“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
We know the apostle Paul was a preacher at heart because he loved a good illustration. In the passage leading up to the verse above, Paul compared himself and Apollos to farmers and builders, and the church in Corinth to a field and a building. It’s one illustration after another, but all of these illustrations seemed to culminate into the statement: “You are the temple of God.” Somehow it feels Paul is no longer speaking figuratively, but literally.
If it sounds crazy to us to take the verse above literally, it would have sounded much crazier to the Jewish christians. The temple was the center of Jewish life. It was where they were taught, shared in fellowship, performed sacrifices and held many other rituals and traditions. In short, it was where they met with God and spent time in His presence. It was the place where heaven and earth met. Now Paul is saying there is no longer need of the physical temple. Because of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, all of the functions of the temple can be fulfilled when Christians gather together.
When Paul tells the Corinthians “you are the temple of God” the word “you” is plural. That means even though the Spirit lives in us individually and we all have a personal relationship with God the Father, there’s still need for us to come together corporately because something unique happens when we do. According to God’s design and purpose, we become the temple of God when two or more gather in His name. No matter where we choose to meet, that location becomes the place where God meets with His people, where heaven and earth meet and where others can come and hear the testimony of how good God is.
Join us Sunday morning as we gather together and open 1 Corinthians 3:9-17 to learn much more about “God’s Building”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!