1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you yourselves are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
Sermons
The Cure for the Party SpiritR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 3:13-23
God's TempleE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
The Church a TempleR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
The New Testament TempleD. Fraser 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
The Temple of GodJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
The Temple of GodH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
Believers as the Temple of GodC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Defiling the Temple of GodA. Burgess.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
God's Spiritual TempleA. Burgess.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Humanity the Temple of GodD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Temples of GodA. Maclaren, D. D.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Believer a Temple of GodC. New.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Christian Church the Temple of God the Holy SpiritJ. G. Angley, M. A.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Divine Spirit Dwelling in the ChurchA. Burgess.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Holiness of God's Temple1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The House BeautifulHomiletic Monthly1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Human Soul God's Truest TempleE. L. Hull, B. A.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Indwelling of the Holy SpiritF. J. Chevasse, M. A.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Indwelling of the SpiritE. B. Pusey, D. D.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Mystical Temple1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Nature and Offices of the Holy SpiritH. Melvill, B. D.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Spirit's DwellingD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 3:16-23
The Two TemplesD. Y. Currie.1 Corinthians 3:16-23


Previously St. Paul had said, "Ye are God's building;" and now he adds, "Ye are the temple of God." Along with this comes the idea of sanctity: "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." If, then, these Corinthians were the temple of God, and if the Spirit of God dwelt in them, no stronger motive could bear upon them than the need of holiness; and this holiness is a personal matter. "If any man" - whoever he be and whatever his gifts - "if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." The man's duties to the Church are duties to the Spirit of God in the Church; and the purity of principle and affection, purity of motive and aim, purity of life, which he is bound to maintain, - in brief, his spiritual character, grows out of his relation to the Holy Ghost. "Know ye not" this fact - that the Church is much more than a society for mutual helpfulness, much more than a human institution, and most truly human when most Divine? To violate this relation in such a way as to "defile the temple of God" is to incur a fearful punishment: "Him shall God destroy." Hitherto in the argument no such language had been used. Did the thought of the gross sin - the son taking the father's wife - cross his mind at the instant, and leave its darkness in his memory? Whether so or not, St. Paul knew of moral corruption in the Church as well as religious defection, and he reminded the Corinthians of their peril. Observe the change; a man's work, if rejected, shall be burned, but he shall be "saved, yet so as by fire." Amid the danger, God will rescue him. But if a "man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." And now the exhortations: "Let no man deceive himself." And wherein lies the danger of deception? It is in the "wisdom of this world." Intellect exposes us to dangers because it is the great organ of receptivity, by means of which the outer world finds unceasing access to our souls. Through the open avenues of the senses, myriad influences gain an entrance within and distribute themselves over every portion of our nature. Very many of them are unchallenged. Few men criticize their senses and hold them accountable for truth and fidelity in their momentous functions. What habits come from this facile power of sensuousness over the mind, we all understand, alas! too well. The natural man (animal man) has the world of sensation on his side. Instead of the body growing more and more into harmony with spirit and participating in its elevation, the opposite more commonly occurs, so that men become in large measure the creatures of the senses. St. Paul had a very clear insight into this fact. No man makes so many references, direct and indirect, to the physiological connections of sin. As a writer of Scripture, the terrible truth of the "fleshly mind" is often before him, and from him we learn the supreme necessity of keeping the body under, lest we become castaways. "Castaways" are far more numerous than we take knowledge of. Short of downright materialism and its counterpart in sensual degeneration, we have innumerable evidences of the wreck of the spiritual nature. These nerves of ours - delicate threads that interlace the whole body and are frequently too fine for the eye - what a machinery for the hand of Satan, skilled by the practice of centuries, to play upon! We err when we confine our view of materialism to its professed advocates. We err also when we measure the sensualism of the age by its grosser forms. Far greater, far more harmful, and far more widespread, are the deleterious effects, often unrecognized, that work havoc among our spiritual sensibilities. It is this deadening of the intellect by the sensuousness that keeps itself aloof from overt sensualism which St. Paul so earnestly assails as "the wisdom of this world." Not seldom it beasts of morality, cultivates beauty, patronizes aesthetics, and abounds in animalized poetry and eloquence and science. Meantime it lends all its aid, acting through an army of auxiliaries, to encourage men in a bloated sense of self sufficiency, until there is no felt need of God and still less of Christ. Most of all, this state of mind is inimical to the