1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
Divine OwnershipJ. Waite 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Christian has no Personal RightsR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Temple Body and its SanctityR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 6:19
Abuse of Christian LibertyH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Liberty in the Use of the LawfulR. S. McAll, LL. D.1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The Christian Rule in Things IndifferentJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The Human Body and its Relation to ChristC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The Lawful and the ExpedientW. E. Hurndall, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The Limits of Christian RightsF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:12-20
The Practical Distinction Between Things Lawful and ExpedientR. S. McAll, LL. D.1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Duties to the BodyE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 6:13-19
A Purchased PossessionJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
All Our Faculties Should Glorify GodH. W. Beecher.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Bought with a PriceC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Full Surrender to GodW. Hay Aitken.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Glorify GodProf. Godet.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Glorify God in Your BodyJ. Vaughan, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Glorifying GodA. Crummell.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Glorifying God with the BodyJ. H. Wilson.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
God to be Glorified by Those Bought with a PriceA. Alexander, D. D.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
God's Right to Our Services on the Ground of CreationJ. Vaughan, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
God's Right to Our Services on the Ground of RedemptionM. Jackson.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
God's Temple1 Corinthians 6:19-20
How God is Glorified in the BodyM. Jackson.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
How God is Glorified in the SpiritM. Jackson.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Keep Thyself PureJ. Thain Davidson, D. D.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Man Acting Independent of GodM. Jackson.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Not Our OwnW. Hay Aitken, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Not Your OwnC. S. Horne, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Obedience the Fruit of RedemptionW. Jay.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Our Bodies Should Glorify God1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Our Duty to God Urged from His Right in UsJ. Benson.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Redemption and its ClaimsC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Redemption and its Obligations1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Redemption by PriceC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Redemption, and its ClaimsW. M. Punshon, LL. D.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Christian's Obligation to a Holy LifeD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Dignity and Service of the BodyCanon Garbett.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Redeemed Sinner a Scruple of GodC. Bradley, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Sacredness of the PersonWeekly Pulpit1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Temple of God Must not be DefacedT. De Witt Talmage.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Temple of the Holy GhostJ. Vaughan, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Temple of the Holy GhostW. G. Blaikie, D. D.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Ye are not Your OwnJ. Vaughan, M. A.1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Every noble character and life is based upon self renunciation. A man, in order to make his mark upon the world, must lose himself in some great cause, that e.g. of his country, of science, of art, of humanity. Is there an all absorbing aim in which men generally may justly lose themselves? If there be, it must be the highest, all comprehending, perfectly and lastingly satisfactory. Christians have found this secret: they live to God in Christ. They are not their own, for they are bought, they are owned by the Son of God.


1. There was a time, a state, in which they thought themselves "their own." They followed their own desires and went their own way.

2. But in reality they were in bondage - to the Law and its sentence of condemnation; to sin and its cruel fetters; to Satan and his wretched service.

3. The power of evil then fostered the delusion of liberty, flattered pride and fostered selfishness, all the while drawing tighter and tighter the chains of spiritual bondage.


1. By One whose laws and service had been forsaken and despised.

2. By One without whose help bondage would have been eternal.

3. By One upon whom we sinful men had no claim based upon right and justice.

4. By One whose heart was moved with pity by the sad spectacle of our slavery.

5. By One who graciously resolved to do and to suffer all that might be involved in the work of our deliverance.


1. It was a price which no mere man could by any possibility have paid.

2. It was a price which could not be reckoned and estimated in any earthly or human equivalent.

3. It was a price in order to pay which it was necessary that the Son of God should become incarnate, and empty himself of his glory.

4. It was a price which consisted in "the precious blood of Christ."


1. Negatively. "Ye are not your own." Your heart is not your own, but Christ's; your thoughts are not your own, but his who liveth in you; your time is not your own, but is redeemed for the Redeemer; your abilities and influence are not your own, but are to be consecrated to him to whom you owe both them and the bias which has been given them; your property is not your own, but his who claims your all.

2. Positively. "Glorify God therefore." The praise is due to him who in his own mind conceived the purpose of redemption. The service is due to him whom to love is of necessity to serve. All the faculties of our nature and all the opportunities of our life may well be laid, as a consecrated offering, upon the altar of God, whose we are, not only by right of creation, but by right of grace and redemption, whose we are by every tie, and whom we are bound to serve as the best expression of our gratitude and the best exercise of our liberty. - T.

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?
I. THE DIGNITY OF THE BODY. The apostle speaks in the accents of surprise, as if to imply that they ought to know.

1. Many considerations may commend the sanctification of the flesh to God, e.g. —(1) The natural care for our bodies.(2) The possibility that the angels may have bodies resembling our own, since every angelic appearance in Scripture has been in human shape.(3) The fact that Christ ascended to heaven in a body of "flesh and bones."(4) The fact that the flesh is included in His redeeming work so that in heaven there will be glory and happiness for the body.

2. But the apostle takes higher ground. The body of a Christian man is claimed and taken possession of by the God who has redeemed it — and therefore to be treated with the same respect with which a heathen would regard the temple of his idol, or a Jew the holy of holies.

3. Of course this is not true of all men. It is true that the body is fearfully and wonderfully made in all, that there dwells within it an immortal soul full of noble gifts, that body and soul are actuated by a supernatural power. But in natural men that power is the power of God's enemy. It is to Christians alone that the text applies.

4. Now the idea of temple implies —(1) Presence. In the temples of idolatry there was a visible shape to represent the spirit supposed to be there. In the Temple at Jerusalem there was indeed no figure, but there the visible Shekinah dwelt above the mercy-seat. Thus if the body be the temple of the Holy Ghost it must be because He is actually there. What a solemn thought that is!(2) Presence, not by permission, but by right. Thus it is not that we ought from reverence or courtesy to render to God the use of a body which is our own, but it is that God assumes the use of a body which is His — bought with a price. We were God's by creation, and the right of property thus derived still exists. But we have given to Satan what is really God's; and the Spirit of God will not come back into a body where Satan's seat is, nor by force take the flesh, while the affections are bestowed elsewhere. But when His grace has won the heart back again, then God comes back to His own and takes full possession of the entire man. Try to realise the force of motive which this fact supplies for holiness.

II. THE SERVICE OF THE BODY. The Christian who thus thinks of his flesh as the temple of God cannot fail to acquire a higher respect for it, and it is evident that this higher respect will show itself in small things as well as in great. Follow the drunkard or the profligate, who abuse their natural health by sin, and see if the result be not neglect of the body, and misery and suffering in the very flesh they pamper. But let the grace of God change that man's heart, and what a difference is seen! Now he holds his head erect and takes his place among his fellow-men.

1. We should jealously watch our bodies lest they be polluted with sin.

2. Respect for the body, as the temple of the Holy Ghost, should teach propriety of dress and manner, and even of bodily appearance. A saved body, destined for heaven, is neither to be neglected nor to be made into an idle gewgaw, but is to be treated with the serious propriety which becomes a house of God and the God who fills it.

3. We need to watch over all our habits, so as to keep the body in the fittest state possible to do God's will. This is the highest object of health, that the members may be instruments of righteousness unto holiness.

4. Learn the due use and place of the body in our worship of God. The real seat of worship is in the heart, but when the heart is right, the body must share the service. Hence arises the propriety of outward forms of worship, of the bended knees, &c.

(Canon Garbett.)

1. There is a great danger in religion — as there is in everything else — of a want of proportion. To the natural man the body is much more than the soul. He can see his body; his soul is a matter of faith. The body can give him immediate pleasure; the pleasures of the soul lie chiefly in the future. To the care of the body there is little or nothing to oppose itself; to the care of the soul, the opposition, both from within and without, is very strong. Hence, to provide for that body takes by far the greatest part of a man's life. When a man becomes religious these two things change places. The body goes into the shade; the soul is everything. The body is a thing to mortify. In all this because it is extravagant there is a danger that there will follow a reaction, and the body may become again too important, because it was made too insignificant.

2. Now let us see how God's truth regards "the body." The whole man is "a temple"; the body its walls; the senses its gates; the mind the nave; the heart the altar-piece; and the soul the holy of holies. And yet, as in common life, we call the walls and the doors the house, so "the body" is called "the temple," so important, so sacred is "the body."

3. Christ wore a body and wears it for ever. His discourses were very often about the body, and His miracles were chiefly upon the body. The body finds a place in our daily prayer — "Give me this day my daily bread."

4. We also know the close connection between the body and the mind! how the state of the one affects the condition of the other; and how the body reflects the inner life of the man. What are features, however delicately formed, without expression? And what makes the expression but thoughts — love, tenderness, sympathy l Or, equally, on the other side, sin lowers, vulgarises, spoils, even distorts the countenance. The real beauty of "the temple" after all is its consecration.

5. And when you are dealing with some fellow-creature, what a new character the whole transaction would assume — if you would recognise the fact that that person is "a temple." However poor, wretched, weak, wicked. Notwithstanding, the Holy Ghost may be in that man — working, striving.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

1. God does not influence us merely from the outside — play upon us as the flame flickers on the bar of the grate, but rather as the heat penetrates into the very heart and core of the iron. He enters the very centre of our being, and makes His influence felt throughout the whole.

2. This indwelling is not merely that natural indwelling which is a necessary attribute of an Infinite Being; it is gracious friendly indwelling (Isaiah 57:15; John 14:23). The apostle employs this figure —

I. TO QUICKEN OUR ABHORRENCE OF SENSUAL VICE. Nowhere are disorder and neglect more unseemly than in a temple; but of all kinds of disorder and neglect the most repulsive is filth. For a Christian to indulge in sensuality is to commit an abomination to be classed with the sacrilege of Antiochus Epiphanes, who offered a sow on the altar of the Temple.

II. TO GIVE AN IMPULSE TO OUR DESIRES FOR GREATER PURITY OF HEART AND HIGHER SPIRITUAL ATTAINMENTS — for those especially which imprint themselves on, and give elevation to, the bodily features. Not only should the sensual look, the bloated complexion excite our loathing: we should seek for such a state of soul as shall give a pleasing countenance. Cathedral builders used to spend much time and pains on the doorway, so as to make it worthy of the building. The face is the doorway to the soul, and it becomes us to see that it does not discredit the temple. Christian men and women should feel that the dreary look of care, the peevishness of discontent, &c., do not befit those whose bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost.

III. TO STIMULATE US TO RENDER GOD HIS DUE. The temple is a place of worship. Net that we can of ourselves provide offerings worthy of God; we must ask Him to give us of His own wherewith to serve Him. But if He dwells in us He will inspire with the feelings and produce in us the fruits that constitute the most acceptable offerings. His presence is not like that of a star in the firmament which, bright though it be, communicates nothing of itself to our distant planet. It is rather like the presence of the sun, which cannot shine without brightening earth and sky and sea; without giving its colour to the rose, its fragrance to the lily, its flavour to the peach; without ripening the golden grain and cheering and brightening the hearts of men. God cannot dwell in the soul without corresponding influences; without fostering love and purity; without making sin more odious and holiness more attractive; without giving it strength to banish the one and to follow the other. Conclusion: The Holy Spirit may be resisted and grieved, and in consequence withdrawn, and the painful discipline of separation and chastisement may be substituted for loving fellowship (Hosea 5:15; Isaiah 57:17). No loss can be more grievous. Far better the keenest application of the scourge than the sentence — "Ephraim is joined to his idols; let him alone."

