We live in a day and age where there is tremendous emphasis placed on our bodies. There is no lack of information on what to put in them . . . what to put on them . . . and what to do with them. With precision we can count our calories, count our steps, and count our reps. All with the goal that our bodies might run their best and look their best. But this morning I’m reminded of something else about our bodies. That, as God’s people, they’re not our own.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)
Paul addresses the “freedom” the believers at Corinth were experiencing in their faith. You get the sense it was no holds barred. Having found Christ, having believed in Him for the atonement of their sins, having found rest in the security of their eternal future, having come to know that grace is truly amazing, they considered themselves free in Christ to do whatever they wanted. And while all things might be lawful, says Paul, not all things were helpful. Though everything might be fair game, Paul argues that we should determine not to be dominated by anything. Why? You are not your own.
He makes a pretty compelling case. Exhorting these believers, he reminds them that their bodies are members of Christ (6:15) . . . that when we believe we are “joined to the Lord” — fastened, glued, cemented to the risen Christ — such that we become one spirit with Him (6:17). That when we received His free gift of salvation, He literally moved in and took up residency within us via the third Person of the holy Trinity. Thus our bodies have been occupied and have become a temple of the Holy Spirit (6:19). Conclusion? You are not your own.
Not our own, “for you were bought with a price.”
We were redeemed, ransomed, purchased. Once enslaved by sin . . . previously chattel of this world . . . formerly in bondage to the flesh, we are now free because the wages of sin was paid and the price for our freedom was tendered in full. Free . . . but not our own. Not that we need to repay Christ for our freedom. We can’t. No amount of effort on our part can repay the price He paid — if it could, He would never have had to go to the cross. No, it’s not about repayment, it’s about response. And that’s why Paul says, “Glorify God in your body!”
Nothing wrong with watching what we eat. Nothing wrong with working out. Nothing wrong with wanting to look our best. All of it is lawful. But none of it should dominate it us nor define us. Count the calories . . . track the steps . . . maximize the reps . . . but saint, let it be done so that, with these lean, fit, and dressed up bodies, we seek above all things to bring glory to the One who has loved us with an everlasting love.
And for those of us not so lean, and not so fit, and more and more content to be found wearing “grey on grey,” let us seek too, to relentlessly magnify the Father . . . as we live in the Son . . . through the power of the Spirit . . . in these bodies not our own.
So glorify God in your body. By His grace. All because of grace.