For some, the idea of us belonging to God is a somewhat vague, sentimental concept. The reality is that God owns us completely and entirely. Therefore, we should seek and accept God’s will for our lives knowing that He has the right to do with us whatever he wishes. We can live with the assurance that because God is love, we have nothing to fear.
As a matter of fact, our entire sense of obligation should be directed towards God and no one else. Notice Paul’s words:
So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh… All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons (Romans 8:12, 14)
The above word “obligated” in some translations is a metaphorical usage of the word “debtor” found in the KJV: “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Romans 8:12).
The point is that since we belong entirely to God, nothing else has a legitimate claim on us with the exception of the mutual belonging to one another as the family of God – the spiritual family that He owns.
Some early Christians demonstrated their lack of understanding of the full extent to which they belonged to God – their true owner – by continuing to follow their fleshly desires. Paul took steps to correct their thinking:
Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
A few verses later he repeats this thought:
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:23).
The following three principles associated with the previous verses in 1 Corinthians are different facets and applications of God’s sovereign ownership of our lives:
- Following Jesus:
- When we become followers of Jesus Christ, we are no longer to function in the world as if we are still a part of the world. (Principle #13, 1 Corinthians, p. 1574)
- Obeying Jesus:
- Though we live under grace, we are never to use our freedom in Christ to violate His will. (Principle #14, 1 Corinthians, p. 1575)
- Serving Jesus:
- When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, we should serve God faithfully in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. (Principle #16, 1 Corinthians, p. 1577)
The Scriptures are clear that God’s claim over our lives doesn’t mean we have no responsibility for our actions. And when we sin, we are merely expressing our natural desire for independence from God. It is also through our worship and obedience that we declare that we belong to Him!