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                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

               Physically Fit, Spiritually Alive (4:7-8)

INTRODUCTION

1. Many people place great emphasis upon physical well-being...
   a. Note the number of gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, health
      clubs
   b. Seeking to improve the quality of life, as well as the quantity of
      years

2. For some, physical exercise comes close to being a religion in of
   itself...
   a. I've personally known runners to admit as such
   b. Sunday for them is a day of sport, not worship

[Physical exercise and well-being has its place, but must be kept in
perspective.  One passage that helps us to do this is our text (1 Ti
4:7-8).  Note first what we can learn about...]

I. BODILY EXERCISE

   A. DOES PROFIT A LITTLE...
      1. Makes for a well-rounded development - Lk 2:52
      2. Enhances the use of our "instruments of righteousness" (bodies)
         - Ro 6:12-13
      3. Extends the time we can glorify God - 1 Co 6:19-20
      -- There is some value for a healthy routine of physical exercise

   B. DOES HAVE LIMITATIONS...
      1. Beauty is deceitful - Pro 31:30
      2. Attraction can be incongruous - Pro 11:22
      3. Strength will eventually fail - 2 Co 4:16
      -- Physical exercise alone cannot meet all our needs, and will
         eventually fail us

[There is another exercise of which our text speaks, which those
concerned with true fitness do well to consider...]

II. GODLY EXERCISE

   A. DOES HAVE PROMISE FOR THE LIFE THAT NOW IS...
      1. Daily renewal for the inner man - 2 Co 4:16
      2. True peace, joy, and hope - Ro 14:17; 15:13
      3. Winsome personality - Ga 5:22-23
      4. Extended family - Mk 10:28-30
      -- These are wonderful benefits that godly exercise offers in this
         life!

   B. DOES HAVE PROMISE FOR THE LIFE TO COME...
      1. Eternal life in the age to come - Mk 10:28-30
      2. Everlasting fellowship with God - Re 21:1-7
      -- Here is where godly exercise truly excels over bodily exercise!

[Both bodily exercise and godly exercise therefore have their value.
Understanding their respective values should help in...]

III. MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BALANCE

   A. WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT...?
      1. In expenditure of time?
         a. Some health officials recommend exercising 30 minutes a day
         b. Do we spend an equivalent amount of time in prayer, Bible
            study, or service to God?
      2. In expenditure of energy?
         a. Physical fitness often requires a great expenditure of
            effort
         b. Are we willing to make similar efforts in our service to
            God?
      -- Do we spend as much time and energy exercising ourselves unto
         godliness as we do engaging in various forms of bodily
         exercise? - cf. 2 Co 4:16-5:1

   B. WHICH COMES FIRST...?
      1. When conflicts arise?
         a. Sport events or exercise routines often conflict with duties
            to God
         b. Do we have the same convictions as Eric Liddell? - cf.
            Chariots Of Fire
      2. When time is limited?
         a. We only have so much time
         b. If we must cut back on some activity, will be it a spiritual
            or physical one?
      -- Do we have our priorities straight, is our emphasis properly
         placed? - cf. Mt 6:33

CONCLUSION

1. Whether young or old, physical fitness has a place in our lives as
   Christians...
   a. Taking care of our bodies, temples of the Holy Spirit
   b. Making good use of our bodily members as instruments of
      righteousness
   c. Improving the quality and length of service we can offer the Lord
      in this life

2. But physical fitness without godly exercise is vanity...
   a. The outer man will eventually fail us
   b. The inner man is the true measure of character and spirituality

Maintaining a proper balance will help us to be truly "Physically Fit,
Spiritually Alive."  Speaking of being spiritually alive, have you been
born again...? - cf. Jn 3:3-5; Mk 16:16; Ro 6:3-4
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