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What the Bible says about Health
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Good health is important. The Kingdom of God may not be meat and drink (Romans 14:17), but there are vitally important spiritual principles involved in disciplining oneself to produce as good health as possible. God says in Revelation 11:18 that He will "destroy those who destroy the earth." What kind of signal does it send to God when we abuse or neglect our bodies, the most fantastic mechanism of all His physical creation?

Life has two aspects, the physical and the spiritual. The spiritual is undoubtedly the more important, but that does not mean the physical is unimportant. They affect each other. When one suffers, so does the other. When the one improves, so does the other. These may not be absolute laws, but at least they are true generalities. How often have you said something similar to, "If I just felt better, I could do more"? When we do not feel good, we are likely to spend more time thinking about ourselves. This works contrarily to godly love which expresses concern for others. Therein lies one of good health's major benefits. It enables one to be better prepared to give godly love.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Here's to Your Good Health!

Related Topics: Drink | Food | Health | Service


 

Psalm 103:2-3

The parallelism in verse 3 inextricably links the two clauses together so that they are nearly equal. Healing us of sickness is to God forgiving us of sin (see Mark 2:3-12 for the New Testament equivalent).

Even in His original promise to heal in Exodus 15:25-26, God shows a direct link between sin, disease, obedience, and healing (see Leviticus 26:14-16; Deuteronomy 28:15, 22, 27-28, 35; Psalm 107:17-20; Isaiah 19:22; Hosea 6:1). This, too, has a New Testament counterpart, James 5:14-15.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Sin Is Spiritual!

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Breaking the laws of physical health, such as lack of exercise and rest, injuring and abusing the body, unhygienic practices and poor nutrition, may also produce spiritual effects. Neglecting one's body, Paul says, is a sin of defiling what is holy, and God will punish for it. With an important addition, he repeats this three chapters later in I Corinthians 6:19-20, where he also ties in Christ's redemptive sacrifice for us. These types of sins are also forgiven. Our Savior's gift of His life covers it all!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Sin Is Spiritual!

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

We can describe the American diet in one brief phrase: "too much and too little." It is comprised of too much of things known to be destructive and too little of the things known to be constructive. We eat too much food and absorb too little vital nutrition. The critical aspect of this for us is not the availability of helpful knowledge but a combination of a failure to take advantage of readily known principles of good health and allowing our appetites to persuade us to gloss over what we already know.

Hardly a person alive does not know that drinking Coke and Pepsi is absolutely no good for one's health. Soft drinks may indeed be refreshing to the taste, but they fail even to quench one's thirst! In the end, they actually make one thirstier than before—and they are diuretics besides!

Twelve ounces of Coke contain the equivalent of twelve teaspoons of white granulated sugar and comes loaded with caffeine. A dash of phosphoric acid gives it fizz. Phosphoric acid, known to corrode a steel nail in short order, is the ingredient that makes Coke a good polish for the chrome on one's car. Does anybody deliberately eat twelve teaspoons of sugar at one sitting? Yet we will if we get it in a Coke because human nature convinces us it is acceptable presented this way. It tastes so good!

The so-called diet drinks sweetened by aspartame are even worse. In the body, aspartame first converts to formaldehyde then to formic acid, which in turn moves the body toward metabolic acidosis. Aspartame (sold under the brand names Nutrasweet, Equal, etc.) has been found to be disorientating to nerve impulses in the brain, and it is potentially dangerous for people with blood-sugar problems, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease. It causes dizziness, headaches, slurred speech, blurred vision, memory loss, depression, joint pain, muscle spasms, and feelings of aggression, cramps, and vertigo. It even mimics multiple sclerosis and lupus. "But that's okay," human nature says, "because, after all, I am getting such a tiny amount that it can't possibly hurt. Besides that, I still get the kick from the caffeine and far fewer calories, so I can stay on my diet and lose weight."

Benjamin Franklin remarked, "You will observe with concern how long a useful truth is known and exists, before it is generally received and practiced on." Some things are physically far worse for us to consume than the meats forbidden in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. These are things men have concocted to make money, provide convenience, and extend shelf life so processed foods will not spoil before they are sold.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Eating: How Good It Is! (Part Six)

2 Corinthians 6:16-18

This principle clearly covers the care of our bodies. In an overall sense, our stewardship is not merely to labor not to destroy the established relationship but to improve it. Good health is extremely valuable. Even though one can overcome poor health in one's vanity, of greater importance is that good health promotes the strengthening of the relationship. This is so because it is bound within the sanctification process. It is tied directly to growing, overcoming, purifying one's life, avoiding the pitfalls of life, living the abundant life, as well as to our witness before the world in glorifying God.

We can undertake a great deal of serious effort in keeping ourselves from committing sins like idolatry, fornication, adultery, lying, or stealing, while virtually ignoring the physical care of the body itself. Oftentimes, we do this by being ignorant of the responsibility or foolishly thinking that maintaining or improving our health is of little concern. The younger among us may find it helpful to ask someone older—one whose health is deteriorating or who has had to deal with poor health much of his life—how important having good health throughout life is. In no way should this reduce our efforts to overcome spiritual weaknesses, but it should encourage us to add another area of overcoming that will glorify God.

Genesis 2:15 says, "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend [dress, KJV] and keep it." Dressing and keeping is an overall responsibility for everyone in what we are to do with life. It applies to life's spiritual and physical aspects. We are to begin where we are and cultivate, embellish, and encourage growth, while at the same time preserving, guarding, and protecting through maintenance from decay and deterioration.

A direct line connects this concept and Jesus' instruction in the Parable of the Unjust Steward. The spiritual level is more important, but God wants faithfulness in the physical level also because both are inextricably bound in yielding to Him in the building of character. Both require study, meditation, and setting goals, as well as consistent, faithful application. We do both to glorify Him.

Unfortunately, some will not do what is necessary for success, perhaps because of ignorance of their responsibility. Others know but lack the character or the sense of responsibility. Some spend their time rationalizing and justifying the way they are or proclaim to themselves and others that they are victims of the system and have no way out. Nevertheless, God is in heaven, and He is the way out.

Eating is a major part of life, as substantiated by the Bible's 700 references to it. The abundant life that Jesus proclaims He wants all to lead hinges upon what we eat spiritually and physically. We must make a major effort to feed our minds and bodies with the best nutrition available, if we desire good spiritual and physical health.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Eating: How Good It Is! (Part One)


 




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