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My body, God’s Temple:Sis. Merium Zungunde

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Text:   1 Corinthians 3:16-17




 The Bible pictures the church of Jesus Christ as a building, and each believer is a block in that building. "You yourselves are God's temple," says Paul. Peter says that we, "like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house" (1 Pet. 2:5). And Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are "joined together ... to become a holy temple in the Lord" (2:21) and are "being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit" (2:22).

“Know ye not…” v16. Christians are the sacred temple which God had reared. Therefore they should be pure and holy.

V17: “Ye are the temple of God.” This is to be understood by the Christian community as of the church, as being the place where God dwells on earth. This idea is derived from the Old Testament, God dwelt in the Temple and His abode was there. As He dwelt there among the Jews, as He had there a temple – a dwelling place, so He dwells among Christians, they are His Temple, the place of His abode. His residence is with them and He is in there midst.

·         God’s temple is holy.

·         God’s temple is special, set apart, consecrated, not used for ordinary.

·         Christians are that special temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20-22.

The church is God's temple,the body of Christ.

The Old Testament tabernacle and its furnishings were pronounced holy by God, set apart and not to be touched by mere humans. The priests could touch them only after they were cleansed, washed, and dressed in white. Remember the death of Uzzah? (2 Sam 6). Uzzah touched a holy thing, something set apart by God, something he had no right to touch.

The church is God's temple. And God's temple, says Paul, "is sacred." The congregation, in other words, is holy, set apart, reserved for God and His use. Of course she is sacred because in her God dwells, she is indwelt by the Spirit, and she is the body of Christ.


·         Led by the Spirit of God - Gal 5:22-23.

·         Has noble character – Phil 2:1-11; Prov 31:10ff

·         Follows and supports the ministry – Lk 8:1-3;1 Tim 4:12-16

·         Finds joy in suffering – 1 Peter 4:12; 1 Peter 3:17

·         Rightly handles the Word of truth – 2 Tim 2:14-16; Josh 1:8: Acts 18:26;

·         Hospitable – 1Peter 4:9;Heb 13:2;2 Kings 4:8ff

·         Faith in God – Daniel 3; Heb 11; Rev 2:10

·         Prays without ceasing – 1 Thes 5:17;Lk 2:36-38(Anna)



Factions / Divisions (1:10-17; 3:5-8)

“The whole trouble in the church at Corinth was that they had forgotten that they were God’s habitation, and as a result they were dividing themselves up-”I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; I am of Cephas’; and so on. Paul says, Do you realise that you are the temple of the living God?-you must not destroy God’s temple in that way, you are violating the principle of unity.

These verbal wars undoubtedly led to other sins, like gossip and slander, fights and quarrels (Rom 1:29-32; Gal 5:15,) state of carnality (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). In every church there are some who sow seeds of discontent; whenever they have a chance to badmouth some program or some leader in the church, they do it. All of us to one degree or another have said things about others that are sinful.

Did you know that when a group of thorough-bred horses face attack, they stand in a circle facing each other and, with their back legs, kick out at the enemy. Donkeys do just the opposite; they face the enemy and kick each other!
How often the church does just that – acting like donkeys by attacking fellow believers.

 -- Where religious strife exists, the temple of God is being destroyed!




In the church of Corinth there were those wounding the body by adding the so-called "wisdom of man" to the so-called "foolishness of God"

(1 Cor 1:18f). False teaching and heresy always damages the body.


      1. Peter warned of the destructive influence of false teachers – (2 Peter 2:1)

      2. Causing many to follow their destructive ways –(2 Peter 2:2-3)

      3. Paul also warned of those who lead many astray – (cts 20:29-30)

      4. The Spirit also expressly warned of such an apostasy –(1 Timothy 4:1-3) 


      -- Where false teaching occurs, the temple of God is being



SEXUAL IMMORALITY: 1 Co 5:1; Rom 13:13-14


Paul also pinpoints sexual immorality and drunkenness as being damaging to the body. In fact, and that every form of sin hurts the body of Christ, the temple of God.

 Anytime the people of God break faith with the family, the community, or God, the body is wounded.



Matt 25:30 - The slothful person is a brother to one who is a great destroyer – (Prov 18:9; Prov 24:30.)Lazy people are full of complaints and excuses.

The church is illustrated as a wagon, where some members help by pulling or pushing, while others simply go along for the ride, making travel difficult through their dead weight. Thus the need for diligent, fervent service to the Lord - (Rom 12;11)

Instead of sluggishness, we ought to serve with faith and        patience – (Hebrews 6:12)


      -- Where slothful service is found, the temple of God is being destroyed!



Happiness and prosperity is ours if we derive our ideas of life from God’s Word, rather than from our worldly neighbours. 

·         Psalm 1:1-3; Jer 17:7-8

·         2 Chro 20:35-37



1. Destroyers of the temple of God will be cut off before they do too much damage! 

A. Jesus warned His disciples they would be cut off if they did not   bear fruit – (John 15:1-2,6)

B. Paul warned Christians they would be cut off if they did not remain faithful – (Rom 11:19-23)

C. Jesus warned Christians that He would vomit those who were lukewarm -(Rev 3:15-19)


2. Destroyers of the temple of God will not receive the blessings intended for them!

A. As Jesus illustrated in telling the parable of the talents – (Matt 25:24-29)

B. As the writer to the Hebrews warned his brethren –

         (Heb 4:1,11) cf. 3:17-19


3. Destroyers of the temple of God will themselves be destroyed by God!

A. So Peter wrote of those teaching destructive doctrines – (2 Pet 2:1-3,9)

B. So Jesus spoke of those who offend and practice lawlessness

         -(Matt 13:40-42)

C. So He spoke of the lazy servant in the parable of the talents – (Matt 25:30)

D. The same eternal destruction for those who obey not the gospel –

(2 Thes 1:7-9)




1. Being the temple of God is a wonderful blessing...

   a. For the Spirit of God dwells in you – (1 Corinthians 3:16)

   b. We have fellowship with God that foreshadows what is to come – (2 Corinthians 6:16; Rev 21:1-17)


2.But there is a very real danger of destroying the

   temple of God...

   a. In the impact we have on others through our teaching and conduct

   b. In the consequence of becoming unfaithful and slothful in our service


Thus the need for Paul's warning in 1 Corinth 3:17)




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