(W. G. Blaikie, D. D.)

I. WHOSE THE CHRISTIAN IS. Before the apostle tells us this, he makes it evident that we must have some master. "Ye are not your own!" You are bondmen. And this is no mere figure of speech. I know that if we look around us, it does not appear true. Freedom, independence, is the boast of earth and the pride of man; but go into heaven, and the very sound of it would dismay. The creature's real glory and happiness consist in his willing dependence on the God who made him. And this the Christian feels. While others are proudly asking who is lord over them, he knows himself to be God's property. And this is true of the Christian at all times. God says concerning every living soul and every clay-built dwelling-place a soul has occupied, "They are Mine."

II. HOW HE BECAME GOD'S. There were several ways by which one man might become the property of another.

1. He might be born of a slave, and the owner of his parent would have a right to him also. And if Christian fathers could entail a glorious bondage on their children, what pangs and fears would many be spared!

2. He might be purchased. And this was a transaction so common that all would enter into the meaning of any illustration drawn from it. Money transferred the Greek slave from one master to another; so the blood of Jesus is the means whereby the sinner is rescued from his native thraldom, and brought "into the glorious liberty of the children of God." By sin he became the servant and property of Satan. The blood of Christ makes an atonement for the transgressor's sin; in a legal sense, it does away with it, and thus annihilates that on which Satan's title to him rests.

III. WHAT GOD MAKES HIM. A temple, which imports —

1. A rebuilding, a restoration. Man was originally the temple of Jehovah, but sin entered, and, in one short hour, this noble piece of Jehovah's workmanship became a mournful ruin. Some traces indeed of its original glory may still be discovered, but to what do they amount? They serve only to show the greatness of its degradation. His lofty understanding overthrown; his affections, which once rose to the skies, now grovelling on the earth; a spiritual being, and yet bounded in his ideas and enjoyments by material objects. But the blood of Christ having ransomed, now the grace of Christ transforms him. In the very hour when he becomes the Lord's, a work of restoration is commenced within him, that never ends till it brings shape and beauty and glory out of a mass of ruins. And this is sanctification.

2. Dedication. It is this which distinguishes a temple from every other building. The purchased sinner is consecrated to holy purposes.

3. Residence, the abode of the Deity within it, to whom it is consecrated. We must labour to take in the idea of God dwelling within us; not carrying on His work of mercy in the heart like a bystander, but as leaven works in the meal, mingling itself with the mass it is changing. To the man of the world this is all a mystery, perhaps a delusion. And no wonder. It is understood only by experience, and of things like this he has had no experience. To the man of God it is a blessed reality. God never enters the heart alone; blessings unspeakable follow in His train — light end purity and joy.

IV. WHAT GOD EXPECTS FROM HIM — glory. Now the glory of God is not such a glory as results to a man from the circumstances in which he is placed; its source is to be found in God's intrinsic excellences. To glorify Him, therefore, is to bring these excellences into light. And the redeemed sinner does this.

1. Passively. His very redemption is an amazing exhibition of the Divine attributes. In this point of view, the creation of a world is as nothing to the salvation of his lost soul.

2. Actively. We are so to live and act that all who see us may be reminded by us of God. Now it is by the body chiefly as an instrument that the work must be done. The seat of religion is the soul, but its effects will be visible in the frame which the soul animates.

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

Weekly Pulpit.
1. The whole person of the believer is as sacred to God as the Temple was. Stronger language is impossible.(1) In both the plan is Divine.(2) In both human agency was called into requisition. In the building of the Temple and in the salvation of the soul man must work out the plan.(3) In both the work is transcendent.(4) But the chief point is the fact that the Temple was the dwelling-place of God typical of His indwelling in the regenerate heart.

2. Our endeavour will be to consider the sacredness and preciousness of the persons of the saints in the light of the price of our redemption. That we should take our stand by the Cross in order to obtain the highest view of human nature may not be consonant with the opinions of many. There are other standpoints.(1) There is the commercial standpoint. On this pinnacle you may stand for a lifetime to witness incessant activities in the hives of industry, which offer their tribute of praise to the greatness and dignity of human life.(2) Look also at the results of scientific research; what a mass of wonders meets your eye!(3) There is also the literary standpoint, whence we see mind, like a cataract, pouring its contents in numberless volumes.(4) Art is no less wonderful. But to none of these lights do we now ask you to come. Ascend Calvary where the noblest view of human life is obtainable.

I. THE PURPOSE OF THE SAVIOUR'S LIFE WAS TO REDEEM MANKIND. Every great life has its purpose bound up in its very inclination and disposition. This is pre-eminently true of the life of Jesus. The purpose to save men preceded every thought, and left its impress on every act.

II. TO RANSOM MANKIND WAS THE RULING PASSION IN THE LIFE OF JESUS. The life of the Saviour was unique in the fulfilment of its design.

1. His life was one supreme effort that men may feel that the salvation of the soul is the highest of all objects.

2. The cold reception He received did not damp His ardour.

III. TO REDEEM MEN JESUS LAID DOWN HIS LIFE. It was then the entire surrender of the price became apparent.

IV. WHAT JEALOUS CARE MUST BE TAKEN TO GUARD THIS TEMPLE FROM THE INTRUSION OF SIN! God dwells in you; let no unhallowed thought enter. Let the body be pure. There are two steps in entire consecration — the Spirit of God must sanctify the soul, and the soul must sanctify the body. Therefore, touch no unclean thing.

(Weekly Pulpit.)

Note —

1. That sinners of every class are excluded from heaven (ver. 9).

2. That sinners of every class have been changed (ver. 11).

3. That those who have been changed are under immense obligations to cultivate a holy life. The text teaches us —

I. THAT THE CHRISTIAN'S BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD. The body is frequently called so (1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22). Three ideas are suggested —

1. Special connection with God. God is everywhere, but He had a special connection with the Temple of old. God is with all men, but "Thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity," &c.

2. Special consecration to God.

3. Special manifestation of God. Though the universe reveals God, yet, in the Temple was the Shekinah. There is more of God seen in a good man's life than elsewhere throughout the world.


1. This does not mean —(1) That your personality is net your own. You will never be absorbed in God.(2) That your character is not your own. Character is the creation of a moral being — an untransferable thing.

2. It means that our existence is absolutely at His command; that He has a sovereign right to do with us whatever is pleasing in His sight. The reason of this is assigned. "We are bought with a price." Christ has redeemed us, and has laid on us the strongest conceivable obligation to live a godly life (Revelation 14:5).

III. THAT THE CHRISTIAN'S DUTY IS TO GLORIFY GOD. Not to make Him more glorious than He is — this is impossible. A holy mind is glorified in the realisation of its ideals. St. Paul's Cathedral glorifies architecturally Sir Christopher Wren, inasmuch as it is the realisation of his idea. Man glorifies God when he realises in his life God's ideal of a man. All beings glorify God as far as they realise His idea of their existence. This includes two things —

1. That the human body be under the absolute government of the soul. The crime and curse of humanity are that matter governs mind; the body rules the soul.

2. That the human soul be under the government of supreme love to God. Love always —

(1)Seeks to please the object.

(2)Reflects the object.

(3)Lives in the object.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

When Pompey captured Jerusalem he entered the Temple. On reaching the vast curtain that hung across the "holy of holies," into which none but the high priest could enter, and that only on one day of the year, he wondered what the dark recess might contain. He drew the veil aside, but the glory had departed and there was nothing there. How many Christians to-day are like that? Temples without a God. All beautiful outside. But when we lift the veil and pass beyond it to where the glory should be. there is nothing to be seen. The glory is gone. This brings to our remembrance the old legend which tells us that on the night before the temple on Zion was burnt, the solemn words of the retreating Divinity were heard sounding through it, "Let us depart." "I will arise and return unto My place till they acknowledge their offences." Should this voice be heard to-day by you, let your cry be, "Abide with me, King of life and glory. Leave me not!" And the answer will come, "This is My rest for ever, here — mystery of love — will I dwell, for I have desired it, even the temple of thy heart."

What right has any man or any woman to deface the temple of the Holy Ghost? What is the ear? Why, it is the whispering-gallery of the human soul. What is the eye? It is the observatory God constructed, its telescope sweeping the heavens. What is the hand? An instrument so wonderful that when the Earl of Bridgewater bequeathed in his will £8,000 sterling for treatises to be written on the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, and Dr. Chalmers found his subject in the adaptation of external nature to the moral and intellectual constitution of man, and the learned Dr. Whewell found his subject in astronomy, Sir Charles Bell, the great English anatomist and surgeon, found his greatest illustration of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God in the construction of the human hand, writing his whole book on that subject. So wonderful are these bodies that God names His own attributes after different parts of them. His omniscience — it is God's eye. His omnipresence — it is God's ear. His omnipotence — it is God's arm. The upholstery of the midnight heavens — it is the work of God's fingers. His life-giving power — it is the breath of the Almighty. His dominion — the government shall be upon His shoulder. A body so Divinely honoured and so Divinely constructed, let us be careful not to abuse it. When it becomes a Christian duty to take care of our health, is not the whole tendency toward longevity? If I toss my watch about recklessly, and drop it on the pavement, and wind it up any time of day or night I happen to think of it, and often let it run down, while you are careful with your watch, and you never abuse it, and you wind it up at just the same hour every night, and then put it away in a place where it will not suffer from the violent changes of atmosphere, which watch will last the longer? Common sense answers. Now, the human body is God's watch. You see the hands of the watch, you see the face of the watch; but the beating of the heart is the ticking of the watch. Oh! be careful and do not let it run down.

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

(sermon to young men): —

1. Do not be surprised at the intensity of this remonstrance. Only think what a conception St. Paul had of the purity which Christ required; think what a sink of iniquity was the city of Corinth. It was London and Paris in one. It combined the worship of Plutus and Venus. The extravagance of its luxury was only matched by the depth of its licentiousness. Corinth was at that time the Vanity Fair of the Roman Empire. You might be tempted to say — Ah! no Christian could remain pure in such a place. So some of the young men of Corinth thought, and the apostle wrote to them that it was an entire mistake. I believe some of you young men have just the same notion that these Corinthians had. You say London is quite as trying to one's principles as ever Corinth was. Perhaps so; yet even in Corinth there were those who remained proof against contamination. The grace of God proved sufficient for them.

2. Of course, he is here writing to Christian men (ver. 11). It was of little use to exhort others to a life of purity. An unconverted man regards himself as his own property, and naturally feels that he may deal with that property as he chooses. The alternative is to be the redeemed of the Lord Jesus (ver. 20). Christ gave His life for our salvation, that all who accept of Him should be saved; and if we believe, He claims us as His own. This is not a hardship, but a joyous liberty. And the secret of it is, that He puts His Holy Spirit within us, making us new creatures, with new desires, new likings, new motives.

