The basic idea of gluttony is overindulgence. And sure, we can talk about food and that's what our minds go to and the Bible does speak about that, but I think we also need to broaden that out a bit and think of overconsumption, over consumerism, overindulgence in just about anything.
And I think you might agree that of all the periods of church history, this subject has never been more pertinent than it is now. Overindulgence has become a hallmark of our modern American culture. Whether it's eating, drinking, or even binge watching, we love to indulge ourselves. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip points out how you can battle overindulgence so you can grab a hold of the true satisfaction God has for you.
Before we begin, here's a resource that will nourish you spiritually. What would it look like if God threw a party? Well, the Old Testament shows that the Jewish calendar is anchored with regular, mandatory holidays and celebrations. And the Book of Esther says that God wants His people to experience light and gladness, joy and honor at such times.
Sound like your family celebrations? Listen to this insight from Skip Heitzig about one of our own regular holidays, Valentine's Day. It's for God so loved. That's the essence of His nature. The Bible says God is love. Boy, that is so simple to say, and it's so hard for some of us to believe. Happiness, Holiness and Holidays is a four DVD collection of celebration messages from Pastor Skip, messages that could be a game changer for your family. Take holidays from toxic stress to celebrations of light and joy.
Here's a sample. You are loved by God, not because you deserve it, but because, just because. That is His nature.
It is His decision. Imagine that foundation for the next holiday on your family calendar. This selection of some of Pastor Skip's holiday teachings is our thanks when you give $25 or more to help connect more people to God's Word.
Visit connectwithskip.com slash offer to give online securely or call 800-922-1888 and request your copy of Happiness, Holiness and Holidays with Skip Heitzig. Okay, let's dive into today's teaching. We're in 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 as we begin our study with Skip Heitzig. There's a great old story about D.L. Moody, that great evangelist from Chicago in the last century. And Moody loved Charles Spurgeon. He considered Spurgeon a mentor, a hero, even though he didn't know him personally.
He had followed him from afar and he always wanted to meet Charles Haddon Spurgeon. So Moody went over to London, knocked on his door. Spurgeon opened the door, answered it and opened the door with a big cigar hanging out of his mouth, which shocked D.L. Moody. And he kind of stepped back a few steps on the stoop, shocked and bewildered and Moody said to Spurgeon, how can you, a man of God, do that? And Spurgeon was always up for a challenge and he smiled, took the stogie out of his mouth, walked down a few steps where Moody was and pointed to D.L. Moody's rather large rotund stomach and said, the same way that you, a man of God, can do that.
It was reported that Spurgeon even said, Mr. Moody, I'll put down my cigars when you put down your fork. Have you noticed that Christians are quick to judge others on obvious blatant sins? I would call them cultural sins in some regards.
They're quick to say, well, you shouldn't smoke, you shouldn't drink, you shouldn't say those words, you shouldn't own those things. But they themselves, while they say that, may be guilty of this very sin of gluttony. Now I'm going to venture a guess that you've probably never heard a sermon on gluttony in your life. It could be, but I doubt that you have or very, very few have. I've never preached one on it.
This is the first time. You're thinking, you must be crazy to even try to tackle this subject. You want to make everybody your enemy?
And that is certainly not my desire. When you hear the word gluttony, I wonder what image comes into your mind. I'll be honest with you, when I think of gluttony, the first image that comes to my mind is from the movie Star Wars. I think of Jabba the Hutt, right? That big old, I'm so young. That is like the personification of gluttony.
Now maybe some of you are more spiritual than I am. You don't think of Jabba the Hutt. You might think to that story in your Bible of a king in Judges 3 called King Eglon of Moab. The Bible says that he was a very fat man.
That's right there in the Bible, King James and all. And it says that Ehud from Israel was a left-handed warrior who came to give a message to King Eglon. And it was an 18-inch bladed sword that he kept on his side. And he plunged it. He said, I have a message for you from God to his enemy. And he plunged it into Eglon. And it says Eglon was so large that it just consumed the 18-inch blade handle and all.
Just the folds of the fat kind of went around it. And I just got to say it's one of the coolest stories in the Bible if you're a guy. But the Bible does speak about this issue. In Proverbs 23, Solomon, who probably knew a lot about gluttony, said, Do not mix with winebibbers or gluttonous eaters of meat, for both will come to poverty. In Ezekiel chapter 16, there's a very interesting text regarding the city of Sodom.
Most people think of Sodom as being destroyed by God for one particular sin, and they're quick to bring that out. However, it says in Ezekiel 16 that the sins of Sodom were pride, laziness, and gluttony, while the poor and the needy suffered outside. Then there's this crazy text in Proverbs 23 where Solomon says, When you sit down to eat with the ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.
Now the idea isn't go sit down and slit your throat. The idea graphically put in poetic language is don't allow yourself to be controlled by a meal, even if it's a really great meal from a really great king. The basic idea of gluttony is overindulgence. And sure, we can talk about food, and that's what our minds go to, and the Bible does speak about that.
