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How Should We Live Differently if 'You Are Not Your Own'?

Emma Danzey

Contributing Writer
Published: Oct 14, 2021
How Should We Live Differently if 'You Are Not Your Own'?

Hearing the phrase in Scripture, “You are not your own” can be very intimidating. However, understanding this concept won’t just help us understand who God is, but we will gain a deeper knowledge of who we are and our purposes.

Hearing the phrase in Scripture, “You are not your own” can be very intimidating. However, understanding this concept won’t just help us understand who God is, but we will gain a deeper knowledge of who we are and our purposes.

What Does You Are Not Your Own Mean?

The thought in today’s Western culture is that independence is strength and being on your own and proving for yourself is everything. However, many of us have experienced what it is truly like to be on our own (or at least with just our immediate family) during the pandemic last year. People quickly discovered that what first felt like a vacation led to a time of separation and emotional damage.

We were not created to be alone. There is a joy in belonging. There is comfort in community. There is a safety in secure relationships. As we ponder this thought of surrender to the Lord, we are laying down our own ways to be used by the Lord. We were bought with a price, a great price of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We were adopted into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5).

What does it mean to not be our own? This means that we have recognized we are sinners, we accept Jesus, and are brought into the Lord’s family. We are no longer living for our own glory, but for the glory of God. We wake up and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us each day. We will always experience the battle between the Spirit and our flesh, but we are sealed and we are always His.

We are valuable to God. The fact that the Lord loves us and went to extreme lengths to reunite with us tells us that to surrender to His love is a blessing. This is not an evil type of possession, but rather the safety that a child would feel in the arms of a loving parent. The kid belongs to the parent and is cared for in every way. The child shares the same last name. The child knows the parents and the parent knows the child. This is just a minuscule example compared to the greatness of our Heavenly Father and His love for us.

On the day of my wedding, I gave up my last name and took on my husband’s last name. We became a family. I was excited to be his wife. I wanted to leave my singleness behind and take his last name to be unified with him. When we surrender to Christ, we desire to be His own and give up independence. We still have freedom, but our lives are dedicated to putting Christ first and we know our purpose is to share His Gospel message and honor Him.

What Is the Context of 1 Corinthians 6?

One way in which we live out that we belong to God is by denying the ways of the world. In 1 Corinthians 6 there were disputes and there was sexual immorality. As believers, we will never be perfect, but we are on the journey of being sanctified. We should daily be asking the Holy Spirit to help us to live in ways that honor the Lord. We should be sensitive to our decisions and how they affect others (1 Corinthians 6:12). Verse 17 teaches us that those who are the Lord’s are one with Him in Spirit. Just like a husband and wife are united and one flesh, we are one in Spirit with Jesus. This leads us to desire unity with Him and to live lives that are free of sinful ways. We are called to honor God with our entire selves, including our bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 bodies.”

Ed Jarrett from Christianity shares, “Although not set free to do whatever I want. Rather, I have been set free so that I can now serve the one who redeemed me (1 Peter 2:16). While Paul was specifically referring to sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, what he has to say has a much wider application.”

We received the Holy Spirit, then we are sealed and are forever God’s own. We are precious to Him. The Corinthians were living in ways that dishonored the Lord and dishonored their own bodies. Paul was reminding them that their decisions were hurtful to the Lord. As believers, we have a responsibility to worship God with our bodies inside and out.

I once shared on Bible Study Tools, “We are not our own because Jesus paid the price for us. He reunited us with God and brought us into His family. We owe Him everything, but He requires only to believe in Him.”

The book of Hosea talks a lot about how the people of God acted as if they were prostitutes who were redeemed and continually went back to their old sinful ways. We too can act this way. However, we are not our own. We belong to the Lord. We are called to remember that we are valued by Him, and we said yes to Him. Our goal is to honor God with the way we live.

Does 'You Are Not Your Own' Negate Free Will?

It would be easy to think that the concept of being God’s and not our own would negate our free will. However, this is not true. We are still provided opportunities every day to follow Christ. We have to make a conscious decision to live by the Spirit. God never forces Himself on anyone. He invites us into living in His freedom. In fact, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1). This is so that we will no longer be under the bondage of sin.

Lynette Kittle from Crosswalk says, “Jesus came to earth to pay a high price for your sin (1 Corinthians 6:20). But its still your decision whether or not you accept His payment and receive the ‘Paid in Full by Jesus Christ.’”

When we become God’s children, we are set free. We are able to make decisions that honor Him and on the other hand, we can choose our sinful desires. However, we are His and that does not change based on our faithfulness. His commitment to us is unconditional; He is unchanging even when we are not living for Him.

If you have been living your life for yourself and your sinful ways and have never asked Jesus to forgive your personal sins, I invite you to do so right now. The Bible says in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you are tired of being dependent on your human efforts and sinful ways, surrender to be God’s forever today. Jesus is the only way to freedom. Then, let a trusted Christian in your life know that you made this decision.

If you are a believer who has been straying away and living for your own path and not the Lord’s glory, take a moment to ask for forgiveness. Invite the Holy Spirit to empower you to live for Christ and turn away from your sins. You are not your own; you are His.

How Should We Live Differently Knowing This?

Knowing that we are secure in the eternal covenant of Christ should give us great peace and comfort. No matter what we do, God’s grace is sufficient. His Spirit can empower us daily to live out of the confident identity that we have in Him. Surrendering to the Lord can be intimidating; however, He has more than proven Himself to be trustworthy. We are safe in His arms.

Just like when someone knows my name, I represent my family. When we carry the title Christian (Christ Follower or Disciple of Jesus), we know that our words and actions represent Christ to those around us. We should be compelled to live in a way through His Spirit that honors our Father and provides a clear picture of His love to others. We are not our own, we joyfully have accepted the joy of being children of the Living God. This comes with the responsibility of surrendering our sinful ways and asking His Spirit to lead us daily.

Further Reading

What Does it Mean That ‘We Were Bought at a Price’?

Does 'You Are Not Your Own' Negate Free Will?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Wavebreakmedia

Emma DanzeyEmma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and they have been married for over a year. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She has the joy of being the host of Her Many Hats podcast where she explores the many roles that women play while serving One God.

Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first published book on singleness. Emma also had the privilege of being a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out Her Many Hats podcast on Instagram @her_many_hats.


This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.

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Iron Sharpens Iron
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Faith without Works Is Dead
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