agency of the Holy Ghost upon the human heart, and consequently we find in our times a much more wilful and violent rejection of the Holy Ghost and a contempt for his gracious offices than hostility to the Father and the Son. Against this most evil and fatal habit St. Paul lifts a vehement remonstrance. And he was the only man of his day competent to this task. No rude Galilean was he; no obscure and unlettered person; but a cultured soul, whose endowments had been signalized before he went forth to convert an empire to Christ. "Become a fool" - a fool in the world's estimation - "that ye may be wise." It is "craftiness," argues the man who had experimentally known it all, and, furthermore, it ensnares itself in its own net. And hence glory not in man; there is no wisdom in it, no plea and no excuse for it, since "all things are yours." Party spirit shuts us up in narrow limits; Christianity gives the freedom of the world. Party spirit makes us the disciples of men; Christianity declares that we do not belong to Paul, Apollos, Peter, but that they belong to us, and all Divine in them ministers to the Divine in ourselves, so that our life superabounds by means of theirs. Nor is this all. The vast inventory embraces things as well as men: "The world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours." No room for pride here, since it is a common possession; no opportunity to thank God like the Pharisee that we are not as others are, for God's grace humbles the natural man, that it may endow and then exalt the Christian. If we undertake to be Christians of a particular sort, it is certain that we shall be cast in a very dwarfing mould, and get our colouring from a very earthly pigment. To be a true Christian is not to adopt the Name of Christ as the watchword of a sect or party, but to accept and venerate it as the watchword of humanity redeemed in the Son of man. Any other use of Christ's Name is essentially schismatic. All things are ours only so far as we are Christ's. And it is the Christ of God, the Son of God, the anointed Messiah, who was filled with the unction of the Spirit, and who said, "I do nothing of myself," - it is this Christ who is ours. Seen in hint, life redeems itself from everything low, groveling, and merely sensuous; and even the human body, whose wants and demands are the unmanageable factor in all civilization, and whose warfare against the Spirit is the most fearful hazard in moral probation, becomes, through Christ, the temple of the Holy Ghost. Spiritualize in this sense the human body; sanctify its large and. beautiful capacity for a true sensuousness; organize its habits until it becomes almost the automaton of the Spirit, and self denial, prayer, and praise, by virtue of the automatic and semi automatic laws of the physical system, are well nigh incorporated in the nervous functions. Ask art, science, philosophy, to attempt such a task, and would they set themselves to it? Political economy, physiology, hygiene, sanitary: science, concern themselves much with the human body, and are entitled to honour for their interest in its welfare - welfare only, however, stopping very far short of genuine well being. Let no word of ours be understood as depreciating these invaluable services. But, nevertheless, their field lies in a department of life comparatively humble - life as existence, as organic and vegetative, life as intellectual and moral, not in life as spiritual. Now, at this very point, the incomparable glory of Christianity demonstrates itself by a profound interest in the human body as a religious question, and, first and last, its words are, "temple of God." No wonder that St. Paul rises to the height of exultation. The eagle wing smites the upper air in its buoyant strength, and the eagle eye, catching a radiance unknown in the thick atmosphere of earth, commands the scope of a vast horizon. One of his grand powers was this instinct - shall we call it? - of exultation, always held in check till the Divine fulness of Christ and the sublimity of humanity in Christ kindled it into rapture. Nor is he ever more like himself nor ever nearer to us than in these moments - "such high hour of visitation from the living God." - L.







Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Two points comprehend the apostle's teaching in this chapter.

1. The foundation of Christian life and doctrine (ver. 11).

2. The form of Christian life and doctrine built thereon. It is to be worthy of the foundation (vers. 10, 12, &c.). Christian teachers have a covenant engagement — to erect a temple on a previously laid foundation. According to a specification, they are to use "gold," &c. Paul's complaint is, that they appear not to have known the terms of their contract (text), and hence had departed from the true foundation, and consequently had developed a form of Christian life contrary to the form and Spirit of Christ. Note —

I. THE DIVINE DWELLING.

1. The Christian heart under the figure of a "temple" points back to God's visible dwelling-place in Jerusalem.(1) The former temple was the dwelling-place of Trinity. In the holy of holies the cloud was the memorial of the enduring mercy of the Father; in the outer courts the sacrifices typified the atonement of the Son, while the incense pointed to the sweet influence of the Spirit.(2) The former temple was the treasury of sacred truth. All that symbolised the religious life of the Jews was kept in the ancient temple — Aaron's rod that budded, indicating the perpetual freshness of the gospel; the golden pot of manna, indicating the nourishing properties of the gospel; the original copy of the law of Moses, indicating that the gospel is our directory. The gospel rod of God's strength is treasured up in the Christian heart. The gospel food of God's providing for the wilderness is received into the soul. The gospel, the perfect law, is hidden in the secret places of the heart. "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage," &c.(3) The former temple was but a partial revelation of the Divine glory. Sin explains all that earlier worship; sin, too, explains all our later worship. And not till sin is destroyed will the Christian heart be a perfect temple, and full revelation of the glory of God.

