For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
I Timothy 4:8
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
Why are we here? This is a question to which the answer should be simple, but it seems that some people just have no clue! Clearly, we are here to make a difference, but to what extent & how to define that difference is often where we come face to face with a brick wall. Should we be doing more to impact, to transform the culture around us, or should we instead focus on our own lives in preparation for our final destination & separate ourselves from the wicked world around us that seems to be headed for hell in a handbasket? If we ARE here to make a difference, should we not be ready to give up our physical existence to further the Kingdom of Heaven?
It has been said before that, 'we are spiritual beings having a human ( physical ) experience', but wouldn't you think that this 'experience' could be so much better if we didn't have certain physical ailments & disabilities to deal with?! Some, particularly those with said ailments & disabilities, might wonder if they would be better suited to serve in the Kingdom if they were 'whole'! The wisdom of man would certainly tell us that, 'yes, if we had our full capacity, we would be able to accomplish more for the Kingdom'!
Looking at the verses quoted above in their necessary context, we should note that, while they ARE fulfilled in the sense that 'the life.......which is to come' & 'the new creation' of which the apostle Paul wrote are the Life which we now Live through Jesus the Christ & the Spirit of our Heavenly Father, they still speak to us today. They should serve as reminders that, though the way we treat our biological bodies has a necessary effect on our living in the human realm, it is how we live in the spiritual realm that has the most effect! When we live according to our Heavenly Father's Word, in the Spirit, we have the most & best impact on the culture around us.
'Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise': this quotation from Benjamin Franklin has stood the test of time! In a culture where the norm for many people seems to be quite the opposite, we have what you now see; a lack of responsibility in many areas, reliance on a false messiah ( government-federal rather than self ), a false sense of security & idolatry. The majority of people, if they even think about it at all, live only to die & escape the rigors of this life to spend an eternity in Heaven or Hell. 'If we only we were free of this mess, things would be so much easier' seems to be the common dream of most, but many fail to realize that this 'mess' is one of our own making!
'If you wanna be free, be free'! The apostle Paul once wrote, 'if anyone [ is ] in Christ, [ he is ] a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new'. The apostle obviously wasn't referring to our biological bodies here, he was referring instead to the Body of Christ & our spiritual state. It's no wonder that so many people seem to think that Paul was looking forward to some day in the distant future when his words would come true! However, his words were true in that day; he was speaking of a new ( spiritual ) creation, one that, beginning with the inward man ( woman ) would have such an effect on the outward man ( woman ) that it would affect the culture around him ( her )!
Physically speaking, we can all attest to the fact that most of us are far from 'whole', though the question might be asked, 'what IS 'whole?' We HAVE been made whole! We ARE a New Creation ( I know; it doesn't feel like it, right? ) It is not about what we do to or with these biological bodies that makes us a New Creation, though what we do to & with these biological bodies greatly affects our personal impact! The glorious fact of the New Creation IS, however, proven BY what we do in the physical realm. When we take care of these 'shells', whether through 'bodily exercise' & better nutrition or whatever, it WILL have an effect on how we live our lives in this realm, but it has NO effect on our spiritual standing with our Heavenly Father!
Having been made whole then, through the glorious fact of the New Creation, let us so live in the Spirit that we have the greatest effect in the physical realm! Not neglecting the biological bodies that we have been given in the physical realm, let us rather use them to affect the transformation that this society, this culture so sadly needs. We HAVE the Power, through the Spirit, to effect this transformation, whether our biological bodies are 'whole' or not! Do our physical 'disabilities' hinder the Kingdom of Heaven? The wisdom of man would seem to say 'yes', but the Wisdom From Above says 'NO'! Whatever our individual abilities ( or disabilities ), it is the New Creation that enables us to DO for His Glory & the furtherance of the Kingdom!
Charles Haddon Shank