Dr. Shield's Blog

Were You Purchased Here?

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

“Were you purchased here?”  The question startled me and made me laugh out loud.  Some years ago, on a visit to my birthplace, Kingsville, Texas, I had stopped at the county courthouse to obtain a copy of my birth certificate.  The lady behind the counter was helping someone else, apparently with some real estate or tax question.  When my turn came, she asked, “May I help you?”  

I replied, “I’d like to get a copy of my birth certificate, please.”  

Apparently still engaged in thinking about her previous transaction, she asked, “Were you purchased here?”  As everyone around her began to laugh, I answered, “Well, I think I was born here, but it’s possible my parents might have picked me up at a flea market and just didn’t tell me.”  

To ask, “Were you purchased here?” puts a different spin on the expected question, “Were you born here?”  Long after we all had a good laugh over it, I pondered the theological implications of that question.  

When St. Paul was admonishing the Corinthian congregation about their wayward ways of living, he reminded them that Christians cannot just “do as they please,” because Christians no longer belong to themselves alone.  To accept Christ as Lord means in part to acknowledge that Christ has “purchased” our salvation at the cost of his own blood.  At an unimaginable cost to God, Christ died for sinful humanity, and in his sacrificial love made possible an intimate and eternal communion with God and with one another.  Our very bodies become living temples of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  

“You were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”  The season of Lent provides an opportunity to journey to the Cross of Christ and there respond anew to the question, “Were you purchased here?”  To understand that you have been bought with a price is to recognize in humility that your life, your embodied and earthly life, belongs not to you but to God.  Purchased by God, you have been set free by God to share in God’s own life, but this leads not to self-indulgence but to selfless giving.  “You were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”  

See you Sunday!

Dr. Bob Shield  

Posted by Bob Shield at 9:09 AM