3. Our body then becomes the "temple " of this Divine Spirit, and all its members are under His control. It is a very solemn and suggestive metaphor. There is no consecrated edifice that is really so sacred as the body of a Christian. The temple at Jerusalem has for ages been laid in ruins:; the only temples God now owns are the two which Paul so clearly defines in this epistle; first, the spiritual society of His own people in the aggregate (1 Corinthians 3:16), and, secondly, the fleshly frame of each individual believer.

4. Perhaps the most common plea with which the impure quiet conscience is that which the apostle here challenges, "Our bodies are our own; we may do with them what we will." But they are not your own, says Paul; your bodies are the purchased property of the Lord, and are consecrated by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What an argument against self-indulgence in any form! These are, as we are told in this chapter, sins "against the body"; desecrations of God's own temple! And if "any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." You recollect that, when Christ was about to visit the Jewish Temple of old, and found its hallowed precincts defiled, He made a scourge of cords, and drove out all the vile intruders. There are young men in some of our mercantile houses, respectable in appearance, and gentlemanly in bearing, who, through vicious indulgence, have already gathered a hell around them, from whose tortures they can find no escape. How did they begin? By being irregular in their habits, careless in making acquaintanceships, tampering with stimulants, and theatre-going, and gambling; and finally, every conceivable form of Satanic revelry! Ah! let me ask, "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death."

5. Oh, the heartlessness of vice! It is not so long ago since a young man of good family., excellent prospects, and pleasing address, died miserably like a dog in Paris, with not one to shed a tear over his cold clay, of all the depraved profligates that had sponged him and joined in his hilarious orgies.

6. There are plenty who will try to persuade you that it is a sign of weakness to be pure, and call you verdant, orapuritanical, and ask if you are still tied to your mother's apron-strings. And, unless you are prepared to stand that vulgar bluster, you are all but certain to be caught; and from the gates of hell shall ascend another shout of victory. I remember what a thrill went through me, as I first gazed upon the gloomy walls of the Prison de la Roquette, in Paris, which is set apart for criminals that are condemned to be executed, and read over those huge, hideous gates the inscription, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here!" Bat hardly less hopeless are those who once enter upon the path of the profligate. Facilis descensus Averni. Oh, keep a thousand miles from the verge of the pit! Avoid everything that is likely to act as an incentive to sin.

7. Perhaps you think of these bodies as mere temporary tabernacles, soon to be taken down and dissolved. There is a certain measure of truth in this, of course. But in a higher sense, the Christian's body is not a tabernacle, but a temple, a permanent and enduring structure (Romans 8:11). Oh, with what a magnitude of interest and importance does this thought invest these fleshly temples! Some time ago an aged saint was being borne to his burial. He had been very poor, and with indecent haste they were shuffling his coffin out of their way, as though glad to get rid of him, when an old minister who observed it, said, "Tread softly, for you are carrying a temple of the Holy Ghost."

(J. Thain Davidson, D. D.)

1. To be "our own" is our very greatest ambition. To be our own masters, that is nature. To feel bought with a price, to forego all independence, to own ourselves God's property, and to seek His glory — that is grace.

2. When Satan first attacked our first parents, nothing could have done so well as this, "Ye shall be as gods"; and, in that reach to be their own, they perished.

3. God has been pleased so to order it, that no man can truly say, "I am my own"; "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are," &c. Oh, we all know how we are trammelled by circumstances, there is not a single action in our life that is perfectly free. In what a higher sense this word is true of those to whom it was said, "Ye are not your own."

4. Of all the happy conditions upon earth, the happiest is to give up the whole heart to an authority which the whole heart can quite love and respect — an authority also which only needs proprietorship to make the relationship exquisite and the engagement perfect. Note —


1. Had one whole world been given for your salvation the price would have been a large one; but the whole universe would not have given so great a sum as the death of Christ. One single life offered for you would have been vast, but Essential Life Himself was the ransom of your soul. Ought you to be a poor, wretched slave, to fear sin, death, and hell, when the Son of God took fear, sin, death, and hell into His own heart to make you free?

2. The art of man may contrive a thing, and he has a right to anything that he has made. But he contrives out of what he finds already made, not what he brings into creation. But God made your body, soul, and spirit. A father has a right to his child, but God has done more than made you His child, for He has given you the spirit of a child, to cry "Abba Father." A husband has a property in his wife — but marriage is only a type of the union between Christ and His Church. Every man has a right to his own body — Christ has more than a right to His body, being the Head, and we all members in particular; so that each condition of life teaches us with one common voice, "Ye are not your own."


1. The great privilege which attaches to being the property of God. What-ever property one has, it entails certain duties upon the proprietors, and certainly God will not fail in fulfilling the great relationship in which He stands to His creatures. Are you "not your own," but God's? Then observe " all things are yours," &c. God holds Christ — Christ holds you — you hold everything. Then if "you are not your own," nothing which you have is your own, not your cares, griefs, or sins. God has undertaken for you in everything. The member may pass everything up to its Head — the thing possessed may refer everything to its possessor.

2. The duties which spring out of this great privilege.(1) God has made you a part of His Church, the body of Christ. In that Church we all belong one to another. Each has his particular gift to contribute to the mutual good, one has love, another intelligence, another experience — all belong to the Church.(2) This claim of God's proprietorship is not perfectly recognised. We may assign Him a part of our lives — a part of our money — a part of our time — a part of our energies — a part of our affections, but God will have no partnerships. He is too great to be a partner, He requires all of us. God is worthy of everything — yield all yourself to Him.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

The principle which is recognised in these words is the very reverse of that by which all men are naturally actuated. We reason, we act, not as if our bodies and our spirits were God's, but as if they were our own. This is the fault of human nature. Man is a fallen creature, in a state of apostasy. He has cast off his allegiance to God. God is not in all his thoughts; God's authority is not acknowledged, His glory is not regarded, His law is not obeyed. And what is the cause of all this? Does he not know that he is God's? Is he ignorant that all he is, and all he has, are from God? If the authority of God can only be established in the conscience, if His right to reign in the heart, and to demand all we are and have, be once acknowledged, what solicitude, what sorrow for sin, what opposition to self, what efforts, what prayers, what gratitude, what submission, will be the result! And who can escape the conviction that the whole heart, and mind, and soul and strength, should be given unto God?

I. What can more clearly show that we think ourselves our own, than PRESUMING TO DEVISE OUR OWN RELIGION? God has vouchsafed to us a communication of His purposes. He has favoured us with the inestimable blessing of revelation. Now what is the disposition with which we should receive it? We know that it is with meekness we should receive the engrafted word. But where is this meekness to be found? Truly not in natural men. It is not the religion which is most agreeable to the revelation of God, but most consonant with the opinions of the world, which they adopt. There is an amazing insolence and impiety, and casting off subjection in calling good evil and evil good, in adding to the Word of God or in taking from it, and thus in virtually finding fault with the instructions of Divine wisdom, which is in fact finding fault with God Himself, and expressing a wish that He were the reverse of what He is. It is saying, We are our own, and we will have a religion according to our own wisdom and our own wishes. It is a dangerous thing, however plausible, to contend for the right of private judgment, and to suppose that if we only follow the dictates of our own conscience, and adopt sentiments such as we think to be sound, we must be right. The rule of faith and the rule of practice remain uninfluenced by the changes of conscience, and immutably the same, whether conscience approves and disapproves, perfectly or imperfectly. And a man is equally responsible to God whether his conscience is enlightened or unenlightened, and every time he contends for the authority of conscience in opposition to that of God, he does in fact, like that man of sin, oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God, sitteth on the throne of God, showing himself that he is God. Error is far from being harmless. It has a most pernicious effect upon practice. And in proportion to the importance which is attached to sentiments is the evil which those that are erroneous produce.

II. We act as if we were our own by DOING OUR OWN WILL. A respect unto all God's commandments is the only thing which can prove our regard to His will. If we keep the whole law, with the exception of one point, we are guilty of all. Whether, therefore, we are moral, or immoral, and whether we observe religious duties, or neglect them, we are, in all this, consulting our own will, and acting upon the supposition that we are our own. Nor is the case at all altered by our good conduct proceeding from conscientious motives and the fear of God's wrath. For a man's conscience may be awakened, and his fears excited, so as to constrain him to do many things with the view of conciliating God's favour, and saving his soul, while at the same time his partial obedience furnishes abundant evidence that his own will is still preferred to the will of God, and that, in the most plausible parts of his conduct, he is not actuated by any genuine principles of obedience.

III. We act as if we were our own by SEEKING OUR OWN ENDS. Whatever we do in an unregenerate state, whether it be in itself good or bad, we seek in it an end that is not worthy of God. We have said that the true end of man is to glorify God. But men seek, not the honour of God, but their own honour. They not only do their own will, but they do it for their own purposes. The original depravity of man is so entire that it is a difficult and long-protracted business to make him, with all his new and Divine nature, propose the glory of God as the end. of all his ways.

(M. Jackson.)

I. BECAUSE WE WERE MADE BY HIM. The more we know of the structure of the human frame, how fearfully and wonderfully we are made, the more are we persuaded that it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves. And if we consider that we are made of the dust of the earth, that if God bad not breathed into us the breath of life, we must have been nothing better than the dust under our feet; we shall see the propriety of glorifying God in our bodies which are His. And if we contemplate the rational understanding, the immortal spirit, by which we are distinguished from the beasts that perish, and assimilated to angels, and to God, we shall perceive that these are a still higher ground of claim upon us for services the most spiritual. When human creatures use their bodies and their ,spirits for the low purposes of sensuality, vanity, and ambition, or without any view to the service and honour of Him whose they both are, they are guilty of an injustice to God and a robbery of God, which, if conscience were not stupefied or perverted, would fill them with horror and overwhelm them with fear. Who call calculate the value of an immortal existence and of a capacity for happiness, exalted as its Divine original, and lasting as eternity? Who can calculate his obligations to God for such an existence? And who, then, can calculate the extent of his wickedness in habitually forgetting that he is not his own in using that existence without any avowed aim to the will and glory of its Author? I need not say that the bodies of them whose god is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, and who mind earthly things, are not used for the purpose of honouring God, for in all this God's laws are violated and His glory given to another. All who live in pleasure are dead while they live and dishonour God in their bodies. And it is equally clear that they who live in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another, as well as they who argue against religion and would discourage piety, are not glorifying God in their spirits, but openly dishonouring Him. Have you considered, and do you act upon the principle, that as all your faculties of body and of mind are God's, they ought to be employed for the promotion of His glory?

II. WE WERE MADE FOR GOD. The great end of creation is the glory of God. And all things, but men and devils, do glorify Him. Angels in heaven glorify Him, and all things in heaven and earth, and in the waters under the earth, glorify Him, by manifesting His perfections. Fallen men and fallen angels only answer not the design of their creation. Now let this truth be remembered — that you were made for the purpose of glorifying God. And would you oppose and defeat the end of your existence? Shall there be no concurrence between the design of God in giving you life and your design in living? How great must be that guilt which is contracted by living in opposition to the great end of God in calling us into being! Few things excite more opposition in the human mind than the attempt to reinstate God upon His throne, to assert His right to reign in our hearts, the Sovereign of our thoughts and affections, and to maintain that it is our duty to resolve all we think, and speak, and do, into His will. This is being righteous overmuch; this is enthusiasm. Now, can anything show more clearly how completely we have departed from God, how totally opposed to Him we are in the spirit of our minds? Remember we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, and how shall we dare to appear as usurpers before our Sovereign and our Judge? If you exalt yourselves against God He will bring you down, and who shall deliver?

