By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012
Paul exhibited a holistic perspective and a healthy view of his needs in totality, in his old age and as he faced impending death. When one is approaching death, his need is not only spiritual; it includes other aspects of his existence too.
Paul taught clearly that such false spirituality of "harsh treatment of the body" (Colossians 2:23) does not produce true holiness. Deliberately choosing severe austerity does not necessarily produce holiness nor is it the will of God.
The theology of the body as developed by Paul is most useful for our reflection. His holistic perspective prevents us from being enslaved by our bodies; at the same time, it does not deny the body's proper use and place. A healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life is not limited to the spirit and its needs, but the life of the spirit is also lived out in a physical body and expressed through the mind and relationships with people.
Paul was human like all of us, with various needs to be met legitimately by the grace of God, and which enabled him to live a life pleasing to God. We must, therefore, take care of the body, make sure that it is used to glorify God, and co-operate with Him in our quest for holiness.
Picture posted by Krylenok on 05 November 2005 (taken on 10 June 2005) - "Woman, stung like a snake" (1847)
Author: Jean-Baptiste (Ogust) Klezanzhe, son of George Sand -
Model: Apollonia Sabatier (Aglae Josephine Savatier), was the mistress of Klezanzhe
What was Paul's theology of the body? Discuss what you know about how the body has been wrongly understood, used, or treated in church history. How is the situation today? How does the modern marketplace and scientific world see the body, and what should the Christian response be? Try the recommendation by Dallas Willard - consecrating your body part by part in connection with your baptism (refer to page 165).
What was Paul's theology of the body? 
After reviewing his faithful past of loving and serving Christ, and looking forward to his glorious future in Christ, Paul then turned his attention to his present situation. At this point of the epistle, Paul became very personal and referred to his most immediate needs. In so doing, Paul exhibited a holistic perspective and a healthy view of his needs in totality, in his old age and as he faced impending death.
Painting by David Mack - Elektra End Of Days
Picture posted by Index gallery
Physical needs 
Paul referred to the cloak that he left behind with a man named Carpus at Troas (2 Timothy 4:13). It is likely that Paul was arrested there and had to leave behind several of his possessions with trusted brothers and sisters. Now in prison, as winter approached, he requested for the cloak that he left behind. The cloak would be very useful to him when the weather turned cold and the nights were particularly chilly. He needed to keep warm.
Picture posted by Stephen Cairns, jr. on 31 July 2016
Paul was not an ascetic who enjoyed physical deprivation and suffering. Those who had gone that route would have found that deliberately choosing severe austerity does not necessarily produce holiness nor is it the will of God. Yes, we may suffer physically and experience severe physical deprivations for the sake of Christ. If that comes, we can trust Christ who allows our sufferings to strengthen us. But to choose severe austerity as a method of pursuing holiness is not a biblical discipline. Why be cold when you can be warm? Why sleep on the cold floor when you have a decent bed to sleep on? As Gary Demarest reflects, "How comforting to know that this spiritual giant didn't find any virtue in needless shivering!" [1a]
PHOTO: Physical deprivation and suffering does not necessarily produce holiness nor is it the will of God. To choose severe austerity as a method of pursuing holiness is not a biblical discipline. Why be cold when you can be warm?
Encouragement in prison - maybe Onesiphorus and Paul (2 Timothy 1:16) or Timothy bringing Paul his cloak (as requested in 2 Timothy 4:13)
Posted by Churchmouse on Monday, 17 July 2006 at 8:05 PM, Onesiphorus in Purgatory?
Paul is one who did not pursue austerity or poverty for their own sake. Paul taught clearly that such false spirituality of "harsh treatment of the body" (Colossians 2:23) does not produce true holiness. Scottish evangelist and Bible teacher Oswald Chambers helpfully reminds us; "To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God's will even if it means suffering is a very different thing. No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he chooses God's will, as Paul did, whether it means suffering or not" 
Chooses God's will, as Paul did, whether it means suffering or not.
Picture posted by Admin on 27 May 2014
The theology of the body as developed by Paul is most useful for our reflection. His holistic perspective prevents us from being enslaved by our bodies; at the same time, it does not deny the body's proper use and place.
In sharing various needs as he faced death, Paul revealed a healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life. It is not limited to the spirit and its needs, but the life of the spirit is also lived out in a physical body and expressed through the mind and relationships with people. In all these areas, Paul was human like all of us, with various needs to be met legitimately by the grace of God, and which enabled him to live a life pleasing to God. At the heart of such a life, of course, is the spiritual realm, which is the focus of the next chapter (13).
