GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
THIS EARTHLY TABERNACLE
By Keith L. Estes
Dr. James Dobson, President of "Focus on the Family" and a Clinical Psychologist, was asked to describe the physical changes that occur with the aging process. A summary of his reply is, "The first thing to diminish is the perceptual or sensory contact with the outside world. Second, the conduction of sound is lessened by a wearing away of the three little bones in the ear. Third, the taste buds in the mouth and tongue atrophy. Fourth, the sense of smell is diminished which also makes food less tasty. Fifth, there is a dryness and hardening of the skin, which decreases the sense of touch. So all five senses diminish and become less capable of detecting information and relaying it to the brain. Later, we experience a change in motor activity-the ability to move efficiently. Next, changes take place in the cardiovascular system. Reproductive activity ceases for both men and women. If life continues beyond that point, a decline in mental alertness must occur."
The answer to what happens to the PHYSICAL body is quite apparent. However the thought that I wish to share is that man is not just made up of a physical body, which is deteriorating in all five senses, but also a SPIRITUAL body as well. Jesus said that we are not to fear him who can kill this body (the ravages of sickness, old age or a diabolical murderous despot), but rather fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. (God)
The apostle Paul writes, " Though our outward man (this body) perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Christians who don't grow in the things of the Lord are called spiritual babies. So, in reality all of us are somewhere between "baby Christians" and "being mature" in Him.
Oswald Chambers says that when we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
There is then, for the Christian, a natural decline of the outward body and it's functions but a building up of the inward spiritual body by taking heed according to His word.
Paul continues to say, "For this corruptible (physical body) must put on incorruption, (spiritual body) and this mortal must put on immortality...then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, (physical) death is swallowed up in victory...For we know that if our earthly house [this body] were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
References: 2 Cor. 4:16, 2 Cor. 5:1, I Cor. 15: 54-58, Matt. 10:28, Dr. Dobson Answers Your Questions, The Beach Views- 4-4-94. Oswald Chambers- My Utmost For His Highest.