You Don’t Belong to Yourselves

Through the body of Christ, we now belong to the One who was raised from the dead.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the sayings of the Lord God’s mouth and the meditation of his heart?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root.

Everything is permitted. Not everything is helpful.

1 Cor 6:12-20 – You say, “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but as far as I am concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”? Maybe, but God will put an end to both of them. Anyhow, the body is not meant for sexual immorality [idolatry] but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord, and he will raise us up too by his power.

Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of the Messiah? So, am I to take parts of the Messiah and make them parts of a prostitute [an idolater]? Heaven forbid! Don’t you know that a man who joins himself to a prostitute [an idolater] becomes physically one with her? For [as it is written], “The two will become one flesh”; but the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Run from sexual immorality [idolatry]! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator [idolater] sins against his own body. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God. (CJB)

What words or thoughts have caught your attention? Why?

“For me, everything is permitted.”

Permitted: impersonally, it is right through the figurative idea of being out in public. The first person singular present indicative; I exist. The point whence action or motion proceeds.1

You don’t belong to yourselves.

1 Cor 10:23-24 – “Everything is permitted,” you say? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted?” Maybe, but not everything is edifying. No one should be looking out for his own interests, but for those of his fellow. (CJB)

No one
Should be looking out for his own interests
Everyone
Should be looking out for the interests of his fellow.
You don’t belong to yourselves.
Not everything is helpful.

Helpful: to bear together, bring forth, contribute; to collect, or to conduce; denoting union; with or together.2

Phil 2:21 – They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Not everything is edifying.

Edify: to be a house builder; construct or confirm; embolden.3

Will I continue to think and speak and act from the singular perspective, “For me”? Or am I beginning to awaken, to become aware of the call to think and speak and act from the collective perspective, we, us, with, together, union, bear together, bring forth together, contribute together?

Whose interests are we looking out for?

Rom 15:2 – Each of us should please his neighbor and act for his good, thus building him up. (CJB)

How do we act for our neighbors’ good to build them up?

1 Cor 12:7 – To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (ESV)

We don’t belong to ourselves.

Don’t you know?

Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of the Messiah?
Don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who lives in you, whom you received from God?
Our body is a temple!
A temple for the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit lives in us.
Do we know? How can we know?
What should we do?

Do we give too much thought and attention to our own natural bodies and its interests so that we don’t know the body of the Messiah, of whom our bodies are part?

The superior things.

Heb 9:11-14 – But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent” — the true Holy Place — once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God. (MSG)

The Messiah
High priest of the superior things of this new covenant.
He bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world
He went straight into heaven’s tent – the true Holy Place.
Using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all
To clean our whole lives, inside and out.
Through the Spirit,
Through the Spirit,
Straight into heaven’s tent – the true Holy Place.

Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice
Freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable,
So that we can live all out for God
Through the Spirit.
Through the Spirit.
Straight into heaven’s tent – the true Holy Place.

Through the body of Christ.

Rom 7:1-6 – Brothers and sisters, all of you understand the law of Moses. So surely you know that the law rules over people only while they are alive. For example, a woman must stay married to her husband as long as he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law of marriage. But if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, the law says she is guilty of adultery. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law of marriage. Then if she marries another man, she is not guilty of adultery.

In the same way, my brothers and sisters, your old selves died, and you became free from the law through the body of Christ. This happened so that you might belong to someone else — the One who was raised from the dead — and so that we might be used in service to God. In the past, we were ruled by our sinful selves. The law made us want to do sinful things that controlled our bodies, so the things we did were bringing us death. In the past, the law held us like prisoners, but our old selves died, and we were made free from the law. So now we serve God in a new way with the Spirit, and not in the old way with written rules. (NCV)

Ruled over by our sinful selves,
The law held us like prisoners.
The law rules over people only while they are alive.
Thinking and speaking and acting from the singular perspective, “For me.”

The Messiah
He bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world
He went straight into heaven’s tent – the true Holy Place.

Are you and I stuck in the old tent and its trappings in the created world?
No!
Don’t you know?
Our old selves died!
Don’t you know?
We became free from the law through the body of Christ.

Don’t you know?
Now we belong to someone else.
Now we belong to the One who was raised from the dead!

Don’t you know?
Now we serve God in a new way!
Now we serve God with the Spirit!

Don’t you know?
We’re freed from all those dead-end efforts to obey written rules to make ourselves respectable!
Now we can live all out for God
Through the Spirit!
In union, we bear together, with.

A new way with the Spirit. Don’t you know?

Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.

How do we begin to serve God in a new way with the Spirit?

Be subject to the Father of spirits and live.

Heb 12:9-10 – Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. (ESV)

Turn to face God.

Acts 3:17-20 – “And now, friends, I know you had no idea what you were doing when you killed Jesus, and neither did your leaders. But God, who through the preaching of all the prophets had said all along that his Messiah would be killed, knew exactly what you were doing and used it to fulfill his plans. “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. (MSG)

He will make his words known to you.

Prov 1:23 – If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. (ESV)

Naked and exposed.

