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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 20

Verse 20. For ye are bought. Ye Christians are purchased; and by right of purchase should therefore be employed as he directs. This doctrine is often taught in the New Testament; and the argument is often urged, that therefore Christians should be devoted to God. 1 Co 7:23; 1 Pe 1:18,19; 2:9; 2 Pe 2:1; Re 5:9.

See Barnes "Ac 20:28".

 

With a price. timhv. A price is that which is paid for an article, and which, in the view of the seller, is a fair compensation, or a valuable consideration why he should part with it; that is, the price paid is as valuable to him as the thing itself would be. It may not be the same thing either in quality or quantity, but it is that which to him is a sufficient consideration why he should part with his property. When an article is bought for a valuable consideration, it becomes wholly the property of the purchaser. He may keep it, direct it, dispose of it. Nothing else is to be allowed to control it without his consent. The language here is figurative. It does not mean that there was strictly a commercial transaction in the redemption of the church, a literal quid pro quo, for the thing spoken of pertains to moral government, and not to commerce. It means,

(1.) that Christians have been redeemed, or recovered to God.

(2.) That this has been done by a valuable consideration, or that which, in his view, was a full equivalent for the sufferings that they would have endured if their had suffered the penalty of the law.

(3.) That this valuable consideration was the blood of Jesus, as an stoning sacrifice, an offering, a ransom, which would accomplish the same great ends in maintaining the truth and honour of God, and the majesty of his law, as the eternal condemnation of the sinner would have done; and which, therefore, may be called, figuratively, the price which was paid. For if the same ends of justice could be accomplished by his atonement which would have been by the death of the sinner himself, then it was consistent for God to pardon him.

(4.) Nothing else could or would have done this. There was no price which the sinner could pay, no atonement which he could make; and, consequently, if Christ had not died, the sinner would have been the slave of sin, and the servant of the devil for ever.

(5.) As the Christian is thus purchased, ransomed, redeemed, he is bound to devote himself to God only, and to keep his commands, and to flee from a licentious life.

Glorify God. Honour God; live to him. See Barnes "Mt 5:16"; See Barnes "Joh 12:28"; See Barnes "Joh 17:1".

 

In your body, etc. Let your entire person be subservient to the glory of God. Live to him: let your life tend to his honour. No stronger arguments could be adduced for purity of life, and they are such as all Christians must feel.

{g} "bought" Ac 20:28; 1 Pe 1:18,19; Re 5:9

{h} "glorify God" 1 Pe 2:9


REMARKS

(1.) We see from this chapter 1 Co 6:1-8 the evils of lawsuits, and of contentions among Christians. Every lawsuit between Christians is the means of greater or less dishonour to the cause of religion. The contention and strife; the time lost, and the money wasted; the hard feelings engendered, and bitter speeches caused; the ruffled temper, and the lasting animosities that are produced, always injure the cause of religion, and often injure it for years. Probably no lawsuit was ever engaged in by a Christian that did not do some injury to the cause of Christ. Perhaps no lawsuit was ever conducted between Christians that ever did any good to the cause of Christ.

(2.) A contentious spirit, a fondness for the agitation, the excitement, and the strife of courts, is inconsistent with the spirit of the gospel. Religion is retiring, peaceful, calm. It seeks the peace of all, and it never rejoices in contentions.

(3.) Christians should do nothing that will tend to injure the cause of religion in the eye of the world, 1 Co 6:7,8. How much better is it that I should lose a few pounds, than that my Saviour should lose his honour! How much better that my purse should be empty of glittering dust, even by the injustice of others, than that a single gem should be taken from his diadem! And how much better even that I should lose all, than that my hand should be reached out to pluck away one jewel, by my misconduct, from his crown! Can silver, can gold, can diamonds be compared in value to the honour of Christ and of his cause?

(4.) Christians should seldom go to law, even with others; never, if they can avoid it. Every other means should be tried first; and the law should be resorted to only when all else fails. How few lawsuits there would be if man had no bad passions! How seldom is the law applied to from the simple love of justice; how seldom from pure benevolence; how seldom for the glory of God! In nearly all cases that occur between men, a friendly reference to others would settle all the difficulty; always if there were a right spirit between the parties. Comparatively few suits at law will be approved of, when men come to die; and the man who has had the least to do with the law, will have the least, usually, to regret when he enters the eternal world.

