It All Belongs to God!
John 8: 32
Nothing can be as dangerous or as damaging as ignorance.
What you don't know can hurt you.
An ambassador from Spain, who did not know the English language very well, came to America
to serve his country.
He met an American diplomat, and they begin to talk with each other.
The American asked the ambassadors if he had any children.
The ambassadors tried to explain that unfortunately his wife could not have a child.
The ambassador said, " My wife is impregnable."
Looking at the face of the American, he knew was not quite the right word, and so he again said,
" What I mean is my wife is inconceivable."
That obviously made matters worse, and he thought for a moment and finally said triumphantly,
" What I am trying to say it is, my wife is unbearable."
The man was having problems expressing himself because of his own ignorance.
There are many Christians just like this man who are trapped by their own spiritual ignorance.
Jesus said, " You shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:32)
We should notice that it is not just the truth that sets you free; it is knowing the truth that sets you free.
One truth that every Christian should know is " your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit."
(1 Corinthians 6:9)
Notice that the word, your, is plural, and the word, body, is singular.
It seems like Paul might be talking to a congregation by pointing out each person individually and saying,
" Your body, Christian man, your body, Christian lady, your body, Christian teenager,
your body, Christian child is a temple of the Holy Spirit, if you are saved."
If every Christian could realize the importance and the implications of this one truth,
it would radically transform every Christian's life.
Every Christian's body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
If you don't have the Holy Spirit, then you're not a Christian.
" If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." (Romans 8: 9)
When you are saved you receive the Holy Spirit or else you're not saved.
We must understand that the Holy Spirit is not only a power that comes upon us;
He is a Person who comes to live within us.
There is so much talk about the power of the Holy Spirit, and we all should have the fullness
of the Spirit's power.
But I want to emphasize that just as important as having the fullness of the Spirit's power,
is having the fullness of the Spirit's presence.
Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Remember that the temple in the Bible was a place of worship.
So, our body, as a temple of the Holy Spirit, is also to be a place of worship.
Every waking moment of every day my body is to be a place of worship.
You don't come to church to worship, you bring your worship with you.
Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Your body is not a hotel with a checkout time at noon on Sunday.
Your body is a temple where the Spirit of God resides every moment of every day.
This principle tells me how I ought to treat my body.
When we speak of the body as being holy, that does not mean we ought to worshiped it.
People go to two extremes when it comes to how they treat their bodies.
Some people ignore their bodies.
They allow their bodies to run down like an abandoned shack.
They let them get fat, flabby, and floppy, treating their stomachs like garbage disposals.
They look like a " before" picture in a health club advertisement.
And on the other hand, there are some who go to the other extreme and idolize their bodies.
They run, pump iron, take vitamins, and other nutrients to make their bodies healthier and stronger.
There is nothing wrong with taking care of the body, but a person can go to an extreme.
I certainly do not believe we ought to ignore the body, but I don't believe we ought to idolize it either.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
We must have a real respect for our bodies.
We think of a church building as a sanctuary that is holy, set apart for the Lord.
Men come in and remove their hats from their heads out of respect.
We teach our children not to be boisterous or frivolous or disrespectful in the church building
because we call it the house of God.
In reality, a building is not the house of God.
Christian, you are the house of God.
You must have more respect for your body than you do for any building.
Think about the maintenance and care that goes into keeping up church buildings.
We must give regular maintenance, care, respect, and love to our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.
Our bodies ought to be treated as holy bodies, set apart for the glory of God.
A body that has been set apart for God's glory should be a healthy body.
The fact that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit should take care of the problem of smoking cigarettes
and other forms of tobacco, once and for all.
I have read that in one year 340,000 Americans will die because of a tobacco-related illnesses.
It should go without saying that a Christian should not smoke.
God's Holy Spirit does not want His temple filled with smoke.
Someone asked their pastor, " Do you believe that a Christian will go to heaven if he smokes?"
The preacher responded, " I not only believe that, I believe he will get their much quicker!"
I don't understand why any Christian would not understand that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,
and it should not be defiled with tobacco.
First Corinthians 6:19 not only takes care of smoking, it also warns against gluttony.
It is just as wrong to stuff God's temple with food as it is to stuff God's temple with smoke.
Someone has said that " we dig our graves with our fork, embalm ourselves with alcohol,
and lay a tobacco wreath on the grave."
Rather than eating to live, to many of us live to eat.
That is why the Apostle Paul said, " Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods,
but God will destroy both it and them." (1 Corinthians 6: 13)
That is, don't make a god out of your belly.
Our bodies are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, not warehouses has someone has stated.
We ought to strive to have healthy bodies not so much that we will live longer, but so that we will live better.
A sound mind and a sound heart live much better in a sound body.
1 Corinthians 6: 20 says: " For you were bought at a price."
The reason why God the Spirit lives in our bodies is because God the Son has bought our bodies.
This has to do with our redemption.
The word, "bought", comes from the Greek word meaning, " marketplace," and it refers to how
a slave on the block in the marketplace would be bought, paid for, and given his freedom.
We were once in the sin market, slaves to sin, but Jesus paid for us and set us free.
This redemptive purchase reminds us of three things.
First, we were bought at a price.
Simon Peter writes, " You were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold
the precious blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1: 18-19)
The price was actually the rich, red, royal blood of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The grace of God is free, but it isn't cheap.
True freedom is never free.
We are free today because courageous men and women of years gone by gave their lives
and shed their blood that we might have freedom.
In like manner, Jesus paid with His own blood for the freedom that we now enjoy from sin,
Satan, judgment, and hell.
Jesus paid for our debt, putting us forever in His debt.
Jesus paid an amazing price for you and me.
He paid with His own blood.
Some years ago, an old Puritan said, " Jesus paid for us with His own blood."
