When a repentant believer submits to baptism, it is a sign of a decisive break with the past. The actual rite of baptism is not that break, but it is an outward symbol of that change. It is as if, when someone is baptized, there is a banner over their head that reads, “Under New Ownership”! Consider the amazing truth that we belong to Jesus Christ.
This radical teaching is referred to in a variety of ways in the Scriptures. For instance, writers of the New Testament refer to themselves as “slaves of Christ”. Also, we are told that we are “not our own”, and that we “belong” to God. Here are some implications of being under new ownership:
1. What we do with our bodies matters, a lot.
“You are not your own…so glorify God in your body” (I Cor 6:20). One thing all of us have in common is that we all have a body. Being owned by God, means that it matters that we not use our bodies for immorality, our tongues for slander, or our minds for lust. We are to glorify God by making practical, self-denying choices to please God in our bodies.
2. People pleasing has been removed as an enslaving motive.
Belonging to Jesus is emancipating, freeing. Being owned by Jesus teaches us that we are no longer slaves to the opinions of others.
3. We are no longer slaves to our passions and lusts.
Listen to this Word from God: “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desire” (Galatians 5:24). Do you struggle with holding on to hurts, becoming embittered? Does same-sex attraction intoxicate you? How powerful is past guilt in your life? You are under new ownership, friend. You have been purchased with the price of the blood of Christ. He has broken the power of cancelled sin!
4. Being owned by Jesus means we own all things in Christ.
The days of chasing after more “stuff”, and joining political or Christian fan clubs is over! You are under new ownership! So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world of life or death, or the present or the future-all are yours, and you are Christ’s (I Cor 3:21). Christians that chase fulfillment in anything or anyone other than Jesus, are a contradiction.
5. We are going to be raised from the dead at Jesus’ coming.
Because we belong to Jesus, we have this confidence that when Jesus returns, we who “belong to Christ” will be raised from the dead (I Corinthians 15:22).
6. Our body is the dwelling place of God.
The seal that we are owned by God is the Spirit of God indwelling each believer. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” How mind-blowing is this! Our bodies are the treasure chest of God. God dwells within us individually, and this is the unmistakable sign that we are owned by God.
7. As God’s possession we are to be busy doing good works.
We are God’s possession that he redeemed in order to purify a people for His own; a people that would be zealous for good works(Titus 2:14). The knowledge that we are under new ownership through the grace of God should fuel a people that are red-hot in their zeal to be doing good.
Under New Ownership!
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