The Value of Your Existence
A very dear friend of mine was trafficked when she was a young lady, and so she heard a form of the words You are not your own and you've been bought. Those words were horrific and led to a few years of unspeakable misery and horror for her. She now says that the words of scripture in 1 Corinthians 6: "You are not your own, you were bought with a price" are precious to her because they're not now said to her by someone who is cheapening her existence and simply seeking to exploit it, but by someone who is placing infinite value on her physical existence and who is actually wanting to give her fullness of life and blessing.
What we have in Jesus is, yes, someone who now—in one sense—owns us, but as we understand that in the light of the gospel, that is actually a precious truth to us because we're always going to be serving someone and something with our bodies. There's always going to be someone that we feel our bodies have to please, whether that someone is a person close to us, or it's the kind of culture in which we find ourselves. What we realize with the gospel is if I now belong to Jesus physically and bodily, then actually the only person my body needs to please is Jesus. He is a far kinder master to my physical life than anybody else would be.
The body we know that pleases Jesus is the body that is consecrated to him.
So there is a form of liberation in that. I don't have to conform to whatever my subculture thinks I'm supposed to look like or to physically be like. I don't have to live under the tyranny of what a culture says I'm supposed to be like. The body we know that pleases Jesus is the body that is consecrated to him, offered up to him in every aspect of it's physicality to be of service to him. If we are living for Jesus, if we're to as Paul says in Romans 6, offer the parts of our flesh to be vessels of righteousness, then our bodies are pleasing to Jesus and ultimately his is the only opinion that matters. No one values our bodies more than he does.
Sam Allberry is the author of What God Has to Say about Our Bodies: How the Gospel Is Good News for Our Physical Selves.
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Sam Allberry talks about the eternal significance of our physical bodies, how it relates to our identity, and why our bodies matter here and now.