(5.) Christians should be honest—strictly honest—always honest, 1 Co 6:8. They should do justice to all; they should defraud none. Few things occur that do more to disgrace religion than the suspicions of fraud, and overreaching, and deception, that often rest on professors of religion. How can a man be a Christian, and not be an honest man? Every man who is not strictly honest and honourable in his dealings should be regarded, whatever may be his pretensions, as an enemy of Christ and his cause.

(6.) The unholy cannot be saved, 1 Co 6:9,10. So God has determined; and this purpose cannot be evaded or escaped. It is fixed; and men may think of it as they please, still it is true that there are large classes of men who, if they continue such, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The fornicator, the idolater, the drunkard, and the covetous, cannot enter heaven. So the Judge of all has said, and who can unsay it? So he has decreed, and who can change his fixed decree? And so it should be. What a place would heaven be, if the drunkard, and the adulterer, and the idolater were there! How impure and unholy would it be! How would it destroy all our hopes, dim all our prospects, mar all our joys, if we were told that they should sit down with the just in heaven! Is it not one of our fondest hopes that heaven will be pure, and that all its inhabitants shall be holy? And can God admit to his eternal embrace, and treat as his eternal friend, the man who is unholy; whose life is stained with abomination; who loves to corrupt others; and whose happiness is found in the sorrows, and the wretchedness, and vices of others? No; religion is pure, and heaven is pure; and whatever men may think, of one thing they may be assured, that the fornicator, and the drunkard, and the reviler, shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

(7.) If none of these can be saved as they are, what a host are travelling down to hell! How large a part of every community is made up of such persons! How vast is the number of drunkards that are known! How vast the host of extortioners, and of covetous men, and revilers of all that is good! How many curse their God and their fellow-men! How difficult to turn the corner of a street without hearing an oath! How necessary to guard against the frauds and deceptions of others! How many men and women are known to be impure in their lives! In all communities, how much does this sin abound! and how many shall be revealed at the great day as impure, who are now unsuspected I how many disclosed to the universe as all covered with pollution, who now boast even of purity, and who are received into the society of the virtuous and the lovely! Verily, the broad road to hell is thronged! And verily, the earth is pouring into hell a most dense and wretched population, and rolling down a tide of sin and misery that shall fill it with groans and gnashing of teeth for ever.

(8.) It is well for Christians to reflect on their former course of life, as contrasted with their present mercies, 1 Co 6:11. Such were they, and such they would still have been but for the mercy of God. Such as IS the victim of uncleanness and pollution, such as is the profane man and the reviler, such we should have been but for the mercy of God. That alone has saved us, and that only can keep us. How should we praise God for his mercy, and how are we bound to love and serve him for his amazing compassion in raising us from our deep pollution, and saving us from hell!

(9.) Christians should be pure, 1 Co 6:11-19. They should be above suspicion. They should avoid the appearance of evil. No Christian can be too pure; none can feel too much the obligation to be holy. By every sacred and tender consideration, God urges it on us; and by a reference to our own happiness, as well as to his own glory, he calls on us to be holy in our lives.

(10.) May we remember that we are not our own, 1 Co 6:20. We belong to God. We have been ransomed by sacred blood. By a reference to the value of that blood; by all its preciousness and worth; by all the sighs, and tears, and groans that bought us; by the agonies of the cross, and the bitter pains of the death of God's own Son, we are bound to live to God, and to him alone. When we are tempted to sin, let us think of the cross. When Satan spreads out his allurements, let us recall the remembrance of the sufferings of Calvary, and remember that all these sorrows were endured that we might be pure. Oh, how would sin appear were we beneath the cross, and did we feel the warm blood from the Saviour's open veins trickle upon us! Who would dare indulge in sin there? Who could do otherwise than devote himself, body and soul and spirit, unto God?

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