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The body and soul, in correction of Gnostic presuppositions


Gnosticism makes an initial presupposition of associating the physical, created body with what Paul in Romans calls the “flesh.”





We should make sure our terms are defined precicely here. Paul, at the end of Romans 2, calls us to put away the flesh and instead put on the spirit. Yet he does not condemn the body. The body is made by God. The flesh is a perversion of God’s created order, where affections are oriented towards man’s benefit rather than God’s glory. Hence why Jesus tells us, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The call for spirit and truth is not to reject the body, but rather to reorient the body and the soul to God’s glory.