1 Corinthians 3 17

17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3:17 hat can we say?  The building has gone but even for the Christian the important fact is that we are the temple and God indwells in us by the Holy Spirit.

I think this is a very important message… It does mean that the Christian by God’s grace has a responsibility to take care of this temple.  Arguing and infighting just does not cut it… Interesting that after 2000 years this still goes on.  When will we ever learn?

Anyhow there were plenty of Pagan temples around Corinth but they are now all empty apart from being tourist attractions such as Poseidon’s Temple…

Have you not known (οἴδατε) ? This is a perfect 2nd person plural.  Its in the perfect… it happened in the past, but it has present consequences… The believers should have known better! This is one of the teachings that displaced the temples in the old world…

This speaks to us today

Sad to say That in todays world there is a movement of secularism trying to displace Christianity… There is a shift of values from the rigid 10 commandments to utilitarianism… For example, if you are an older parent to be… the hospital may question one if one wants the baby or not… In society it used to be clear cut and dry ie. Murder?

If God is taken out of the picture there must be a paradigm switch… It is only natural.  Secularism is supposed to be a level playing ground, but it can never be.  We can learn this from Turkey.  Secularism was pushed on to the agenda at the cost of the old ways of doing things.  Obviously Erdoğan understood all of this and once again religion is back in the driving seat.   I don’t know about the United Kingdom… Secularism has had a serious effect on the culture and the steady move towards greater individualism… Rabbi Sacks is right about that… It makes people more selfish and self-centred.  I suppose the coronavirus in the long term might be seen as a blessing in disguise.  It has brought the world to know that we are more than just individuals and that we need each other even more in this so-called age of scientific revolutions.

At the end of the day… The Church of Christ, the Invisible Church not made with hands cannot be destroyed… It is a work of God and secularism in the end will be a failed venture.  The other religions will also outlive this political endeavour.   The state can kill and murder people, it can even separate children from their parents and poison a lot of children in ideology, but God is love and this sort of practice goes against God’s law and in the end those who practice them will destroy themselves. It is the natural outcome of hates and jealousies.   Hate and jealousy has no place in the church, only love.  This is what separated Ghandi (even with his faults) and Martin Luther King (he had faults as well) from the rest of the politicians.  They understood the power of love.

 

17 εἴ τις τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ φθείρει, φθερεῖ τοῦτον ὁ θεός· ὁ γὰρ ναὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἅγιός ἐστιν, οἵτινές ἐστε ὑμεῖς.

17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3:17 NASB

The believers in Corinth were blessed that they loved the Lord… They knew that it was the grace of God that preserved them… This might not have even intentionally gone down the wrong track.  This is the fallen nature that is found in every man in every age except Christ.  However, St Paul does use strong words here.  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him.

What does this mean?  The first word for destroy in in connection to humans and it is in the present, In the second destroy word it is God who is speaking, and it is in the future.  Obviously, this is a warning for us, and it shows that we have a responsibility for the part of the temple we are looking after.  After all, in another place does it not say that believers are a royal priesthood.

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