Bought at a Price

“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 honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
Neil Anderson recently wrote, “you win a person to what you win him with” (Gospel Advocate, September 2003). When churches “bend over backwards to cater to their children,” he explains, “the young are more often alienated than won by such tactics.”
If people are brought to a church through a certain music or activity, for instance, then they will leave the church on the same basis; their departure will coincide pretty much exactly with the arrival of a bigger show across town, a more dramatic version of that program in a rival church, or a ratcheted up version of what brought them to church in the first place. The pressure will always be to outdo last year’s production, or lose the “loyal” customer!
Instead of bribing them to church, maybe we should bring them to Christ. Of course, Paul declares that we have been “bought at a price,” not “bought for a price!” We don’t (or shouldn’t) make demands on churches and on Jesus; he makes demands on us! We don’t negotiate our terms of entrance into the church; he dictates them! The Lord doesn’t have responsibilities to us. Everything he did — everything — was a gift he was not obliged to give! We have responsibilities to him!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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