•I Corinthians 3:16-17
•The Holy Temple of God
•The Wide World
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
(I Corinthians 3:16-17, ESV)
• These verses describe the type of building the Corinthians are
• They are the very temple of God
• Those who continue seeking to abolish the foundation will find themselves abolished by God
• God’s temple is holy, so too are they
• The holy temple of God
– Throughout the 20th century it would be possible to preach a sermon on individualism and the dangers
– We still hold onto this individualism
– We must be accepting of all things including bad ideas and beliefs
– Yet we also live in a culture that desperately desires community
– We see it in politics to musical preferences
– The high degree of individual has not…will not…eradicate the desperate desire to be in community
– We have had a hard time reconciling the fact that each person’s body is the temple of God…and that the fellowship is as well
– There are many who prefer the individualistic side
– They believe their relationship with God is enough
– We have often forgotten that the person who is saved should desire a strong community where they can grow in this salvation
• The holy temple of God (2)
– This is the definition of the local Church
– If I have the Spirit of God in me, and you have the Spirit of God in you, then together we have the Spirit among us
– Why are we so hesitant with the local Church?
– We think of the dangers of the papacy and priesthood
– What if in focusing so greatly on the individual in fear of such a dominating force we have failed to properly appreciate the message Paul gives today?
– What if we have pushed people right into the arms of the world?
– The world offers community as well
– It was religiously, politically, philosophically
– The world is ripe to offer community
• The holy temple of God (3)
– In contrast to this world, however, there is another community
– A community which seeks to build what will last, seeks growth through obedience and faithfulness
– It is called a holy temple of God because God dwells within it
– Are we seeking to emulate this God who is holy?
– When others come, do they encounter God?
– We have seen the need to be responsible…together
– To be the holy temple of God…together
– To desire to honor God…together
– It takes a community seeking God together for this temple to be secure
– It requires us to recognize who we are instead
– We are not some dark or dim lit structure
– We have this great light of the Holy Spirit within us
– What do we have to fear from each other in our struggles?
– What have to we to fear in our various gifts?
– What have we to fear from the world outside?
• The holy temple of God (4)
– Together we are the temple of God Almighty
– It is because God has bestowed His Spirit upon us that makes it so
– Nothing can stand against the power of God
– This love of God conquers all
– You are a temple, the Spirit is in you
– We remember that we together form the temple of God
– It means God has brought us together not for some unforeseen purpose
– What a joy we have in knowing that our great God is here with us even now!
– We are called to be part of this holy assembly
– Knowing we are the holy temple of God
•The Gospel of Christ
–Where we began
–What went wrong
–How it is fixed
–Where it at leads