Thankfully Owned – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (Part 2)
Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies
by Bob Burridge ©2011
Of all the things for which we need to be thankful, our Salvation is most fundamental. Nothing else would be appreciated for the treasure it is, if it wasn’t for the work of Christ redeeming us. Aside from that we would be blind to the wonders of creation around us. We would be insensitive to the needs of others. We would fail to appreciate to its fullest the love we receive from our friends and families.
As those redeemed by Christ we are re-united with God as one of his children. Spiritual blindness is cured, and we begin to appreciate God’s many gifts and blessings.
This makes a big difference in how we make our decisions, and deal with every-day issues. To help us with these things the Apostle Paul spells out a general principle for us to follow in 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’
This means that in whatever you do, in whatever you think or decide, you need to remember that you belong to God. You are not your own.
God created us for his own glory. We exist for what he intended us to be. Since the fall of all humanity in Adam we have a corrupt view of what life is all about. What’s more we have a corrupt set of desires about what we want to be doing in life.
God employs our lostness to display his amazing grace, and his ability to overcome the most difficult of situations. He came into this world as Savior to redeem his children by living a holy life as their representative, and by dying in their place to pay for their debt of guilt.
That debt was no minor issue. An eternity of suffering could never pay it off. An eternal debt demands an infinite penalty and a total separation from the Perfect Creator forever. Jesus took that enormous debt upon himself when he died on that Cross. What an amazingly high price! By paying that price tag, he purchased you from your lostness and made you his beloved child forever.
Now, as one trusting in his atonement, you belong to God.
This is profoundly summarized in that first answer in the Heidelberg Catechism which asks: What is your only comfort in life and in death? The answer is,
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil …”
When you think about this amazing biblical fact, it ought to make you intensely thankful. You ought to be glad to be able to live for him in body and soul.
Since we belong to him, if we dare to take what is his and treat it as if it belongs to us, to do with it only as we please, we commit thievery against God himself, and rebel against his gracious love.
Reports and surveys show that people complain a lot about empty lives. They feel like they have no purpose. In the internet chat channels people are often talking about how bored they are. They come on chat to find someone to talk with, or someone to annoy just for something to do. That can be an excellent chance to be sympathetic with their real need and help them understand what Christ accomplished to rescue them from their detachment to the One who made them, and from the purpose for which they were put here on earth. Challenge them to find a soundly biblical church where they can learn more about God’s ways.
There is restlessness, and feelings of being unsatisfied that drive people to crave violent and immoral entertainment. Many still turn to drugs and cults while they search for something meaningful.
You may not be aware of a significant sub-culture that started in the 1990s. The people call themselves, Juggalos. It’s beginning is associated with the violent and crime oriented music of the band that calls itself the Insane Clown Posse. Horrible violence including murder by hatchets and shootings are associated with their music and performances.
Those I’ve talked with who call themselves Juggalos say they just don’t care about anything, not even what happens to them. But they have a mob-family type bond to defend one-another against criticisms.
They seem to get lost in this highly emotional hatred oriented music. I looked up some definitions of Juggalo on the web, read some of their blogs and the lyrics of some of their music. It’s far too violent and filled with horrible profanity to quote any of it.
When people try to make sense out of life divorced from being a possession of God through Christ — they are attempting the impossible. They try to fill the emptiness with substitutes of one sort or another. Some of the more traditional ways are to get lost in career and financial goals. Sometimes people get lost in music of the more highly emotional sort. They might spend all their time with some hobby or watch movies, play endless hours of video games, do things that eat up the time that’s become their enemy.
At the end, and along the way, what good does it do for the expense it charges? For the empty lives and eternal suffering? What benefit does it all have when it’s over? Do the lost expect to say, “Well, we got some trophies and awards for all the time we spent advancing ourselves in our little span of life.” or “We got the highest score in the best video games every year.” What empty evidences of how our lives are spent.
Certainly our careers are important, and there is a place for hobbies, music, and movies. But if they’re what people work for, live for, or if it takes up their attention and time, then they are stealing their lives away from God.
The unbeliever can’t even see that he owes his life to his Creator. The Christian should know better.
But sadly, many who say they are Christians do the same type of thing. They fail to support their spiritual family because they have so much else to do. They don’t tithe because there’s so much they want to buy. They won’t tell others about Christ because they would be embarrassed. They look for worship that just gives them an emotional fix, or that makes them think they’re superior because they made a right decisions about God. While many who live such shallow lives may be true believers, they don’t grasp the life liberating good news we have in he promises of our God and Redeemer. The liberating truth is that they don’t belong to themselves anymore!i
Our work, family, friendships, and hobbies take on a whole new dimension when we realize we are engaged in them for God’s glory. Nothing is mundane or meaningless if kept in that perspective.
It’s not up to us to find things to do and to satisfy our often immature longings. Christ cares for his people, and delivers to them what they can’t find or don’t know what to look for on their own. Aside from his work in the redeemed heart there is nothing else to find. Aside from thankful obedience for that grace there’s nothing else as important in life.
You miss a lot in life if you fail to understand how to live by this vital principle: You are not your own. You are bought with a high price and belong in body and soul to your Redeemer.