2. Compare the Christian heart with the future, or heavenly temple.(1) The central figure in the heavenly temple is Christ. The Lamb is in the midst of the throne, is the chief subject of their song, "Worthy is the Lamb." He is the object of their highest worship, "They cast their crowns at His feet." "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?" Jesus "in the midst" of the throne of your affections; Jesus the object of your worship.(2) In that heavenly temple "there shall be no more curse" (Revelation 22:3); so in the Christian heart "there is now no condemnation" (Romans 8:1).(3) In the heavenly temple there is no particular spot consecrated for worship (Revelation 21:22), no set times, but it is all temple; so also in the human heart (John 4:21). Every place, season, faculty consecrated to worship.

II. THE DIVINE INDWELLING. From the figure of the temple the apostle passes to the life of it, that which gives it its vitality. Observe the various methods of the Spirit's manifestations in the Christian heart.

1. He is the Spirit of the new birth (John 3:6).

2. To the worker in the Kingdom of God He is the Spirit of new strength (Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 1:17, 18).

3. To the broken-hearted He is the Spirit, the Comforter. He is the Spirit to seal the covenant of the soul with its God (2 Corinthians 1:22).

4. He dwells in us —(1) Through faith.(2) By prayer. "The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities."(3) By obedience to the Divine will, "He makes us both to will and to do of His good pleasure."(4) By the assurance of faith, "the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God."(5) By fruit-bearing, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," &c.Conclusion:

1. The oneness of the Christian Church. Paul in the last chapter complained of divisions. In this he speaks of them all as built on one foundation, and growing up into one temple, having one source of life, &c.

2. Its sacredness (ver. 17).

(D. Y. Currie.)

I. EVERY CHRISTIAN IS A DWELLING-PLACE FOR GOD. That God dwells in us is only possible from His dwelling in Christ, through whom we touch Him.

II. CHRISTIANS, AS TEMPLES, ARE TO BE MANIFESTORS OF GOD. The meaning of temple is that there the indwelling Deity shall manifest Himself. God dwelling in our hearts reveals Himself —

1. To us ourselves.

2. To others around us by our conduct.

III. CHRISTIANS, AS TEMPLES, SHOULD BE PLACES OF SACRIFICE. What is temple without worship? What is worship without sacrifice?

IV. CHRISTIANS, AS TEMPLES, ARE TO BE HOLY. Holiness is separation to God's service — dedication. The idols of covetousness, idolatry, intolerance, drunkenness, &c. When God enters, all Dagons fall to the ground maimed and destroyed.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The ancient temple was not more glorious and admirable to the human eye than such societies should be to the eye of faith. And learned men think that latter part of Ezekiel's prophecy, though very obscure, concerning the measuring of the temple, is nothing but the promise of the building of the Church in the New Testament in an heavenly and glorious manner. First, the materials for the temple were to be polished and fitted by art ere they could be made part of the building. We of ourselves have not faith, have not preparedness for such Church duties, till God doth enable us. Look we, therefore, how we come into the Church of God? How is it brought about that we are so? If there be nothing but nature and custom, or because we are born in such places. Thus it is here, whatsoever our societies and meetings are in reference to God it is wholly of His making. Secondly, the materials of the temple were very excellent and precious, of gold and silver, &c., not hay and stubble. The best stone, the best wood that would not putrify, and all things were covered over with gold, and the gold was to be pure gold; even the very snuffers were to be of gold. Now what did this represent, but to show what kind of people those should be who were of the Church of God? Thirdly, the temple was full of external glory. A magnificent place, admired by heathens. Now the glory of Christians is likewise great, but in a spiritual and heavenly way. The Church is all glorious within (Psalm 45:13). The gospel that is preached is styled a glorious gospel (1 Timothy 1:11); and the Spirit of God the Spirit of glory (1 Peter 4:14). It is promised that the glory of the second temple should far exceed that of the first (Haggai 2:9). Now how was that made good? not in any outward glory, but because Christ in a spiritual manner did reform all those corrupt doctrines, and did sit as a refiner to purify the sons of Levi. This was glory to have the spiritual worship of God. Fourthly, the temple was in a peculiar manner holy in respect of other buildings. Now when we say it was holy, we do not mean an holiness inherent, as angels and men are holy, but of dedication and consecration, a relative holiness, being set apart by God's special command to such a use. Fifthly, because of this relative holiness it was a capital crime to defile this temple. There were porters set at the gate to keep out all unclean things (2 Chronicles 23. 19). Lastly, that which was the glory of the temple and the life of it was God's gracious presence.

