The new Temple of God!
Scripture reading for August 7th: 1st Corinthians 3:5-23
The Corinthians were babes in their thinking. They were following various teachers who had been preaching in their area. There was pride and competition going on. Some were bragging about their teacher Apollos and others boasted about Paul being a great apostle. But these were merely servants who Christ Jesus had used to sow into their lives. (1st Corinthians 3:5-7)
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1st Corinthians 3:16-17) By their quarreling and divisions, they were destroying the unity of the body of Christ. They did not understand that the real temple of God was now their own bodies individually and their gathering together in unity corporately. God’s Spirit lived in them and they were now sacred. Others who loved Jesus were sacred too, regardless of who they had been discipled and taught by.
Paul used the analogy of building a house. As an apostle, he had come and helped lay the foundation for the new temple. This foundation had been laid by God and Jesus Christ was the cornerstone! No other foundation could be laid for this new temple! (1st Corinthians 3:10-11) Paul then talked about building on the foundation with different building materials. Some builders used gold, silver and costly stones. Others used wood, hay or straw. The costly building materials made for a more permanent house. The wood, hay and straw were very temporary and not so beautiful.
The day when Christ Jesus returns will test the building materials. “. .his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but as through the flames.” (1st Corinthians 3:13-15)
As the new temple of God, we must be allowing the Spirit to build our temple with the gold of faith. We must use the silver to make our temple a house of service. The precious jewels are those we win to Christ by our faithful service. May your temple bring glory on that Day of fire!