“‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything. ‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food’—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” - 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The Christians in Corinth faced some difficult challenges. Having come from a pagan religious background where sexual promiscuity was not only acceptable but also included as a form of their religious worship, it would have been hard to separate sexuality from worship.
Paul writes to them with love and pastoral care. For those Christians who had the hardest time with giving up their ingrained way of life, it would have also been easy to claim freedom in Christ. If Christ is the one who saves you, then it doesn’t matter what you do with your body, right?
But Paul writes to shift their perspective. Their bodies are now the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and they are one with him! When the Corinthians accepted Christ as their Savior, God’s Spirit came to reside within them, to guide them and protect them from harm. The freedom they’ve gained in Jesus was bought by his sacrifice on the cross. They no longer belong to sin and darkness, but to God. Body, soul, and spirit, they are not their own. Their bodies are not meant for old pagan ways, but for glorifying God.
Like the Corinthians, we are not our own. We belong to the God we worship, and we were created to glorify him. Even if we didn’t come from the same religious background as they did, it will always be a challenge to remember that we were bought with a price.
What reaction do you have to Paul’s reminder that you are not your own? In what ways can you continue to glorify God in your body?