(A. Burgess.)

I. THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS GOD.

II. THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN HIS CHURCH, And now to open this let us consider — First, what the phrase to dwell in the Church implieth. Now this phrase, to have the Spirit dwell in us, denoteth — First, the propriety that it hath to us, that we are His possession, as an house is a man's own, where He is Lord and Master. And this is worthy of consideration, that we who once were the devil's, he dwelt in us, he ruleth in the hearts of the disobedient (Ephesians 2.), have now him expelled from us, and the Spirit of God taken us for His possession. So that herein is a wonderful change when the Spirit of God comes and takes possession of a people who before were captives to Satan, and led aside according to his will (2 Timothy 2:26). Secondly, when it is said the Spirit of God dwells in a people, it supposeth that He doth fashion and prepare them for Himself. For every lodging is not fit for so noble a guest, but as great men carry their rich furniture with them to have convenient lodgings, so also doth the Spirit of God raise up a people by illumination and sanctification to be a fit habitation for Him. Thirdly, when it is said the Spirit of God dwells in us, it denoteth the familiarity and condescending communion that God vouchsafeth unto His children. Fourthly, in that the Spirit of God is said to dwell, it denoteth a permanent and constant abode in His people. For this you must know, the Spirit of God is many times working where yet He doth not dwell. There is a great difference between transient motions and constant mansions of God's Spirit. Fifthly, the Spirit dwelling in us doth denote the intimateness and inward efficacy it hath. It doth not only dwell with us, but in us, which denoteth great intimateness.

III. Now let us proceed to show HOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN HIS CHURCH. Now several ways we may consider of the Spirit's dwelling in the people of God. First, there is an essential dwelling, or a gracious dwelling, by a special manifestation of more peculiar favours; we do not speak here of an essential dwelling, for so the Spirit of God is everywhere (Psalm 139:7). Secondly, when the Spirit of God is said to dwell in His Church, it may not only be understood of the gracious effects thereof, but also of His person likewise. Lastly, the Spirit of God dwells two ways in His Church —

1. In respect of wonderful and miraculous operations.

2. In respect of saving and sanctifying graces.

IV. In the next place, let us consider THE SPECIAL WORKS AND EFFECTS OF GOD'S SPIRIT IN HIS CHURCH. But to the particulars. First, the Spirit of God dwells in us after a saving manner in the general, by way of sanctification of the spirit, soul, and body, even the whole man (1 Thessalonians 5). But more particularly, the Spirit of God dwells in a saving manner. First, by illumination, and opening of the dark mind of every man. Secondly, the Spirit of God quickens and reviveth those graces that by regeneration were infused to us. Thirdly, the Spirit of God doth enable us to kill and mortify sin (Romans 8.). Fourthly, the Spirit of God doth bestow a filial and ingenuous spirit upon believers, whereby they are carried out upon evangelical and gospel grounds in their obedience to God. Fifthly, the Spirit of God works comfort and joy in the hearts of the godly. Hence He is called the Comforter (John 15:26). Sixthly, that we may have this boldness and joy. The Spirit of God hath another effect, which is, to witness and seal unto our spirits that we are the children of God. Seventhly, the Spirit of God worketh wonderful support, and even glorious rejoicing, in all afflictions and tribulations. Lastly, the Spirit of God doth work the prayers of God's people.

(A. Burgess.)

Consider —

I. THE PEOPLE OF GOD INDWELT BY GOD. "The Spirit of God dwelleth in you."

1. We must accept that as literally true. The Spirit of God is a person, the attributes of personality are ascribed to Him. The Old Testament prepared for this teaching. "I will put My Spirit within you." Then, in the New Testament, our Lord says, "I will pray the Father," &c. As God the Father pardons sin, and God the Son atoned for sin, God the Spirit dwells in us to cleanse from sin.

