You Are Not Your Own


For far too many, freedom is considered the lack of any constraints. But can there be true freedom if there are no boundaries? You are free to drive a vehicle, but within the speed limits and lane boundaries for safety. You may be free to spend money, but it’s wise to only spend within limits, or else new problems arise. And, as our text today mentions, you are free to eat, but even with eating there is danger without boundaries. Paul needed to intervene on some abuses of freedom that were occurring in Corinth, as these abuses were damaging those practicing them, as well as others.

  • What are other examples of abuses of “freedom”? In what ways do you abuse certain freedoms?


12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.


  1. What specific freedoms and boundaries are mentioned in verse 12?
  2. In verse 13, there is a comparison and contrast between the stomach and the body. What was Paul’s summary of the purpose of the body?
  3. What characteristics of our body did Paul highlight (vss. 15, 19)? Verses 15, 16, and 19 begin with the same phrase. What was Paul’s main focus in each of these verses?
  4. What specific command did Paul give in the passage (vs. 18)? What was Paul’s observation regarding sexual immorality?
  5. How do you define freedom? How are you enslaving yourself to sin by abusing freedom and ignoring God’s boundaries?


Even if there is freedom to do something, it’s not always wise, safe, or useful to exercise that freedom. It seems the Corinthian Christians were trying to equate the body’s need for food with sexual immorality. But Paul reminded them of the deep nature of sexual relationship. It is different than what the Corinthians wanted to believe, as well as what our current culture wants us to believe. Boundaries on the sexual relationship are not to limit freedom, but so that freedom can truly be experienced. We have been bought with a price; we are not our own. We glorify God with our bodies when we experience freedom within the boundaries that he provides.

  • Ask God to clarify how you can protect his temple (your body) by seeking his appropriate boundaries in your life and in your relationships.