Bought with a Price
September 25th, 1955 @ 7:30 PM
1 Corinthians 6:15-20
BOUGHT WITH A PRICE
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1 Corinthians 6:15-20
9-25-55 7:30 p.m.
In our preaching through the Word, we have come to the sixth chapter of the first Corinthian letter. I had it in my heart to read the whole chapter, but we shall rather tonight read the passage immediately in context with the text. So we will start at the fifteenth verse. The first Corinthians letter, the sixth chapter and the fifteenth verse. This is the reading of the Word:
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith He, shall be one flesh.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body,
[1 Corinthians 6:15-20]
And then a pious manuscript scribe added, “and in your spirit, which are God’s” [1 Corinthians 6:20], but Paul’s words quit there, “You are not your own, you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. Now the message is the last part of that Scripture reading, “Know ye not that ye are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20].
Now, he has an unusual thing here, “Ye are not your own.” You would think that Paul would say, “You are not your own, you did not make yourself. By right of creation you belong to God.” But it does not say that. “You are not your own,” you would think that Paul would say, “God sustained you, therefore you are not your own. He keeps you, He preserves you. If the Lord were to withdraw His breath from us for three minutes, we would be dead. The Lord feeds us. He nourishes us. He sustains us. He upholds us. Therefore, we belong to Him.” But he does not say that. He says, “Know ye not ye are not your own” [1 Corinthians 6:19]. And the reason is redemption, “Ye are bought with a price” [1 Corinthians 6:20].
Now there is a fine and beautiful distinction to be made between redemption by power and redemption by price. When Lot was taken captive, Abraham overwhelmed his captors and redeemed Lot and his fellow captives [Genesis 14:12-16]. When the Amalekites came and took away the wives and the children of David and his army, David and his four hundred strong men overcame the Amalekites and took back their wives and their children [1 Samuel 30:1-19]. But this, “You are not your own, you are bought with a price” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20], is redemption in the same way that a man would lay down the price of a slave and redeem the slave at a cost?
Now what is the price that the Lord paid for our redemption? We are bought with His life. We are bought with His blood [1 Peter 1:13-19]. In the twentieth chapter of the Book of Matthew and the twenty-eighth verse is the most beautiful thing I think the Lord ever said, “Even so the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” [Matthew 20:28]. Sold under sin, we are in the power of Satan [Romans 7:14]. We are slaves of iniquity [Romans 6:6]. But the Lord Jesus hath bought us away. He hath ransomed us [Matthew 20:28].
Now, once again in the third chapter of the Book of Galatians, Paul says:
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them—
Quoting Deuteronomy 27:26—
But Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.”
[Galatians 3:10, 13]
Satan, the great arch adversary of the brethren of the Lord, Satan rises up and he says, “Look, this is the law of God, and look this is how the child has broken it.” And the law that was meant for our salvation turns out for our damnation. The law condemns us, and Satan uses it to ascribe in great bold letters all manner of iniquity and villainy to us. We are cursed by the law. We are damned by the law. We are lost by the law [Romans 7:9-10].
But Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law by His blood [Galatians 3:13]. He hath paid the penalty of the wrath of God upon our sins in His own life, in His own suffering, in His own body, in His own blood [Colossians 1:14]. All of the penalty that was to fall upon me for my sins fell upon Him, and He paid for those sins upon the cross [Isaiah 53:5, 2 Corinthians 5:21]. Christ hath redeemed us by His blood, by His suffering, from the curse of the law [Galatians 3:13].
Once again a wonderful, beautiful passage in the first chapter of 1 Peter, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold . . . but you were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who was verily foreordained from the foundation of the world” [1 Peter 1:18-20]. He did not buy us back like a man on a slave market paying thirty pieces of silver or a weight of gold, but He bought us back; He redeemed us out of the slavery and bondage by His own precious blood.
One other beautiful passage in the ninth [chapter] of the Book of Hebrews, the author says:
Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood hath He purchased for us an eternal redemption. If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer, sanctified to the purifying of the [flesh]: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?”
Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins” [Hebrews 9:22]. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” [Hebrews 9:27-28].
All of those old ancient sacrifices in the old times, the offering of the lamb [Exodus 29:39], the slaying of the goat [Leviticus 23:18-19], the ashes of the heifer [Hebrews 9:13], the burnt sacrifice [Leviticus 1:1-17], all of those offerings prefigured the pouring out of the life and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for our redemption, to wash our sins away [Revelation 1:5].
The same wonderful preacher, Simon Peter, in the third chapter of that first epistle says, “He suffered, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us unto God” [1 Peter 3:18]. The Lord Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemane [Luke 22:44], and He suffered at Gabbatha [John 19:13-15], and He suffered on Golgotha [John 19:16-17]. Every time you see an olive tree, under those olive trees did the Savior pray and His sweat as it were drops of blood falling on the ground [Luke 22:44]. Whenever you see a marble pavement, on a pavement like that was He scourged by the Roman soldiers [Matthew 27:26]. Whenever you see a thorn tree, out of those thorns was the crown made and pressed upon His brow [Matthew 27:29]. Whenever you see a piece of iron, out of the iron a nail was made that pierced His hands and His feet [John 20:25]. Whenever you see an instrument of battle, a Roman spear was thrust into His side [John 19:34]. Whenever you see wood, on the wood was the Lord crucified, nailed to the cross [1 Peter 2:24]. All of these, the emblems of His suffering are the prices by which He hath brought us unto God. He hath redeemed us in His own blood [1 Peter 1:18-19].
