Rev. Terry Goerz,
Redeemer Lutheran Church.
One of the greatest blessings God has given to each of us is the body.
What a wonder it is! With our five amazing senses, we connect with the astonishing world around us. We see the blue sky and the green hills in full colour. We hear the sounds of birds singing, streams flowing, and music playing. We smell the aroma of the delicious saskatoon pie baking in the oven and then we taste its delightful flavour! Our sense of touch brings great delight as we stroke the cheek of one we love!
Yes, thank God for the gift of your body!
But, as with all blessings from God, there can be trouble. We human beings, sinful as we are, are prone to misusing God’s gifts. We take them for granted. We think that we are the owner and can do with them what we please.
God’s Word calls us back to the truth that our bodies really belong to Him and that this is a great blessing indeed.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your body.” [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]
We all need a voice of truth in this world because we’ve been hearing a lot of lies!
“It’s my body, and I’ll do what I want with it!”
“If it feels good, do it!”
“I am the captain of my ship and the master of my fate.”
We’ve all heard these slogans, these declarations of human independence and freedom.
“No one has the right to tell me what I can or can’t do with my own body!” says the woman who decides to deal with an unplanned “inconvenience” by planning an abortion. And so it goes, on and on.
The voices of this “me, me, me” world tell us that it’s our body and we have the power to use it any way we want. These voices have lied to us!
In the passage we just read from God’s Word, we hear a different voice. It’s not simply the voice of Paul, but the voice of God the Holy Spirit who inspired the apostle to write these words of truth before us. This word of truth was originally given to the Christians of the Church in Corinth because they’d been told lies by the world around them.
It’s not much different today, is it? The lies are still here. People believe they own their bodies and are free to use them as they please.
This week is now the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the US. This decision has had a devastating impact on millions and millions of tiny, helpless bodies all over the world.
Ever since that decision, we’ve been hearing voices argue, “Abortion is not illegal in our country, so people are free to use it.” While this is sadly true, God help us hold His gift of the body and all bodies as precious and of infinite worth.
There area couple of things that give the body its infinite worth. First, we are all spiritual beings. We are not just flesh and blood; at conception God creates a spirit within us. We are all spiritual beings, and that spiritual part of us is eternal. We live on after death.
“For you [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” [Psalm 139:13]
Then, for Christians. our worth is added to enormously at baptism as Christ puts His spirit within us.
Verse 19 of the text we read at the start of this article said “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” God considers our bodies of infinite worth and sent his Son to die for our sin. In doing so Christ purchased us and won us not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that we may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.
So the lies of this age have produced great harm to many innocent bodies still in the womb. It is not our body to do with as we please. We are not our own, for we were bought with a price, a very high price.
Many who have felt trapped by an unwanted pregnancy and have succumbed to the lies of this age about who owns our bodies and have had an abortion feel very guilty afterwards. While God does not offer cheap grace, if we are truly sorry for our sins he freely offers us forgiveness. He does not forgive as we forgive, rather he makes it as if we had never sinned by placing all our sin [and we are all sinners] on his Son as He died on the cross. Our sins have been fully atoned for and God purifies us from all unrighteousness.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1: 8-9]
The words in this text are as true as the words we read earlier: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”