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?…
(text and 1 Corinthians 7:23): —
I. "YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE."
1. Redemption is a greater mercy than creation. It is no mean blessing to have been made, and to have been made a man rather than a dog, to have been blest with intellect and an immortal spirit; but for all that it would be better for thee that thou hadst never been born, if thou art not redeemed.
2. Providence also calls before our minds a great mass of mercies; but providence is second in its blessedness to redemption.
3. Redemption is that which gives effect to all the other great blessings of God.
(1) Election, the well-head of grace, needs the conduit-pipe of redemption to bring its streams down to sinners. We are chosen of God, but unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
(2) Redemption is the foundation of all real peace.
(3) It is through redeeming grace that we expect to enter heaven.
II. THEREFORE REDEMPTION IS THE LORD'S PARAMOUNT CLAIM UPON US. Other claims, such as those of creation and providence, are forcible, but this claim is overwhelming. The love of Christ constraineth us. Think —
1. What you were redeemed from.
(2) Its punishment.
2. Reflect most lovingly upon that dear friend who redeemed you. Not an angel, but Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever.
3. Then think of the price He paid. The text does not tell us about it, and surely the reason is that words cannot express the mighty sum. The famous painter, when he drew the picture of Agamemnon at the sacrifice of his daughter, felt that he could not depict the sorrow of the father's countenance, and therefore he wisely put a veil over it, and represented him as hiding his face from the fearful sight. So the apostle seems to have felt. This price has been fully paid. I have seen lands which have belonged to men who were reputed to be rich, but there was a heavy mortgage upon them. But there is no mortgage on the saints. "It is finished," said the Saviour, and finished it was.
III. THE EXTENT OF THIS CLAIM.
1. The first text says —
(1) That it includes —
(a) The body. This body of yours is holy, and it will rise again from the dead. I charge you, by the blood of Christ, never defile this body either by drunkenness or by lust.
(b) The spirit. Keep that pure too. Christ has not bought these eyes that they should read novels calculated to lead me into vanity and vice, such as are published nowadays. Christ has not bought this brain of mine that I may revel in the perusal of works of blasphemy and filthiness. He has not given me a mind that I may drag it through the mire. Your whole manhood belongs to God if you are a Christian. Every faculty, talent, possibility of your being — all were bought.
(2) That consequently "Ye are not your own," which implies —
(a) That I may not claim the right to do what I please, but what Christ pleases. I am to please my Master in everything.
(b) That I may not follow my own tastes if in any way I should so bring dishonour to the name of Christ.
(c) That I must not trust my own reasonings. If I were my own teacher, then, of course, I should learn my lessons from my own book; but I have a Rabbi, even Jesus, and I am resolved with meekness to learn of Him.
(d) That I must not seek my own ends. I must not live in this world that I may trade and get riches, but it must be that I may use them for Him.
2. In my second text the apostle draws another inference: "Be not ye the servants of men."(1) Do not even follow good men slavishly. Do not say, "I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; I am of Calvin." Who is Calvin and who is Wesley but ministers by whom ye believed as the Lord gave unto you?.
(2) Do not pin your faith to anybody's sleeve. Keep close to Christ.
(3) Do not give yourselves up to party spirit.
(4) Do not give yourself to any scientific speculation, educational effort, or to any philanthropic enterprise so as to divert our minds from the grand old cause of Jesus and our God.
(5) Do not follow the fashions of the world.
(6) Let no man be your master. If ye have masters according to the flesh, serve them with all faithfulness; but as to any master over your spirit, allow no one to be so; consciences were made for God alone.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
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?