What Does ‘You Are Not Your Own’ Mean?


The apostle Paul wrote: “You are not your own.” What does that mean and why is that so? Paul’s statement refers to our body and soul. Let’s take a deeper look at the meaning behind Paul’s statements…There’s much more.

Modern life sends message “you are your own”

“My body, my choice” is the mantra of those who advocate for abortion to justify ending the life of the baby in the womb.

Autonomy over one’s body is also the justification some people today use for deciding to change their sex from the one they are born with.

The Bible: “You are not your own”

“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,”

–1 Corinthians 6:19

What did the apostle Paul mean when he wrote the above verse? If we are not our own – who do we belong to? And why?

Paul is telling us that our bodies are more than mere flesh. They are a container which is considered by God to be a temple, or rather a sanctuary, for housing the Holy Spirit – the indwelling spirit of God.

Biblical scholar Charles John Ellicott (1819-1905) gives two reasons “we are not our own.”

(1) God gave us the spirit (souls) within our bodies.

(2) The blood of Jesus Christ purchased us from sin.

You belong to Christ

“For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

–1 Corinthians 6:20

“That price is the blood of Christ, wherewith he purchased the Church,” writes scholar Ellicott, with church meaning, all Christians.

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.”

–1 Corinthians 7:23

In other words, don’t follow the ways of the world and change ourselves and our thinking away from the teachings of the Bible and Christ. Jesus taught us the truth about existence.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:32

With his blood, Christ purchased us from sin so that we are free from the punishment of eternal damnation.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

–John 3:16

Modernity teaches lie that we are own, new book warns

A new book discusses the topic, aptly titled: “You Are Not Your Own,” written by Dr. Alan Noble, an associate professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University.

The book is winning praise for wrestling with hard truths and making readers think.

“The fundamental lie of modernity: that we are our own,” Dr. Alan writes. “The belief that we are our own fundamentally forms our inhuman society.”

“Until we see this lie for what it is,” Alan continues, “most of our efforts at improving the world will be glorified Band-Aids.”

“Then we can consider the alternative,” Alan adds, “accepting and embracing our belonging to Christ, which unites us with Him and gives us the ground to delight in this world even as we work to make it more human.”