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

1. The passion for freedom is probably the strongest. Nothing is more wonderful than the secret working of this passion in securing gradual emancipation. There have been times when ages of serfdom had apparently crushed it out; but at the first impulse from without it was seen that the fire of freedom did not smoulder; and when the impulse has grown strong the passion has sometimes maddened men, blinding them to all sense of justice. And so the spirit of freedom has in turn made slaves of them. It was so in Paris a hundred years ago.

2. A large proportion of the members of this church were slaves. You can imagine what a gospel the life of Christ would be to these. And, to the honour of those who organised the first churches, we must always remember that they were not afraid to welcome the slave. Well, then, you may say, "Was it not a cruel thing of the apostle to remind them that they were not their own?" Have you ever wondered why Paul should describe himself as "the bond. slave of Christ"? Was it not because the people to whom he was writing were slaves, and as if he would say, "I too am a slave; I too am bound, not with iron, but by love"? What a grand revelation that was to the slaves! "Ye are Christ's." No chains or bondage could alter that. Better the fetter and the chain with Christ than the purple and the throne without Him.

3. And now these words have just as splendid a ring for us to-night. The law has discovered that they are true in part. The other day they brought before a court of justice a frightened, miserable woman, who had tried to drown herself. She pleaded that her life was not worth preserving. She said it was hers, and she could do with it as she liked. But the law stepped in and said, "You are not your own. Your life is not your own. You have no right to squander it." This meant that the law is founded on the Christian principle that every man's life belongs to his fellow-men as well as to himself. And that was what Christ came to teach. His life was given for everybody.

4. But the idea is not only what you may not do, but what you must do If you are Christ's, then every thought, word, action, must be what Christ would have them be. When Peter and John first began to preach in Jerusalem they were thrown into prison, and strictly commanded not to preach any more in that name. But Peter answered "We must." It is not a question whether we should like an easy-going life. We must obey God, though it leads us to stripes, imprisonment, and the cross (see also Acts 21:11-14).

5. But perhaps you think that such claims are only strong when we reach manhood or womanhood. But think of Christ, at twelve years of age, saying, "I must be in My Father's house." Twelve years of age, but He felt the power of the Divine "must," and yet that One was Lord of heaven and earth. Surely if any one could go through life with no constraint it was He; but He saw that to redeem mankind, even Omnipotence could not refuse to take the cross from childhood to the grave. "Even Christ pleased not Himself."

6. And now what part has that Divine "must" begun to play in your life? Do you feel that it is stronger than the "must" of men? Young man in business, would you let the word of an earthly master outweigh the command of the heavenly Master? Do you think you can slight Christ on the week-day and make it up to Him on the Sunday? Young men, newly awakening to find how strong the streams of tendency are in this world, look at life in the light of Christ, and not in the light of what everybody says and does. It is no excuse for looseness of conduct that it is the fashion. Christ waged relentless war against many of the fashions of His day. Servants, remember whose you are and whom you serve. You can hire your souls out and no wages can recompense you for the loss of them. There may be some here who have received from the Master on trust certain talents which they have been hiding in the earth. If you are letting your lives rust, remember you are abusing another's property, for "you are not your own," &c.

(C. S. Horne, M. A.)

1. The first motives which influence us in Christian experience are usually self-regarding; and it is natural and right that they should be so. Salvation stands at the beginning of the Christian course, in order that our self-regarding interests may be set at rest, and that we may thus be left free to pursue an end that lies outside them, and yet is in perfect harmony with them.

2. We are not only redeemed from death, but purchased unto God. So long as we claimed to be our own, Satan possessed a certain legal right over us. He moved man to break away from his original relations with God, and to claim himself for himself. In doing so man became a spiritual outlaw, and as such fell under the supremacy of the prince of lawlessness. The great enemy held him by right as well as by might, because it is God's law that what we sow we reap.

3. But, on the other hand, since Satan owes his power against us to the operation of Divinely-ordained law, when once the necessities of law are satisfied, the claims of Satan against us are cancelled. Thus we are ransomed from Satan the moment that we are justified before God, and brought back to that position from which man fell of being God's and not our own. Only Adam belonged to God because He had made him for Himself; we belong to God because He has bought us back. Thus a new element is introduced into the case, and one that appeals to all the strongest emotions of our nature. He who robs a Divine Creator of that which He has made for His own glory commits a crime, no doubt; but he who has been brought back from the fatal effects of this crime by the dearth of his Benefactor, and then declines to recognise his obligation, is guilty of an enormity which casts that other crime into the shade.

4. As the result of redemption we come under the influence of Him whose will is law throughout the universe, and whose entrance into our nature insures our true moral freedom. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes us free from the law of sin and death. But here is a new property claim, a claim de facto where the others were claims de jure. His presence is our liberty, for "where the Spirit of God is there is liberty"; but it is the liberty which comes by full surrender of ourselves to Him. He does not enter our nature either as a conqueror, trampling down all resistance, nor as a mere auxiliary to help us out of a difficulty; rather as a constitutional Sovereign to reign according to the true laws of our ransomed nature.

5. But it is not by any means the rule that we apprehend His claims all at once. When the benefit that we seek has been obtained, it is only natural that, having been greatly forgiven, we should greatly love. But, alas! these warm feelings do not always last, when they subside the devotion subsides with them. It often happens, therefore, that after a considerable time has passed from the moment of conversion, the Holy Spirit leads us back, as it were, to the cross to learn more fully the lesson which we only partially learned. We find perhaps that we have been acting as though God existed for us, instead of realising that we exist for God; and then comes the definite question leading up to an equally definite decision, Is it to be self or God? When the Spirit of God thus induces a crisis, it often happens that a very marked and definite act of consecration ensues, bringing about an entirely new epoch in our Christian life.

(W. Hay Aitken, M. A.)

Ye are bought with a price.
If on the ground of creation God has a right to our services and may demand that we glorify Him with our bodies, and with our spirits because He hath made them, it must be evident that His right to them on the ground of redemption is still stronger.

I. THE GUILT WHICH SOUL AND BODY HAD CONTRACTED, Jesus Christ hath not bought us with a price when innocent and deserving. His redemption supposes immeasurable guilt, the violation of a law which is holy and just and good, the rejection of Divine authority, the contempt of Divine majesty, the impeachment of Divine wisdom, the abuse of Divine godness, the defiance of Divine vengeance, the crime of injustice, and ingratitude, and rebellion, and sacrilege. Look at the defiled body and the polluted spirit, see in them everything that is earthly and sensual and devilish, and say if there is in them any quality to attract the Divine favour. Is there not everything fitted to excite the abhorrence of Him who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity? And yet He redeems you! He redeems you from the vileness of your bodies, and the apostasy of your spirits. What, then, is the perverseness, the accumulated ingratitude and sacrilege of using bodies and spirits so redeemed for the purpose of still dishonouring Him!

II. BUT CONNECTED WITH THIS GUILT IS DANGER. Every sinner is exposed to the curse of God, and, but for redemption, must perish eternally. It is redemption from ruin by which you are urged to glorify God, in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. Who does not feel the force of this argument? Who can feet that he owes his deliverance from ruin, his deliverance from even temporal distress, to the benevolent exertions of a friend, without feeling himself bound by ties of gratitude to serve him to the utmost of his power? And shall that be withheld from Christ and from God which is so freely yielded to man?

III. CHRIST REDEEMS THE BODY AND SOUL, NOT ONLY FROM RUIN, BUT RUIN IMMEASUBABLE. Who can calculate the misery of them who are destroyed both body and soul in hell? Is a cold and reluctant service an appropriate return for deliverence from everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power?

IV. CHRIST HAS NOT ONLY REDEEMED BODY AND SOUL FROM EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION, BUT BY HIS REDEMPTION HAS PROCURED FOR THEM IMMEASURABLE FELICITY. Does the circumstance of our ears being familiar with the sound of fulness of joy in the presence of God, and of pleasures at His right hand for evermore, render the felicity of heaven less valuable? Substantiate all this felicity. View it as a reality, as a reality at hand, as that which yourselves must possess, or not possess, in the course of a few fleeting moments, and then say whether there is not a reasonableness, a suitableness in glorifying God in those spirits, and in those bodies, which are to be the subjects of this felicity through the efficacy of His redemption.

V. THE GREATNESS OF THE PRICE WITH WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN BOUGHT. You were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. And can you, after this purchase, question His right to your bodies and your spirits? Can you think that you are justified in withholding your services from Jesus Christ, in living to yourselves, in not inquiring into His will, in not devoting yourselves to His glory? Why should the principles of justice be recognised in your transactions with men, and renounced in your dealings with God? But God demands your services, not merely because He has bought them with a price, hut because in buying them He extends to you —

VI. THE MOST IMMEASURABLE MERCY. It is infinite mercy that redeems you from destruction the most awful, infinite mercy that exalts you to happiness the most inconceivable, infinite mercy that buys you with a price the most costly, by all this infinite mercy so manifested you are urged to glorify God. How fervent should be our love, how animated our exertions! Every thought and every affection should be God's. Were we suitably affected by His love, we should see sin and ingratitude in every thought and word and work. The insensibility and worldliness of our minds and the inadequacy of our best returns would humble us in the dust. And our disproportionate humility itself, for making returns so imperfect, would be numbered among our grievous offences. The more of heart and soul we put into our services the more of freedom and delight shall we enjoy. We can imagine no happiness equal to that of living as not our own, living to God only, constrained by gratitude, and directed by justice to serve Him whose we are.

(M. Jackson.)

(text and 1 Corinthians 7:23): —


1. Redemption is a greater mercy than creation. It is no mean blessing to have been made, and to have been made a man rather than a dog, to have been blest with intellect and an immortal spirit; but for all that it would be better for thee that thou hadst never been born, if thou art not redeemed.

2. Providence also calls before our minds a great mass of mercies; but providence is second in its blessedness to redemption.

3. Redemption is that which gives effect to all the other great blessings of God.(1) Election, the well-head of grace, needs the conduit-pipe of redemption to bring its streams down to sinners. We are chosen of God, but unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.(2) Redemption is the foundation of all real peace.(3) It is through redeeming grace that we expect to enter heaven.

II. THEREFORE REDEMPTION IS THE LORD'S PARAMOUNT CLAIM UPON US. Other claims, such as those of creation and providence, are forcible, but this claim is overwhelming. The love of Christ constraineth us. Think —

1. What you were redeemed from.


(2)Its punishment.

2. Reflect most lovingly upon that dear friend who redeemed you. Not an angel, but Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever.

3. Then think of the price He paid. The text does not tell us about it, and surely the reason is that words cannot express the mighty sum. The famous painter, when he drew the picture of Agamemnon at the sacrifice of his daughter, felt that he could not depict the sorrow of the father's countenance, and therefore he wisely put a veil over it, and represented him as hiding his face from the fearful sight. So the apostle seems to have felt. This price has been fully paid. I have seen lands which have belonged to men who were reputed to be rich, but there was a heavy mortgage upon them. But there is no mortgage on the saints. "It is finished," said the Saviour, and finished it was.


