“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.”
In the contemporary world, the phrase “you are not your own” sounds almost offensive to many people from the post-modern culture. Advertisements keep telling us that we are the owners of our lives, we have to choose the best for ourselves first, and that nobody is allowed to tell us what to do with our bodies or our lives.
What is the apostle Paul trying to tell us in his epistle to the Corinthians and particularly in these verses? Why should we lose some of our freedom and trust our lives completely to God?
Often, people do not want to admit in the first place that they received their lives from God. The reason we exist, live, and breathe is because of the will of God. Even those who do not believe in God live on this planet because of His prevenient grace extended to the whole of creation. When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he reminds them that through the new covenant with God, they become a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. This means that Christians become a part of something much bigger than their individual lives.
In the Spirit, we are united with the rest of Christ’s body in this world.
In some sense, the Spirit creates an invisible net, connecting us to each other and guiding us toward the same goal, which God has ordained for the whole of humanity. When we live as if we are “not our own,” we allow God to use us as vehicles of His grace in this world to bring healing and restoration.
Metaphorically speaking, we live in a spiritual ecosystem where the lives of all people are interrelated and interconnected. This system does not function as it was supposed to at the moment of creation because it is infected by sin. Through our united actions and prayers in His name, God transforms this world. The truth that we are “not our own” means we belong to the community of believers united by Christ, who bought us at a precious “price”; we belong to the Holy Spirit who dwells in us; we belong to God the Father who loves us.
Therefore, “not our own” actually means that we are not alone in this world. God cares for us, protects us, provides for us, and makes our lives meaningful. He helps us to join His mission and to understand the purpose for which we were created by Him: to bless all nations and bring them to God.
Prayer for the week:
Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding us that we belong to You. Thank You for protecting us in this world. Thank You for guiding us and filling us with Your Spirit. May Your will be done in our homes, in our churches, and in our countries. Show us the areas of our lives that need improvement, and lead us closer to You. Make us vehicles of Your grace. Amen.
Olga Druzhinina is a lecturer in theology for European Nazarene College and M-Power volunteer in Riga, Latvia.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.