Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Did you connect the pieces?
Paul’s natural thought traces “the analogy of the building” > “Christ the foundation” > “you being a temple for the Spirit”. He has done it twice in both 1 Corinthians and Ephesians. Both times when talking about the body of Christ / the believers being a building. When Paul says that they are the temple of God, it is highly significant. They have lost sight of it. OF COURSE they have lost sight of it when they can descend into the kinds of things Paul is castigating them for. This is not a new thing they are being told, it is something they ought to have grasped by now.
Another noteworthy aspect of this verse is the fact that the “you” is plural and not singular. While indeed you personally are a temple, a place for the Holy Spirit to dwell, that is not what Paul is meaning here. He is referring to the body as a whole. The collective of all of us together. It is that body to which he refers when he says you (pl) are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Now that changes things – ponder that for a while.
Don’t you realise all of you Corinthian believers together, collectively are the temple of God?
The truth here stated is based on the fact that the temple of God was inviolable. That temple was holy; and if any man subsequently destroyed it, it might be presumed that God would destroy him. The figurative sense is, “If any man by his doctrines or precepts shall pursue such a course as tends to destroy the church, God shall severely punish him.
. . . which temple you are – you (plural) are that temple. The holy, set apart one by God. it is to be preserved at all costs. What is being referred to here? Why has Paul stated it this way? Clearly this refers to something that he has said before. What is it? Take time to think about this too. I have given you a lot to think about these last couple of days.
Notice too how the chapter finishes. I bet you have always thought Paul has listed a lot of disjointed ideas here. Paul never does that. In fact all of Scripture hangs together in some way.
Go ponder it now and put it altogether.
My way is the highway.God
Do you have any idea where you’re going?God