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Seeds of the Kingdom

You Are Not Your Own

by Margaret Silvester

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NKJV

We live in a culture that has changed so radically in half a century that there is no objective truth, no longer a plumb line for right and wrong. We are post-Christian because God and His word have been side-lined and ignored.  It has been said that we live at a time of self-worship, which means that, whatever you feel right, you do it. People are searching for identity, searching to know who they really are in a world of unreality and falsehood.

Identity and self-esteem are two ‘in’ words. We are encouraged to boost our own self-worth and self-esteem, despite the fact that the more we try to do this the weaker we become. Christian thinking can so easily be coloured by the culture around us. The way of the cross is the way out of self-absorption, self-centredness, self-seeking and self-satisfaction into the heart of Jesus, who alone can heal our brokenness and free us from self-deception.

To be free from self is what it really means to have freedom in Christ. This is not thinking less of yourself. It is not self-deprecation. But it is thinking of ourselves less because our lives are centred on Jesus and His kingdom, and not on ourselves. Our text for today is a solemn reminder that we are not our own. Our lives are not our own to live them as we choose. We have been brought from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, bought from slavery to sin into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We have a new Father who paid the ultimate price to make us His own – the precious blood of the Son whom He loved. ‘Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God’ (Romans 8:14). ‘Child of God’ then becomes the true identity of everyone the day they are forgiven at the cross. Knowing this is our greatest sense of security, derived from the sense of knowing that we are truly loved.

Firstly, the Father’s love is ‘unfailing love’. It is covenant love and is used throughout the Bible to describe a love that is beyond our comprehension. I can never earn or deserve such love. It lasts forever and will never change, however much I may change. This unfailing love comes as a revelation to my heart and, as a child of this perfect Father, I can trust Him to supply my every need. I can surrender all I am and have to Him out of the deep assurance that I am not my own. I am His chosen to glorify Him.

Secondly, the Father’s love is intimate love. It has been poured into the heart of every child by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). ‘Through the Spirit dwelling within us we cry “Abba Father”, as the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children’ (Romans 8:15-16). We are assured that the Father of Jesus, who is also our Father, is not one who is far off, but One who is always near, constantly revealing Himself to us. If you are a person who says, “I know this love in my head but not in my heart,” do you need to let go of the control of your life and concern about the opinion of others and make it your aim to please only the One to whom your life belongs?

Thirdly, the Father’s love is the answer to fear. ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (1 John 4:18). All our punishment has been taken by Jesus when He died on the cross. Children who know they are loved, and stay close to their father, do not live in fear. ‘Do not fear,’ appears over 300 times in Scripture. I wonder if the journey from fear is a journey from self into a new identity - child of God. This is a true identity, an emotional connection, which changes our thinking.

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

 

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