BOUGHT WITH A PRICE
"You are bought with a price." 1 Cor. 6:20
This describes another step in the origin of Christian character. The chosen generation, having become the elect of God, are bought with a price. They were under condemnation in sin. They were under a curse in guilt. God gave his own Son, to be made a curse in their stead. He took their nature and their guilt upon himself. He became the substitute and the sacrifice for them. He was accepted in their behalf. He endured the curse and the punishment of their transgressions. He bought them with his own blood. Now they are ransomed--redeemed. They are a purchased possession. "Bought with a price." No title is dearer to a Christian than this. Every hope depends upon it. Every blessing arises out of it. When God has chosen me, and has purchased me, how great is the blessing I have received!
1. Then I have complete forgiveness, and I ought to trust in it, and be at peace. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin--what should I fear? His gracious death for me is all-sufficient. I cannot need anything more. I ought not to desire anything more. By one sacrifice, he has perfected forever those who are sanctified. This is complete redemption. What can I desire besides? When I was an enemy God reconciled me. This is enough. This is grace, wherein I may stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. I may look up with confidence. I may look forward with hope. He has triumphed for me. He has borne my sins; and no guilt will be laid to my charge. How boundless is this provision of merit and of mercy! Let me prize it, embrace it, and enjoy it.
2. Then I am no longer my own. I have no right to my own will. That which is sold is no longer his who sold it. I was sold a slave to sin. But, I have been bought again, a servant for God. I have now no right to control my own affairs--to decide my own destiny--to mark out my own ways. The enemy has no right to control or govern me. I have no ground of complaint in any of the Lord's dealings with me. Why should a living man complain? If God has made me alive, why should I murmur at anything he does? Should it be according to my mind? If I suffer, or am distressed, or reproached, it is not my business. I am not my own. Why should I rebel, or be anxious, or dissatisfied? Cannot God take care of his own? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Let me cease from myself. There is no good thing there.
3. Then I am the PROPERTY of God, and his will must be obeyed. He is Supreme. I must submit to him entirely. This is my happiness, as well as my duty. I am to learn his will in his word, and by his providence. And whether it is what he commands, or what he does, it is the same. He cannot do wrong with me. He cannot be unjust to me. I belong entirely to him. He has the right to do what he will with his own. He will do what seems best in his sight. That which seems best to him, must be best for me. Oh how happy is this spirit of complete submission! Sweet submission! Simple, unquestioning obedience! How perfectly clear and direct it is! It has no questions to ask--no doubts to settle--no difficulties to solve. It seeks only to know what is the mind of God. That is enough. When he speaks, there is an end of all controversy. His word must be right; and it must come out right.
4. Then I am the SERVANT of God, and his work must be done. All the powers of my being belong to him. My mind and my body are equally his. My outward circumstances are under his control. These are the instruments with which I am to act. They furnish the scene, the occasion, in which I am to glorify him. In this condition he has a distinct work for me to do, and I must do it. He will show me if I ask him, and wait for him, what it is, and where it is. I cannot judge of this work. It may be a very important one in his plans, though it seem to be a very lowly one for me. I must not judge according to the appearance. He will judge righteous judgment. Let me not refuse his appointment. Let me not delay to follow his voice. Let me waste no time in fulfilling his will. I know not what consequences may depend upon it. I only know that I am the servant of a redeeming God, and his work must be finished, and I must instantly and constantly do my part of it.
5. Is this indeed my relationship to God? Am I thus pardoned--not my own, the property of God, the servant of God? Am I all this, through the death of a gracious Savior in my behalf? Surely I ought never to forget it! The remembrance of it should mark my whole course and career. In all that I do, I should act upon the high principles which are thus brought out to view. How elevated and happy will this make my life! With what light and joy will it adorn all the dispensations of God concerning me! O, let this precious title, "bought with a price," thus ever constrain and guide me.
Ten thousand worlds, ten thousand lives,
How worthless they appear!
Compared with You, supremely good,
Divinely bright and fair!