(Article for publication week of 6-25- AD 2015)
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
Last week we showed how a child of God is a servant (slave or "doulos" in the Greek) of the Lord Christ (see again Romans 1:1, etc.). This week we will show you more particularly what this means.
Our text this week tells us that we do not belong to ourselves, we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. He bought us lock, stock, and barrel, and we are His property. The Lord Jesus Christ bought us (believers)with His Own blood. He sends His Holy spirit into the hearts of all those for whom He died and thus the people of God are the "temple" of the Holy Ghost. Thus we see that God's elect people are obligated to glorify God in body and spirit because we are the property of Christ.
So firstly, we see that the Atonement is the believer's incentive to live a holy life. Believing that Christ has paid the price of our redemption in full begets in us a spirit of obedience to the One that redeemed us and made atonement for us. There is nothing that will encourage obedience to Christ like the sight of blood bought pardon. As dear Joseph Hart wrote, "law and terrors do but harden, all the while they work alone. But a sense of blood bought pardon soon dissolves a heart of stone." People who are trying to earn salvation by their own efforts and merits can only find disappointment, but those who serve Christ as bond servants bought by His blood find it their greatest joy. There is a world of difference in trying to serve Christ to earn salvation and serving Him because you are saved.
Secondly, our text tells us that Christ has property rights in His people. Actually the elect of God were His in eternity because God the Father gave us to Him from before the morning of time. But the elect of God fell in Adam with all the human race and so God the Son became a Man to come and satisfy our debt to Divine Justice. We are "bought with a price," the blood of the God-Man. Oh! What a high price! the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! Dear reader if you are one of Christ's blood-bought ones you belong to Him and He has property rights in you.
Thirdly, let us see in our text that believers only have one "right"- that is the right to live a holy life. "Ye are not your own." Christians will not be found amongst those who are always demanding their "rights." A Christian knows that if he got what he deserves in and of himself he would already be burning in hell. The only right that concerns us is the right we have to glorify God and enjoy Him forever! We had forfeited that right by our sin, but Christ bought it back for us. We can live a holy life, by the help of the Holy Spirit indwelling us whether we are masters or slaves. We can live a holy life whether we live in a Constitutional Republic, or whether we live under a monarchy, or under mob rule (sometimes called "democracy"). Dear reader, if you are more interested in civil rights or political rights or property rights or gun rights than in living a holy life you are not saved. Now you put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I pray that some of you may be given peace in believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and be given a sense of blood bought pardon and that you may see that you are not your own, but you are the property of the Dear Saviour.