Body-Building God’s Way

Paul, in describing the body of Christ used many different analogies and pictures. In this post I will follow in Paul’s footsteps, and use the analogy of a bodybuilder to describe how the body of Christ grows and strengthens.

Any serious body-builder will tell you there are at least two things required for a body to grow and strengthen. The first and most important requirement is the diet. If a person eats too little, they will lose weight or become malnourished, which can lead to various forms of sickness. Similarly, if a person eats too much food, they may become overweight, which can also lead to various forms of sickness. Also, it is important that a person eats the right types of food.

The second requirement for a bodybuilder to grow and strengthen is to exercise. The more exercise that is done, the stronger, fitter, and healthier the body becomes. It is important to note that there are two types of bodybuilding. There is a natural approach to body building, where the person eats natural foods and employs a natural overall body workout for exercise. The second type of body-building is the unnatural approach where the bodybuilder will take unnatural steroids and other supplements to cause accelerated growth and strength. This can often cause unwanted and dangerous side effects. Additionally, these bodybuilders often over exercise certain parts of the body.

Now, how does all of this relate to the body of Christ, the Church? The diet of the body of Christ is extremely important. In modern Christianity, we have a very large choice of what we can “consume”. However, there is only one source of food that will cause the body to grow into a healthy and strong body. That food is Christ himself. He is the bread of life, the mana from heaven, the meat, and even the drink. Our nourishment and strengthening comes from Christ and Him alone. Often Christians are malnourished because of a lack of Christ as a source of spiritual food in their lives. I have on many occasions seen Christians being infused with life, love, zeal, and passion when they start experiencing and enjoying Christ as their source of food. Jesus Himself said, that we will be fully satisfied when we eat and drink of Him.

There is a lot of other foods out there that appear to be good for eating. A lot of them may taste good or look good on the outside, but after consuming them they never really satisfy and can even be quite unhealthy. God desired Adam to eat from the tree of life (Christ) and not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I have heard the analogy that many Christians are like sumo-wrestlers in their knowledge, but they are like stick-men spiritually. Spiritual malnourishment and intellectual obesity are common in modern day Christianity. The answer to both is Christ and Him alone.

Paul shows us in Ephesians how the body grows in terms of exercise:

but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

Paul tells us that the body grows when each individual part of the body is being properly exercised and functioning in their God-given roles. If a body-builder does a full body workout where all the body parts are exercised, then the body will grow into a strong and healthy body. If only one part of the body is exercised in isolation, then eventually the body will become out of proportion in structure and strength, and will not be able to function correctly due to other body parts being weak.

Additionally, if the body tries to grow in an unnatural way, then the body will ultimately have health problems. Growing in an unnatural way by use of ‘steroids’ or other things may increase the size of the body, but ultimately the health of the body will be sacrificed and to maintain the size often requires an unnatural eating plan. It is not hard to see how this relates to much of the modern day church. The best way to have a healthy and functioning body is the way Paul described above. This may ultimately mean changing our diet, the way we exercise, and losing the  steroids. The way the body grows best is in a natural and organic way.


You may also like:

  • Why I’m pro-Organic Church: My journey – Part 1


  • The Supremacy of Christ in Hebrews


  • The Functioning of the Body


  • The Purpose of the Body


About the author

Nathan Odell Nathan Odell is the author of Joined to Him. You can connect with him on

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  1. Worship God with Love

    Offer the best of ourselves to the Lord!
    Offer it promptly from our hearts!
    Do not let the value of the world conquer our hearts!
    Do not let our hearts be flawed by false words!

    Let our hearts live in purity!
    Let our hearts worship God in humility!
    Let our hearts come together with simplicity!
    Let our hearts express themselves with sincerity!

    Love does not make judgments.
    Love does not need good reasons.
    Love does not make distinctions.
    Love does not have preferences.

    We should worship God with LOVE,
    Because it is in love we are justified.
    For love Christ was hung high above,
    That all who believe in Him may find Hope and Life.

    The prompt act of love will uphold our unity.
    Sincere love will keep our life healthy.
    Christ has offered His Blood for our purity;
    That we may be one in His Body for eternity.

    Duc Minh Bui

    • Great poem Duc Minh. I really appreciate members of the boby of Christ expressing their love for Christ through creativity. Keep it up!

  2. Beautifully and simply put, Nathan. A great analogy, and very well expressed! Thanks.

    • Thanks David. I originally wasn’t sure if the analogy would work or if I should make a blog out of it. Your encouraging words go a long way.

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