But I think we also need to broaden that out a bit and think of overconsumption, over consumerism, overindulgence in just about anything. And I think you might agree that of all the periods of church history, this subject has never been more pertinent than it is now. I read an article by Joe McKeever, a pastor and an author. The article grabbed my attention. It was called Five Reasons Pastors Don't Preach on Gluttony.
I thought, well, I got to read that. Five reasons why pastors don't preach on gluttony. Before I even read the article, I thought, well, I know why they don't.
They want to keep their job. But that wasn't one of the reasons. He gave five reasons.
It's in Christianity.com. But afterwards, he gives three reasons why they should preach on gluttony. Number one, he says, is health. I'm quoting him. He said, obesity is the scourge of our times. It is the black plague of the 21st century. Look at an old video clip of city life in the 1940s and how slim people were.
Then stand in the mall and look at your neighbors. So he says health is the first reason. Second, he says, is Scripture. First Corinthians 10, 31 tells us, whatever you eat or drink and whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. And the third reason, McKeever says, preachers should preach on it, is for godliness sake. Part of godliness, he argues, is self-control.
And that is part of the fruit of the Spirit, as we'll see in Galatians 5. Now, we live in this culture. We live in this culture. We live in this society. And what you should know is that our society is now beginning to adjust for this lifestyle change, this sort of gluttonous behavior. Airlines are redesigning and reconfiguring their airplanes to accommodate larger sized patrons. Hospitals are adding space just to handle the multiple diseases that are stemming from this lifestyle.
Now, having said that, and it's interesting how quiet we got at this last few moments, you could almost hear a pin drop if we had a hard floor. At the same time, I need to say this. We have to be very, very careful here not to judge a person based upon outward appearance, based upon body type. We do not see the heart. Only God sees the heart. And it's wrong. In fact, it's sinful to judge the inside of a person based on the outside of a person.
We don't know the conditions that exist. Different people have different metabolisms. Different people have different genetic makeups. And there are certain medical reasons why a person can gain weight. Even Jesus was accused of being a glutton, which was untrue. But I've had you turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 6, because I want to look at this through a very particular lens of two verses. 1 Corinthians chapter 6, beginning in verse 19. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
For you are bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. In view of this very negative topic, I want to give you four positive truths, four affirming truths about your body. And essentially, what Paul gives us in these two verses could be seen as a mini-theology of the human body. Here in verse 19, he says, Paul the apostle's theology of your body.
First of all, your body is a holy place. Notice he says, do you not know, verse 19, that your body is the temple? Three times in 1 and 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul regards the individual Christian's body as the temple of God. Once in Ephesians, he talks about all of the members, all of the people, the corporate body of Christ as God's temple. But three times in 1 and 2 Corinthians, he's referring to the individual Christian as the temple. So Paul is speaking here about the physical human body. And what he is dealing with is a culture that was exactly the same as the culture that was existing in Corinth at the time.
And that was the culture of pleasure. So what I want you to do is notice something. We're going to look at context here. I want you to go back to verse 12. Paul says, all things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. Just because I can do anything, they're not right. I shouldn't do all things. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
I'm not going to be addicted to anything. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods. But God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.
And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot?
Certainly not. Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For the two, he says, shall become one flesh. But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?
Who is in you whom you have from God and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. Now verse 13 was a slogan spoken by people who lived in Corinth.
I want you to notice what it was. It says foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods. People were saying that all over the streets of Corinth. That was a modern common slogan in Corinth 2000 years ago.
And what it meant was this. Food is a necessity, but it's also a pleasure. And for that matter, so is sex. It's a necessity for procreation, but it's also very pleasurable. So they use this little slogan to justify their excessive behavior. They used it to justify gluttony, sexual immorality, drunkenness.
It was a lifestyle of hedonism. It's all about getting pleasure from my body. So Paul says that may be true that food and sex are both necessities as well as a pleasure. But what you need to know is your body serves a higher purpose than just your pleasure. It is God's place.
It's a holy place. So get this, you have a body, but you are not just your body. Your body and spirit. Paul says that in verse 20, that you should glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God. So you have a spirit, but you also have a body and the body is the means by which your spirit communicates to others around you.
You want to share your feelings, your inmost thoughts, how you process things, your values that comes through the medium of your physical body. Paul calls it a temple. Something they would be familiar with because in Corinth, there were many temples. And I've been to Corinth and I've seen the ruins of the temples to Aphrodite and Apollo and Asclepias and others. But if they were Jewish in their background, some of them were, they would automatically think that there was also a temple in Jerusalem to the true and living God.
And that would have special meaning to them. Because a temple was a place of worship, a temple was a place of prayer, a temple was a place of sacrifice, celebration. Temples were built in cities to remind inhabitants of that city that God had a plan and a purpose for their life.
