God Paid a High Price for Me
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I recently preached on 1 Corinthians 6 (not an easy chapter to preach on! If you would like to hear it, please click here), but there were two verses which stayed with me as I was preparing and have stayed with me since. They are the final two verses in that chapter:
Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body. v19-20 (NLT)
Let's spend some time meditating on those verses now:
1. God paid a high price for me because he saw my worth, even before I did. Love was the price he paid. Jesus, God's own Son, died in my place, taking my punishment on himself. Do you know he paid that high price for you too because you are valuable to him?
When Paul writes about God buying us at a high price he is using the terminology which refers to someone purchasing a slave at a slave auction. (A familiar occurrence in his time.) You and I were slaves - we were enslaved to sin. Jesus saved us from that life of slavery and has given us a new life and freedom.
2. I no longer belong to myself. Life is not about doing what I want to do, following my own will and desires. I now belong to God, to the one who knows and loves me. I am his treasured possession. You are his treasured possession. I wonder if you really believe that as you are reading this. It's true. God's Word tells us:
He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:18 (NLT)Another translation of this verse puts it this way:
God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfil his chosen destiny for us and become the favourite ones out of all his creation! (TPT)
As God's treasured possession, I am free to choose to love him, to live for him and seek to please him in all I do.
How do you treat something which belongs to you? I take care of that which belongs to me, especially if it's important and precious to me. I am careful not to break or damage it. Likewise, if someone entrusts something of theirs to me, perhaps they've asked me to look after their home whilst they are on holiday, I am careful to treat it with respect because I know what it means to them.
In the same way, how do you and I treat our bodies which belong to God? Do we take care of ourselves - body, mind and soul? Are we careful not to damage it or break it?
3. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. When I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, God gives me the gift of his Holy Spirit, whose presence lives in me. The same is true for you. As Christians, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit – the glory of God indwelling us.
What happens to God's glory when we don't care for our body which has been created by God and redeemed (or bought) by him? I believe God's glory indwelling us diminishes when we mistreat, abuse, or neglect our bodies. God wants his glory to be seen in us so that when others look at us they see him. We honour and glorify God when we respect our body given to us by God.
If we don't take care of our bodies, if we misuse them, abuse them and treat them with contempt, what are we really saying about what we think about God and what he values?
If we truly believe God loves us enough to pay a high price for us, that our bodies do not actually belong to us but to God, that he indwells us by his Spirit, then this changes everything.
It changes how we see ourselves and others, it changes our attitudes, it changes the way we treat our bodies and it changes us from the inside out so that our desire now is to honour God with all that we have, and that includes our bodies.
To Think About:
Do you believe God paid a high price for you because he loves you? If you believe he loves you, how does that affect the way you see yourself?
How does knowing that you are God's treasured possession affect the way you live?
When we sin the glory of God in us is diminished. We don't shine as brightly for him. Before God, ask him to reveal any sin in your life which you need to repent of, and ask for his forgiveness. He promises to forgive us our sins. Sin damages us, it breaks our body, mind and spirit, it causes our relationships with God and one another to break down. But God can restore that which is broken and damaged. He restores us so that once again our lives can glorify him.
If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon, on Kindle or in paperback. (Its content is material adapted from past blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below: