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CHRISTIAN LIFE: “Not Your Own”

We belong to Christ – not to ourselves…..

 

“Put it down! It’s not yours!” Have you heard those words before? They may have been spoken to a small child who had picked up something interesting. Proudly holding his newly-found treasure, the child had expected the parent to speak approvingly. Instead, a fundamental lesson had to be taught. The object did not belong to the child but to someone else, and therefore it must be given up. Early in life the child needed to discover that we must not help ourselves to what does not belong to us. Appropriating something that rightly belongs to another person is tantamount to stealing.

 

 

 

This important lesson is applied to our spiritual lives in Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. Reading the epistle, there seems to have been a serious misunderstanding as far as the believers in Corinth were concerned. Paul appeared to remonstrate with them as he declared, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,” (1 Cor.6:19). Had they forgotten the meaning of redemption? The presence of the Holy Spirit within them was proof that their lives no longer belonged to themselves. Paul explained this truth with the words, “For ye are bought with a price” (v.20). What price did he have in mind?

 

 

NOT YOURS – BUT HIS

The question is answered by Peter, who reminds us that we have been redeemed, not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18,19). A transaction took place at the cross where Jesus died. A price was paid in order to save those who were lost in sin and faced eternal doom. Willingly, the Lord Jesus laid down His life in order to purchase a people who would belong to Him. In one sense silver or gold could have been given as payment, and those purchased in this way would rightly have belonged to the One who had paid the price. But something of infinitely greater worth has been given. Christian believers recognize that “the precious blood of Christ” was shed to provide redemption, and this fact ought to touch our hearts. We have been purchased in order to belong to the Lord – but the cost was great. It did not simply involve someone generously paying a vast sum of money which might have diminished their resources. In an act of unbounded compassion God gave His only Son, and out of infinite love the Lord Jesus laid down His life in order to redeem us. Does this not prove how much He loved us? Should it not cause us to love Him greatly in return?

 

 

 

 

HIS – FOR EVER

“Ye are not your own,” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19. We have been “bought with a price” (v.20) – and what a price! “The precious blood of Christ” was shed for our redemption so that we might belong to Him. If we have received Him, the fact is that we do not belong to ourselves any more: we belong to Christ eternally!

 

We must apply this truth to our lives. If we belong to Christ, it follows that we are not at liberty to live as we please and run our lives in the way we choose. The indwelling Holy Spirit has sealed us (Eph.4:30) and is the proof that we belong to God. It is because we have been bought with a price that we must “glorify God” (1 Cor.6:20). God’s purpose in salvation is that we might live to bring glory to Him. We cannot glorify Him in our own strength but only as enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

On the basis of “the mercies of God,” Paul exhorts us to “present [our] bodies [as] a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” which is the only “reasonable” thing for us to do (Rom.12:1). We have been purchased by the Lord, spirit, soul, and body. Since the Lord Jesus gave Himself for us, it is only right that we should willingly yield ourselves to Him. Paul knew these demands – for when he was converted on the Damascus road he asked the Lord what He wanted him to do (Acts 9:6). He knew that his life was no longer his own. He had been brought under the authority of a new Master. If we belong to the Lord Jesus, we are His as well. Our daily ambition should be to please the One who has saved us from eternal loss.