Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.
-1 Corinthians 6:19
Did you know that true freedom comes from knowing you are owned by Someone?
In our day and age, it is easy to see the idea of submission and ownership as negative and horrifying. The history of worldwide slavery and the abuse of power that came with human exploitation breaks the heart of God, and one day it will be forever abolished by Jesus’s return.
However, in first-century Roman culture, slavery and ownership of other humans were commonplace. While many faced harsh and difficult abuses, many slaves in Rome experienced a lifestyle that could only come in the home of a rich aristocrat. For these slaves, being owned meant they were free to live in comfort. Some would fall in love with the families they served and would decide to stay with them in obedience forever.
This was likely on the mind of the apostle Paul when writing today’s verse to the Corinthian church. While the Corinthian believers sought freedom from their world, Paul reminded them that they were truly owned by Jesus through the purchase from His shed blood and that the Holy Spirit now took up residence in their bodies. What an incredible truth! In living in submission to Jesus, each of us has become a slave to God with the Holy Spirit filling us. This is the great reversal of the tragedy of slavery – when we are truly submissive to God, we are then free to live in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Questions For Reflection on 1 Corinthians 6:19
#1 When you think of the idea of being owned or the concept of slavery, what images does that bring to mind? How do you think Paul meant the idea of being owned as a temple of the Holy Spirit?
#2 If you are the “temple of the Holy Spirit”, how should your life look? Think about the verses of the Bible that speak of the holiness and perfection of God’s temple. How should you live inwardly and outwardly if you are a temple of God?
Lord God, I am owned by You through the shed blood and purchase of Jesus Christ on the cross. Thank you that I am not my own, because in knowing true submission to You I can find freedom and joy to trust in Your leading and Your guiding. Holy Spirit, use me as a temple for Your great works of redemption in the world around me. Guide me in how to live as a holy and righteous son or daughter of God Most High.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.