1. The first text says —(1) That it includes —(a) The body. This body of yours is holy, and it will rise again from the dead. I charge you, by the blood of Christ, never defile this body either by drunkenness or by lust.(b) The spirit. Keep that pure too. Christ has not bought these eyes that they should read novels calculated to lead me into vanity and vice, such as are published nowadays. Christ has not bought this brain of mine that I may revel in the perusal of works of blasphemy and filthiness. He has not given me a mind that I may drag it through the mire. Your whole manhood belongs to God if you are a Christian. Every faculty, talent, possibility of your being — all were bought.(2) That consequently "Ye are not your own," which implies —(a) That I may not claim the right to do what I please, but what Christ pleases. I am to please my Master in everything.(b) That I may not follow my own tastes if in any way I should so bring dishonour to the name of Christ.(c) That I must not trust my own reasonings. If I were my own teacher, then, of course, I should learn my lessons from my own book; but I have a Rabbi, even Jesus, and I am resolved with meekness to learn of Him.(d) That I must not seek my own ends. I must not live in this world that I may trade and get riches, but it must be that I may use them for Him.

2. In my second text the apostle draws another inference: "Be not ye the servants of men."(1) Do not even follow good men slavishly. Do not say, "I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; I am of Calvin." Who is Calvin and who is Wesley but ministers by whom ye believed as the Lord gave unto you?.(2) Do not pin your faith to anybody's sleeve. Keep close to Christ.(3) Do not give yourselves up to party spirit.(4) Do not give yourself to any scientific speculation, educational effort, or to any philanthropic enterprise so as to divert our minds from the grand old cause of Jesus and our God.(5) Do not follow the fashions of the world.(6) Let no man be your master. If ye have masters according to the flesh, serve them with all faithfulness; but as to any master over your spirit, allow no one to be so; consciences were made for God alone.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

There is within us a strange tendency to the acquisition of property, and therefore there is something startling in this announcement. We have been gloating upon our fancied proprietorship; it awakens us to the consciousness that we are only stewards. Nay, it lays hold upon ourselves, "Ye are not your own." And this may perhaps account for the comparatively trifling success with which religion has been favoured. It allows no compromise, it claims supreme and undivided homage. Notice —


1. While we would insist upon this as the prime cause of our being the property of God, we would not be supposed to invalidate others. "He has made us, and not we ourselves." He has, from the beginning, even until now, preserved the creatures He has made. But in redemption He has so impressively displayed His interest in our welfare, His yearning over His purchased possession. The apostle's language implies an acknowledgment of our fall, and refers to the provision of that covenant by which that fall was to be remedied. You will not fail to remark how Christ Himself spoke of those who believe on Him as peculiarly His own. "My sheep," &c. His great purpose was that He "might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." If that people are spoken of in their collective capacity, they are as the Church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood. As to these declarations, the statement of St. Peter comes as a hallowed appendix. "Ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things," &c. Now, surely there can be no more strictly legal title to property than this.

2. Note an exquisite fitness in the connection between the purchase, and the position into which that purchase brings us. Such is the grasping tendency of the human heart, that it must have something to lay hold of outside itself, and it will never willingly denude itself of any object of solicitude and love. Hence, if you would dispossess the mind of one object, you, must overbear it with the preference of another. If you extirpate one affection you must introduce another into its room. We see this strikingly illustrated in the progress of human life. The tastes and habits of childhood depart, but the heart is not bereft; new tastes acquire their influence, new affections exert their ascendancy. So it is in reference to matters of a higher moment. You will never drive from a worldling the pursuit which engrosses him by a mere naked demonstration of its worthlessness and folly. All that you say is true, and the man knows it; but the spell is over him. And is it not natural, when you think of the feelings of the man, and of what you are wishing him to do? You tell him to cultivate religion: it is his abhorrence. You tell him to renounce the world; why, it is all he has. Here, then, comes the question. We cannot prevail upon the heart by the simple act of resignation to give up everything unpleasing to God. May we not induce it to admit a higher affection? Here it is that the fitness of the connection becomes apparent. "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price." The heart, which all other means had failed to affect, is melted by the power of the Spirit, applying the gospel of God. We can deny the claim no longer; we acknowledge it at once as a natural and inalienable right, and we are bound to it with a tenderer tie, because He, to whom we are to swear our fealty, has been mysteriously one of ourselves. Our sense of possession is gratified.

3. Does not this point out the most effective method of preaching? It is not the demonstration of the moral law, but the preaching of Christ that prevails. This is the master spell; this, like the rod of the prophet, swallows up the enchantments of opposing sorcery. I announce it, then, as a natural and inalienable right. "Ye are not your own." Everything around you urges to a recognition of the claim. Nature reminds you of it, as in the fulness of her gleeful melody she wakes her hymn of praise, acknowledging her dependence on Him by whom she is sustained. Providence reminds you of it. It sounds from the tomb, where the forms you loved are sleeping. Above all, grace reminds you of it. "I beseech you, by the mercies of God." That is the culminating point even of an apostle's motive.

II. THE COURSE OF CONDUCT WHICH A CONSIDERATION OF SUCH POSITION IS CALCULATED TO INDUCE YOU TO PURSUE. "Therefore glorify God," &c. We need not remind you that by no service of yours can you increase God's glory; but you may make it manifest. God is always glorified whenever He is seen.

1. Let your devotedness to God be entire.(1) Glorify God in your bodies, for they are His. Beware of regarding them as a number of organs and senses to be pampered, or as stately forms to be adorned and admired. The Spirit dwells not in an unhallowed temple. In your bodies, therefore, glorify God, by temperance, chastity, and the practice of every Christian virtue; by doing without weariness, and by suffering without murmuring; by letting your hands be active in the service, and your feet swift in the way of His Commandments.(2) Glorify God in your intellects, for they are His. How often has science poured her treasures before him who knew not God, and how much of the choicest literary art is devoted to the service of the devil! In the midst of a perverse generation, bow yourself in unconditional allegiance to the Bible. Learn the true humility of knowledge. Stand out in all the nobleness of religious decision: spirits — students of the great Spirit; minds — drinking in the lessons of the immortal mind, which transforms them while they listen.(3) Glorify God in your whole nature, for it is His. Never mind the opposition with which you may have to contend, nor think that you live to struggle alone. Your Saviour has sent His Spirit to help you, and that Spirit now worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.

2. Let your devotedness be benevolent. Spend yourselves in energetic effort for the conversion of your fellows, and for the spread of the gospel among them. And never, certainly, were we called upon more impressively to let our devotion be benevolent than now — now, when the conflict between sense and faith, between the ceremonial and the spiritual, between the idolatries and the ever-living has commenced, and a thousand voices of the universe are pealing out the challenge, "Who is on the Lord's side?"

(W. M. Punshon, LL. D.)

I. THE PROPOSITION: "Ye are not your own."

1. Note here two things:(1) What this phrase implies — viz., That no being can be simply its own, but what is supreme, absolute, and independent; and that essence, which is its own, must he itself the end of all its actions. From these two principles it evidently follows that there is no being simply its own, but that which is the First Cause and the Last End of all beings — God. All others are

(a)Derivative beings, and flow from the Source of Being.

(b)Dependent beings, and owe their continued preservation to the goodness of God.

(c)Subordinate to the First; made for His ends and uses.(2) What it infers. If we are not our own, then —

(a)We ought not to seek our own. But, when gain shall be preferred before godliness, what is this but a base self-seeking unworthy of a Christian — nay, of a man?

(b)We are not at our own disposal. And this should teach us patience in all the crosses and sad occurrences of our lives.

(c)We ought not to follow our own wills and affections.

(d)We ought not to look upon anything as our own.

(e)No sin should be our own.

2. Now, lest you should be put to seek for an owner, the apostle informs you who it is that lays in His claim to you, even the great and universal Lord of Heaven and Earth, whose all things are by a most absolute and indisputable right: Ye are God's.

(1)As He is your Almighty Creator and Preserver.

(2)Your Governor.

(3)By covenant engagement and solemn promise.

(4)By profession, and our own voluntary and free acknowledgment.

(5)By the right of redemption, as in the text.Now the love and mercy of God, in redeeming us, is far more eminent than in creating us. And therefore His right and title to us, upon this account, is far greater. For —(a) Creation only gives us a being, and in this our sinful condition only capacitates us for woe. But redemption opens a way to happiness.(b) Redemption has been more expensive to God than creation.

II. THE REASON: "For ye are bought with a price."

1. What this price is (1 Peter 1:18, 19).

2. To whom this price was paid; to our great creditor, God.

3. What we are redeemed from.

(1)From the wrath of God.

(2)From the vassalage of the devil.

(a)His tempting power is restrained.

(b)His accusing power is rebuked.

(c)His tormenting power shall be wholly abolished.(3) From the reigning and condemning power of sin.

(4)From the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).

III. THE INFERENCE: "Therefore glorify God," &c.

1. What is it to glorify God?

2. How we ought to glorify God.

(1)By a most devout adoration of His infinite perfections.

(2)By declaration of those perfections.

(3)By conforming ourselves to the likeness of them.

(4)By performing those duties which they oblige us unto; by being holy as He is holy, &c.(1) Now the true notion of holiness is a separation from all sin and impurity.

3. What force and influence the consideration of our redemption ought to have upon us, to oblige us thus to glorify God.(1) We are bought with a price, and therefore it is but justice and equity to glorify God. Consider —

(a)The price He paid infinitely exceeds the value of all that thou art and hast.

(b)All the use which thy Saviour can make of thee is only that thou shouldst glorify Him; and, by obedience shouldst serve to the setting forth of His praise (Titus 2:14).

(c)If thou livest not to thy Saviour, who by His death purchased thee, thou art guilty of sacrilege, the worst robbery and most branded injustice in the world.

(d)If, instead of glorifying Him by thy obedience, thou dishonourest Him by thy rebellions and impieties, thou not only defraudest Him of His servant, but, what is infinitely worse, of the very price that He paid.(2) We are bound, not only in justice and equity, but in ingenuity and gratitude, to glorify God upon the account of our redemption. For consider —

(a)What it is you are redeemed from.

(b)With what price He hath bought us.For consider, first, if God had put the terms of thy redemption into thy own hands, couldst thou have offered less for the ransom of thy soul? Secondly, that Christ hath infinitely abased Himself to procure thy redemption; and therefore, at least, ingenuity and gratitude should engage thee to exalt and glorify Him,(3) In point of interest and advantage.


1. It is the great end of our beings to glorify God, and indeed the noblest end that we could be created for. And if thou dost otherwise

(1)Thou degradest thyself from the dignity of thine own being.

(2)Thou degradest God too, and exaltest something above Him.

2. That God will certainly have His glory out of thee. If thou Wilt not glorify His holiness by thy obedience, thou shalt glorify His justice by thy perdition.

3. By glorifying God we do indeed but glorify ourselves. For He hath been pleased so graciously to intwist His glory and ours together, that, whilst we endeavour to promote the one, we do but indeed promote the other (1 Samuel 2:30).

(E. Hopkins, D. D.)