Lysias, Claudius Lysias said to the apostle Paul—when he spoke of his Roman citizenship, his freedom—he said, “With a great sum did I purchase this freedom” [Acts 22:28]. We can say that. With an infinite price was our freedom bought— the blood, the suffering, the life of the Lord Jesus Christ [1 Peter 1:18-19].
When we get to glory and we sing the song of the redeemed in heaven, this is the song that you will sing:
Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy, oh, Thou art worthy because Thou was slain, and has redeemed us unto God by Thy blood out of every race, and tongue, and family, and tribe under the earth: and hath made us kings and priests unto our God: and we shall reign with Him forever and forever.
Therefore, my text says we do not belong to ourselves. We belong to God. “You are not your own, for ye are bought with a price” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. You may be a patriot. You may be a citizen of Dallas. You may be an employer. You may be an employee. You may be a philanthropist. You may be a businessman. You may be a housewife. But first, you are Christ’s man and Christ’s woman. First you belong to God. “You are not your own. You are bought with a price.” You belong to Him.
Nor is that an onerous thing. The tragedy would be if a man did not belong to God. That he rule himself and belong to himself. What a tyrant. What a factitous, capricious tyrant. What a dictator is a man’s own spirit, his own will, his own passion, his own choice. What a privilege to belong to God—not our own, we are His.
Think of a derelict out at sea, an abandoned vessel. Nobody owns her. The crew has forsaken her. She drifts with the tide and whatever wind blows, and nobody knows where the derelict goes. But think of that beautiful ship, the pride of Her Majesty’s navy. We were on a boat when the Queen Elizabeth pulled out from her berth in New York harbor and headed toward England, and all of those people, just thousands of them it seemed to me there on the wharf, waving goodbye to the other thousands on that tremendously impressive majestic liner. And as she pulled out so proudly and majestically and turned toward the shores of her native land, to England, with what pride could a Britisher see the flag of Her Majesty raised high and unfurled in the breeze. Somebody owns her, and somebody is proud of her—no bad or onerous thing to be owned by somebody else.
I see those sheep over there in the Holy Land, all of them with a paint mark on them. They have different ways of painting the sheep. Sometimes, the head, leg, body, neck, but all of them are branded. They are painted. And when you look around, you will see nearby, seated or standing somewhere, you will see the shepherd. That is the strength, and the refuge, and the privilege, and the comfort, and the keeping of the sheep. The sheep is not a stray, is not a maverick as we say in Texas. The sheep belongs to somebody. There is the shepherd, and there is the owner.
Think of a woman. If she is owned by her husband, that is not an onerous thing, if her husband loves her and is good to her. She is not happy in her soul and in her life, not really, until she belongs to somebody else; she takes his name, she lives for him. Her life and love are in his care and in his keeping. She is made for that.
We are made like that for God. We don’t belong to the world; we don’t belong to the devil. We don’t belong to hell, we don’t belong to damnation; we belong to God! And there is nobody that has any mortgage on us, no lien on us, no piece or parcel of us belongs to somebody else. All of us belong to God. And the pride of ownership does the Lord take in us. And we can rejoice that we are His. We are not our own—bought with a price [1 Corinthians 6:19-20].
Our minds belong to God. Don’t bring me some filthy, dirty, sorry, infidel book. Why should I drag my mind through the gutter in order afterward to wash it? Don’t have time. The only time to read an infidel’s dirty book would be if you had a purpose to refute it. Other than that, read things that put in your soul and in your mind great thoughts and noble deeds.
The gutter and all of that stuff and filth and trash that makes up so much of modern printed literature; that is the devil’s. Keep our minds for God; it belongs to Him. Our bodies belong to God: therefore glorify God in your body [1 Corinthians 6:20]. It is the temple, Paul says, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” [1 Corinthians 6:19].
You go over there and look at those temples, you will learn something about them. They didn’t worship in the temple. They worshiped outside in the courtyard. The sacrificial altar was always outside in the courtyard. When you went to the great holy temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, nobody walked in there, in the Holy of Holies, just the high priest once a year [Hebrews 9:7]. And in the beautiful Holy Place, where the altar of golden incense was and the showbread and the candlestick, at the hour of prayer did the course elected go in there and its high priest and its priestly representative, but the people worshiped out in the courtyard [Jeremiah 26:2].
When you go to the Parthenon there on the Acropolis in Athens, a typical temple, nobody worshiped in that temple. Why? Because the temple was the home of the god, and Pallas Athena had her home in the Parthenon.