The question is, 'Is He getting His money's worth?'"
Think about the priceless price that was paid for my and your spiritual freedom.
Secondly, our redemption came not only at a high price,
but the blood of Jesus came at a high price.
I don't believe that anyone who has ever lived can understand the agony, pain, and suffering
that our Lord endured before and during the cross.
While a world slept, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane.
The lamb that was slain before the world was now to be crucified for the world.
In that garden was an agony almost greater than even the Son of God could bear.
Luke 22: 24 tells us that Jesus literally sweated drops of blood.
This was a very rare phenomenon which doctors describe as "hemathidrosis" or " bloody sweat."
Under such great emotional stress the tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, mixing sweat with blood.
This process is so traumatic that it can cause a person to go into shock and even cardiac arrest.
The agony that Jesus went through on that night was so great that Luke tells us an angel
came from heaven and minister to Him and strengthen Him.
He was then taken by force before a vicious and violent crowd.
He was beaten with bamboo rods.
He was struck in the face until probably every tooth was loosened.
His beard was plucked as He experienced indescribable pain.
Then, the most terrible punishment took place, which was known as scourging.
Jesus was stripped of His clothing.
Totally naked, His hands were tied to a post above His head.
The Roman legionnaire step forward with a flagellum in his hand.
This is a short whip consisting of several heavy thongs and two small balls of lead and bone
attached near the end.
The back of Jesus was struck again and again.
At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only, but then as the blows continued,
they cut deeper into muscle, and then into veins, until finally the skin of the back was hanging
in long ribbons and the entire body was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue.
Then a wreath of thorns, some thorns were as long as an inch, as sharp as razors,
was jammed down onto His scalp.
His tormentors literally hammered this crown of thorns into the flesh and almost into the skull itself.
By this time Jesus was literally unrecognizable.
We see pictures of Jesus on the cross, and there is just a trickle of blood coming from His head.
But this is a misrepresentation.
Had we seen Jesus before he was hunged on the Cross, we would not have recognized Him.
Isaiah 52:14 says, " His visage was marred more than any man."
Then,the persecutors took this broken body and hung it on a rough-hewn timber.
They took nails as big as railroad spikes and drove these nails deep into both wrists and into both feet.
Then, every nerve of His body felt searing pain flashing through it hour after hour.
Jesus was struggling every minute just to catch His breath.
He would raise up on His feet so he could exhale, but the pain was too great, and when He had to slump
forward, He could not inhale.
The scene is so gruesome, but I pray that every one of us will begin to know something
of the tremendous pain that Jesus endured for our salvation.
Yet that was not the greatest pain of all.
The greatest suffering was not physical, it was spiritual.
The greatest pain was the pain of separation, when even God turned His back on His own Son.
Seeing Jesus take all our sins upon Him and endure such terrible suffering was more than even God could witness.
For the only time in history, God did not walk through the valley of the shadow of death with one of His own children.
The only child of God who had to walk through that death valley alone was Jesus Christ.
Martin Luther said: " Our suffering is not worthy of the name of suffering.
When I consider my crosses, tribulations, and temptations, I shame myself almost to death thinking
what are they in comparison with the sufferings of my blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ."
In the third place, " you are not your own," because of this purchase.
God owns you.
He owns you lock, stock, and barrel.
He also owns your liver, your lungs, and your brain.
Every part of you that longs to the Lord.
You can no longer say, " They are my lungs, I'll smoke if I want to."
They are not your lungs.
You cannot say, "They are my eyes, I will see what I want to."
They are not your eyes.
You cannot say, " It is my mouth, I will say what I please."
It is not your mouth.
You have been bought with a price.
You are no longer your own.
God has two claims on every one of His children.
He has the claim of creation, and He has the claim of redemption.
God owns you because He made you and because He bought you.
There's an old story that preachers tell of the little boy who made a little red sailboat.
He put that boat in a lake, and due to his carelessness, it sailed away from him and he lost it.
Sometime later he was walking by a secondhand store and saw that same little red sailboat.
He went in to ask for the boat but the proprietor would not give it to him.
He made the boy buy it.
The boy went home, that all of his savings, came back, and fought back the little red boat.
As he walked home, he hugged that little boat and said, " Little sailboat, you are mine.
You are twice mine.
You are mine because I made you, and you are mine because I bought you."
That is the same claim that God has upon you.
Finally, Paul says, " Therefore, glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:20)
Because God the Spirit lives within us and God the Son has paid such a price for us
that we could pay for ourselves, we ought to live every day to glorify God the Father.
We have been put here for one purpose and that is to glorify God.
" The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
We were not created primarily to serve God, we were created primarily to glorify God.
God says, " Everyone who is called by My name, I have created for My glory." (Isaiah 43: 7)
God did not create you for your good.
He created you for His glory.
God did not save you primarily to bless you.
He saved you primarily to be blessed by you.
First Corinthians 10:31 says, " Therefore, what ever you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God."
Everything you say with your lips, see with your eyes, hear with your ears, taste with your mouth,
and do with your hands, should bring glory to God.
Our word, "doxology," comes from the word, glorify.
A doxology is a word of phrase.
That is what your body is to be to the Lord God every day.
It is to be a walking, living, breathing, talking testimony of praise and glory to our Heavenly Father.
Francis R. Havergal wrote some words in a hymn that we should repeat each day:
" Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.
Take my love, my God I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee."
There is one test that truly proves as to whether or not a given thing is right or wrong.
Will it bring glory to God?
This is the first and last question we must ask.
Remember, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
You have been bought with a price, therefore, whatever you do or say should bring glory to God.
For whenever God gets the glory He deserves, we will have the blessing and the victory
that we should have as His children.
This sermon has been adapted.