“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.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – ESV)
As a Christ follower, frankly, this has been one of the hardest things for me to get! You see, from infancy, I’ve operated from the deep-set belief that this body is mine. Mine to do whatever I want with. Now of course I try to obey God with it … and stay out of trouble … but when push has come to shove, my core belief has been that my body is my own.
But what does the Bible say? It tells me that Jesus bought me – all of me. Not just my spirit, not just my soul, not just my mind, but my body too, and every part of my being is now to be all in to honor him.
Actually, this sounds a lot like freedom when I wrap my mind and my heart around it. But try to tell that to this “body of death” as the Apostle Paul termed it in Romans 7! In Romans 12:1, I’m told that, since God has been so merciful to me, my body is now to be given to him as a living sacrifice. In fact, Paul tells me that is my spiritual worship!
Whoa, not my own? Bought with a price? Living sacrifice? Spiritual worship? This seems like a really big deal!
And it is. It’s huge. And I’m convinced more and more each day that until my own thinking and will align with God’s Word and Will on this subject, I am missing a great portion of the joy that God wants for me as his child.
I’ve just begun to glimpse what this means, as the Father leads me forward deeper into his Truth day to day, but what I’m learning is astounding and life changing.
What are the fruits of my life long belief that my body is mine? How does that play out? My experience is that any temptation of the flesh is almost insurmountable if I believe this body is mine. Why not drink a whole pot of coffee? It’s my body! Why not pursue lustful desires? This body is mine to experience worldly pleasures with. Why should I push myself or sacrifice myself to love and serve others? If this body is mine, my own comfort is more important.
But what if the Bible really is true? Then I am not my own! Jesus bought me at great sacrifice of his own body and of his relationship with his Father. The rest of my life is to be lived surrendered to him, as a living sacrifice. What difference does that make?
Immeasurable! If I’m not my own, I can face fear, discomfort, temptation, trials, even death. Because my Father has got this! I’m his, and he will never let me go. Jesus is with me always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). I can live open, free, fearless, faithful, fruitful. Because this body is just a tent (now a somewhat tattered one!) in which I sojourn for a time. It’s a dwelling in which I serve and honor my Lord and from which I shine his Light.
And when it is cast aside and returns to dust, I will put on my new dwelling forever – loving and worshiping and serving my King!