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? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20—NKJV

Years ago my children took severe exception the first time I told them, “I own you.” Something welled up from within that rebelled against the idea that they did not own themselves. I sought to plant within their nascent minds simple building blocks for them to construct an understanding.

There was the building block that they were not yet of age to vote, have a job, or survive without my help. Another building block was that any law they broke would have consequences upon me, like being truant from school. Additionally I told them that they had been born to my wife and me, and that all they had was mine and not really theirs. Somehow, in their little world, these lessons fell on deaf ears.

Do you begin to grasp the parallel to our spiritual lives as born again saints? It seems so natural to fall into the habits of self-direction and cherishing volitional options.

Our text is the central hinge pin in a context requiring sexual purity among the saints, both inside marriage and outside of the bonds of matrimony. Though it is perfectly to the point, its application is very broad in the Christian life.

Very dynamic statements are rehearsed in these two verses. First, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The body is all inclusive of who we are. All we are, go, and do involves the body. Yet our text states that our flesh is the temple of the Holy Spirit. When a person trusts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he is indwelt immediately by the Holy Spirit with whom he is sealed until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1). This is how our “run-of-the-mill” body becomes the temple (the holy place, the inner sanctuary). The word picture brings to mind the Old Testament Holy of Holies where the high priest was only allowed to go once a year on the Day of Atonement, and he had to do everything right or suffer the consequences.

The indwelling Spirit is placed there by God; it is a work of the Almighty for the purpose of creating the image of Christ in us. The presence of the Holy Spirit is not pointless. We are baptized into the Spirit at the point of salvation; we are regenerated by His work upon our heart; He illumines the Word of God to us so that we can understand the spiritual truths found within it; He seals us so that we cannot lose our salvation nor be demon-possessed; He fills us as we yield in submission to the Word of God, and goes on comforting, encouraging, chastening and renewing throughout our days on this earth.

Is it any wonder that God states at the end of verse 19, “and you are not your own?” What was so inconceivable and offensive to my children is very often the root of our practical behavior in our adult lives. Paul states emphatically, “you were bought at a price.” Think what that price is—the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He bought us out of the slave market of sin and has freed us to lovingly serve Him (“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Corinthians 7:23). We are indebted to glorify God in our body and spirit which are God’s! He has first claim on us!

It is imperative that you wrap your heart around the fact that God owns you. His ownership is not simply for the fact He is your Creator and Judge, but because of the terrible cost He paid so that you might live. Do you begin each day remembering that God owns you “lock, stock, and barrel?” How must your life be different because you were bought out of the slave market of sin? What does being the holy sanctuary of the Holy Spirit mean to you in practical terms? Trust and obey.