Summary: Paul writes that if we are believers, we should realize that we are vessels that God resides in through the Holy Spirit. The world will try to deceive us and tell us that God reside within religion.

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1 Corinthians 3:16-20 (NLT)

Intro: A dog food company’s latest product was not selling very well, so the president called a board meeting to discuss why.

The advertisement department said the ads were great and going full speed ahead. The research and development team said the product was designed to sell with the latest of technology.

The president of the company wanted to know why the dog food was not selling if everything was so great. One manager timidly stood up and said, “It’s those stupid dogs, Sir; they won’t touch the stuff.”

Consumers want their money’s worth of whatever it is they are buying. They don’t want to be bamboozled. You can have the greatest marketing campaign in history, but if the product itself is not good, it won’t sell. And that is not just limited to the things we might buy in a store.

That can be extended to almost everything in our lives; even the church.

. You can have slick ad campaigns to sell your church and all kinds of programs but if you are not genuine, eventually people will realize that what you are selling is not very good.

. People expect us to be genuine……….

. There is a story of a man in Nigeria that went around telling everyone he was in the military. He wasn’t really in the military, but when people heard him saying he was, they would give him many benefits only due a soldier.

He received discounts at different stores and many things were just outright given to him for his service in the military.

This went on for several years and then one day the military police came and arrested him. They charged him, not with impersonating a soldier, but with being AWOL from his duties. Why did they do this? Because they took what he said at face value and expected him to be who he said he was.

And that is what the world expects from us as a church, and from you as a Christian, to live up to our words.

. The dog food folks thought they could make dogs like the food through their marketing and promotions but the dogs saw right through that didn’t they?

The same is true for us as Christians and as a church.

. We need to be Believers, not Deceivers.

. Many today who claim Christianity show no discernable difference in their lives than those who are not Christian.

. So tell me; who are you? Are you a Christian who really tries to live for Christ, or are you a person who goes to church, claiming to be a Christian, but continuing to be the same person that you have always been.

.If you are a true Christian, a believer, then you are God’s temple. You are the dwelling place of the Almighty, and the Holy Spirit dwells in you.

. If not, then maybe you are a deceiver.

. Our scripture this morning talks about being believers. About being the Temple of God.

. We are back in 1 Corinthians this morning 3:16-20.

. Paul has been teaching the Corinthian Christians and us that there was only one true leader of the Church and that we should base our faith on what Jesus taught. He warned them about building their lives out of things that did not matter but rather on things that were precious. Paul was talking about our spiritual lives and how we live out our faith.

Then he tells them this:

. 16Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

17God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

18Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.

19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”

20And again,” The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise;

he knows they are worthless.”

The first thing we see here is that there is a:

. Reality to God

. Look at verse 16 again:

. 16Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

. Paul writes that you need to understand, you need to realize something.

. That light bulb needs to go off over your head.

.In the movie Jurassic Park, there was a scene when this expert on dinosaurs came face to face with one of the dinosaurs for the first time. What did he do? He dropped to his knees in fear. See, there is a big difference between studying about something that does exist, and encountering it – living and breathing right in front of you.

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