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?…
1. Attacks have often been made upon the doctrine of redemption, for it is well known to be the Redan of the gospel. These onslaughts have in many instances professed to be mere corrections of our phraseology. True, some may have carried ideas of the shop and the counter into their notion of redemption, but even these were nearer the truth than those who reduce the ransom paid by Christ to nothing. Paul, at any rate, was not afraid of the mercantile theory, for he writes, "Ye are bought with a price." And did not Christ say that He came "to give His life a ransom for many"? Though we were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, the transaction was none the less real and effective.
2. It is a high honour to our fallen race that man is the only redeemed creature in the universe. Rebellious angels are left to their doom. Hence man cost God more than the whole universe beside. The Lord could speak worlds into existence; but to erect the new creation of redeemed men He must endure the loss of His own Son.
3. This work of redemption is many-sided. We have been redeemed —
(1) In reference to Divine justice. We are justified, or reckoned as just, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
(2) From the power of evil (Titus 2:14).
(3) From ourselves — as the text suggests. We have here —
I. COMPENSATION, AND YET GAIN.
1. Compensation. You have surrendered as believers your right and property in yourselves, for —
(1) You live, whereas you were dead.
(2) You have peace. Your sins are forgiven for Christ's sake.
(3) You have joy.
(4) You have a grand reversion — a hope of glory with Christ for ever. You have received for your little the fulness which is in Christ, who is all in all.
2. Actual gain. Our loss itself is an advantage. We are set free from self, that worse than Egyptian bondage, whose wage is death. We are set free from Satan, and is not that a gain? Once the world was our lord, but what gain it is to feel that we are no longer the servants of men!
II. HIGH VALUE AND YET LOWLINESS.
1. Value is clearly here, for God thinks not lightly of man, but esteems him sufficiently to buy him with the richest price conceivable. You are not a thing to be trifled with. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost." Never, therefore, give up your body to idleness or uncleanness. Use yourselves only for honourable purposes, for God puts honour upon you.
2. You are precious, but you must yet be lowly, for whatever value there is about you, you do not belong to yourself. You are the goods and chattels of Christ: as you were once sold under sin, so are you now "bought with a price." Our honour lies in our owner. God forbid that we should glory in anything except that we belong to Christ.
III. SECURITY AND YET WATCHFULNESS.
1. Security. He who owns you is able to keep you. If you were to perish, who would be the loser? Why, He to whom you belong.
2. Reason for watchfulness. Take great care of yourselves, for you are a king's treasure. If a thing is my own I may do what I like with it, but if it is entrusted to my care I must mind how I behave towards it, or else I shall be an unfaithful steward.
IV. CONSECRATION AND YET PERFECT LIBERTY.
1. Consecration. You are to dedicate yourself wholly to the Lord, because you are not partly, but wholly redeemed. Do you keep back any faculty you possess from Christ? Is not this robbery? How would you like to think of that particular reservation as being unredeemed? Which portion is it which is to be unconsecrated? The body? What, have you an unredeemed body? never to rise from the dust? or do you give to Christ your heart, but reserve your mind? Have you, then, an unredeemed intellect? Withhold not your voice, but sing for Jesus, or speak for Him, if you can, &c.
2. But there is with this a perfect liberty. To be consecrated to Christ is the sure way to give to all our faculties the fullest play. If we are encased within the compass of the law we are no more restricted than a bird which is imprisoned in the air, or a fish in the ocean. Obedience to Christ is our element.
V. SUBMISSION AND EXPECTANCY.
1. Submission. "Ye are not your own," and therefore God has a right to do whatever He wills with you.
2. Side by side with that comes expectancy. I could not do much for myself if I were my own, but if I am Christ's I expect that He will do great things for me.
(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?