Jeni B went to the pub Saturday night. On entry she paid the admission fee and enjoyed time with her friends. I met her on Sunday morning at her church in Cherrybrook, in Sydney's Northwest. She showed me this stamp on her wrist. That's customary for many places in town, to allow for entry and reentry. If you cannot read the letters, it says, "Paid" and the date "29 October 2016." Jeni made some comments that inspired me, and this blog is a reflection of some of her comments.
You might also notice the book on which her wrist is placed is a Bible. It's open to a section in one of Paul's letters. In verse 20, it reads, "for you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." In context, the reference is part of a series of considerations: 1) about justice and not taking fellow believers to court, 2) about food and living in the sufficiency of moderation, and 3) about sexual activity, and being faithful. The Bible is teaching something deeper than a set of rules and regulations. Verses 18-19 says, "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"
Paul says we should manage our own passions, control ourselves and live in peace and harmony with our neighbours. How? By the awareness of one singular reality: we have been bought with a price. Paid for in full, like Jeni's being admitted to the pub's party. When something is paid for it belongs to the purchaser. Whether this be a car, an entry ticket, or eternal life, once paid, the purchase price completed, the ownership is transferred.
No longer are we going to live in religious duties and religious rights or wrongs. No longer are we going to claim one spiritual leader or another (1 Cor. 1.12, 1 Cor. 3.4), because we are a temple of God's Spirit. God actually dwells in us. And He can actually dwell in us because He bought us. And has sanctified (cleaned) us from the inside. Hence his purchase, his cleansing, his indwelling-- all point to a change in our lives and in our behaviour. We are changed from the inside. We are HIS!
Note what Charles Spurgeon had to say, if you have a few extra minutes today. This was his sermon he gave after the death of a friend and deacon in his church in Newington. Here is the entire sermon online . Among other treasures Spurgeon says this of the price. "You will notice the text says, "Ye were bought with a price." It is a common classical expression to signify that the purchase was expensive. Of course, the very expression, "Ye were bought," implies a price, but the words "with a price" are added, as if to show that it was not for nothing that ye were purchased. There was a something inestimably precious paid for you; and ye need scarcely that I remind you that "ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold;" "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Ah! those words slip over our tongue very glibly, but we may well chide ourselves that we can speak of redemption with dry eyes. That the blood of Christ was shed to buy our souls from death and hell is a wonder of compassion which fills angels with amazement, and it ought to overwhelm us with adoring love whenever we think of it, glance our eye over the recording pages, or even utter the word "redemption.""
Thanks Jeni. Thanks Yeshua. Thanks be to God for His inestimable gifts.