Painting by Ludwing Seitz (1844–1908), The Divine Grace and the Human Works
Picture posted by Indigo Dreams, Pinterest
Discuss what you know about how the body has been wrongly understood, used, or treated in church history. 
The body is important in Paul's teaching that we are embodied human beings (provide a spirit with a physical form). It is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), an instrument of holiness. We must, therefore, take care of the body, make sure that it is used to glorify God, and co-operate with Him in our quest for holiness. Because we are embodied beings, the physical and non-physical parts of our lives interact and have mutual influence. A diseased body can affect the mind and the soul of a person in more ways than are imagined. A severely malfunctioning brain, such as in dementia, can affect one's memory or cognitive functions, or even affect one's moral sense. At the same time, a healthy soul can contribute to a healthy mind and body. Research continues to show such associations.
Picture posted by The Secret Real Truth on Sunday, 2 October 2016 - ARISTOTLE - THE HUMAN SOUL
However, we must not go away with the faulty reasoning that the mutual effects of the body and the soul are completely correlated. A person without limbs can have profound spiritual depth. A person with cognitive problems due to brain dysfunction may still have a deep sense of God's love. Likewise, a mature Christian may be afflicted with many physical ailments while a person who has the glow of physical health may have a shrunken and sick soul.
Picture posted by Blue Fire Reiki
The point is that in our spiritual lives, one cannot ignore the physical dimension. The body is important in our spiritual formation. For one thing, we must ensure that we are not slaves to our bodily appetites. God has created certain legitimate appetites connected with the body - such as the appetite for food, water, rest, sleep, sex, and so on. However, these appetites may be abused and exert an addictive power which makes people slaves to their bodies. Many contemporary addictions are of this kind. Paul made it very clear that the body is neither to be worshiped nor to be despised; "it both belongs to a perishing order and is destined for resurrection." 
“Why I Use My Body”, the first Los Angeles solo showing of artist Jane “Pain” Chardiet. “A photo series that explores self-inflicted corporeal punishment as a response to trauma.” Using female models, Jane Chardiet set out to capture self-harming behaviors that have burdened her own life as well as the lives of her models in 35MM film.
Posted in Uncategorized on 5 November 2014
How is the situation today?
The body must therefore be subjected to discipline. Paul wrote about how he practised this: "I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Corinthians 9:27). This is particularly challenging message in our age dominated by a spa culture. Pampering of the body is the order of the day, and much money is being made from those who pursue luxurious bodily comforts. The biblical view on this matter is that we should meet the needs of the body in legitimate ways, but we must be careful not to end up pampering the body in grossly indecent ways. We must know the difference between bodily needs and bodily wants and desires.
Picture posted by Bernhard Guenther on 25 April 2015
In asking for his cloak to be brought to him, Paul was not thinking of indulging his body with luxurious pampering treatment. He was hoping to meet the simple physical need of keeping warm on a freezing night.
How does the modern marketplace and scientific world see the body
John Wesley is a good example of someone with a healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life. He was a deeply committed and highly effective evangelist and church planter in the 18th century. While his Methodist movement grew rapidly and he preached salvation and holiness, Wesley also cared for the poor. He established schools for the children of poor miners so that they may receive a proper education rather than work as child labourers in factories. He also wrote in 1747 Primitive Physic: An Easy and Natural Method of Healing Most Diseases, which was a book on the latest medical remedies of his day.  He wanted people to live clean and healthy lives as they pursued holiness in Christ.
Picture posted by Alan, Central Methodist Mission (Cape Town) on Sunday, 9 June 2013
Being curious about the latest medical and scientific ideas, Wesley was also a fan of electricity, which he believed was a cure for many human ailments.  He had in his possession Leiden jars, which were used to store static electricity and tried electrifying himself and others to treat various medical conditions. He found that electrification made some depressed people better. It is interesting that it took almost 200 years for modern medicine to find a way to use electricity in a different form to treat depression.
Picture posted by Steve Rudd
Wesley saw that the body and the spirit have mutual effects on each other. He also had a biblical sense to keep the body subject to the will so that one does not become an addict to bodily desires and urges. For instance, Wesley was dead set against alcoholism - a rampant problem in his day that ruined individuals, their families and society at large.
Wesley’s acceptance of the un-orthodox practice and then channeling it back into the movement made him a leader who was willing to experiment.
Picture posted by United Methodist Church.
