Summary: We are the Temple of God because His Spirit dwells within each of us who are “Born Again” and sanctified. We need to make sure that we build up our temple by the ways of God and not destroy this precious residence of the Spirit.
Summary of the last two messages from 1 Cor. Chapter 1, 2:
Thesis: We are the Temple of God because His Spirit dwells within each of us who are “Born Again” and sanctified. We need to make sure that we build up our temple by the ways of God and not destroy this precious residence of the Spirit.
Scripture Text: I Cor. 3:
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?
5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” ; 20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
The church in Corinth planted in the city known for its wickedness and temple prostitution.
The City of Corinth is described by Ryrie as follows: “Located on the narrow isthmus between the Aegean and Adriatic Seas, Corinth was a port city and wealthy commercial center. Ships wanting to avoid the dangerous trip around the southern tip of Greece were dragged across that isthmus. The city boasted an outdoor theater that accommodated 20,000 people, athletic games second only to the Olympics, a Greek, Roman, and Oriental population, and the great temple of Aphrodite with its 1,000 prostitutes. The immoral condition of Corinth is vividly seen in the fact that the Greek term Korinthiazomai (lit., to act the Corinthian) came to mean “to practice fornication.” There were taverns on the south side of the marketplace, and many drinking vessels have been dug up from those liquor lockers. Corinth was noted for everything sinful.”
I want to remind you that in Corinth there is an evil temple – The Temple of Aphrodite – where sexual prostitution is practiced daily. This church was constantly being bombarded with sin and immorality. It was flaunted in their faces daily – the immoral and evil society led by the enemy of Jesus would have focused on destroying this beacon of light in this city. He wanted to remain in control of these people and he did not want this church to become mature and then become a threat to his wicked ways.
As we continue to progress in this letter to the Corinthians if will become obvious that the sinful culture of this city was infecting the holy church. In chapter 1 we saw a church which is divided over different personalities and leaders within the church of Jesus Christ. In chapter two we hear Paul challenging this church to re-tap into the wisdom of the Spirit and not tie into the worldly philosophies of the day. He tells this church to tap into the Spirit’s power – the spirit is the one that will establish and grow the church not man’s wisdom or philosophies of ministry. He tells them in 2:4, 5 to recall that this church was established by the demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that their faith would rest on God’s power not man’s wisdom.