One of the amazing aspects of following Jesus is realizing that even though once we were God’s enemy because of our sin, through Jesus God has adopted us into his family, welcomed us onto his team, given us a seat at his table. He is excited to be associated with us.
He is excited to be associated with you. He bought you with a price. The price was Jesus’ death on the cross. And now that you have surrendered your life to Jesus, he claims you as one of his own!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
Wow! Those verses are powerful. They tell you that because you belong to Christ the Holy Spirit of Almighty God lives inside you. The result of that — the supernatural result — is that you will want to glorify God with every part of your body.
Here’s an exercise for you: start at the top of your head, and mentally think about every single part of your body, inside and out. Think about how you can best glorify God with that part of your body. For example, you can best use your brain by thinking about doing things that help others and honor God, not by scheming in order to harm others. Your liver — yes, your liver — can glorify God by not getting poisoned with excessive alcohol. You get the point. Take a few minutes to do this. It will take focus and thought, but it will help you to get the big picture of how God deserves to be glorified by every part of your body, and you will think of specific ways to do that.
1 Corinthians 6 makes it crystal clear that because we belong to Christ, we live life differently than those who live by the ways of the world. Here are four ways:
Settle legal disputes in a biblical manner (vv1-8). In the lawsuit-crazed world in which we live, in takes focus to handle legal issues God’s way. The Bible instructs societies to show equal justice under the law for everyone. And in 1 Corinthians 6, the Bible challenges every follower of Jesus who has a legal dispute between another follower of Jesus to find a Christian arbitrator to mediate and help settle the case rather than taking the case to open court, which could potentially drag the name of Jesus through the mud.
Realize that God saved you and sanctified you for a purpose (vv9-11). Just like every person on the planet, we were sinners in need of a savior. We were selfish, lost in our sin, headed for destruction and hell. But through Christ we have been washed, justified and sanctification for a purpose. That purpose is to enjoy his kingdom, live like a child of the king, and expand his kingdom. We are to pray for and help to bring his kingdom on earth, knowing that we will spend eternity with him. When others are added to his kingdom, his kingdom expands.
Listen to God’s voice, not the voices of our culture (vv12-17). Just like the culture in Corinth in the first century, our culture tells that you that “everything is permissible.” Culture tells you life is just about your time on earth, so eat and drink and do whatever you want. Culture will tell you that immorality is acceptable and to be expected. But because you belong to Christ you do not have to be a slave to this mindset and way of living. You have been set free to live an abundant, joyful life that glorifies God. Listen to God’s voice. He will guide you.
Glorify God with every fiber of your being (vv18-20). In Corinth, prostitution was legal, as it is in places like Las Vegas and Thailand today. The people who were coming to faith in Jesus were realizing as they read Paul’s letter to them that it does matter that you belong to Christ. You will live your life differently. You will glorify God with every fiber of your being.
Here’s the text of 1 Corinthians 6:
1 Corinthians 6:1-20
1 If any of you has a dispute against another, how dare you take it to court before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Or don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the trivial cases? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels??—??how much more matters of this life? 4 So if you have such matters, do you appoint as your judges those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame! Can it be that there is not one wise person among you who is able to arbitrate between fellow believers? 6 Instead, brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers! 7 As it is, to have legal disputes against one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves do wrong and cheat??—??and you do this to brothers and sisters!
9 Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
12 “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will do away with both of them. However, the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? So should I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh. 17 But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18 Flee sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. 19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.