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?…
(children's sermon): — "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever." Look at my watch. It may be used for many ends — as a mere ornament, &c.; but its "chief end" is to tell what o'clock it is. What have you got your body for? God says, "Use it for Me." If you were to get a pound from your father or master, you would naturally ask, "What am I to do with it?" and you would know what was meant if he said, "Use it for me in such a way as to please me."
I. WHY AM I TO GLORIFY GOD IN MY BODY?
1. Because He made it, and made it for Himself. When you have made a thing for yourself, you feel that you have the best right to it. If it were taken away from you, or turned against you, would you not think it very hard? During the French Revolution the guillotine was invented, and the first man who suffered by it was the man who invented it. Perhaps some one will say, "It was just what he deserved." But suppose it had been some contrivance for saving life. If that were turned against the man who designed it, or discovered it, would not every right-minded person cry "shame"? And who made that body of yours? The cleverest man in the world could not make it. None could make it but God. God made that hand of yours for His own use. Is it not a sin and a shame to turn it against Him? Take any book you are reading, and you will see on it the names of five people who were concerned in the making of it. On the title-page is the name of the man who wrote it; at the foot of the page, the name of the man who published it; on the other side of the page, or at the end of the book, the name of the man who printed it; on a little label inside the board at the end, the name of the man who bound it; and on another, inside the board at the beginning, the man of the man who sold it. All these get credit for what they have done. Every sheet of paper I write on has the "water-mark," as it is called, with the name of the man who made it. The very buttons on my clothes bear the name of their maker. And we all feel it quite right that it should be so. But it does not always need the name. Some people can take up a piece of cloth, and say, "this is so and so's make," or a picture, and say, "that is such and such a painter's piece," or a book, and say, "this is written by such a man, I know by its style." And do we need any kind of mark or stamp on our body to tell us who made it? No. See that wonderful tubular bridge which stretches from Wales to Anglesea, and you will hear of its maker — Stephenson, the great engineer: it glorifies him. See St. Paul's Cathedral, and people will tell you of its great architect, Sir Christopher Wren: it glorifies him. Go to the National Gallery, and the artist's work, in each case, may be said to " glorify " him. And shall I not seek to glorify God with my body? (Exodus 4:11; Psalm 94:9; Proverbs 20:12).
2. Because He sustains it. Suppose your father were to take some poor sick beggar-boy off the street into his house — to nurse him, and to feed him, and to do everything to make him well and strong. What would you think if that boy were to forget your father? Take a stranger dog into your house, and feed it, and be kind to it, and before a fortnight is over, it will follow you everywhere. What would you think if your dog left you every morning whenever he got his breakfast, and ran after every strange boy on the street, and would not follow you, and only come in to his meals? Now God does all for your body that you do for your dog. And again I ask, may it not well be used for Him in such a way as He wishes?
3. Because He has redeemed it. Our body, like everything else about us, was forfeited; just like a thing that has been put in pawn. Is is no longer ours. It has meanwhile become the property of another. And it must be redeemed. And Jesus bought back our body, paid the price of His own blood for it, and so made it His owns. Let me again ask how you judge of things that you have bought, your knife, &c., which you have saved your pocket-money to buy. You say of any of these, as you said of the money that bought it, "it is my very own. I may lend these things or give the use of them to others, but none has a right to them like me." In the days of slavery, when one had bought a slave, he regarded that man's body, and all that the body could do, as his. You remember the story of the ransomed slave whom a British merchant purchased at a great price and then set free — how the liberated slave clung to his purchaser, and followed him wherever he went, and served him as no other did or could, telling, whenever he was asked the reason, "He redeemed me! He redeemed me! "Gratitude and love bound him, and made him, what I might call, in opposition to a bondman — a free slave. Now that is what Jesus has done; He has bought us, not with His money, but with His life. He has bought us and set us free. And we are His free slaves.
II. HOW AM I TO GLORIFY GOD IN MY BODY? I claim —
1. Your hands for God. You have no right to use them in the service of Satan, the world, or sin. Idle hands do not glorify God, nor mischievous hands, nor dirty hands, nor dishonest hands, nor unkind hands, nor careless hands.
2. Your feet. They should go only on His errands. When I see the little feet kicking or stamping in passion, or venturing into forbidden and dangerous paths, or loitering when they should make haste, I cannot help thinking: "These feet are not for God." "How beautiful are the feet, when they are for God!"
3. Your lips. What shall I say of profane words, untruthful words, coarse and vulgar words, angry and irritating words, unholy and impure words, light and jesting words, slandering and gossiping words? When we are going to speak of any one, it has been said there are three questions which it is well to ask — "Is it true? Is it useful? Is it kind?"
4. And so with the whole body. The ears should be for God, listening to nothing of which He would disapprove; and the eyes, turning away from all that He would not look upon. All should be for God. "Whether ye eat or drink," &c. And how is all this to be? The root of all lies in having the heart for God.
(J. H. Wilson.)
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?