As Christian women, we are told to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ- this encompasses everything we do, say and think. We know that we are supposed to hold ourselves to high standards and set our sights only on things that are true and right and pure. We were bought at a price, so we are told to honor God with our bodies.
But it’s not easy, is it?
I’d go as far as to guess that for most of us it can actually be really hard.
I think a large part of what makes it so hard is that we know what we’re supposed to be doing- or not doing- but the why part often goes unexplained. And after a while, it gets more and more difficult to resist temptation simply because God says so. There has to be more to it than that.
So what does it mean that we were bought at a price? Why and how should that change the way we live?
“You were bought at a price, therefore glorify God with your bodies.”
1 Corinthians 6:20
What it means is this: we know that the punishment for sin is death. And we know that we are all sinners, desperately in need of the grace of God. Put two and two together and it becomes clear that we are the ones who deserve to pay for our transgressions. We owed a debt that would have cost us our lives.
But the perfect Lamb of God paid it off with His flesh and blood and breath. And He had a choice! One word and the Savior of the world very well could have saved Himself. But He chose to be beaten, He chose to wear a crown of thorns, He chose to hang on the cross, bearing the unimaginably immense weight of every single sin that has ever been committed so we would never have to.
There exists no more perfect offering than the body of Christ. Because of His holiness and blamelessness, our debt was covered once and for all. He bridged the gap between heaven and earth; He made a way for us where there was no way.
“Christ died for us so that whether we are dead or alive when He returns, we can live with Him forever.”
1 Thessalonians 5:10
It’s the simplest of truths but it carries with it the grandest of meanings. We owe Him everything we have, because without Him we would have nothing.
What a gift!! What a blessing and comfort to know that we will live forever in communion with Christ. That our souls are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. But let’s not forget that while we walk the earth, our bodies are home to our souls. And for this reason, Jesus paid for our bodies as well. So He could live within us!
He wanted so badly to have such an intimate relationship with us that He was willing to die so we could accept Him into our hearts, and both physically and spiritually always be near to Him.
This is what God has done for us. So now it’s our turn.
Despite our crooked and imperfect nature, the Savior chooses to manifest Himself in us because of His great love for us. And if our bodies are the dwelling place of the Lord, doesn’t He deserve for us to take care of His home? Do we not owe it to Him to keep His sanctuary pure? By taking care of and protecting our bodies in the way that the Lord instructs, we can show Him that we are for Him in the same way He is so evidently for us.
“He died for everyone so that those who receive new life in Him will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”
2 Corinthians 5:15
We are to no longer live for ourselves. We are to no longer indulge in the desires of the flesh because we have been saved! We have been set free from the hold that sin had over us and the pain that it causes. And not only that, but since God is within us, we have access to the strength of the Lord. Surely this fills us with more than enough power to resist any temptations that threaten to take back control of our hearts and our lives.
The Lord has made us new and whole. Why, then, would we ever choose to return to the depravity of the identity of the flesh? We have been given freedom from that. We have the opportunity every day to choose purity, to choose true joy and fulfillment. And if we do, He will deliver without fail.
In return, we are to use our bodies to glorify Him. We are to live out of sheer gratitude. Our lives should demonstrate that God is more satisfying, more precious and more desirable than anything our earthly bodies crave.