1 Corinthians 6:20


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.



1 Corinthians 6:19


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

“Or do you not know” is intended to be taken as a positive affirmation – “Certainly you must know!” It is a rhetorical question designed to get the letter’s recipients (and thus us) to think this issue through clearly. And the issue he is speaking of is that “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.” This then is another case raised by Paul why we should not be engaged in sin and impurity.

There are three general uses for the term “temple” in the Bible which we need to understand. The first is the temple (earlier before the temple was built it was the moveable tabernacle) in Jerusalem. This was the place of worship for the covenant people and it showed that God was among them. The second is found in the gospels and it is speaking of the Lord’s physical body. Now in the epistles, it refers to the believer in Christ who is sanctified by the sealing (and thus the indwelling) of the Holy Spirit.

As a substantiation of this, we can refer to verses such as 2 Corinthians 6:16. There is says the following –

“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.'”

The Holy Spirit “whom you have from God” is He who seals us (Ephesians 1:13, 14) and thus He is our guarantee. He indwells us from the moment we believe. And as much as He is a guarantee, the Spirit also is a sign of ownership. We have been purchased and are owned by God. This is why Paul now declares “and you are not your own.” We belong to that which we are a slave to.

We were once owned by the devil because we were slaves to sin (see John 8:34 and Romans 6). However, through the blood of Christ, we were redeemed and now are slaves of God. If we are slaves of God, then we belong to Him. If we belong to Him, then we are bound under Him to be obedient to Him. We cannot and we dare not assume that we have license to sin. Such a thought is corrupt and wicked. It defies the very authority of our Master over us.

In a human master-to-slave relationship, disobedience would be considered intolerable. Why should we think it is different with God? But this is the constant theme of those who want to have their foot in both worlds. On one hand they claim freedom from sin in Christ and on the other they claim freedom to sin because of Christ. It is both illogical and perverse.

Life application: Go to work today and tell your boss that that you will no longer adhere to his rules, guidelines, and authority. See how far that gets you and then consider how much less God appreciates such defiance. (Note: Don’t actually go to work today and do those things.)

Lord, You are ever so gracious and merciful. I’m sure that I fail You far more than I could ever please You. But there is a Seal upon me which keeps me in Your hand through it all. I cannot understand the depth of love that You possess to allow that Seal to be a fixed “guarantee” of my promised redemption. Forgive my disobedient heart and help me always to strive to be worthy of what I already possess. Thank You Lord, Amen.



1 Corinthians 6:18


Friday, 4 July 2014

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.1 Corinthians 6:18

Paul’s words concerning sexual immorality now result in a direct command – “Flee it!” No stronger words could be uttered. They are direct and specific. Based on what he has already said, and what he will say in the coming verses, this is something of the highest significance and importance. And he gives the reason why when he says that “every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”

This is a tie directly back to what he said in the previous verse. We are united to Christ and are one with Him in spirit. Therefore, by sinning against our own body, we are sinning against Him directly. The concept of “body” here is inclusive of the entire man, not merely the flesh (as he pointed out in his note about “foods” earlier. Sexual sin is a direct sin against Jesus Christ because believers are “in” Jesus Christ. Let us consider this carefully as we conduct our lives.

It has been said that there is safety in numbers, but in the case of sexual immorality, there is greater safety in running away. This is what Joseph did when he was confronted by Potiphar’s wife. He knew that involvement with her was wrong. And that was at a time before the giving of the law. We have the lessons of the time of the law and we have the New Testament to guide us since the passing of the law. How can we believe we will escape judgment if we are caught up in sexual immorality?

Fleeing from such sin in this manner is imperative and it calls to mind James’ words in his epistle. In James 4:7 it says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” We are to resist the devil, flee from sin, and submit to God. If we do these things, we will be sound in our faith and practice and we will stand approved in our conduct.

Life application: Thoughts lead to action and therefore we should always endeavor to control our thoughts concerning sinful practices. The Bible asks us to rather “fix our thoughts on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1).  By doing so, we will keep from getting side-swiped by the devil and finding ourselves in an unhappy position.

Heavenly Father, You direct us to flee from sin such as sexual immorality and idolatry. But even our thoughts are captured by these things at times. Help us to fix our thoughts on Jesus, direct our eyes to Him, and to be obedient to Your word. This is a tough world to walk in and it is getting more so each day. Give us wisdom to control our eyes and our desires and to live lives which are holy and honoring to You. Amen.


