The concept of being bought is not easy for anyone to get a handle on. Our pride wants to recoil at the very thought of being anything but our own. But the verse in 1 Corinthians is obvious, because of Christ, our bodies are not our own. Being bought with a price comes with it lots of applications. That is where we get stuck on helping teens understand what they need to get out of this verse. The verse certainly has sexual applications, but it is much broader than that.
What are the essential things that teens need to know about being bought with a price that will significantly impact their lives as a whole instead of just being used to refer to sexual abstinence? First, the holistic approach of submitting the entire body instead of just some of its parts helps one embrace the concept of being bought with a price.
Why Do Teens Need To Embrace Being Bought With A Price?
When I first read this verse, I straightened up in my chair. I didn’t want to read the part that said ignoring this verse meant I was ignoring God. I had no intentions of ignoring God, and I just wanted Him to overlook those things I was doing that were not taking good care of my body. There were a few things I rather enjoyed and didn’t have much intention of getting rid of at the time:
- Tendency to overeat
- Regularly drinking on weekends
- Lack of regular exercise
This verse made me look at these things in a different light. I certainly felt wrong about them, but I didn’t want to give them up. In my attempts to try and deal with this verse, I’d spend some time trying to bully myself into rejecting them, only to find myself falling short. When I would fail, I’d fall back into the cycle of hoping God would look the other way or spend more time on the good things I was doing instead. But the enemy is always slinking around, looking to remind me of how dirty I’d become and how these things prevented God from taking His relationship with me seriously. I felt like a second-class citizen in God’s Kingdom. That was wholly untrue. I just needed to know that.
What Is It About Being Bought With A Price That Is Good?
Paul isn’t highlighting this truth as a way to damn the church at Corinth. This was good news. Why? What are we dealing with when it comes to our bodies? We want to obey God with our bodies. Why don’t we do it? It’s simple. It’s the lust of the flesh. The reason why lust of the flesh is tricky is that it has many manifestations. All aspects of my list of “little sins” above had one shared originator. I had a flesh issue in general. Once you realize that is the issue, it makes dealing with it more manageable. When we try and deal with the manifestations of the lust of the flesh, we play this whack-a-mole game with them. We wrestle one under control only to see another manifestation creep in. That is why people who quit smoking tend to gain weight. God doesn’t want us to try and wrestle our flesh issues. He came to help us overcome the flesh, once and for all. Why do teens struggle with sexual issues so much? Because they don’t understand what they are dealing with in the first place.
The Fruit of the Spirit speaks to this specifically. There is one attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit that people tend to get wrong. That attribute is self-control. That one gets tricky because we tend to confuse it with the word willpower. Teens need to know that willpower is an illusion. They cannot will their flesh under control. The Fruit of the Spirit proves this true. Self-control is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we cannot overcome anything. The Holy Spirit is the only way your teens will be able to honor the LORD with their bodies when they get the concept of being bought with a price.
Set Your Teens Free From The Bondage Of Willpower
Being bought with a price by the same power that enables us to honor the LORD with our bodies should elicit a sigh of relief. First, if you are reading this and trying to overcome your flesh issues yourself, repent. God never wanted you to carry that burden. Secondly, once you are free from that bondage, you need to bring that good news to the teens you shepherd.