
These bodies that God designed for us to live in are not only fearfully and wonderfully made, but we are to live in them for the glory of God.
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:31 wrote, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (ESV)
Here is a truth: Our bodies are to be used in a manner, that whatever we do, we do for the glory of God.
Now, I want us to explore another passage where Paul teaches about the use of the body (Some of what I want to share here, I am borrowing from one of my favorite Bible Teachers — Dr John Phillips and his commentary on 1st Corinthians. Paul in 1st Corinthians 6:19 reminds us in no uncertain terms…
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”
These fearfully and wonderfully made bodies in which we live are also the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who comes to live in every born-again Christian, are therefore not to be used for unholy purposes.
· Listen to how Dr. Phillips describes our bodies.
“The body is a marvelous piece of divine engineering and God expects us to keep it clean and under control. The more modern science discovers about its members and its mysteries, the more marvelous it becomes. Take, for instance, the chemistry of the blood. Consider for a moment, just one of its molecules, the one we call hemoglobin. It is made up of 3,032 atoms of carbon, 4,812 atoms of hydrogen, 780 atoms of nitrogen, 4 atoms of iron, 880 atoms of oxygen, and 12 atoms of sulfur— a total of 9,520 atoms, each of which has to be hooked up to the other atoms in a precise and proper way. That is just one molecule of one part of the body. The greatest genius in the world cannot give us the chemical equation for one complete, functioning body. We know today, far better than David did, how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. The chemistry of a single cell is awesome in its complexity, yet the brain alone contains 30 billion of them. The veins contain 20 trillion blood cells. The skin contains a million cells.
In all, it is estimated that there are more than a million-million cells in the human body, a number which staggers the imagination. During any given moment, in the life of any one cell, thousands of events are taking place. Indeed, each cell is a micro universe of bewildering complexity. The nucleus of a cell, where all the complicated machinery is found, is actually less than four ten-thousandths of an inch in diameter. Moreover, the components of any given cell are enclosed in a membrane only half a millionth of an inch thick.
The evolutionary concept that all this “just happened’, that the human body has resulted from a “fortuitous concourse of atoms” that blind chance produced such prodigious order out of chaos, is ludicrous. The body, was made, and it was made by God, planned by His omniscient genius, and produced by His omnipotence. That there should be no real purpose for such a complex organism is incredible. That God should leave us with no instructions as to the purpose for which He created our bodies is belied by the fact — one reason is given in the last two verses of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. (“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.”) That God would not warn us against the abuse or misuse of our bodies in 1 Corinthians 6:13 — “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food — and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the LORD and the LORD for the body.”
(Dr. Phillips served as assistant director of the moody Correspondence School as well as director of the Emmaus Correspondence School, one of the world’s largest Bible correspondence ministries. He also taught in the Moody Evening School and on Moody Broadcasting radio network.)
Let me pull some of the thoughts from 1 Corinthians 12-20 — Paul is addressing the right use of our bodies for the glory of God.
· Marriage between a man and a woman is what God intended.
· Sexual activity outside of marriage is fornication and is condemned by God.
(Some of the Corinthian Christians were using prostitutes to satisfy fleshly appetites. They felt that these appetites were matters of indifference for Christians just as they apparently were for everyone else. Paul is saying, “Not so!”)
· Paul emphatically says that the body is not for fornication. Period!
· We are to surrender our bodies to the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, from whom we get eternal life (vs. 13)
· Our LORD will also resurrect our bodies (vs. 14)
· Our bodies are to be used to accomplish God’s eternal purposes in the world. Romans 12:1-2
· We will be given resurrected bodies so that we can carry out God’s purposes in eternity. (Romans 8:18-19)
· The very fact that Jesus was given a body at birth, dignified the purpose for our bodies. (Hebrews 10:5)
· Jesus was the Son of man and He was tempted in all points as we are, but He never yielded to sin. (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24)
· Christ’s body was kept free from corruption and decay in the grave (Psalm 16:10; Acts 13:35)
· Christ in His resurrected body sits at the right hand of the Father, and from there He administers the entire universe (Hebrews 1;3, 13; 2:6-9)
· One day we will rule and reign with Him. (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6)
· At our conversion we are uniquely bonded to Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:17, “But he that is joined unto the LORD is one spirit.”
This is an amazing union!
I believe Paul is delicately, yet emphatically, saying that the bonding and ecstasy that is experienced by a husband and wife in sexual union, is a picture of the kind of fulfilling union we are to have with Christ as we grow in Him.
So, his summary statement is — because we are uniquely and wonderfully made, and are bonded to Christ at conversion — we are to use our bodies, minds and spirits to glorify Him.
In His Glory,