So when he says your body is a temple, it's very significant. So these temples were built, but they were also kept clean. You know, they would build a temple, they wouldn't just let it go off on its own, they would maintain and clean that temple.
Even in Jerusalem. If you remember, I'm not holding you accountable to remember this small detail, but back in 1 Chronicles chapter 23, after Solomon built the temple, it says that he employed 38,000 people, 38,000 men, Levites, to help the priests with their daily responsibilities, and 24,000 of them were to look after the work of the house of the Lord. That is, they were to maintain the temple, clean the temple, make sure it was just right. And then we even say that Jesus, twice in his ministry, we call it cleansed the temple.
Have ever heard that terminology? That didn't mean he had a sponge and a bucket and he's out there cleaning the temple. It meant that he took a whip and he drove out of the temple those who were buying and selling on the temple courts. He cleansed the temple. Likewise, when we view our body as a temple, we are raising the viewpoint of our life.
It raises life to a higher plane. Because now, I see my body not just as a tent, though it is temporary, I don't see my body as a tenement, I don't see my body as a trash can, I see my body as a temple. So your body is a holy place.
Second affirming truth, second positive truth about your body. Your body is a holy place, your body is a holy place, but your body has a holy person. In fact, that's what makes it a holy place.
Did you see what he said? Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you and whom you have from God. In ancient pagan temples, there was the belief among the pagans that the god or goddess that they worshiped at that temple was housed in that temple. So they would put up an idol, a statue. And they actually believed that the god or goddess inhabited that likeness, that idol that was represented.
Now this was far different from Jerusalem. Was there any statue in the temple in Jerusalem? Any picture of God? Any picture of God? How many pictures of God or statues were there?
This many, zero. Because of the second commandment, they couldn't make statues, they couldn't make images of God. They believed, however, that God was present there. They called it the kavod, the holy presence of God in the temple.
But they knew that the power of God and the might of God does not dwell in temples. As Solomon said, and Stephen repeats in the New Testament, for the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands. He does, however, dwell in this temple, the physical body of the Christian.
He takes up residence in your body. Jesus Christ said, in John 14, speaking of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth dwells with you and He will be in you. So your body is a holy place because your body houses a holy person, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune God.
What does that mean to you practically? Well, what it should mean is that you ought to see your body as the base of operations from which the Holy Spirit works in the lives of people around you. Just as Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum and made Capernaum the headquarters for three and a half years of His earthly ministry, start looking at your body as HSHQ, Holy Spirit's headquarters right now in my physical body. He is taking up residence in me. So Jesus wanted to win you so the Holy Spirit can dwell in you.
That's part of His redemptive plan. It's not just to save you, it's to save you and then use you by planting His Holy Spirit in you as the base of operations. So my body as a temple should be used to worship and serve the true and living God.
Hold that thought. When Paul writes his letter to the Philippians, which we covered in depth on Sunday mornings not too long ago, he said a strange phrase in chapter 3. He spoke about those whose God is their belly.
Isn't that a weird phrase? Whose God is their belly? Why they go, hallelujah belly, I praise you, worship you. That just sounds weird.
But listen to the whole sentence. Whose God is their belly and who set their mind on earthly things. In other words, they worship their appetites. They're controlled by their appetites. They don't control their appetites, their appetites control them and they just serve their appetites. That's what it means by their God is their belly. Question, why do people become gluttons to use the Bible term. I want to be careful here because I am not a doctor and I'm not a psychiatrist.
I'm not a psychologist. There are a variety of reasons that people have food issues. But let me give you one of the most fundamental reasons why a person would resort to gluttony.
It's because so many people have a flawed view, the primary view of humanity is flawed. And that is most people, many people in this world, their primary view of humanity is I exist here for my pleasure. Life is about my personal pleasure, which by the way was the unsaved Corinthians view of life.
There's a whole Greek school of thought called Epicureanism and Epicurus and his followers the Epicureans believed that life's sole purpose was for enjoyment, sensual enjoyment, enjoying food, enjoying drink, enjoying all those things in excess as much as you want, as long as it brings you pleasure. Now, many times gluttony is the result of trying to cover up some emotional scar. Gluttony is often regarded as an emotional cry for help.
As author Peter De Vries writes, gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign that something is eating us. That's Skip Heintze with the message from the series White Collar Sins. Now here's Skip to share how you can keep these teachings coming to you while connecting others to the Lord.
Here's an important truth. God doesn't need us to accomplish His work in the world, but He desires to use us and bring us into His plan. That's why we share these Bible teachings on this broadcast so friends like you can be equipped in your faith as the Lord works through you. And right now, you're invited to help strengthen others' faith by connecting them to God's Word. Here's how. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.
800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity and come back tomorrow as Skip Heintze shares some life changing reasons for taking care of your body, not just for physical health, but for spiritual impact. Because God gave His Son to buy you to place His Holy Spirit in. Therefore, our responsibility, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. Connect with Skip Heintze is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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