Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references
OUR PHYSICAL NATURE
(GENESIS 2 & 3; 1 CORINTHIANS 6)
Introduction: This week we look at the physical side of our
nature. Do things like diet, health and fitness affect our
relationship with God? Is sin lurking in these things?
Let's dive into our lesson and find out!
I. "YOU ARE DIRT!"
A. Have you ever had someone say to you, "You're
dirt?" Ever heard it said about someone else?
Have you ever said that about someone?
1. Is it true? Or is that history?
2. Let's read Genesis 2:7. Last week we discussed
whether we evolved from slugs. Do you like
this account better?
a. Tell me what you like and do not like
about the account of your creation? (I
like the fact that I was "hand made" by
God. I like the fact that it is His
breath that is in me. I would have
preferred to have been made out of gold
or at least a nice hardwood.)
b. Do you think there is a reason man was
formed out of dirt as opposed to gold?
(Yes. I think God is making the point
that we are nothing without Him.)
B. Were the animals created with the same process?
Our lesson suggests the creation process was
different for man. If so, how?
1. Was man "formed" by God and animals not given
that personal attention? (Genesis 2:7 says man
was "formed" by God. However, Genesis 2:19
reveals that animals were also "formed" (same
Hebrew word) by God. It is the breathing into
the nostrils of man that is the major
distinction between the way that man and
animals were created.)
C. Read Genesis 2:18-23. Does this mean that "woman"
was an afterthought?
1. Women, what do you like about the way Eve was
made? (Not made of dirt like Adam.)
a. What do you think about Eve being made
from a rib as opposed to a toe, hand or
brain? (Suggests an equality.)
(1) Does the derivative nature of woman
(that she was made from man) negate
the equality idea? (Adam's comment
(v.23) is interesting. He argues for
identity, not just equality.)
D. Read Genesis 2:25. Remember last week I asked you
whether Adam and Eve had always been naked and
never noticed it before sin? I suggested that
this was not the case, that they had simply lost
their garment of light. Verse 25 suggests I was
II. IMPACT OF SIN
A. Read Genesis 3:16-19. We discussed the impact of
sin last week. Let's look at this a little more.
One column I will label "Eve" and the other column
"Adam." List for me the physical impact of sin on
B. Does it seem that the primary impact of sin is on
the physical? Is there a lesson in that for us
1. Why do you think God chose painful childbirth
as one of Eve's two penalties for sin? (It
paralleled His experience. He had created Adam
and Eve as children and their sin decision
pained God now and would pain Him later.)
a. In this case, is a physical penalty
intended to teach a spiritual point?
2. Why is Eve's second penalty that her husband
will rule over her? Didn't they both sin?
(The Genesis account (Genesis 3:1-6) makes Eve
the leader in sin. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 states
that Adam had better spiritual discernment
than Eve in this matter. (That might lead you
to think he should be more culpable too!))
a. We talked about how Eve's creation from
Adam's rib signaled equality. Is equality
now a victim of Eve's sin according to
(1) Is the fight for female spiritual
equality a fight against the decrees
(2) Or is female spiritual inequality
something that ended at the cross
with Christ's sacrifice?
3. How many penalties does God declare for Adam
in these verses?
4. Why do you think God chose difficulty in
growing food as Adam's penalty? (This seems to
be another parallel to God's experience.
Remember God created man out of the dirt. God
now has difficulty with His "earth creation."
So God says "Adam, you are going to have
difficulty with your earth creations too."
Hard physical work may teach Adam a spiritual
5. We say work is a blessing. Having children is
a blessing. How can we say that in light of
this text that says these are penalties for
III. SIN AND HEALTH
A. Our lesson makes a link between sin and health. Do
the verses we have been studying (Genesis 3:16-19)
make poor health part of the penalty for sin?
1. What about the penalty of death does that
imply a link between sin and poor health?
B. We have seen that sin has a negative impact on our
physical being. Is the reverse true? Can poor
decisions about our physical life have a negative
impact on our spiritual life?
1. Read Genesis 3:22. Does this suggest a link
between sin and poor health?
2. Read Matthew 15:11-12 and Revelation 2:7. What
do these verses suggest is the key to true
health? (The overriding issue is our spiritual
C. Read Exodus 15:26. What is the context for this
statement? (This is the beginning of the exodus of
Moses and God's people from Egypt.)
1. Does this text link healthful living and sin?
2. When God speaks of bringing diseases upon the
Egyptians, is He talking about their unhealthy
living habits? Is this a diet and fitness
a. Or is God talking about the plagues?
b. If God is talking about the plagues, is
it an unfair and irresponsible twisting
of this text to say that it proves a link
between sin and poor health?
3. On the other hand, note that God mentions in
v.26 "pay[ing] attention to [God's] commands
and keep[ing] all His decrees." Are any of
God's commands and decrees given through Moses
health related? (Look, for example, at
Leviticus 13. This is clearly a health-
related command and decree.)
4. Leviticus 13 shows that God has health related
commands. Does this prove, however, that
keeping His commands that are not related to
health improve our health?
D. Let's look at a text that we hear quoted all the
time in support of healthful living. Read 1
Corinthians 6:19. This clearly tells us to eat
right, exercise, take regular baths, wear our
seatbelts, stay slim, refrain from smoking and not
get drunk, right?
1. Remember I always tell you to check the
context to understand God's message? What is
the immediate context for this "temple"
statement? (1 Corinthians 6:15-18 sexual
2. Does this text (or context) have anything to
do with food, tobacco or drink?
a. In fact, this text does have something to
say about food. Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-
13. What do you think this suggests
about the link between spirituality, food
and health? (This suggests that diet
issues are not questions of sin but
rather common sense. "Everything is
permissible ... but not ... beneficial."
The text suggests that food is a
"stomach" only issue, not a spiritual
(1) If this is right, how do you explain
Leviticus 11? Even before that, how
do you explain the Genesis 7:2
instruction to Noah?
(2) Is the explanation that 1
Corinthians is after the cross and
Leviticus and Genesis are before?
E. Let's look at another famous text on diet and
righteousness. Read Daniel 1:3-5, 8-12. Is this a
story about diet or a story about obedience?
1. Is ten days enough to show a difference in
2. I have been a vegetarian for 36 years on the
theory that it will improve my health. If ten
days of being a vegetarian showed a marked
improvement for Daniel, I must have the
perfect body by now, right? (Wrong!)
3. Let's read on: Daniel 1:13-16. In ten days
Daniel and his friends looked better. Do you
think that was because of diet or because of
obedience to God?
a. Was the issue one of diet or obedience?
(Look at v.8. It says that Daniel
determined not to defile himself. I
sounds like Leviticus 11.)
b. Do you think they looked better because
of the diet or because they obeyed?
(1) Can the two be separated?
4. Now that we have spent so much time on this,
do you think that excess weight, lack of
exercise, lack of sleep, poor eating habits,
the use of tobacco, not wearing seatbelts, or
drunkenness are matters of sin?
a. Are they matters of prudence?
b. Does God (the God who knows how many
hairs are on our head) care about these
F. Friend, sin has had a negative impact on our
physical nature from the very beginning. Our God
looks for us to be faithful in all things -- even
our physical nature.
IV. NEXT WEEK: OUR SOCIAL NATURE.