Consider —


1. "Ye are not your own!" You are not the masters of your own actions; the framers of your own condition; the proprietors of your own persons. No being can be his own, unless he be supreme, independent, self-existent.

2. Ye are "bought with a price."

II. YOUR DUTY. This reminds us —

1. Of our complex nature.

2. That the body is not to be excluded or undervalued in religion. It is the workmanship of God, and displays much of His perfection. He has redeemed it, and will glorify it. Religion is not only a real, but a visible thing. The form of godliness is nothing without the power; but when the form is produced by the power, it is comely and useful.

3. That in all the duties of religion we are indispensably bound to glorify God in our spirit, as well as in our body.

4. That we are to glorify God in our corporeal and spiritual powers respectively by exertions peculiar to each.(1) As to the body — we are to glorify God in guarding our health; in watching our senses; in regulating our appetites; in rendering our natural refreshments and our secular callings subservient to religion, "Whether, therefore, we eat or drink," &c.(2) As to the spirit.


1. Does not Justice demand this dedication?

2. If we do not glorify God, are we not chargeable with the vilest ingratitude?

3. Is not this glorification of God the very end of your redemption? Were you rescued from bondage to be lawless? or to become your own masters?

4. How can you determine your actual interest in this redemption, unless you have dedicated yourselves unto God? He is the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him.

(W. Jay.)

1. Attacks have often been made upon the doctrine of redemption, for it is well known to be the Redan of the gospel. These onslaughts have in many instances professed to be mere corrections of our phraseology. True, some may have carried ideas of the shop and the counter into their notion of redemption, but even these were nearer the truth than those who reduce the ransom paid by Christ to nothing. Paul, at any rate, was not afraid of the mercantile theory, for he writes, "Ye are bought with a price." And did not Christ say that He came "to give His life a ransom for many"? Though we were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, the transaction was none the less real and effective.

2. It is a high honour to our fallen race that man is the only redeemed creature in the universe. Rebellious angels are left to their doom. Hence man cost God more than the whole universe beside. The Lord could speak worlds into existence; but to erect the new creation of redeemed men He must endure the loss of His own Son.

3. This work of redemption is many-sided. We have been redeemed —

(1)In reference to Divine justice. We are justified, or reckoned as just, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

(2)From the power of evil (Titus 2:14).

(3)From ourselves — as the text suggests. We have here —


1. Compensation. You have surrendered as believers your right and property in yourselves, for —

(1)You live, whereas you were dead.

(2)You have peace. Your sins are forgiven for Christ's sake.

(3)You have joy.

(4)You have a grand reversion — a hope of glory with Christ for ever. You have received for your little the fulness which is in Christ, who is all in all.

2. Actual gain. Our loss itself is an advantage. We are set free from self, that worse than Egyptian bondage, whose wage is death. We are set free from Satan, and is not that a gain? Once the world was our lord, but what gain it is to feel that we are no longer the servants of men!


1. Value is clearly here, for God thinks not lightly of man, but esteems him sufficiently to buy him with the richest price conceivable. You are not a thing to be trifled with. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost." Never, therefore, give up your body to idleness or uncleanness. Use yourselves only for honourable purposes, for God puts honour upon you.

2. You are precious, but you must yet be lowly, for whatever value there is about you, you do not belong to yourself. You are the goods and chattels of Christ: as you were once sold under sin, so are you now "bought with a price." Our honour lies in our owner. God forbid that we should glory in anything except that we belong to Christ.


1. Security. He who owns you is able to keep you. If you were to perish, who would be the loser? Why, He to whom you belong.

2. Reason for watchfulness. Take great care of yourselves, for you are a king's treasure. If a thing is my own I may do what I like with it, but if it is entrusted to my care I must mind how I behave towards it, or else I shall be an unfaithful steward.


1. Consecration. You are to dedicate yourself wholly to the Lord, because you are not partly, but wholly redeemed. Do you keep back any faculty you possess from Christ? Is not this robbery? How would you like to think of that particular reservation as being unredeemed? Which portion is it which is to be unconsecrated? The body? What, have you an unredeemed body? never to rise from the dust? or do you give to Christ your heart, but reserve your mind? Have you, then, an unredeemed intellect? Withhold not your voice, but sing for Jesus, or speak for Him, if you can, &c.

2. But there is with this a perfect liberty. To be consecrated to Christ is the sure way to give to all our faculties the fullest play. If we are encased within the compass of the law we are no more restricted than a bird which is imprisoned in the air, or a fish in the ocean. Obedience to Christ is our element.


1. Submission. "Ye are not your own," and therefore God has a right to do whatever He wills with you.

2. Side by side with that comes expectancy. I could not do much for myself if I were my own, but if I am Christ's I expect that He will do great things for me.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. With what ardour does the apostle pursue sin to destroy it! He is not so prudish as to let sin alone, but cries out, in plainest language, "Flee fornication!" The shame is not in the rebuke, but in the sin which calls for it. He chases this foul wickedness with arguments (ver. 18).

2. He drags it into the light of the Spirit of God (ver. 19).

3. He slays it at the Cross. "Ye are bought with a price." Let us consider this last argument, that we may find therein death for our sins.

I. A BLESSED FACT. "Ye are bought with a price."

1. "Ye are bought." This is that idea of redemption which modern heretics dare to style mercantile. Redemption is a greater source of obligation than creation or preservation. Hence it is a well-spring of holiness.

2. "With a price." This indicates the greatness of the cost. The Father gave the Son. The Son gave Himself; His happiness, glory, body, soul. Measure the price by the bloody sweat, the Cross, the heart-break.

3. Our body and spirit are both bought with the body and spirit of Jesus.(1) This is either a fact or not. "Ye are bought," or ye are unredeemed. Terrible alternative.(2) If a fact, it is the fact of your life. A wonder of wonders.(3) It will remain to you eternally the grandest of all facts.(4) It should therefore operate powerfully upon us both now and ever.

II. A PLAIN CONSEQUENCE. "Ye are not your own."

1. Negative. It is clear that if bought, ye are not your own. This involves —(1) Privilege. You are not your own —

(a)Provider: sheep are fed by their shepherd.

(b)Guide: ships are steered by their pilot.

(c)Father: children loved by parents.(2) Responsibility. We are not our own —

(a)To injure.

(b)To waste, in idleness, amusement, or speculation.

(c)To exercise caprice, and follow our own prejudices, depraved affections, wayward wills, or irregular appetites.

(d)To lend our service to another master.

(e)To serve self. Self is a dethroned tyrant. Jesus is a blessed husband, and we are His.

2. Positive. Your body and your spirit... are God's.(1) We are altogether God's. Body and spirit include the whole man.(2) We are always God's. The price once paid, we are for ever His.(3) We rejoice that we know we are God's, for thus —

(a)We have a beloved owner.

(b)We pursue an honoured service.

(c)We fill a blessed position. We are in Christ's keeping.


1. In your body.

(1)By cleanliness, chastity, temperance, industry, cheerfulness, self-denial, patience, &c.

(2)In a suffering body by patience unto death.

(3)In a working body by holy diligence.

(4)In a worshipping body by bowing in prayer.

(5)In a well-governed body by self-denial.

(6)In an obedient body by doing the Lord's will with delight.

2. In your spirit. By holiness, faith, zeal, love, heavenliness, cheerfulness, fervour, humility, expectancy, &c.Conclusion:

1. Remember, O redeemed one, that —(1) You will be closely watched by Christ's enemies.(2) You will be expected to be more gracious than others; and rightly so, since you claim to be Christ's own.(3) If you are not holy, the sacred name of your Redeemer, your Proprietor, and your Indweller will be compromised.(4) But if you lead a redeemed life, your God will be honoured.

2. Let the world see what redemption can do.

3. Let the world see what sort of men "God's own" are.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The religion of the Bible relates to the two great branches of human duty, the things to be believed, and the things to be done. The doctrines and precepts of the gospel, though they may be distinguished, must not be separated. The objects of our faith furnish motives for duty; and duty cannot be rightly per- formed unless under the influence of the belief of these doctrines. Consider here —

I. THE DUTY STATED. To glorify God.

1. The duty is "to glorify God with our bodies and spirits." Let us begin with the latter. How may we glorify God with our spirits, that is, with our rational souls? This we do —

(1)By using our reason in contemplating the character of God as made known in His works and Word.

(2)By believing and relying on all He has said.

(3)By the constant and lively exercise of pure love.

(4)By forming such purposes as are in accordance with the Divine will.

(5)By patient submission to afflictive providences.

(6)By constantly and deliberately promoting His glory.

2. Our bodies —(1) When we preserve them from impurity and intemperance. This was the very idea which the apostle had in his mind (ver. 19).(2) When we employ them in His service.(a) All the institutions demand the employment of our bodies. We must bow down before Him, and by external actions manifest our reverence, and praise Him with our lips.(b) God is glorified by every species of good works which require the instrumentality of the body. Our hands may be made to glorify God when they are opened in acts of liberality and beneficence.


1. The redemption of captives was an idea very familiar to the Greeks. As by the customs of war every prisoner was made a slave, it often happened that persons of wealthy families would be thus separated from their relatives; and it frequently happened that these relatives would send the ransom of their friend by a suitable person, who would redeem him and bring him home. What would be the feelings of a number of captives when it should be announced that a Redeemer had arrived? But when the fortunate captive heard his own name called, who can describe his exultation?

2. The deliverance of sinners by Christ bears a striking analogy to this. Men are taken captive by the devil. They cannot liberate themselves, nor can this redemption be effected by any one but the Son of God. But, though the analogy is striking, yet there are circumstances which distinguish it from that which obtains among men.(1) When one went to redeem his friend, though he might have far to go, still he had not to go out of the world; it was necessary for Christ to descend from heaven

to earth — from the throne to a manger.(2) When an earthly redeemer set off in search of an enslaved son, or brother, he had to take with him a ransom of silver and gold. But when the Son of God came into the world to redeem lost sinners He must lay down a ransom of blood.(3) By the nature of the sinner's bondage. lie was first under a sentence of condemnation. Next, he was held in cords of iniquity, which no created arm could loose. And lastly, he was lying under the cruel tyranny of Satan, the worst of masters. From all these our Redeemer came "to save His people." He removed the curse of the law by bearing it in His own body on the tree. He saves His people also from their sins by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and He dispossesses Satan by His superior power.

3. Now those who have been thus redeemed owe a debt of gratitude which, without exaggeration, may be said to be infinite. No wonder Paul judged it unnecessary to urge other motives.Conclusion:

1. Let us reflect penitently on our culpable neglect of this great duty of glorifying God.

2. Let us endeavour to obtain a lively feeling of our obligations to the Redeemer.

3. Let us esteem it a great privilege to be the redeemed servants of the Lord.

4. Let us remember that the time which remains to us is short.

(A. Alexander, D. D.)


1. "Ye are not your own," &c. As to the reason of this, we may observe —(1) We did not create ourselves.(2) We do not preserve or uphold ourselves in life or being (Acts 17:28; James 1:17). On these accounts, then, we are not our own, but the property of God.

