Presentation on theme: "Is your body beautiful or beaten up? Looking at 1 Cor 3: 16,17."— Presentation transcript:
Is your body beautiful or beaten up? Looking at 1 Cor 3: 16,17
“ Being built together ” God builds His church like a master brick-layer. 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).
I Church - the Holy, Sacred Temple of God In 1 Cor 6:19f Paul warns of the danger of joining oneself to a prostitute: “ Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? … therefore honour God with your (singular) body. ” It is obvious that Paul is speaking about the individual, that each Christian's body is the temple of the Spirit. In this text he is no longer talking about the individual but about a congregation of believers. He says, (1 Cor 3:16) “ Don't you (plural) know that you yourselves (plural) are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you (plural)? ”
What IS the temple? There are two words for "temple." “ Hieron," means the entire temple area. The other, the word that Paul uses, is "naos." "Naos" is used of the sanctuary itself. The sanctuary, the naos, is where God lives. Here is the ark, here is the cherubim; here lives His Name, His Glory, His Power. From here comes His revelation for the people. And from here the people receive blessing and salvation.
The church is God ’ s naos What does that mean? It means 1. The church is where God dwells. She is His sanctuary. In her is His Name, His Glory, His Power. From here – or through here – comes God's revelation for His people. Here God dwells with man and man fellowships with God and enjoys His presence.
What does it mean to be God ’ s naos? It means 2.The church is indwelt by the Spirit of God. The Bible teaches us that where God's Spirit is, there is the temple. That's why Paul can say, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you" (1 Cor 3:16). A church indwelt by the Spirit is a church abounding in gifts and fruit, a church that grows and increases and matures.
What does it mean to be God ’ s naos? 3. It means to be the body of Christ. Jesus identified the temple with His body: "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."(John 2:19-21). "You yourselves are God's temple." The church is being identified as the body of Christ. What happened to Him happens to her. That's why Paul can say elsewhere that with Christ she suffered, with Him she died, and with Him she was raised. And, someday, with Him she will be glorified.
The temple is sacred God's temple is special, set apart, consecrated, not used for ordinary things. Remember the priesthood? Remember Uzzah? The church is God's temple, God's naos. And God's temple, says Paul, "is sacred." The congregation, in other words, is holy, set apart, reserved for God and His use. NOT THE BUILDING!!
WARNING: Don ’ t beat up the body "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him." The congregation of believers is set apart for God and His service. Therefore, no one is to destroy her. Destroying or wounding the body of Christ is a serious offence in both the Old and New Testaments. The temple of God can be wounded and destroyed from without and within. From without: think of persecution, of attacks, against the people of God. Pharaoh … Haman. … Pharisees and Jews … Hitler, the Communists, and the Muslims
ATTACKS FROM WITHIN Look at the church of Corinth: destroyed by divisions. One says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas "; still another, "I follow Christ" (1 Cor 1:12). Imagine a wedding …. A divided church brings shame upon the Lord. and wounds and destroys the body. Are you a horse or a donkey?
Seven Corinthian problems 1. Leadership wrangles 2. Doctrinal issues 3. Lawsuits among believers 4. Marriages between believers and non-believers 5. Legalism AND an improper use of freedom 6. Disorderly worship 7. Sexual immorality Every form of sin hurts the body of Christ, the temple of God. No sin is private. Every sin damages the whole body.
So what does God think of this? God ‘ s reply: I will not tolerate it! The OT penalty was either death (Lev 15:31) or excommunication (Numbers 19:20). God is no less jealous of His spiritual temple, than He is of the sanctuary built with wood and stone. God ’ s response: "If anyone destroys [my] temple, [I] will destroy him." This is a twofold promise: A promise to eventually punish those who do attack the Body of Christ A promise to safeguard the Body of Christ.
God protects and preserves The church is holy. She belongs to God. She is His dwelling place, indwelt by the Spirit, the body of Christ. So God does not tolerate her destruction. Instead, by God's grace and power, we are to build her up. How do we do that? We can encourage instead of criticize. We can live at peace instead of fights and quarrels. We can walk and live by the Spirit instead of falling from one sin into another. We can keep faith with each other instead of breaking our promises. We can study the Word instead of following error and heresy.
How do we make the body beautiful? Bodybuilding exercises! 1.Watch what you eat ….what you take in. How important is the Bible to you personally and corporately? Be honest!? 2.Watch your heart rate …. Prayer and conversation? How useful is the time you spend together with God? And with each other? How real is your worship? 3. Develop your muscles ….extend your reach: God wants the body built up. So, by God's grace and power, this means we are also to add other stones by missions, evangelism, and witnessing.
Conclusion You have a choice, congregation. You have a choice between destroying or building up God's temple, God's naos. So tell me, do you destroy or do you build up the holy church of Jesus Christ?