Meeting God in His Temple – 1 Corinthians Chapter 3 verse 16

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 16:

1 Corinthians chp 3 vs 16 – Meeting God in His Temple

Notes from this message:

1. Picture of a Building (v9)

The Builders (v9)
The Building (v9, 16)
The Building Materials (v12)

2. Place in the Building Programme (v9)

“we are labourers together with God”
Just labourers! Ours is not the role of the ‘architect’ (v10); ours is just to obey the simple instructions to perform the labour’s.
We don’t have the overall plan or drawings, just to obey and to act in faith.

3. Person on whom the Building is founded (v11)

This building must be built consistent with the foundations therefore:

Jesus Christ is “the truth” (John 14:6) – Therefore there is no room for error nor lies; “44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:for he is a liar, and the father of it. ” (John 8:44)

“God is Spirit” – all that is founded on Christ must be spiritual, materialism has no place (cf. 1 Corinthians chp 6).

“Holy, harmless, undefiled” – no room for sin on this foundation (cf. 1 Corinthians chps 5 to 10)!

4. Principles of Building

‘Gold’ – Righteousness
‘Silver’ – Redemption
‘Precious Stones’ – Wisdom

With so much care and concern going into this building, what is the purpose of it?

5. Purpose of the Building (v16)

Is it self evident?
Sometimes the more self evident the question the more surprising the answer!
Not going to Dwell on what the temple is not, but by considering what it is we may well be lead to acknowledge what it is not:

It is not:
A social organisation
A welfare organisation
A political organisation
An entertainment

I mention briefly what it is not because sometimes the church, the temple becomes modified in order to focus it’s vision / purpose on what it is not.

5. The Purpose of the Building:

The Pattern of the Tabernacle
The Paradox of the Temple
Present Reality of the Church
Purpose fulfilled in Revelation

Pattern of the Tabernacle

“let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 29:45-46)

Paradox of the Temple

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee how much less this house that I have built? ” (1 Kings 8:27)

Present and Personal Reality in the Church

” where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20)
“I will declare thy name unto my brother in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Heb 2:12)
“God is in you of a truth” (1 Co14:25)

Purpose Fulfilled in Revelation
Revelation 21:1-4
The Temple of God is primarily for God to Dwell (3:16)
A truth it would seem easily forgotten (3:16) : “know ye not”
It ought not to have been forgotten
It was the big lesson
How easily we forget
The Temple was for the Presence of God and not for the profit of men; “a house of merchandise”
The Sabbath was for Man and not man for the Sabbath
God looks not on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.
They had forgotten that they were the temple of God.

If God is present amongst us what should we find?
How about: God?
Evidence of the presence of God?
There is little point in claiming where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name here am I in the midst of them, if there isn’t the slightest evidence of it!
What evidence ought I to be able to see?

1. God reflected in His people
2. God revealed in His Word
3. God realised in prayer

We ought to be touched by and able to see the reality of those symbols:

Gold – Righteousness – seen practically amongst His people. More than just an outward form of Righteousness, more than just a ticking of the box righteousness, more than the righteousness of the Pharisee (Matthew chapter 23), none of the sin of chapters 5 to 10!

Silver – People transformed by Redemption – Reflection of Christ; “if any man be in Christ he is a new creation. ‘ Ought to be the evidence of a people who have left Egypt, sin and slavery behind and who have a higher agenda, a people heading to the promised land, people with vision and with Glory, people saved and redeemed and in dwelt by the Spirit of God and marked by the fruit of Gods Spirit. There ought to be the tangible evidence of people in dwelt by the Spirit of God: Galatians 5:22 22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:against such there is no law.” A tangible sense of this is possible.

Precious Stones – a different way of thinking? There ought to be evidence of the wisdom of Christ in our thinking, and of the mind of Christ in us (1 Corinthians 2:16). There ought to be evidence of a people living with an eye on eternity (3:13ff). Living and labouring not just for the here and now but for the future and forever.

God Revealed in His Word

If the temple existed primarily for the presence of God, then the practical benefit of that presence for God’s people lay in the provision of God for His people which flowed from that presence.
The temple and tabernacle contained the symbols of that provision:

Lamp – to give light for the way
Loaf – to sustain and feed His people
Priest – with his intercessor ministry for the people, who would bear the care of Gods people on his breastplate of judgment and carry their names on his shoulder.

The temple was a place where as a consequence of Gods presence with them, the needs of Gods people were met. This was not the primary purpose of course of the temple or the tabernacle but it was an inevitable consequence of having Gods presence amongst them. The primary purpose in bringing Gods people out of Egypt was not that God might give them bread from heaven but that they might ‘worship Me.’
It would be very strange if the NT temple for the Living God had less of a provision for God’s people than the OT tent!

Wherever we find the presence of God in the OT, His Presence has a purpose, He is present to:

Receive Worship
Reveal Himself

Bethel – Genesis 28:11ff – The House of God; God is present and God reveals His purpose and communicates to Jacob, on this occasion by means of a dream (Gen 28:12); and with a predictive word of prophecy (28:13-15).

Mount Since – Exodus 4:27 – The Mountain of God (Ex 19:3ff,9,19;20:1ff) – God speaks.

Tabernacle (Ex40:34ff) – God spoke; “The Lord called unto Moses and spoke unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation saying…” (Lev 1:1). God speaks from this tabernacle at times with devastating consequences (Number 16:20ff) – Korah, Dathan and Abiram. God revealed His mind from the tabernacle (Number 27:21).

Temple – 1 Kings 9:1ff – The Lord appears to Solomon the second time and “The Lord said unto him…”

So too then the expectation for God to Speak and to reveal Himself to His people in this new spiritual Temple at Corinth. Not just to keep alive and to repeat what we believe to be true but to have real living communication from God Himself (1 Co 14:23-25).

Reality of Prayer

The dominant theme in the dedication of the temple of Solomon: 1 Kings 8:29-30, 33, 35, 42, 44-45, 48-49; 8:54.