2. "Ye are bought with a price." But if we were originally God's property, what need was there to buy us?(1) We had become ruined debtors, enslaved captives, and guilty criminals. We had sold ourselves into slavery; we had committed sins, and thereby exposed ourselves to condemnation and wrath.(2) The purchasers were, the Father, who gave His Son (John 3:16; Romans 8:32), the Son, who gave Himself.(2) In reference to the price paid, we may observe, He gave His riches (1 Corinthians 8:9), His honour, His liberty, His life (Philippians 2:6-8). In a word, He " purchased the Church with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). All mankind are here concerned, all being redeemed (1 Timothy 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15; Hebrews 2:9), and hence are not their own, much less the world's; least of all, the devil's. The people of God are here especially meant, who, in a peculiar sense, are not their own, but the temples of God (vers. 13-20; 1 Corinthians 3:17-23).

II. AN EXHORTATION TO DUTY GROUNDED THEREON. The end God had in view in purchasing us was that we might glorify Him (1 Peter 2:9). We must glorify God —

1. "In our body," by temperance, purity, self-denial (ver. 13), and bringing it into His house, and consecrating it to Him as His temple to be kept holy.

2. "In our spirit."(1) By humility: considering that we have nothing which we have not received, and which has not been forfeited by sin.(2) By gratitude; He has given us all back again with great advantage.(3) By love.(4) By resignation; if we be His, may He not do what He will with His own?(5) By obedience; implying subjection to His will, and devotedness to His glory.Conclusion: Note —

1. The real nature and great evil of sin. It is not only disobedience and ingratitude, but robbery of the worst kind.

2. The amazing worth of the soul of man, which, after it was enslaved, was ransomed at so great a price.

3. The great and inexcusable guilt of those who, after all this, still will perish.

4. The great encouragement we have to give ourselves to God, and employ ourselves for Him. If He bought us, He must be willing to accept, preserve, and bless us.

(J. Benson.)

A friend of mine was having an earnest conversation upon the necessity of full consecration with a lady who professed to know Christ as her Saviour, but shrunk from yielding herself fully to Him. At last she said, with more outspoken honesty I am afraid titan many who mean exactly the same thing display, "I don't want to give myself right over to Christ; for if I were to do so, who knows what He might do with me; for aught I know, He might send me out to China." Years had passed away when my friend received a most deeply interesting letter from this very lady, telling of how her long conflict with God had come to an end, and what happiness and peace she now felt in the complete surrender of herself to her Lord; and referring to her former conversation she said, "And now I am my own no longer, I have made myself over to God without reserve, and He is sending me to China." Do you think that this lady is less happy obeying the Divine call, and working the Divine will out yonder in China, than she was when she shrunk from that will, and preferred to live a life of worldly ease and self-indulgence at home?

(W. Hay Aitken.)

Christians are like fire-engines at night. They carry a powerful lamp in front, which casts a light far ahead, but in no other direction, leaving the everlasting snake-train which they drag behind them enveloped in darkness. This light corresponds to the Christian's hope, which casts its rays heavenward, but leaves the long train of bodily appetites and necessities which go with him through life unilluminated. Men regard their worldly business and their family duties as distinct from their religion. They carry the light of hope on their brow, and that is what they call their religion; whereas, I understand religion to be this: the right carriage of body and soul, all together. I understand that no man is living a Christian life who is not a Christian in the world, in the family, in the Church, in his mind, in his soul, in the emotions and appetites of his nature, in his hand, in his foot, in his head — who is not a Christian everywhere, and in everything in him. To take every faculty or power God has given you, and bring it under Divine influences, and make it act right — that is being a Christian; and all partialisms, by just so much as they are partialisms, are, therefore, misunderstandings or misappropriations of Christian truth.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Therefore glorify God in your body.
The phrase does not mean merely not to dishonour Him: it means to display positively in the use of our body the glory and especially the holiness of the heavenly Master who has taken possession of our person. Man has lost, in whole or in part, since his fall, the feeling which was, so to speak, the guardian of his body, that of natural modesty. Faith restores to it a more elevated guardian — self-respect as being brought by Christ the organ of the Spirit and temple of God. This is modesty henceforth raised to the height of holiness.

(Prof. Godet.)

Real Christians are prepared to glorify God, for they are new creatures and temples of the Holy Ghost. And it is under the influence of that Holy Spirit working in them both to will and to do that they are to glorify God their Saviour.

I. BY SUBJECTING THE BODY TO HIS LAW. It is essential both to genuine piety and the Divine glory, that what we do should be not only what is required by the commandments of God, but also that it be done from a regard to His authority. A consideration which robs thousands of all their pretensions to excellence! Men are easily satisfied with themselves. They look no further than their conduct. If that is good, they concern not themselves about the Divine will and glory. And as the design of glorifying God, and a regard to His will and authority in prosecuting or fulfilling that design, are necessary if we would glorify Him indeed, so further in our regard to His will we must beware lest we mistake that will. The things by which God is glorified are the things which He requires. When, however, we combine the things which have been mentioned, when we aim at His glory, when we regard His will, and when we indeed do it, and all this from the conviction that we are not our own but His, then, in the most ordinary acts, we glorify Him indeed, we do that by which He esteems Himself glorified, we please Him. Let these things be combined then, and under their joint influence present your bodies a living sacrifice to God, and this will be a holy, acceptable, and reasonable service. And remember that the more promptitude and pleasure and zeal you show in yielding your bodies unto God the more you shall honour Him. Let not your backwardness in presenting your bodies unto God betray any want of love and gratitude and honour. The more abundantly these bodies labour the greater readiness you manifest to spend and be spent, to magnify Christ in your bodies, whether by life or by death, the greater pleasure you take in your infirmities for Christ's sake, the more do you show your love to the Redeemer, and the more do you glorify Him in your bodies.

II. BY YIELDING IT TO HIS CORRECTION. Christians should endeavour to glorify God as well by suffering affliction as by obedience. And they should aim at glorifying Him, not only by patience, by fortitude, by resignation, by acquiescence, and by thankfulness; but as all affliction is sent for the purposes of improvement, by humbling themselves before Him, by inquiring wherefore the Lord contendeth with them, by putting away their iniquities, and by giving their hearts and devoting their lives unreservedly to His will. But the sufferings by which Christ is most glorified in the body are those which we have to endure for His name's sake. When we are persecuted for righteousness' sake, and glory in tribulation, and esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world, when all afflictions, and persecutions for Christ's sake, instead of depressing our spirits give wings to our souls by which we mount up higher and higher in heavenliness of mind and of character, then, truly, we glorify God in our bodies, and may adopt the words of the apostle, "As unknown and yet well known, as dying, and behold we live," &c. The last act by which Christ is glorified in the body is the act of dying. And oh! who can behold a believer walking through the valley of the shadow of death without seeing that God is glorified?

(M. Jackson.)

Easter is a season which emphatically belongs to the body.

I. WE DO WELL, THEREFORE, TO GIVE SOME THOUGHTS TO THE BODY — for, do we not treat religion as consisting almost entirely of thoughts and feelings? and so we exalt the soul to the disparagement of the body. And yet I know nothing which you can say of the soul which you cannot also predicate of the body. Was the soul formed in the image of God? So was the body. No distinction is made in the narrative. Is the soul redeemed? So is the body. Did Jesus address Himself to the soul? Did He not equally to the body? How careful He was after His resurrection to identify His body. He ascended and will come again in His body. And at the last day the body is the leading feature of Paul's picture. Such honour does God give everywhere to the body.


1. Generally. We should treat our body as something given us to enjoy and use for God. A part of our likeness to Christ; a part of our present being given us here to train for the services which it is to render in heaven. Such being, then, the body, we should pray about our bodies as much as about our souls. We should consecrate it in the morning to God, and deal with it all day long as a very sacred thing. You remember what St. Paul said about his body — "I keep under my body," &c.

2. In detail.(1) In the Old Testament very great stress indeed was laid on the keeping of the body very clean; and even in the New Testament we have it united almost as one with faith and conscience and truth (Hebrews 10:22). And more than many people think a clean body is a help to purity of heart. We are bound to take care of the health of the body, for it is God's body; and we all know how greatly even a little disease of the body can disturb even our peace and joy, and faith, as illness stops work, and gives sorrow and expense to others. Therefore we should try to "glorify God" by the health of our body.(2) There is not a part of our frame which may not be the embodiment of spiritual things of the means for religious service. When I comb my hair the very hairs remind me that they are all numbered. And the eyes, are they not inlets where-with I may first take into my very heart all the beautiful works of God in nature, and providence, and grace? And then by bright and loving looks spread peace and happiness. How much of Satan, how much of Christ there may be in the look of the eye. And the mouth! What action the mouth has for sin and self-indulgence, or self-denial and careful moderation for Christ's sake. And more than you are aware the mouth is the index of temper or of sweetness. Take care of your mouth. "Glorify God" with it. And the tongue! What a curse or a blessing it may be! And your ear! Learn when to shut it and when to open it. And your nerves. They are very good servants, but very bad masters. Take care of them. Pray constantly for more calmness. And all the senses — consecrate them. They are the Lord's. And all your members! Those hands, let them be busy, useful hands. And those knees. Let them fulfil the great design for which God gave you knees. And "the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." And your whole body! Keep every part of it for God.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

The motive to the duty set before us in this passage is the most solemn in the whole sum of human thought. "Ye are bought with a price," says the apostle; "therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." But how are we to fulfil this duty?

1. To glorify God is to think of God. It is evident that all human actions commence in the mind of men. The mind, under some impulse or motive, moves and then the man moves. For every act is, at first, a thought. From thence come the various actions of men pertaining to their fellows, and the other actions also which refer to God. We often say that some men do not think, but it is evident that if they did not think they would not act. But everybody does think. Men think about life and society, about dress and manners, about literature and science, about history and politics. But the great fault of man is that the range of his thought is temporal and carnal. He has but the fewest flights toward the heavens. And this is a great sin. Nothing can be more evident than the guilt of shutting out from the mind the grandest Being and the noblest idea which can reach the intellect — thought of the Infinite and Eternal One. Its sinfulness shows itself by a lower but similar transgression. What would you think of a child who lived day by day under the blessedness and the loving care of a devoted parent, and yet from design and purpose passed by that parent, day by day, year by year, and determinedly shut him out from all thought and consideration? First observe that a large portion of our fellow-creatures drop God from their thought, passively, through neglect, without intention, with no set and formal purpose to dishonour Him, but carelessly and indifferently. But another class of men set God aside purposely and deliberately. They will not have the idea of God present in their minds. They will not let the things of God circle their brains, stimulate their lives, or influence their conduct. But to think carelessly of God is neglect; to think reluctantly of Him is vicious; to think angrily and repulsively of Him is monstrous, and amounts to abomination and ruin. To glorify God, then, implies as the very first thing that we think of Him. We are to begin by opening the mind, and craving the entrance therein of the thoughts of the Eternal. To think of God aright is to take Him, formally and solemnly, and put Him before the mind, and then to contemplate Him before and behind, in the depths and in the heights, in His attributes, in His decrees, in His covenants, in the great salvation of His Son, with reverence, with awe, with humility. This it is to think of God. This is the root idea of glorifying God. But this is not enough — it is only the beginning.

