Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All scripture references
are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973,
1978, 1984 International Bible Society,  unless otherwise
noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of
Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found
within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
blackboard or some other visual aid. This lesson can be
found at: <url:http://www.CameronLaw.com>

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


               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
          each one.

               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
                    Genesis 3:16?

                                             (1)  Is the fight for female spiritual
                         equality a fight against the decrees
                         of God?

                                             (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


               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.