2. This is granted to the lowliest spiritual condition. Indeed, "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His." Many spiritual blessings we have to wait and even strive for, but this is given at the beginning. "I dwell with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit," and that is the first stage of Christian life.

3. This represents a permanent state. God comes not to tarry for a night, but "This is My rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it." What a vision all this gives of infinite condescension.

II. THIS INDWELLING MAKES EACH OF GOD'S PEOPLE A TEMPLE. That implies —

1. Divine consecration. Other buildings might be put to other use, but everything under the shadow of the shekinah was inscribed "Holiness unto the Lord." And that is the Divine emblem of the redeemed man; he is to be amongst men like a church in a city, the mirthful tide may beat against its gates, and the stream of business ever pass its doors, but it were pollution for either to cross its threshold, it and all within are God's. The less distinction we make between the Church and the world the further we go from God's purpose concerning us.

2. Divine testimony. For the temple stands amid the din and strife of the streets a silent witness for God. Such is the Christian amongst men; he is a church in the world. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His," and do you think He can dwell in a soul and the world not know it!

3. Divine revealings. God in the soul. What spiritual visions, what views of the King, what subtle voices, what inward brightness does it not suggest! "The King's daughter is all glorious within." And if He be there, the angels, His attendants, are there; angels of holy thought and affection and desire, making sacred melody, and reverently listening for their Lord's will.

III. THE FACT OF THIS INDWELLING IS OFTEN FORGOTTEN BY GOD'S PEOPLE. How often do we need the Divine appeal, "Know ye not," &c. For example —

1. When we doubt the Divine care. "What! know ye not that ye are the temple of God?" Will He not care for His own; will He dwell amid our needs and not meet them?

2. When we mourn an absent God. "Know ye not," &c. He has not gone, He is in your soul, you carry within you the "well of water springing up into everlasting life." Only unmourned sin has hindered His manifestation, and that hindrance can be removed and the shining of His face appear again.

3. When we shrink from setting holy example.

4. When we make light of sin.

(C. New.)

Let us look at man as —

I. A DIVINE TEMPLE. A temple is a special —

1. Residence of God. God is in all material objects, but especially in moral minds.

2. Manifestation of God. God is seen everywhere, but never so fully as in the mind of man. "We are all His offspring."

3. Meeting place with God. The temple at Jerusalem was specially such. "There will I commune with thee." Man can meet God in nature, but not so fully and consciously as in mind,

II. As a Divine temple THAT MIGHT BE DESTROYED. The destruction of a temple does not mean the destruction of all its parts, but the destruction of its use. Man might live for ever and yet be destroyed as the special residence, manifestation, and meeting-place of God. But this destruction is not by God. "If any man." Alas! men are destroying this temple — their natures. An awful work this!

III. AS THE DESTROYER OF THAT WHICH WILL BE DESTROYED BY GOD HIMSELF. Destroy, if not his existence, all that makes existence worth having, or even tolerable.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS GOD'S TEMPLE.

1. The temple of God is a phrase used to signify something dedicated to Jehovah, whether a material or a spiritual building.

(1)The temple in Jerusalem.

(2)The human nature of Christ (John 2:19-22; Colossians 2:9).

(3)Heaven (Revelation 7:15).

(4)The Christian Church. This is the spiritual house of God, composed of all faithful souls.

2. In writing to the Church at Corinth, the apostle remembered the pride that city had in its temples whose glory fired all its people with delight. All of this grandeur was displayed for what? For senseless idols who could hear no prayer nor impart any blessing. The gospel came to destroy all false systems of religion, and to build up a more glorious temple of God than any heathen or Jewish temple ever was before.

3. Now, if the Christians in Corinth lost much delight and cherished associations in forsaking their temples, if the Jewish converts, too, lost all their pride in the glory departed from their temple, the apostle's argument is that God hath His own glorious temple still on earth.

4. Although this glorious work is sometimes invisible to man's eye, yet it is all comprehended by the Divine mind, and is daily extending in the world.

5. Now this good work is God's and not man's. Human skill may rear classic temples, but no power less than Divine can take a rough block of human sinfulness, purify it from its defilements, and gloriously prepare and polish it for some fitting place in the spiritual temple of the living God.

