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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 2, 2015

Spiritual Body Builders

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Most of us are not body builders in the physical sense of the word. Others are. They spend a lot of time with their weights or at special conditioning machines, developing certain muscles or muscle groups.

Some people are body builders because they want to display their physique in competitions like "Mr. Universe", as Arnold Schwarzenegger once did. Others work out with weights to be strong and able to perform well physically.

We may not be body builders in the physical sense, but what about "spiritual body builders"? Every Christian can be a spiritual body builder in terms of the body of Christ, as we are members of that body.

Paul would not have known the term "body builder", but that is what he was. We read about him as his third journey began: "After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples" (Acts 18:23).

It is interesting that one of the Greek words for "strengthen" in the New Testament means "to cause someone to become stronger in the sense of more firm and unchanging in attitude or belief – to strengthen, to make more firm".

The apostle Paul was very concerned about the body being built up and care for. In this regard he made an interesting comment to the Christians in Philippi about his fellow elder Timothy: "I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state" (Philippians 2:19-20).

We are all familiar with the analogy of the body that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 12 to describe the church. We are all "members" of that body, the body of Christ. And God's purpose in placing the members of the body as He has is "that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another" (1 Corinthians 12:25).

We can all ask ourselves: "Am I contributing via my thoughts, words and actions to the strengthening of the body of Christ? Do I help build up the body of Christ, or do I weaken it?" Would the apostle Paul have been able to say the same thing about us as he did about Timothy to the Philippians?

Regardless of our age and physical condition, we can all be spiritual body builders.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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