1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?…
The religion of the Bible relates to the two great branches of human duty, the things to be believed, and the things to be done. The doctrines and precepts of the gospel, though they may be distinguished, must not be separated. The objects of our faith furnish motives for duty; and duty cannot be rightly per- formed unless under the influence of the belief of these doctrines. Consider here —
I. THE DUTY STATED. To glorify God.
1. The duty is "to glorify God with our bodies and spirits." Let us begin with the latter. How may we glorify God with our spirits, that is, with our rational souls? This we do —
(1) By using our reason in contemplating the character of God as made known in His works and Word.
(2) By believing and relying on all He has said.
(3) By the constant and lively exercise of pure love.
(4) By forming such purposes as are in accordance with the Divine will.
(5) By patient submission to afflictive providences.
(6) By constantly and deliberately promoting His glory.
2. Our bodies —
(1) When we preserve them from impurity and intemperance. This was the very idea which the apostle had in his mind (ver. 19).
(2) When we employ them in His service.
(a) All the institutions demand the employment of our bodies. We must bow down before Him, and by external actions manifest our reverence, and praise Him with our lips.
(b) God is glorified by every species of good works which require the instrumentality of the body. Our hands may be made to glorify God when they are opened in acts of liberality and beneficence.
II. THE MOTIVE OFFERED.
1. The redemption of captives was an idea very familiar to the Greeks. As by the customs of war every prisoner was made a slave, it often happened that persons of wealthy families would be thus separated from their relatives; and it frequently happened that these relatives would send the ransom of their friend by a suitable person, who would redeem him and bring him home. What would be the feelings of a number of captives when it should be announced that a Redeemer had arrived? But when the fortunate captive heard his own name called, who can describe his exultation?
2. The deliverance of sinners by Christ bears a striking analogy to this. Men are taken captive by the devil. They cannot liberate themselves, nor can this redemption be effected by any one but the Son of God. But, though the analogy is striking, yet there are circumstances which distinguish it from that which obtains among men.
(1) When one went to redeem his friend, though he might have far to go, still he had not to go out of the world; it was necessary for Christ to descend from heaven
to earth — from the throne to a manger.
(2) When an earthly redeemer set off in search of an enslaved son, or brother, he had to take with him a ransom of silver and gold. But when the Son of God came into the world to redeem lost sinners He must lay down a ransom of blood.
(3) By the nature of the sinner's bondage. lie was first under a sentence of condemnation. Next, he was held in cords of iniquity, which no created arm could loose. And lastly, he was lying under the cruel tyranny of Satan, the worst of masters. From all these our Redeemer came "to save His people." He removed the curse of the law by bearing it in His own body on the tree. He saves His people also from their sins by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and He dispossesses Satan by His superior power.
3. Now those who have been thus redeemed owe a debt of gratitude which, without exaggeration, may be said to be infinite. No wonder Paul judged it unnecessary to urge other motives.Conclusion:
1. Let us reflect penitently on our culpable neglect of this great duty of glorifying God.
2. Let us endeavour to obtain a lively feeling of our obligations to the Redeemer.
3. Let us esteem it a great privilege to be the redeemed servants of the Lord.
4. Let us remember that the time which remains to us is short.
(A. Alexander, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?