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS IN THE CHRISTIAN TEMPLE. Heathen classics believed that their divinities resided in their temples. Advancing a step nearer truth, some of the wise men of old taught that a good man himself was a temple in which the divinity dwelt. Now these were glimmerings of Divine truth.

1. It might well be argued that to dwell in any place denotes a living being and a distinct personality. Man's soul dwells in his body, and this constitutes him a real living person; the Spirit of God dwells in the Christian soul, and animates by Divine power all the living Church.

2. God clearly taught this truth to the Hebrew Church (Ezekiel 36:25-28), though its fulness of blessing was only bestowed in Christian days. If any man of rank or power sat down familiarly in some poor cottage how the world would marvel! Especially if in his condescension he bestowed on it some of his own treasures as gifts of his power. How much more, then, ought we to be astonished and delighted that God, the Eternal Spirit, visits earth's dwellings of dust.

3. But the infidel theories of the day banish God from all His own works. Yet if I behold some great building, I naturally inquire who was the architect, and who dwells or acts there? Apply this illustration —(1) To creation. Will any man, then, tell me that this glorious temple is the mere work of chance, that no Almighty Spirit regulates or minds it?(2) To a living Church. Can it be possible that this is no work of God? Has not God's Spirit dwelt in it, creating its life, diffusing its light, and commanding its heavenly power, love, peace, and joy, and making it the centre of rich blessing, humanity, charity, and civilisation to the world?(3) To the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Christian soul.

III. THE OBLIGATIONS AND BLESSINGS OF THESE IMPORTANT TRUTHS.

1. As you are bought with the price of Christ's blood, and sealed as His by the Holy Spirit, you are called to glorify Him both in body and soul. As Christians are God's temple collectively as "the body of Christ," and individually as "members of Christ," how then ought they to live in holiness, peace, and love!

2. Who can tell the invaluable blessings and gifts of the Holy Spirit thus dwelling in the heart? In short, they are Divine light, guidance, help, and comfort.

(J. G. Angley, M. A.)

Homiletic Monthly.
Taking the idea of the text and looking upon the "human form divine" as the "house beautiful," we would remark that —

I. THE HOUSE SHOULD GIVE SIGNS OF ITS SUPERIOR OCCUPANT. We judge of the inmate by the residence. If everything around is disorderly, we attribute it to the character of the tenant. If the paths are clean and the flower-beds are trimmed, we know that there is taste and cultivation of the spirit of beauty on the part of the occupier. So we judge regarding the human house. Sin makes its marks upon the countenance. Care traces its wrinkles on the face. The house should be —

1. Kept clean. Sanctification is spiritual cleanliness. Christ will cleanse. And the soul made pure will manifest that purity in the outer life. The light of God in the soul will illumine the darkness around.

2. Well furnished. The Christian needs to be ready to account for his faith. He must be furnished for every good word and work. His mind should be stored only with remembrance-pictures upon which he can look with tranquility and delight.

II. WE ARE NOT FREEHOLDERS OR ABSOLUTE POSSESSORS OF THAT HOUSE — WE ONLY HAVE IT ON LEASE. It is but a temporary temple. The beams and rafters will be taken down, and the tenant will depart.

III. THE TENANT IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN THE HOUSE HE LIVES IN. The soul is of infinitely more worth than the body. Fair though the house may be, more beautiful still is the tenant, radiant with the love that God bestows.

(Homiletic Monthly.)

I. HIS PERSONALITY. To dwell in a temple is a personal act. We understand by person a distinct, subsistent, intelligent being, as distinguished from a mere property or attribute. It is quite necessary to draw this distinction, otherwise we might imagine the Spirit of God to be nothing but a Divine power, virtue, or efficacy, resident in God, or derived from God. There are, certainly, attributed to the Holy Spirit faculties and operations which can only be attributed to a person, and not to a quality. He possesses understanding, "The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." Affections are ascribed to Him, when we are bidden not to grieve Him, and when the Israelites are said to have provoked Him. He teaches men; guides them into all truth; can be blasphemed, and Christians are baptized into His name equally with that of the Father and the Son, whose personality are not disputed.

II. HIS DIVINITY. If it be a personal act to dwell in a temple, there must, it would seem, be Deity in the person who, by His indwelling, makes the temple the temple of God. But we have clear evidence in abundance that He must be actually God. What inherent property and perfection of the Divine nature is there which is not attributed to the Holy Spirit? What operation is there, transcending that of a finite and created thing, which the Spirit is not said to perform?

