Tuesday, August 19, 2014
“Purer in Body”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body (1 Cor. 6:18).
God is interested in complete purity for His people. Yesterday, we noted the Bible’s food for our thoughts and saw that it is possible for us to think in a pure way. Today, we turn our attention to our bodies.
In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul points out three extremely important ways that our bodies are to be pure for the Lord. First, my body is a PART of the body. Second, my body is a PLACE for God. Third, my body has been PURCHASED by the blood of Christ. All of this from 1 Corinthians 6:15-20.
First, my body is a PART of the body. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” Paul asked in 1 Corinthians 6:15. Later in 1 Corinthians, Paul would discuss the idea that the church is the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12 teaches what Paul is discussing here, that Christians are the members of Christ’s body. Now I’m not talking about a “member” in the sense that one might be a member of a club. To be a member of Christ’s body literally means to function as a limb of the body. Paul is using an appropriate illustration here to point out the importance of every Christian in the church. We accomplish Christ’s will through our acts of obedience, therefore, we are Christ’s “members” today.
This really ought to revolutionize the way that I look at my body. Suddenly my body isn’t about me – it’s about being a good steward of what I’ve been given in my physical body! That’s why Paul then warns Christians not to engage in that which will harm the body with sin. Paul specifically mentions fornication here. To engage in harlotry is to participate in a union that far separate from Christ.
By contrast, Jesus prayed that His disciples would be one (John 17), united in Him. I have a spiritual relationship with Christ (Eph. 1:3ff.; Col. 3:1-4). I am a part of the body of Christ, and I am to employ my physical blessings – yes, even my own body – in His service.
Second, my body is a PLACE for God. Paul asks, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19). John tells us that those who keep God’s commandments have the Spirit within them (1 John 3:24; 4:13). This doesn’t refer to a miraculous indwelling of the Spirit. Instead, this is the Spirit working through the Word. As we internalize the Word, the Spirit abides within us.
Look at the point here: your body is supposed to be a dwelling place – a temple – for the Spirit, that is, for the Word. You are an earthen vessel carrying a treasure (2 Cor. 4:7), so act like it! Your body is no place for immorality and sin! The Proverbs writer discusses a man who was enticed by an adulteress. Her words are appealing to the man, and he ultimately gives in to her temptations. The Proverbs writer says “He did not know it would cost his life” (Prov. 7:23). The text continues: “For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death” (Prov. 7:26-27).
No, your body is no place for cheap, passing pleasure. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit! You realize what this means, don’t you? Listen to Paul’s words: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19, emp. mine, RH). You do not belong to yourself. You – the new you – are a slave to righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18). You and I better take this seriously.
Third, my body has been PURCHASED by Christ (1 Cor. 6:20). Paul says, “For you were bought at a price.” We know what that price was. Acts 20:28 says that Jesus “purchased [the church] with His own blood.” 1 Peter 2:9 says that Christians are God’s “own special people” (NKJV), or “a people for His own possession” (ESV).
That price was a great price. Peter reminds us that we “were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
That price demands that God be glorified! Paul says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:20). The tense that Paul uses is urgent, implying that this glorification must be attained. To glorify God in our body means that we will use our bodies in such a way that men will see that our bodies belong to God. We refuse to use them for sinful acts, we reserve them entirely for obedience to God.
Let’s wrap it up: Your pursuit of purity begins with your thoughts – becoming purer in heart – and then should extend to your body. Remember that your body is a part of THE body, that your body is a place for God, and that your body has been purchased by Christ.
Memory Verse: You and I will be purer in body if we will memorize and then live Psalm 19:14:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).
Sometime today: Read Ephesians 4:29 about pure speech. Tomorrow on The New You we will be challenged to exercise purity with our tongues.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!