To summarise, the body is not to be neglected in Christian living. Its needs should be legitimately met. One must know the difference between its needs and sinful desires, between proper necessities and addictions. Sadly we live at a time when the body is both being pampered and abused. A spa spirituality that indulges the body and turns its needs into sinful desires leads to a loss of true spirituality and subjects a person to all kinds of addictions. At the same time, to abuse the body by killing it with stress and adrenaline rushes is also to mistreat the body - whether through extreme asceticism or punishing modern routines that deny our embodied existence.
Picture posted by EvoLife.bg
In this request for a cloak to keep warm, we remember Paul's theology of the body that speaks to us strongly and relevantly in our day and age.
What should the Christian response be? Try the recommendation by Dallas Willard - consecrating your body part by part in connection with your baptism (refer to page 165).
The danger of pampering the body is that it can often and easily lead to sin. It was to highlight this danger that Jesus taught: "It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell" (Matthew 5:30). He mentioned the necessity of plucking out one's sinning eye or cutting off one's sinning hand metaphorically. Paul understood this because he wrote: "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master" (Romans 6:11-14).
"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master" (Romans 6:11-14).
Picture posted by vector art illustration - Baptism of Jesus
When Christian missionaries evangelised the Irish, it was said that the Irish were ready to accept Christianity and to be baptised. However, as their bodies entered the water, they asked if they could keep their right hand up above the water. They wanted to excuse their right hand from being baptised because they wanted to keep it available to fight battles and to kill.
Picture posted by Maille Duirwyn on Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Margaret Magdalen, in her book A Spiritual Check-Up, corrects such a mistaken view by encouraging Christians to imagine entering the waters of baptism, and committing each body part, from the feet up to the head, to a life of godly righteousness.  Dallas Willard, Philosopher and spiritual writer, applies Magdalen's idea in a suggested spiritual exercise:
"I recommend that you then lie on the floor, face down or face up, and explicitly and formally surrender your body to God. Take time to go over the main parts of your body and do the same for each one. What you want to do is to ask God to take charge of your body and each part, to fill it with his life and use it for his purposes." 
PHOTO: Margaret Magdalen, in her book A Spiritual Check-Up, corrects such a mistaken view by encouraging Christians to imagine entering the waters of baptism, and committing each body part, from the feet up to the head, to a life of godly righteousness.
Picture added by Row Walker, posted by Charles Elias Disney
While the body is a battleground, it is also an arena that experiences God's grace and mercy. It can be a holy vessel or an ignoble one. The body can also experience spirituality. Paul wrote about the role of the body in Christian discipleship, of how the death as well as the life of Christ is reveled in the body. "We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body" (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).
Isaiah 6:8 NKJV This is my daily prayer Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
Picture posted by Terri Perez (Pinterest) - Woman at the shore praising the Lord
Picture posted by Ashtara on 12 October 2015 - Trust Your Instincts…
Please help us to remember Paul's holistic perspective which prevents us from being enslaved by our bodies; at the same time, it does not deny the body's proper use and place. A healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life is not limited to the spirit and its needs, but the life of the spirit is also lived out in a physical body and expressed through the mind and relationships with people. Help us to take care of the body and make sure that it is used to glorify God, and co-operate with Him in our quest for holiness.
Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!"
Picture posted by Heymama on 14 December 2015
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012
[1a] Demarest, Mastering the New Testament: 1, 2 Thessalonians; 1, 2 Timothy; and Titus, 293.
 R. Kent Huges, 1001 Great Stories & "Quotes" (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1998), 405.
 J. Knox Chamblin, Paul and the self: Apostolic Teaching for Personal Wholeness (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), 163.
 Margaret Magdalen, A Spiritual Check-Up: Avoiding Mediocrity in the Christian Life (Guildford: Highland, 1990).
 Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart: Puting on the Character of Christ (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 2002), 139.
 For a modern edition, see John Wesley, Primitive Physic: An Easy and Natural Method of Healing Most Diseases (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003).
 John Wesley, The Desideratum: Or, Electricity made Plain and Useful. By a Lover of Mankind, and of Common Sense (London, W. Flexney, 1760).
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1 Corinthians 6:19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+6%3A19&version=NIV
1 Corinthians 9:27 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+9%3A27&version=NIV
2 Corinthians 4:10-11 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+4%3A10-11&version=NIV
2 Timothy 1:16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+1%3A16&version=NIV
2 Timothy 4:9-15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A9-15&version=NIV
2 Timothy 4:13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A13&version=NIV
Colossians 2:23 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+2%3A23&version=NIV
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Romans 6:11-14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+6%3A11-14&version=NIV