Summary: A sermon based on the temple of God (adapted from an outline by Croft Pentz and a few Sermon Central sermons)

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Temples of God



Billy Graham in his book, World Aflame, tells a story about Dwight Eisenhower. During his term as president, he was vacationing in Denver. It came to his attention that a six-year old boy named Paul Haley was dying of an incurable cancer. He had one dream and that was someday to meet the president.

Eisenhower said to one of his aides, "Let’s go see Paul Haley." They got into the presidential limousine and they drove over one August Sunday morning to the home of Paul Haley who had no ideal that he was coming. Flags on the fenders were flying as this black limousine drove up. Doors flew open, and out walked the president, who knocked on the door.

Donald Haley, the father, wearing blue jeans, an old dirty shirt, and a day’s growth of beard, opened the door. He said, "Yes, can I help ya?" The president said, "Is Paul here? Tell him the president would like to see him."

And little Paul, to his amazement, walked around his father’s legs and stood and looked at into the face of the man he admired most. Eisenhower kneeled down, shook his hand, and took him out to see the presidential limousine. Before he said good-bye, he hugged little Paul Haley. They shook hands again and he left.

It was an exciting time for everyone, except Donald Haley, the father. He said, "How can I ever forget standing there dressed like I was in those jeans and an old, dirty shirt and an unshaven face to meet the president of the United States."

2. One of these days we will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. How tragic it would be to meet the Lord and be ashamed.


A. In our series of the 3:16’s of the Bible we come to the first letter to the Corinthians.

B. Last week we talked about 2 Corinthians. It was written mainly to defend Paul’s apostleship.

C. While Paul was in Ephesus just a few years after he founded the Church in Corinth, a delegation of leaders of the Corinthian church were sent to consult Paul about some very serious problems and disorders that had arisen in the Church. Paul wrote this letter to the church to address these problems.

D. What problems did they have? Many.

1. Factions- some follow this teacher, some follow another teacher

2. Immorality- a man had relations with his father’s wife.

3. Lawsuits- Christians were brining lawsuits against other Christians to the pagan courts.

4. Meat offered to idols- some were doing this and injuring the weak faith of some Christians.

5. Abuses of the Lord’s Supper- some were getting drunk at the Love feast.

6. Problems about marriage- which is better to be married or unmarried?

7. Disorderly conducts in the assemblies- people were talking all at once.

8. Woman’s part in the church- women were being rebellious against the men

9. Heresies about the resurrection- some teachers were saying that the resurrection had already happened, or Christ’s resurrection never occurred.

E. Very few churches have all of these problems at once. The Corinthian church did. Very troubled.

F. Chapter 3

1. Vs. 1-4 discuss how Paul is not going to give them meat but only the milk of the Word because most of them were still babies in Christ.

2. Vs. 5-9 discusses how Paul planted the seed of the gospel, Apollos watered it, but God gave the increase. He said this to combat their divisions over the best teachers.

3. Vs. 10-15 discusses how the foundation of the Church has already been laid. Each servant is simply building upon the foundation of Christ. The Day of Judgment will reveal how well each servant built upon that foundation. Some people’s service for the Lord will survive and they will receive a reward, others service will be burned up.

G. Vs. 16 is talking about how Christians are all indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

H. The temple was one. Christians should be one in the Spirit. When we get together in worship, we all display the presence of the Lord. Where two or three are gathered together.

I. Vs. 17 is talking about how the Corinthian Christians were destroying the temple by their carnal, or ungodly attitudes. Under the Old Covenant if anyone attempted to destroy the tabernacle or temple, he was under penalty of death. Jesus said destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. This was blasphemous to the Jews. It is the same for the Christian. If anyone is attempting to destroy the church, he is under penalty of death.

J. Paul is telling them that they are not making the temple, the church holy by their sinful attitudes and prideful hearts. If the church is not holy, nothing will be holy. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.

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