“Do ye not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God; and ye are not your own? for ye have been bought with a price: glorify now then God in your body”. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Do we realize what this means? We are to be happy servants – slaves even. Do we think of this fact during the day? A slave would always have had to think of his master’s will – what he had to do, what he had to wear, where he was permitted to go - and not go.
The above verses are in a setting where Christians are instructed as to the dignity of our bodies. I see five great levers here to my conduct.
Firstly, my body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Note the word “holy” is used in this title of the Spirit of God. It is my responsibility to provide conditions that are suitable for the Holy Spirit to be free – to not grieve Him. It is by the Spirit that I am to judge evil in myself: “but if by the Spirit, ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live”. Some of these things are described in Colossians 3:5 – “Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, vile passions, evil lust, and unbridled desire, which is idolatry”. [Israel had to put to death external enemies; we are told to put to death these internal ones.]
If we are free from such things, the Spirit is able to use us in constructive ways. How often we miss an opportunity to speak of Christ, or to provide a word of wisdom, because the Spirit is occupied with bringing matters before our conscience - having to work with us, and hence hindered from working through us.
Secondly, we belong to Christ, we are not our own. We are to please Him here. We are answerable to Him. Each believer will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10), not for condemnation - because He has borne that for us – but to give an account of our lives. See also Romans 14:12. This is not in fear, for we will be like Him then, but to have His assessment of the details of our lives.
Christ rather than the law of Moses, is our rule of life. We are dead to the law so as to be to another (Romans 7:4). Christ is our new husband; He is now the One we are to please, and to whom we are subject.
Just as He loved to do the Father’s will, so we are to please the Lord Jesus. It was liberty for Him serve. So we get “the law of liberty” in James’ Epistle.
Thirdly, we have been purchased at such a great cost. The cross of Christ tells us that. “Who himself bore our sins in His body on the tree” (2 Peter 2:24), and we are “redeemed … by precious blood … the blood of Christ”, 1 Peter 1:18-19. Our salvation is free, but it is not cheap.
Fourthly, we have the privilege of glorifying God in our bodies. Our words and actions should lead to God being honoured.
There is another reason that we are His. This also should govern our manner of life: He has rights over us as our Creator.
MM July 2010