Summary: This is the 35th sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#35]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM BODY BUILDING
As you can tell, there are some lighting renovations happening in the Sanctuary. We have to renovate and repair our building or else it will eventually not function properly. This is an interesting time for today’s passage because I have said to several people this week that we need to make some changes as a Church. These changes are not because we have done something wrong or because I’m mad; but because we cannot minister to these younger generations like we ministered in the past. The truth is, I have no idea what changes to make. I will continue to pray about this; because I know for sure that any changes that we make without God, will fail.
1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (NIV)
“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? What, 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. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.”
1. God’s field.
It is obvious that Paul was frustrated with the Corinthian Church. His frustration was that they were not growing spiritually. He had to continually teach them the basics over and over again. They were not applying God’s Word to their lives. They were concerned about things that didn’t matter.
Paul compared the Church to a field, where the leaders are the farmers and God is the owner. Some plant, some water; but God gives the increase. This is 1 of our greatest challenges in today’s Church- There are very few in the Church who are farmers; but everyone wants to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Don’t forget, the Church belongs to God. Each Christian should be serving God with the gifts and talents that He has given them.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NIV)
“By 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. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his 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. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
2. God’s building.
The Church is compared to a building that is built on the foundation of Christ. Without the foundation of the Gospel, there is no Church. If you try to build your life on anything besides Jesus, it will all be burned up in the Refiner’s Fire Judgment.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NIV)
“Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
3. God’s temple.
Here he calls the Church a temple. You are God’s temple. Again, God is the owner. As a group, we do not have the liberty to do whatever it is that we want to do. We are God’s Temple. We are God’s temple because we are indwelt by God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit is the reason why we are spiritually alive.
Are you tearing the Church down? The language here is as serious as any in the Bible. If you destroy the Church, God will destroy you. We need to understand that while all Christians make up the Church, that this is speaking of the local Church. Jesus tells us that nothing will prevail against the Universal Church. So, the question we have to ask ourselves is, “Am I tearing the church down”?