1 Corinthians 6:17


Thursday, 3 July 2014

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17

We are shown that the bond between a man and a woman who are united in marriage is likened to our union with Christ. Paul said in the previous verse that the two “become one flesh.” In a similar manner, but on a spiritual level, “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” The words “with Him” are inserted for clarity, but the Greek actually says, “one spirit is.” There is a spiritual connection to each believer that is realized when they receive Jesus Christ as Lord.

In this verse then is not only the establishment of the concept of oneness in spirit, but the truth that because we are one in spirit, our actions now truly affect that bond. This is why Paul is so adamant about our rejection of sexual immorality. To engage in perverse acts after being saved is to do so when united to Christ. Paul is asking them to seriously think this through from the eternal perspective.

But there is also one other point of doctrine which is implicitly upheld by this very verse; the doctrine of eternal salvation. If we are joined to the Lord in this way, then it becomes apparent that our salvation must be eternal. If we engage in a perverse act, such as adultery, and it is something that affects our union with Christ, then it must be that the union with Christ is maintained despite the fault. Otherwise, Paul would have noted it as a warning that the bond would be severed. However, nowhere is that concept even hinted at. Thank God for what Jesus has done. We continue to be saved, despite ourselves.

In his ever-consistent way of describing our union with Christ, we see that Paul speaks of it elsewhere. Here a two examples from the book of Galatians –

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:17

Life application. We are one with the Lord in spirit. He lives in us and we have put Him on as our garment of righteousness. Let us attempt to always live up to that glorious position. He is holy and so let us act in holiness as well.

With Christ I too have been crucified
It is no longer I who live but He
When I called on Him, at that moment I died
And the life I now live is one in Him, eternally

I now live by faith in the Son of God
Who loved me and gave Himself for me
Help me Lord, in Your steps always to trod
And to reflect in You a life which is pure and holy

For surely into Christ I was baptized
And in Him is eternal life realized

Father of glory, I know that through Christ my Lord I am again united to You. And yet at times I find myself falling very short of this high and exalted position. My thoughts and actions belie the Name which I now bear and it grieves me when they do. So Lord, keep reminding me, nudging me, and guiding me. Help me to walk in paths of righteousness and to bring honor to You. Amen.



1 Corinthians 6:16


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 1 Corinthians 6:16

So far, Paul has argued against sexual immorality from several different perspectives. Now in verse 6:16, he reaches back to the very first account of man on earth from Genesis 2. God intended for man to have a partner and he intended for them to be united in a way which was unique to humanity. As it said in Genesis 2 after naming all the animals God created, “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”

And so, God created a woman for the man. In their union, the two “shall become one flesh.” Paul has just said to those in Corinth (and thus to us) “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” His words are built upon the thought that we are “in” Christ. Therefore, when we unite in an immoral way, we are defiling the very bond in which we exist by bringing into it an act which is wholly ungodly and immoral.

Such is the case when a man unites with a harlot. Considering this, how reprehensible are such acts in any other form – homosexuality, bestiality, etc? God has ordained the parameters of sex and he has written it on our hearts. To attempt to justify sexual sin in any way is to “suppress” the knowledge that God has given us. Paul lays this out in Romans 1:1. There can be no excuse for such acts, and yet they are often what seem to define us as humans. Our fallen, corrupt nature makes us yearn for the profane and the perverse. The remedy is Jesus. We are to fix our eyes and our thoughts on Him and we are to be obedient to the word He has given.

Life application: Sexual sins are no less consuming of our minds and thoughts than drug or alcohol addictions. They can fill us with great anguish and turmoil. This leaves us with real choices, just as the other addictions. We can hold on to Christ, being obedient to His word, or we can allow ourselves to let the flesh take over. Hold firm to the Lord. If you are “in” Him, then He will strengthen you for the battle you face.

Lord God, it seems as though every day my thoughts come against me, tempting me to fall into some pit that I desire to stay out of. They attempt to direct my feet down dark paths and across difficult and painful terrain. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus in these times. Raise the valleys and level the mountains, Lord, so that I can see Him as I avoid the pits, walk the straight highway, and tread on a smooth surface right into His loving arms. Thank You for hearing me. Amen.