Summary: You are God’s Temple, designed to give glory to him.
Title: The Temple of God
Text: 1 Corinthians 3: 10 – 17
MP: You are the legacy of Jesus Christ. Be worthy of that.
FCF: Christ is the foundation and His Word the materials that are the building blocks of our life.
April 18, 1906 – San Francisco Earthquake / Valencia Hotel /
Fire Chief’s Dennis Sullivan legacy = John Doughtery
Ecc 2:18 I came to hate everything for which I had worked so hard under the sun, because I will have to leave it to the person who replaces me.
We don’t really know our legacy until others take it up. Paul is in the same boat. We want a legacy too…
1. A legacy that is pleasing to God
a. Temples are built to honor gods, not house people (Greeks, Holy of Holies)
b. Other Temples are inferior – Greek Temples are just ruins / Nepali ones cold
c. Our God wanted us to be his Temple
2. A legacy that is built well
a. Just our bodies? (Common – this means ‘don’t smoke, don’t drink, etc…’)
b. Just these perishable vessels of dirt? How about our minds? Or our creative spirit? (Bezalel & the Ark)
c. Exodus – Glory; Ezekiel – Hope; Revelation – Healing
d. What if Bezalel had just used an old scrap? Bible, or Penthouse?
e. God’s given us a blueprint, but we get to add in the detail
3. A legacy that is on a solid foundation
a. Closing illustration – the old Mint and the Bank of America
We have this Book not so that we’ll know how to set every nail, how lay each and every plank of our theology or our morality, or even so we’ll know how to sing or what to say. We have this book so we can understand the glory.
Jesus Christ is an amazing platform on which to build an amazing Temple. The blueprints are right here in his Word. Everything else? It’s quicksand. It’s a firetrap. Prone to earthquakes. This is gold, my friends. Build with this.
It was 5:12 in the morning, on April 18th, 1906, when San Francisco truly found out what it was made of.
Two miles off the coast, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake set off tremors that would shake the city on the sea for less than10 minutes. But in just ten short minutes, San Francisco learned more about itself than it ever cared to know.
South of Market, for instance, the four-story Valencia Hotel literally pancaked. Floors smashed down below floors, all the way to the foundation. The reason was simple – the hotel and the neighborhood around it had been built on nothing but quicksand.
Several years earlier, garbage had been dumped into a swamp. When the earth shook, the ground literally liquefied. It became nothing more than quicksand. You know what happens when you step in quicksand. You can imagine what happens when you build in it.
But as bad as the quake was, it paled in comparison to the fires that followed.
Amongst the first casualties was Dennis Sullivan, the city’s illustrious fire chief. For years he warned of the danger of an earthquake to the city’s underground water system. He wrote newspaper articles warning the city, he lobbied, he even conducted demonstration demolitions to tests the effectiveness of dynamite in stopping a fire when there was no water.
In a disaster, he feared that the town’s wooden buildings, laid cheek by jowl down the crowded wharfs and narrow alleyways would be nothing but the fuel for a fire that wouldn’t stop until everything had been consumed.
But now, minutes into the holocaust, the man with the best chance of fighting that fiery beast was dead, and the city’s water system was destroyed to boot. Sure enough, the broken gas mains were all that was needed to begin the real damage.
His successor was a much smaller man, John Dougherty. Dougherty soon realized that his old master hadn’t been so crazy after all. His first action was to ask the soldiers at The Presidio for dynamite. In trying to stop the fires, the men were so inexpert that they ended up starting over 60 different fires.
Every bit of hope, passion, and love that Dennis Sullivan had put into his beloved San Francisco was now, just three days after his death, nothing built a smoldering heap of rubble and ash. The only surviving building was the U.S. Mint, a low, flat, and ugly utilitarian building under armed guard.
Dennis Sullivan’s plans to save his city had been tested. The foundational principles may have been valid, but the actual doing so poor that it worse than the earthquake. Talk about a legacy you wouldn’t really want to talk about.
I wonder if, up in heaven, Dennis Sullivan and Paul might have felt each other’s pain: Paul, looking over the legacy of his church, Sullivan over the legacy of his fire department. They had worked day and night, investing in their dream, only to find nobody worthy of their legacy.