Sunday, 6 July 2014
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20
This is the last verse of chapter 6 and it is an exacting follow-up to Paul’s previous words that said “you are not your own.” We are not the possessors of our lives, nor are we to be the deciders of our conduct. These now belong to the Lord. He has purchased us and is our Master and His word is our instruction manual for conduct. We are entirely under His authority because we “were bought at a price.”
But what was the price? What value was set on redeeming us from the power of the devil? The answer is found in Jesus’ final words upon the cross. In John 19:30 we read this –
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
The word from which “It is finished” is translated it the word tetelestai. It indicates the completion of something; the rendering of a payment and the final act of purchase. In his first epistle, Peter confirms that it was the cross of Christ which made this possible –
“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19, 20
“The precious blood of Christ” implies the death of the Lord. The death of the Lord occurred on Calvary’s cross. Therefore, we were purchased through His horrifying death. Because such an enormous price was paid, how can we consider it acceptable to live in sin? Our Master has given us His directions and those directions never condone our right to sin. It is unthinkable to even consider! And so Paul says, “therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
As we are “in” Christ, and because He is sinless and also our Lord, how can we justify sinful actions? We belong to God and are bound to His word as our rule and guide. Understanding this shows us the immensity of the importance of knowing and adhering to His word. If we are His, what would make us think that we should follow extra-biblical church rules which conflict with Scripture, a pastor’s unbiblical teachings, or any other set of directions besides those given by God?
It is a simple issue to think through. If we work for a company, Dwyer Industries for example. Would it make any sense to ignore the directions and policies of the company? Would we bring in the directives of another company or listen to a mid-level manager who was making up his own policies which conflicted with the company’s instruction manuals? No!
If this is the case with a work environment, how much more should we who are in a bondservant position under God be willing to submit to His guidance and instruction! And yet, how flagrantly we treat the Bible, dismissing those things which we find unsuitable to our tastes? Let us remember our state and stand fast on the counsel given in the Holy Bible. As Bengel’s Gnomen states, “They are in error, who think that God should be only internally, or only externally worshipped.” Our state is one which is wholly subservient to the Lord – body and spirit. We are to worship Him with our minds, bodies, deeds, and actions.
Life application: What is the value of the death of Jesus Christ to you? In what esteem do you hold His cross? Is it simply a ticket to heaven but a chance for free-living until then? Or do you cherish it right here and right now as a mournful necessity occasioned by our sin? Look to the cross; cling to the cross; and boast in the cross. In doing so, you will conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the cross.
Lord God, there is no greater desire in my heart than to glorify You. I was purchased from the world of sin and death through the blood of Jesus Christ and therefore I am Yours. I know that You wish me to conduct my life and actions in accord with this position and I know that the way to do this is through applying Your word to my life. Therefore, give me sound instruction and right-thinking on Your word. Then I will be able to be obedient to its precepts. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Amen.