Paul says that we are not our own and that we were bought for a price. But what does that really mean?
We sometimes think of it as a bad joke from out of the Vietnam conflict and movies like Full Metal Jacket (By the way, that movie is rated R for a reason): “Five Dollar! Five Dollar!” The cost of a prostitute. The cost of human dignity and life. We can say that it isn’t true any longer – that sex trafficking and modern slavery are myths or exaggerated social issues but the truth of the matter is that even if we ignore that people in this world today are still convinced that we can trade in human life.
“Pay a man enough and he’ll walk barefoot through hell.” “Everyone has a price.”
Everyone can be tempted to give his or her life away for something worldly. I have to tell you I sure would give a lot to get rid of the chest pains I’ve been dealing with for so many years. I’m willing to sacrifice a great deal to assure my wife and unborn child have everything they could need. Would I give my soul to the devil for these things? Well it’s called “temptation” because it’s tempting. You know that right?
But I can’t because I do not own my soul. I don’t own myself. I don’t own my life.
Another way to look at it.
There’s a story of a kid who goes up to the preacher after service one day and asks “is it wrong of me to steal five dollars from myself?” Preacher thinks about it. “So you take five dollars out of your wallet and put it in your pocket? Doesn’t sound wrong to me.” “So is it wrong for me to take my own life?”
Preacher says “You’re assuming it’s your life.”
Paul talks about this concept in the context of sexual immorality, but it goes beyond that. I made clean by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, I was purchased from sin and slavery to the law by that sacrifice, and I was called to serve him by accepting that sacrifice. I really am not my own but in owing so much to Him and being so hopelessly unable to thank or repay Him, I can only serve him and “glorify God in my body.”