Bodies, Breakfast and the Marriage Bed
Meditation on Daily Worship
“Worship” is the term we use to cover all the acts of the heart and mind and body that intentionally express the infinite worth of God. This is what we were created for, as God says in Isaiah 43:7, “Everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory…” That means that we were all created for the purpose of expressing the infinite worth of God’s glory. We were created to worship.
But don’t think worship services when you think worship. That is a huge limitation which is not in the Bible. All of life is supposed to be worship, as we saw in Romans 12:1. All of life is lived in the body. And the body is to be presented to God as our “spiritual service of worship.” This is utterly sweeping. Consider a few implications.
Take breakfast, for example, or Pizza Hut, or midmorning snacks. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Now eating and drinking are about as basic as you get. What could be more real and human? We eat and drink every day. We do it at home, at work, in the car, anywhere there is a water fountain. Paul says this all has to do with God. We are to eat and drink in a way that expresses the infinite worth of God. That is quite a challenge, since most eating tends to express the worth of food. How shall we eat so as to worship in our eating?
Or take sex, for example. Paul says the alternative to fornication is worship. “Flee fornication. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
Don’t fornicate with your body; worship with your body. He even says that the body is a temple, that is, a place of worship. The body is a place for meeting God, not prostitutes. This doesn’t mean sex is bad. It means that sex is precious. Too precious to be treated cheaply. God means for us to put it in a very secure and sacred place—marriage. There it becomes the expression of the love between Christ and the church. It shows the glory of the intensity of God’s love for his people. It becomes worship. “Glorify God in your body.”
And not doing sex outside marriage also shows the preciousness of what it stands for. So chastity is worship. Continence magnifies Christ above sexuality. And loving sexuality in marriage magnifies Christ as the great lover of his Bride, the church (Ephesians 5:25-30).
Or take death for a final example. This we will do in our body. In fact, it will be the last act of the body on this earth. The body bids farewell. How shall we worship in that last act of the body? We know we can, because Jesus told Peter how he would die and John said, “Now this he said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.” The last deed of the body is to bid farewell to the soul. And our great desire should be that the body bid farewell in a way that expresses the infinite worth of God. The last act should be worship.
How? We saw the answer in Philippians 1:20-21. Paul said that his hope was that Christ would be exalted in his body by death. Then he added, “For to me to die is gain.” We express the infinite worth of Christ in dying by counting death as gain. Why gain? Because, verse 23 says, death means going to be “with Christ” which is “very much better.”
You have a body. But it is not yours. “You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” You are always in a temple. Always worship.
Your partner in perpetual worship,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org