The three basic functions of the human body
The Word of God tells us that our body is merely our earthly house. It is the place where we live in this world. The basic function of the body is to interact with the physical world. Paul tells us that our body is our earthly house, but one day we will be clothed with our heavenly home (2 Cor. 5:1-4). Our body is not eternal and cannot be made eternal nor can it be saved from death. That is why we must receive a new, glorified body.
Our spirit was regenerated, our soul is being transformed and our body will be glorified. Here we see the past, present and future aspects of our salvation.
This is the door to our physical being or existence. It consists of the body’s five senses. Everything that enters our soul enters through the five senses. Everything we see, hear, feel, smell or taste allows us to perceive our physical environment. Since sensation is the door to our physical life it is also the door through which sin enters our life. If we wish to obtain victory over sin, we must discipline our body with respect to sensation so that nothing immoral or sinful enters our soul through it.
It is evident that one of the functions of our body is to move from one place to another. Our body is the inferior part because it is limited to the physical world, it is impossible for the body to perceive spiritual things.
Instincts are automatic reactions of an organism that are independent of the commands of the soul. Since they are automatic reactions given to protect us, they are not sinful in themselves. However, they are the basis for the desire of the flesh. God created good instincts, but because of sin, they degenerated and today they must be submitted to our control.
There are three groups of basic instincts: survival, defense and sexual. Let’s have a quick look at each one of them.
Survival – the survival instinct includes eating, drinking, and physical necessities. We are born with such instincts: no one needs to teach a child to breastfeed, they are born with the sucking instinct. Sin transformed this natural instinct into gluttony and drunkenness.
Defense – The defense instinct includes our self-protective reflex reactions, such as stepping back, hiding, and protecting oneself. Sin has transformed this into fighting, factions, wrath and all kinds of violence.
Sexual – The sexual instinct was corrupted and transformed into adultery, promiscuity, prostitution and the similar perversions of the God-given sex drive. We should not allow the natural instincts that remain inside of us to control us, even after conversion. The body should be our servant, not our lord.
When we understand that the body is just the temporal home of our spirit and the part of our being that interacts with our physical world we are much less prone to confuse its role in our salvation and spiritual life.