Summary: Sermon for the 7th Sunday after Epiphany
I Corinthians 3: 10 – 11, 16 – 23 / Christ Jesus, the Foundation
Intro: The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is a 179 foot tower that moved about 1/20 of an inch a year. It was once 17 feet out of vertical plumb. The fear had been that the tower would eventually topple over on to adjacent buildings if something were not done. Tons of soil were removed from underneath the raised end and huge lead weights added to the same side. These actions have resulted in moving the tower one inch towards center making the tower stable for at least another 300 years. The word “PISA” actually means “marshy land.” That fact together with the fact that the foundation is only 10 feet deep could explain why the building never stood entirely erect even before it was completed.
I. Every construction project begins with the foundation because the foundation is the key to the building’s stability.
A. Some claim their motto is “Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” while others hold the foundation of their lives is science or man’s ability to solve our own problems. Still others place their trust in the government while others may have no foundation for their lives at all.
B. VS. 11 – “No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
C. Christ Jesus and His Gospel are our foundation. When we accept the basic message of the Gospel, that Christ Jesus is the Son of God who came to save sinners like you and me, we have laid a sure foundation for our lives.
II. Continuing with the building theme, Paul continues by sharing with the people of Corinth what should be built on the foundation of Christ Jesus.
A. VS. 16 – “ Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
B. Paul says the church as a whole is the temple of God on earth, that is, God’s dwelling place, and that the Holy Spirit resides in the entire church.
C. He is not talking about the church as a building; but, Paul is talking about Church as people. Together we are the dwelling place of God and the Holy Spirit resides in the entire body.
Conclu: There is a VBS song that says it well:
The church is not a building,
The church is not a steeple,
The church is not a resting place,
The church is the people.
I am the church.
You are the church.
We are the church together.
All who follow Jesus.
All around the world.
Yes, we’re the church together.