The Human Body

 

     The human body is amazing. It defies our intelligence to believe that there are those who say that they do not believe in creation and that some how all things simply evolved from nothing. There are so many features about the human brain and body that absolutely preclude the notion of evolution, due to requisite co-existing organs, etc. Regarding the human body, please consider these facts:

     The average human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells. Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles (274 km) per hour. Your stomach needs to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it would digest itself. It takes the interaction of 72 different muscles to produce human speech.

     Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete. Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age. Your skull is made up of 29 different bones. The average surface of the human intestine is 656 square feet (200 m). The surface of the human skin is 6.5 square feet (2m).  15 million blood cells are destroyed in the human body every second. Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced.

     There are 45 miles (72 km) of nerves in the skin of a human being. The average human heart will beat 2. 5 billion times in its lifetime and pump 48 million gallons of blood. Each square inch (2.5 cm) of human skin consists of 20 feet (6 m) of blood vessels. Human blood travels 60,000 miles (96,540 km) per day on its journey through the body (material taken from Mawlana Faizani on the Internet).

     The more one learns of the human body, the more one has no trouble at all understanding the exclamation of David:

     "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well" (Ps. 139: 14).

     One reason the human body is seen as important in the scriptures is because it houses the eternal spirit of man. Paul wrote thus acknowledging our present housing and alluding to the future body: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven" (2 Cor. 5: 1, 2). The Bible also teaches that our present bodies are only temporary and are simply adapted to the present physical environs (Rom. 6: 12, 2 Cor. 4: 16). Let us now consider some additional biblical facts about the body.

     We are taught to fear not them which kill the body. While the body is very valuable, so much so that we depend on it for our existence here on earth, the soul, the real person that resides in the earthen vessel, takes priority. "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul," Jesus said, "but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10: 28). Never should the temporary housing of the soul be compromised for the eternal spirit therein dwelling. It is regrettable that many expend their existence on earth only considering the tangible and relatively mundane.

     We can dishonor our bodies. The scriptures accent the importance of the body when they teach that the body is the temple of the Spirit. Paul taught, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6: 19, 20). Just a few verses earlier Paul taught, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh" (I Cor. 6: 14, 15). Hence, those who commit fornication are dishonoring their bodies and using them for a purpose not intended by the Creator of the body.

     There are necessities regarding the body. "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6: 31, 33). All of these matters are necessary for the body, food, drink, clothing, etc. Exercise is also acknowledged as being of profit; albeit, comparatively little (I Tim. 4: 8). The scriptures teach legitimate love for our bodies (cp. Eph. 5: 28, 29).

     We are to control our bodies. Many Americans have lost total sight of the matter and need of self-control. Whatever the present urge and propensity is, satisfy the body, this is the philosophy of man today. James speaks of "control of the body" (Jas. 3: 2). Paul also wrote about controlling the body, the possibility and necessity of such. Consider his teaching: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (I Cor. 9: 27). I think it is important to notice that Paul in this statement also indicates that if we fail to control our bodies, such will result in being rejected of God.

     The body is to be a living sacrifice. We are not any longer under a system of animal sacrifice. This is because Jesus was "once offered" (Heb. 9: 20-28). In fact, as Gentiles, we were really never under such a system. One paramount sacrifice of the Christian, notwithstanding, is his body and mind. This sacrifice, however, is a "living sacrifice." "I beseech you therefore, brethren," Paul enunciated, "by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12: 1, 2). We thus offer our bodies in doing the will of God.

     The body in the husband and wife relationship. Selfishness is so common today, it is no wonder there is so much unhappiness. When two people do marry, they are often miserable and the marriage fails due to self-interest. Marriage involves the body and its conjugal needs, but in an unselfish sense.

     "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (I Cor. 7: 2-5).

     Regarding the physical body, deity indwelt it. The subject of the incarnation of Jesus or Jesus dwelling in a human body has been characterized by controversy. However, the Bible plainly teaches Jesusí indwelling a human body. "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me," the writer of Hebrews states (Heb. 10: 5). Hence, Jesus is fully aware of temptations such as are common to man (Heb. 4: 15, 16).

     Based on what we have seen about the body, the body is not exempt from the application of biblical principle and responsibility. The body enters into our service to God due to habitat, conveyance, and stewardship. We do not, then, have the right to ignore or mistreat our bodies. Serious lack of rest for the body, for instance, the inhalation or injection of harmful chemicals, and other too common practices are forbidden, as they can and often do render injury to the body. Just because the body is biblically treated with comparative little importance (compared to the soul or spirit), does not mean we are justified in minimizing the body to unimportance, irrelevance, and even oblivion.

     In the end, our bodies shall be "changed" (Phili. 3: 21, I John 3: 2). In the spiritual realm to come, a body that is designed for the celestial will be provided (I Cor. 15: 35). Until then, may we keep our bodies to maximize their service and good health (cp. 3 John 1, 2).  (Related reading would be, "Sports and the Christian".)