2. To glorify God is to take the convictions which come from right thinking and to turn them into aspirations. This is the next step toward honouring the Maker. We must not suffer thought to become bedridden in the soul. Few things are more injurious to the mind than that passive contemplation which fails to run out into active desires or stimulated hope. It will do no good for us to think about God if such thought is not used as a means to an end, but it will do us harm. It will make us insensible. It will make us irreverent. The insensibility will be the direct result of handling an awful and majestic idea without a spiritual purpose. The irreverence will come from taking liberties with the Divine name, perchance, for mere speculation. Thought concerning God, then, is legitimate when it tends to the elevation of the soul to a higher plane of being. To think, merely to think, would be somewhat as for a river to flow from its source, and then to flow back again to its original spring. It may be assumed as a principle of our being that all our acts, internal or external, are only then healthy and genuine when they reach forward to something beyond and nobler than themselves. We see this in nature. The illumination of the sun is not self-exhausted. It comes down to earth with vivifying fructification, diffusing life, and health, and joyous animation in all things and in all creatures. And that is its beneficence and its glory. The analogy is most exact with regard to the soul. Thinking about God is not the end of God-thinking. Thinking of God is the most glorious of all means to a nobler end, that is, the glory of God. When it is mere thinking — albeit God is the object of thought — it is, nevertheless, mere speculation on God. And mere speculation, as such, concerning God has no more value than speculation concerning a mountain or a mine. Never, perhaps, in the history of God's Church was there a man who thought so much, so deeply, so continually of God as David did. It was the occupation of his life. What was the result of this habit? What fruit sprung from this constant meditation concerning God? One single paragraph from the writings of David will show you. "Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God." And here I return directly to the point from which I have slightly departed. Take the convictions which come from right thinking, and turn them, as David did, into heavenly aspirations. Meditate constantly on the character of God. Bring His loving and majestic attributes vividly before you. You see, for instance, that God is good. Take, then, the fact, that is the goodness of God, out of the domain of thought, and make it an aspiration of your soul. Strive after goodness — God's goodness, as a personal possession, and run along the lines of excellence and moral beauty for the fashioning of your inner and your outer life. Take the purity of God as an object of admiration. Bring it down from the sphere of speculation, and then send it up to the throne of God — a living flame of desire for your own personal purity in body, mind, and spirit. Think of the righteousness of God! Hear it in the stern accents of Mount Sinai, in the thunders of the Law! Hear it in the expiatory plaints of sacrificed animals; see it in their flowing blood! Take the love of God. You can if you choose look at it as a distant object of thought and contemplation. But I exhort you to covet the spirit of love as your own personal possession. Indeed there is not a phase of the Divine existence, not an attribute of God, not a decree, not a commandment, however abstract it may be, but that, with the aid of the Spirit, may be fused with heat and fire from above, and become changed in our pure souls into burning desires and heavenly aspirations.

3. To glorify God is to realise the aspirations of the soul into the activities of life. This is practical religion; it answers the requirements of our blessed Lord that we do His commandments. And there can be no true religion without this habit of outward obedience. Mere conviction of the brain, or mere spiritual aspiration, separate from conduct, are each, or both together, insufficient. We must do God's holy will. Just this test is laid down by our blessed Saviour — "If ye love Me keep My commandments." To talk of how we feel, or what we think concerning Christ, is an idle tale. No, what our Lord desires is something which has passed out and beyond mere human conceit into actual living reality. Did you ever think of that word reality? of its full meaning, of its mighty import, of its wide scope and bearing? Reality! that is religion made personal in the Christian life, act, word, conduct, and bearing of living disciples. I beg to commend the apostle's injunction to your earnest consideration. The master end of existence, whether in angel or in man, is the glory of God. Anything below this end is a ruinous and insulting prostitution of powers.

(A. Crummell.)

(children's sermon): — "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever." Look at my watch. It may be used for many ends — as a mere ornament, &c.; but its "chief end" is to tell what o'clock it is. What have you got your body for? God says, "Use it for Me." If you were to get a pound from your father or master, you would naturally ask, "What am I to do with it?" and you would know what was meant if he said, "Use it for me in such a way as to please me."


1. Because He made it, and made it for Himself. When you have made a thing for yourself, you feel that you have the best right to it. If it were taken away from you, or turned against you, would you not think it very hard? During the French Revolution the guillotine was invented, and the first man who suffered by it was the man who invented it. Perhaps some one will say, "It was just what he deserved." But suppose it had been some contrivance for saving life. If that were turned against the man who designed it, or discovered it, would not every right-minded person cry "shame"? And who made that body of yours? The cleverest man in the world could not make it. None could make it but God. God made that hand of yours for His own use. Is it not a sin and a shame to turn it against Him? Take any book you are reading, and you will see on it the names of five people who were concerned in the making of it. On the title-page is the name of the man who wrote it; at the foot of the page, the name of the man who published it; on the other side of the page, or at the end of the book, the name of the man who printed it; on a little label inside the board at the end, the name of the man who bound it; and on another, inside the board at the beginning, the man of the man who sold it. All these get credit for what they have done. Every sheet of paper I write on has the "water-mark," as it is called, with the name of the man who made it. The very buttons on my clothes bear the name of their maker. And we all feel it quite right that it should be so. But it does not always need the name. Some people can take up a piece of cloth, and say, "this is so and so's make," or a picture, and say, "that is such and such a painter's piece," or a book, and say, "this is written by such a man, I know by its style." And do we need any kind of mark or stamp on our body to tell us who made it? No. See that wonderful tubular bridge which stretches from Wales to Anglesea, and you will hear of its maker — Stephenson, the great engineer: it glorifies him. See St. Paul's Cathedral, and people will tell you of its great architect, Sir Christopher Wren: it glorifies him. Go to the National Gallery, and the artist's work, in each case, may be said to " glorify " him. And shall I not seek to glorify God with my body? (Exodus 4:11; Psalm 94:9; Proverbs 20:12).

2. Because He sustains it. Suppose your father were to take some poor sick beggar-boy off the street into his house — to nurse him, and to feed him, and to do everything to make him well and strong. What would you think if that boy were to forget your father? Take a stranger dog into your house, and feed it, and be kind to it, and before a fortnight is over, it will follow you everywhere. What would you think if your dog left you every morning whenever he got his breakfast, and ran after every strange boy on the street, and would not follow you, and only come in to his meals? Now God does all for your body that you do for your dog. And again I ask, may it not well be used for Him in such a way as He wishes?

3. Because He has redeemed it. Our body, like everything else about us, was forfeited; just like a thing that has been put in pawn. Is is no longer ours. It has meanwhile become the property of another. And it must be redeemed. And Jesus bought back our body, paid the price of His own blood for it, and so made it His owns. Let me again ask how you judge of things that you have bought, your knife, &c., which you have saved your pocket-money to buy. You say of any of these, as you said of the money that bought it, "it is my very own. I may lend these things or give the use of them to others, but none has a right to them like me." In the days of slavery, when one had bought a slave, he regarded that man's body, and all that the body could do, as his. You remember the story of the ransomed slave whom a British merchant purchased at a great price and then set free — how the liberated slave clung to his purchaser, and followed him wherever he went, and served him as no other did or could, telling, whenever he was asked the reason, "He redeemed me! He redeemed me! "Gratitude and love bound him, and made him, what I might call, in opposition to a bondman — a free slave. Now that is what Jesus has done; He has bought us, not with His money, but with His life. He has bought us and set us free. And we are His free slaves.


1. Your hands for God. You have no right to use them in the service of Satan, the world, or sin. Idle hands do not glorify God, nor mischievous hands, nor dirty hands, nor dishonest hands, nor unkind hands, nor careless hands.

2. Your feet. They should go only on His errands. When I see the little feet kicking or stamping in passion, or venturing into forbidden and dangerous paths, or loitering when they should make haste, I cannot help thinking: "These feet are not for God." "How beautiful are the feet, when they are for God!"

3. Your lips. What shall I say of profane words, untruthful words, coarse and vulgar words, angry and irritating words, unholy and impure words, light and jesting words, slandering and gossiping words? When we are going to speak of any one, it has been said there are three questions which it is well to ask — "Is it true? Is it useful? Is it kind?"

4. And so with the whole body. The ears should be for God, listening to nothing of which He would disapprove; and the eyes, turning away from all that He would not look upon. All should be for God. "Whether ye eat or drink," &c. And how is all this to be? The root of all lies in having the heart for God.

(J. H. Wilson.)

The employment of the parable may be traced, says Dr. Wright, to Hillel, the great rabbi, who died a few years before the Christian era. In the Midrash on Leviticus 25:39, it is related that his scholars asked Hillel one day where he was going. "To perform a commandment," answered the rabbi. "What special commandment?" asked the disciples. "To bathe myself in the bathhouse," said Hillel. "Is that one of the commandments?" inquired they. "Certainly," rejoined Hillel; "if the statues of kings placed in the theatres and circuses have to be kept clean and washed, how much more ought I not to keep my body clean, since I have been created in the image of God?"

And in your spirit
I. WHEN THE UNDERSTANDING COMPREHENDS HIS CHARACTER. Total ignorance of His character, by implying contempt; partial ignorance of it, by implying neglect; and correct, but unoperative views of it, by implying enmity; all dishonour God. It is only when the views are both sound and practical, when the understanding is enlightened by the eternal Spirit, that we are able so to comprehend the things that belong to our peace, as to glorify God in our spirits.

II. WHEN THE CONSCIENCE ACKNOWLEDGES HIS AUTHORITY. Whatever we may know of God, we dishonour Him, unless conscience be influenced by what we know; for all knowledge which God imparts has a direct reference to conscience, and addresses it in the most energetic terms. But when conscience moves and actuates you in all things, and is itself moved and actuated by God; re-echoes the voice of God addressing the soul on all that is great and tender, interesting and alarming, abasing and exalting, and hears and feels every word as the word of supreme authority, with reverence and submission — then the spirit glorifies God!

III. WHEN THE AFFECTIONS EMBRACE HIS WORD. What spiritual eye can see men poor in spirit, and heirs of the kingdom, meek and inheriting the earth, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and filled with the Spirit; merciful, and monuments of mercy; pure in heart, and hoping to see God; persecuted for righteousness' sake, and anticipating glory and honour; reviled and persecuted, and all manner of evil spoken against them falsely for Christ's sake; and exceeding glad of this — who can behold them as the salt of the earth, as the light of the world, and remember it is the Word of God which is the instrument of all this excellence, without knowing and feeling that the giver of every good and of every perfect gift is glorified in their spirits?

IV. WHEN THE WILL SUBMITS TO HIS LAW. This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. Who can imagine that God is to be glorified in the spirit while the will opposes Him? But let us not forget that every human will is opposed to God till renewed by grace, and that after it has been renewed it is still rebellious. The most advanced Christian has to complain, "When I would do good, evil is present with me." God only can hold us up. And when He is pleased in tender mercy to work in us both to will and to do; to enable us to choose His commandments as the rule of our life, and to give us grace to obey them; we are then the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works: and all the honouring of God, which is implied in the relinquishment of our own will, and in the adoption of His, we cordially offer to Him; and others, seeing our good works, glorify our Father who is in heaven.

(M. Jackson.).

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