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Derrick Dancer1st Timothy 4:8 states that "Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next." NLT

Many have looked at this passage of scripture and surmised that the apostle Paul is here inspired by God to instruct us to not bother ourselves with physical exercise, that if we as believers simply focus on being godly, spiritual and holy, we can forgo the drudgery of "bodily exercise", and things like optimum health and wholeness are then gifted to us as are things like salvation and the forgiveness of confessed sins. Perhaps that would be nice, but you and I both know no such gifts exist.

The truth is; as the scripture says, physical exercise does have "some value". So as much as we'd like to, we can't just kick physical exercise to the curb. In fact, the Bible instructs, if not commands us by word and principle, to exercise. And to boot, God ties this exhortation to exercise to our righteousness (our right standing with Him). You say "right Derrick; where?" OK, here we go. I was taught in ministry school that for Godly principle to be true it must first be found in the Old Testament (Old T.), then confirmed in the New Testament (New T.), and lastly, it has to be applicable to us in our lives today.

Isaiah 35:3 (Old T.) says: "Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees." Then Hebrews 12:12 (New T.) says pretty much the same thing: "Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees"; and of course today's medical science research proves-out the fact that by necessity, we all should be strengthening and firming up these bodies (God's Temple) if we hope to live life to the fullness and degree He has promised us (application for today). There you have it; directly from the word of God!

Now, I also make the statement that God ties our righteousness to this recommendation and here's my evidence (line upon line, precept upon precept): In the book of Hebrews right there in the same context we're examining lies the proof-text for the application of the principle; Hebrews 12:10 and 11 clearly point out that The Father of spirits' chastening, as is communicated to us via His still quite voice, says: come on my child, get up and suffer your body to exercise - "and live"; all be it uncomfortable, if not painful, after we've obeyed it, it "yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness", and verse 9 indicates that this form of chastening makes us "partakers of his holiness" - check it out for yourself.

Well that's my time for this time; if this subject interests you, please join me next time when I'll share more regarding the awesome benefits of getting and being fit God's way!

[Derrick is a licensed & ordained minister and graduate of Azusa World Ministry's Ministry Training Institute, as well as an AMF Certified Fitness Trainer & Sports Nutritionist, and owner of His Cross Training Fitness. You can contact him at (626) 524-5125 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .]


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