Summary: This is the fifth of a series of sermons based on scriptures where a rhetorical question beginning with the phrase "Do you not know. . ." is asked. This sermon deals with the rhetorical question asked in 1 Corinthians 3:16. "Do you not know that you are
Series: Do You Not Know?
Sermon: The Sanctity of Life
Text: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
Life is precious. From the tiny fetus in the womb to the elderly in their final moments and everywhere in between, life is precious. From the healthy and strong to the weak and infirmed and everywhere in between, life is precious. From those who haven’t learned to talk, to those who can no longer remember their names, and everywhere in between, life is precious.
The Sanctity of Life Was One of the First Lessons of the Bible.
In Genesis 4:3-10 we read the story of Cain and Abel. It is a tragic story of jealousy, envy, pride and murder. Abel offered his best to God and was accepted. Cain was less concerned with offering his best. God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s. In a fit of jealous rage, Cain slit Abel’s throat, sacrificing his own brother. God spared Cain. For a time, God allowed the wickedness of man to continue on the earth.
After the flood, God instituted capital punishment (Genesis 9:5-6). God required a reckoning from man. Any man or beast who took the life of a man was to be put to death.
Human life is precious because we are made in the image of God. What does it mean to be made in the image of God? God is spirit? What kind of image does he have? It doesn’t mean that we look like God, because God is spirit, he can’t be seen with the eyes. What it does mean that humans are different than animals. We can kill a cow, cook the meat and eat it. But we can’t do that with a human being. To be made in the image of God means that human life, all human life is precious.
Our Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
How are we treating God’s temple? Are we poisoning our bodies with alcohol, tobacco, or mind altering drugs? Are we pickling our bodies with alcohol? You know they call it intoxication? Alcohol is toxic to the body. When you consume alcohol, you are poisoning your body. This is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Should we really be treating it this way? Are we poisoning ourselves by breathing in the toxic fumes of tobacco smoke? We are destroying our lungs and weakening our heart muscles when we smoke. And chewing and dipping are no safer. Are we destroying our minds with illegal drugs? Once you destroy a brain cell, that’s it; you don’t grow new brain cells. Listen, no one starts down that road thinking, “I think I’ll become a junkie.” If you think you can control yourself, that you won’t get hooked, you’re fooling yourself. Drugs will enslave you.
We have a responsibility to ourselves, to care for these bodies of ours. In some ways, our bodies are very resilient; they can take a lot of abuse. But they are also quite fragile at times. Life is too precious to waste it and destroy it with alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
Life is precious; let’s take proper care of the bodies God has given us. Let’s eat right. Let’s exercise regularly. Let’s stay away from the things that are harmful. Let’s encourage one another along these lines.
Let’s Consider the Context.
Let’s go back to the beginning of the chapter and look at 1 Corinthians 3:1-4. Paul says, “You’re still acting like babies.” “You’re not acting like Christians at all.” They were full of jealousy and strife. They were putting down their fellow Christian, based upon who had discipled them. “I follow Paul;” “I follow Apollos.” How foolish; how childish; how dangerous. Grown-ups acting like children can be very dangerous indeed. What’s the danger? They were destroying the unity of the body of Christ. Christ has one body, not many. Brothers and sisters, this is the seed of denominationalism. If you think denominationalism is no big thing, think again. It’s not about Luther or Calvin, or Wesley or even Campbell. It’s about Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Let’s go on to the next few verses, 1 Corinthians 3:5-9. Apollos, Paul, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Campbell. Who are they? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. Are any of them perfect? No. They are just fallible human beings doing the best they can. Paul concludes, “They are nothing.” The only thing that really matters is God, who gives the growth. Just like the farmers, one may plant; another may water. Each will be compensated by the growth according to their contribution to the process.
Let’s continue with 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Paul likens the process of spiritual growth to the construction of a building. Paul preferred to take the gospel where no one had yet been. He was the foundation man. He dug out the loose soil down to the bedrock. He placed the foundation stones in their place. He laid a solid foundation. But he generally left the building of the house to others. As you read through the Book of Acts, you see many times how Paul went on to another city, but left Timothy of Silas, or Apollos behind to build on the foundation he had left. Jesus Christ is the foundation that was laid. Others build on that foundation. Some build better than others. Some use better materials than others. Some build with gold, silver, precious stone. Others use less costly materials; wood, hay, straw. Paul says that “the Day” will disclose what type of builder we have been. “The Day” Paul is referring to is the day of Christ’s return. He will judge each one, according to what he has done.