And the Holy Spirit of God and the shekinah glory of Jehovah had His home in the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple on Mount Moriah [Exodus 25:21-22; Isaiah 37:16]. So it is, Paul says, that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost; the Holy Spirit of God dwells in our bodies, and our bodies belong to Him [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. They are to be given to God. And our talents are not to be wrapped up and hidden away to lie in waste and to deteriorate, they belong to God, whatever a man can do.
Coming down on the elevator tonight, I met Charles Mears, and I put my arm around the boy, and I said, “Charles, on these Wednesday nights, helping us in all of this equipment here, this audio-visual education work, and all over this church,” I said, “Charles, “You just do good, and we thank you so much.” And he said, “Pastor, you don’t know how happy I am to have found a little niche in the church where I can serve.” That’s the Spirit of the Lord in the boy. And all of us have that some something, maybe a little something, maybe a tiny something, maybe an insignificant something, but God has given us all a something, and we can give it to God, use it for Him.
Could I say a little last brief hurried word? What an encouragement! Oh, what an encouragement when somebody comes who has given his whole heart, and soul, and mind, and body, and life, and blood, and love, and devotion to the Lord Jesus! “You are not your own. You are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. What an encouragement when somebody comes who has given himself to the Lord. Here is a man who has found Christ, and he is following Christ, and he belongs to God. What an encouragement he is! What a help when he comes and stands by your side.
That’s what is the matter with us: so many Christians, they count for nothing for God. With their mouths they say, “Back yonder, I gave my life to the Lord. And back yonder, I was baptized.” But with their lives, and their deeds, and their words, and their testimonies, they don’t do anything for God. They don’t help us. They don’t stand by us. Say, when a man bought with a price has given himself to God, what an encouragement he is when he stands by us and helps us to work and to glorify God in this evil and wicked world.
Back yonder in the days of this last war, the last effort of the Nazi army went west, pushed west, made a great bulge in the armies of our men, and they surrounded a little town called Bastogne. And those American soldiers surrounded on every side, and in such great mortal jeopardy of life there, in those days, in those days, when the Nazis were surrounding them and pushing against them and about to destroy them, in those days, there came a cry from those men of ours. Surrounded on every side and there came a cry, and they said, “Look, look, the army of General Patton has come to our rescue.” And behold, General Patton, the fightingest man and leader of the tank, the leader of the armored division, the Third Army, wheeling north went out to the rescue of our men. But what, but what if we had looked on that battlefield and those American soldiers, General Patton and his army, they didn’t attack? They were afraid; they hung back in paradise. And we look at them, and we say, “What? Why those American boys? What? Is that General Patton? What? Is that the Third armored Army? What? Are these the men who represent the might and the power of America? Why, were they genuine? Were they real?” If they belonged to America, they would have crushed these Nazi Germans overnight. They would have flown before them like chaff upon the wind.
Who are these men who are afraid to speak in the name of Christ? Who are these men who deny the Lord Jesus by word and by deed? Who are these people who don’t stand up and stand out for the blessed Savior who has bought them and paid for them? [1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Peter 1:18-19] Ah, to be courageous, to be God’s, to go all out for Him, to be His; “Know ye not you are not your own? You are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are His, which are God’s” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20].
That’s our appeal to your heart tonight. While we sing this song, somebody you, somebody you give your heart to the Lord, come and stand by me. Somebody you put your life in the fellowship of the church, while we make this appeal, come and stand by me. Some young fellow here, some girl, somebody you, rededicate and regive his life to the Lord, you come and stand by me. However God shall say the word, shall open the door, shall lead the way, as the Spirit shall make the appeal, into the aisle and down here to the front, come and stand by me.
You don’t belong to yourself. You belong to God. He made you, that’s right. He sustained you, that’s right. But most of all and above all, He bought you [1 Corinthians 6:20]. He redeemed you [1 Peter 1:18-19]; sin no longer, iniquity, the world, villainy, wickedness no longer to be paramount and ruler, reign king in your life, no longer. You belong to Christ [Ephesians 5:27]. He is yours, and you’re His. Would you make it now, this night, this moment? “Here I am, pastor, and here I come, giving God my mind, and my heart, and my soul, and my life, and all that a man is and all that a man could be, and all that I have, everything; it’s for Him.” While we stand and sing the song, make it now, make it now.
BOUGHT WITH A PRICE
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1 Corinthians 6:15-20
9-25-55I. The reason why you are not your own
A. He could have said because we did not make ourselves, or do not preserve ourselves
B. The reason is redemption – we are paid for
1. By price and not by power
2. The price – the blood of Jesus(Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3:10-13, Deuteronomy 27:26, 1 Peter 18-20, Hebrews 9:11-28)
a. Redeemed by the suffering of Christ (1 Peter 3:18, Luke 22:44, John 19:34)
3. The great deliverance wrought (Acts 22:28, Revelation 5:9-10)II. We belong to God
A. First and above all we belong to God
B. Great privilege of being God’s man, not our own
1. A vessel adrift compared to the Queen Elizabeth
2. Sheep on hillside, painted markings
3. A woman belonging to her husband
C. All of us belong to God
3. TalentIII. The encouragement when someone has given himself to the Lord
A. The heart changed, the life different