What does Paul mean by the statement in 1 Corinthians 6:19 – “ye are not your own”?
It is instructive to note that even those who claim that “I am my own” are bound by circumstances, relationships, etc. No one is entirely free. Hence, none is fully independent in his decisions, speech and actions. One may differ from certain people, but others will influence or affect him.
The principle that the apostle Paul emphasises here is that every Christian belongs entirely to God. His soul and body are not his own, but God’s. This is one of the most elementary principles of Christian thought and life. The essence of Christianity is a voluntary surrender of will and life to Christ. No Christian should claim that he is the master of his own life, even though everyone naturally wants to think that he is his own master.
Christians are not their own. Christians are the Lord’s purchased possession. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). The divine possession of every Christian is a real, permanent, and blessed truth. If we could only realise it more!
To be mindful that we are not ours, but the Lord’s is not some dangerous fanaticism. It is a calm and dignified assurance within our souls that strengthens us to live consciously with holy and glorious aspirations. What strength and beauty it would give to our life!
When Christians appreciates this truth, they yield their hearts to Christ! Then their thoughts are not their own, but are subject to the Lord who redeemed them for Himself. Their abilities, time and resources are not theirs, but are to be consecrated to Him who is their Saviour and Lord.
Christianity is violated and demeaned when those who claim to be Christians refuse to yield their souls and bodies entirely to their Saviour and Lord. The Apostle asked, “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?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). As Christians, our bodies are not our own to use in any way that would defy or displease the Lord who owns them entirely.
Paul emphasises that Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who has made their body His residence. So Paul called them to abstain from sexual sins, that their body be kept sanctified as the temple of the Holy Spirit who indwells them. Committing fornication is as disgusting as committing sexual sins in a worship sanctuary. Whenever sexual immorality is committed by believers, abomination is committed within God’s sanctuary. Every sin committed in a Christian’s body is a defiling act within the temple of God. Christians’ bodies are God’s temple, reserved for His praise and purposes. Our bodies, therefore, have one supreme purpose: to glorify God. “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13b).
The sense of Divine ownership, rather than self-ownership, is the inspiration of all Christian virtues, aspirations, motivations, dignity and strength. Imagine the sanctity of the temple of old, about which it is said that “the glory of the Lord had filled the house” (1 Kg 8:11). Are we not also blessed with such a higher sanctity in our bodies because of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit? Shall not “Holiness unto the Lord” also be our motto because we are His?
Online Pastors’ Conference
An Email from Pr Sujith Samuel
I thank God for His special help and strength upon you in preaching five sermons on the theme, “Shepherding in the Spirit”, during the Online Pastors’ Conference (June 25-26, 2020). I also praise God for bringing many participants from India, China and Southeast Asian countries (Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, etc.), including the preachers of our church from Singapore and the missionaries from the Philippines.
Most of the pastors who attended the last Pastors’ meeting (in June 2019) here in Vizag, India, were not able to make it for this meeting. They live and serve beyond the bounds of the city. The network coverage is not good in those areas. So, they could not get into the online meeting.
However, there were many new participants from other areas of India in last week’s Online Pastors’ Conference. From their feedback that I’ve received, I would like you to know that they were much blessed from the five teaching sessions that you have conducted. The “Question & Answer” session was beneficial to them to clarify their doubts on the topic of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in and through His servants. Some participants have requested for the recordings of all those sessions. I would like to thank you for your plans to make them available; for those recordings will undoubtedly benefit them, especially those who could not hear them.
I thank God for the help offered by Bro Lijoy George, Bro Cornelius Koshy, Bro Mathew Peh, Bro Norefel Resuma, etc. for all the efforts they have put in to ensure that the online meetings were smoothly conducted. May the Lord bless all those who helped in organising this conference.
Please continue to pray for the work here in Vizag and its surroundings. Students are preparing to come back and resume their studies in GBI. We are still not sure whether students from far will be able to return to GBI for the new semester. Meanwhile, some renovation works are being done in our rented premises to enlarge the meeting area to receive more students and also to ensure social distancing. If the Lord permits, the renovation will be completed soon, and the premises will be ready for worship service, classes, etc.
I am delighted to know that the church in Singapore had been given permission to conduct Holy Communion service in Gethsemane Media Centre. May the Lord, in His good time, open the doors of His house for regular worship, prayer, fellowship meetings, etc.
Remembering all of you in my prayers,