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Bible study lesson 23

Bible study lesson 23 - Health

Purpose: Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  As our Creator, Redeemer, and Father, God is intimately concerned with the health of the whole person - body, mind, and spirit.

Theme: Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly.

Bible verses to read:

  • John 10:10
  • Matthew 4:23
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
  • Genesis 2:5, 15
  • Genesis 3:17-19
  • John 4:5-7
  • Mark 6:30-32
  • Exodus 20:8-11
  • Genesis 1:27-29
  • Genesis 3:17-18
  • Daniel 1:1-17
  • Genesis 9:1-4
  • Deuteronomy 14:3-30
  • Leviticus 11
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Philippians 2:12-13
  • Psalms 84:11

Hello there!  Have you ever thought about your health recently?   You have probably made at least one resolution in the past to try to eat healthier and get more exercise.  If you are anything like me, you probably have broken that resolution.  Did you know that your physical health may be tied to the state of your spiritual health?  Today, we are going to talk about what the Bible says about health.

Before we start, I would like you to keep the following acronym "NEWSTART" in mind:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Temperance
  • Air
  • Rest
  • Trust in God

Let's turn to John 10:10.

- According to this verse, why did Jesus come?

  • Answer (highlight to read): Jesus came to give us life.

Jesus gives us a mission statement in this verse: He came to give us life, and in great abundance.  Jesus wants to improve our quality of life and life in its entirety.  All of His advice is for our benefit and blessing, not to be a burden.  What did this entail for Jesus?

Let's turn to Matthew 4:23.

- According to this verse,what did Jesus do in addition to preaching the gospel?

  • Answer: He healed people of all kinds of sicknesses and diseases.

For Jesus, the gospel proclamation went hand in hand with restoring health to our bodies.  Jesus views health as part of an abundant life!

Let's turn to 1 Thessalonian 5:23-24.

- According to these verses, what does Paul call to be preserved blameless at the coming of Jesus Christ?

  • Answer: Our whole spirit, soul, and body

Biblical spirituality is holistic.  The spirit, body, and soul will be preserved blameless.  Our physical health is important.  God's desire is not just for us to have good spiritual health, but He wants us to recognize the connection between our health and spiritual body.

Let's look at how God first set up humanity to live on this earth.

Let's turn to Genesis 2:5, 15 and Genesis 3:17-19.

- According to these verses, what duty did God give man?

  • Answer: God gave man the duty of tilling the ground and tending the Garden of Eden.

Adam, the first man, was given physical work to do by God, so EXERCISE was an integral part of God's plan to be an ordained blessing.  The work Adam was given exposed him to SUNLIGHT, and FRESH AIR.

Let's turn to John 4:5-7.

- According to these verses, when Jesus came to Samaria, what did He ask for, being wearied from His journey?

  • Answer: Water

Jesus had just been on a journey and in His own mind recognized the value of WATER.  This is the drink that Jesus sought.  God designed our bodies in such a way that drinking water was an important part of our lives.

Let's turn to Mark 6:30-32.

- According to these verses, what did Jesus tell the disciples to do after they gathered to Him and told Him what they had done and what they had taught?

  • Answer: To rest

Jesus recognized the value in taking specific time to REST, which is a necessary component to establish balance in our lives.

Let's turn to Exodus 20:8-11.

- According to these verses, what are we to do on the seventh day of the week after we had six days to work and to do to labor?

  • Answer: We are to rest on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath.

God has given us a holy day to spend with Him where we can cease from daily activity and to REST.  God Himself rested also on this day.  This day of rest was an ordinance that was in place BEFORE the fall where man could spend time with his Creator.

Let's turn to Genesis 1:27-29.

- According to these verses, what did God give Adam and Eve to eat for food?

  • Answer: Herbs and fruit

In the original diet God gave to man fruits, grains, and nuts for NUTRITION.  After the fall, the diet was comprised of fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.  God's optimal diet for His people as they lived in a sinful environment was a vegetarian diet.

Let's turn to Daniel 1:1-17.

- According to these verses, what did Daniel and his friends request the eunuch for food instead of the king's delicacies?

  • Answer: Water and vegetables

In these verses, we see Daniel's vindication of the original diet.  Daniel and his friends were not the only Hebrews in that environment, but they were the only ones who held fast to what they believed.  Daniel "purposed in his heart" to follow God, no matter what, and that included God's guidelines for NUTRITION.

Daniel and his companions requested only vegetables and water.  The result of using the original diet was more healthful than the rich diet that the king was eating along with the other Hebrew boys.

Let's turn to Genesis 9:1-4.

- According to these verses, what did God allow Noah and his family to eat in addition to herbs?

  • Answer:  Meat

Here we see the allowance for clean meat.  The flood had just destroyed the earth, so there were no vegetables.  God gave Noah the allowance of eating meat in addition to the original diet as long as it did not have blood in it.

There is an inherent understanding in the text of what was clean and unclean meat that predated Israel as a nation.  This is shown in the fact that there were significantly more clean animals than unclean animals taken into the ark.  Notice that this was before the Mosaic Laws.

Let's turn to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20.

- According to these verses, does the Bible allow us to eat all kinds of meat?

  • Answer: No, the Bible differentiates between clean and unclean meat.

The Bible makes a distinction between clean and unclean animals.

  • Clean land animals must have a split hoof and chew the cud.  If they have only one attribute, but not the other, then they are not clean.
  • Clean sea animals are fish with fins and scales.
  • Clean air animals are all the birds that are not listed.

Let's turn to Proverbs 23:29-35.

- According to these verses, does the Bible approve of drinking alcoholic beverages?

  • Answer: No

TEMPERANCE is defined as complete abstinence from all alcoholic beverages.  The Bible does not approve of drinking wine in moderation as verse 31 warns us to not even look at wine, lest we be tempted to drink even a little bit.  These verses counsel us to avoid going near a temptation, so we are not exposing ourselves to a risk of falling.  We should avoid environments where we can make a decision and end up like the person in the passage. 

Let's turn to Philippians 4:13.

- According to these verses, what we can we through Christ?

  • Answer: All things

We can do all things through Christ; all things are possible.  Does this include alcohol?  Cigarettes?  Drugs?

Let's turn to 1 Corinthians 10:31.

- According to this verse, is it possible that we can dishonor God by how we eat and drink?

  • Answer: Yes

We are stewards of our bodies and are responsible in how we manage it.  We have been given principles with which to govern ourselves in order to remain in optimum health.  We have to realize that things like alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs harm our bodies (regardless of the amount used) and bring dishonor to God.  There is a way to take care of our bodies so that it glorifies God.

Let's turn to Philippians 2:12-13.

- According to these verses, are we held accountable for our own salvation?

  • Answer: Yes

We have to take personal accountability for our own salvation because it is not us, but Christ who is in us working on our hearts to transform not only what we do, but also what we want to do.  If we have no desire on our own to make these changes, but want to glorify God, then our prayer is that we can ask Jesus to give us a change of desire so that we can appreciate holy things.

These verses tell us that we have a personal responsibility to the truths presented in the Bible, and that it is through God's sovereign enablement that allows us to fulfill that great responsibility.

Let's turn to Psalms 84:11.

- According to these verses, does God want to withhold any good thing from His people?

  • Answer: No

God is not withholding anything that would be good for us.  He only seeks to bless us.  Any change we are asked to make will be for our own good.  God is not a withholder! 

Friend, are you willing to trust in God's plan for your health?