Heb 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (ESV)

Turn. Think differently. Stop your dead-end efforts to obey rules with the goal of making yourself respectable! Stop trying to do it by yourself. Change your ways. Turn to face God. Then the Lord God will pour out his spirit to you. The Lord God will make his words known to you.

Turn at my reproof. Repent. Think differently. Denoting accompaniment. Exercise the mind; observe; comprehend, heed, perceive.4

Turn to face God. Turn again. Revert. Go back in action, thought, speech; return, as to a former practice, opinion, state, or subject.5

Go back. Return. To the state of union with the Lord God. Turn. Think differently. Through the Spirit of Christ. In accompaniment with the Spirit of Christ. So that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. He will pour out his spirit to you. He will make his words known to you. The living and active Word of God.

Read the texts again. What thoughts and questions and emotions arise? Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

Turn to face God, heart fully exposed. Ask him to do for you and in you what he pleases.

Ps 143:10 – Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! (ESV)

Teach me to do your will
Let your good Spirit lead me.

We do not belong to ourselves.

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda to allow response to the words of the Lord God to rise from your inner depths. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.

…our old selves died, and we were made free from the law. So now we serve God in a new way with the Spirit, and not in the old way with written rules.

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

Now we serve God in a new way

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

We serve with the Spirit, together, in union

Serve in newness of Spirit

Newness: renewal6

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah.

Inhale.
Exhale.

Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Permitted: NT:1832 <START GREEK>e&cesti<END GREEK> exestin (ex’-es-teen) or exesti (ex’-es-tee); third person singular present indicative of a compound of NT:1537 and NT:1510; so also exon (ex-on’); neuter present participle of the same (with or without some form of NT:1510 expressed); impersonally, it is right (through the figurative idea of being out in public): KJV – be lawful, let,  may (-est).

NT:1537 <START GREEK>e)k<END GREEK> ek (ek) or ex (ex); a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote): KJV – after, among,  are, at, betwixt (-yond), by (the means of), exceedingly, (+abundantly above), for (-th), from (among, forth, up),  grudgingly,  heartily,  heavenly,  hereby,  very highly, in, …ly, (because, by reason) of, off (from), on, out among (from, of), over, since,  thenceforth, through,  unto,  vehemently, with (-out). Often used in composition, with the same general import; often of completion.

NT:1510 <START GREEK>ei)mi/<END GREEK> eimi (i-mee’); the first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist (used only when emphatic): KJV – am, have been,  it is I, was. See also NT:1488, NT:1498, NT:1511, NT:2258, NT:2071, NT:2070, NT:2075, NT:2076, NT:2468, NT:5600, NT:5607. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Helpful: NT:4851 <START GREEK>sumfe/rw<END GREEK> sumphero (soom-fer’-o); from NT:4862 and NT:5342 (including its alternate); to bear together (contribute), i.e. (literally) to collect, or (figuratively) to conduce; especially (neuter participle as a noun) advantage: KJV – be better for, bring together, be expedient (for), be good, (be) profit (-able for).

NT:4862 <START GREEK>su/n<END GREEK> sun (soon); a primary preposition denoting union; with or together (but much closer than NT:3326 or NT:3844), i.e. by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession, instrumentality, addition, etc.: KJV – beside, with. In composition it has similar applications, including completeness.

NT:5342 <START GREEK>fe/rw<END GREEK> phero (fer’-o); a primary verb (for which other and apparently not cognate ones are used in certain tenses only; namely, oio (oy’-o); and enegko (en-eng’-ko); to “bear” or carry (in a very wide application, literally and figuratively, as follows): KJV – be, bear, bring (forth), carry, come,  let her drive, be driven, endure, go on, lay, lead, move, reach, rushing, uphold. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Edify: NT:3618 <START GREEK>oi)kodome/w<END GREEK> oikodomeo (oy-kod-om-eh’-o); from the same as NT:3619; to be a house-builder, i.e. construct or (figuratively) confirm: KJV – (be in) build (-er, -ing, up), edify, embolden. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Repent: NT:3340 <START GREEK>metanoe/w<END GREEK> metanoeo (met-an-o-eh’-o); from NT:3326 and NT:3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction):

NT:3326 <START GREEK>meta/<END GREEK> meta (met-ah’); a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment; “amid” (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive case association, or accusative case succession) with which it is joined; occupying an intermediate position between NT:575 or NT:1537 and NT:1519 or NT:4314; less intimate than NT:1722 and less close than NT:4862): KJV – after (-ward),  that he again, against, among,  and,  follow, hence, hereafter, in, of, (up-) on,  our,  and setting, since, (un-) to,  together, when, with (+-out). Often used in composition, in substantially the same relations of participation or proximity, and transfer or sequence.

NT:3539 <START GREEK>noie/w<END GREEK> noeo (no-eh’-o) or noieo (noy-eh’-o); from NT:3563; to exercise the mind (observe), i.e. (figuratively) to comprehend, heed: KJV – consider, perceive, think, understand. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Webster’s Dictionary.

6Newness: NT:2538 <START GREEK>kaino/th$<END GREEK> kainotes (kahee-not’-ace); from NT:2537; renewal (figuratively): KJV – newness. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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