III. HIS OFFICES. If the residence of the Spirit in a man convert him into the temple of God, it is evident that the Spirit must be a renewing and sanctifying agent. Man being naturally inhabited only by what is evil, therefore a work of regeneration must be effected ere he can be dwelt in by One infinitely holy. Here we may observe that the office of the Spirit, in the economy of redemption, is a fresh proof of His Divinity. Man having been "born in sin, and shapen in iniquity," it is the office of the Holy Ghost to effect such a change that the sinner may be described as born again, and made a new man in Christ Jesus. It were even nothing that Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree, if there were no supernatural agency to apply to ourselves the expiatory virtue of Christ's sacrifice. It is the office of the Spirit to translate us from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God's dear Son; and having once made us fellow-citizens with the saints, He equips us for spiritual conflict, enables us for every spiritual duty, and furnishes us with every spiritual consolation. Indeed, it were little to be brought within the circle of the family of God, if we were not also kept in it by the power through which we were first introduced. But this power never deserts those who give themselves to its guidance.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

I. THE FACT. "Ye are the temple," &c. In three ways —

1. By building. No one is by nature a temple. The Holy Ghost quarries the stones, shapes the pillars, constructs the edifice.

2. By furnishing. He supplies the good thoughts, good motives, good principles, which actuate the Christian's life.

3. By inhabiting. The Spirit does not build a house for the devil's home. It is for Himself.

II. THE INFERENCES. It is implied that there should be, if we wish the Spirit to continue —

1. Fitness. The house must be kept in such a condition as is suitable for His presence.

2. Supremacy. God cannot share the kingdom.

3. Unanimity. How can two dwell together, except they be agreed?

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

This indwelling is a profound mystery, but it is the characteristic glory of the Christian dispensation. Our Lord distinguishes between the work of the Holy Spirit before and after Pentecost: "He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Once He came upon them, now He is in them. And where the Spirit dwells is holy ground. Of that indwelling the temple of Solomon gives us a prophetic glimpse. There shone a heavenly light, the symbol of the Holy Spirit who was to dwell in every true Christian, not as a passing visitor, but as a perpetual guest. And where He comes, He brings a new nature and capacities. He gives a new direction to the heart and will. He opens the understanding, and bestows a new power for holiness and for service. This indwelling is here set forth as an antidote.

I. TO PARTY SPIRIT.

1. The love of faction which marked the politics of Corinth had crept into their religion. They nursed a temper of bitterness which hindered true work for God, injured their inner life, and grieved the Holy Spirit. Therefore St. Paul asks with surprise, "Know ye not," &c. Their lack of charity helped to destroy the Church of God. It broke up its unity, it killed its spirituality. It provoked God to judge them. It was a desecration which the Holy God could not ignore.

2. The bane of the Church still is its unhappy divisions. Still Christian scorns Christian in proportion as the differences which divide them are trivial and unimportant. If the remembrance of our great mission fail to move us, at least let the tact that the Spirit of God dwells in us do so. If Moses appealed to the striving Israelites, "Sirs, ye are brethren," may not we appeal, "Sirs, know ye not that ye are a temple of God," &c.

II. TO DISLOYALTY TO GOD.

1. Some of the Christians at Corinth knew well the freedom of Christ's gospel. But there was a danger lest they should grow proud of their light and their liberty, and despise every barrier between themselves and sin. Therefore St. Paul sternly calls them to a life of separation from all evil (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

2. The warning is not unneeded by English Christians. There are forces at work in society not unlike those at Corinth. Our charity is apt to degenerate into indifference. A feeble and uncertain grasp of truth leads too often to acquiescence in a policy or in practices which the conscience condemns. When we are tempted to take as our friend the godless, simply because they are clever or rich; when we are invited to put our hands to any work upon which we cannot ask the blessing of God, or to join any association which may make money at the cost of the character or the well-being of our fellow-men — let us remember that to touch the unclean thing is to defile that temple and to grieve the indwelling Spirit.

III. TO IMPURITY. In the foul atmosphere of that heathen city the Christians were exposed to fearful temptations, and needed an adequate motive and a superhuman power, if they were to keep themselves pure. And such they had (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). There are symptoms in the social life of England which cannot but excite the anxiety of every one who loves his country and is loyal to God.

1. If our literature is free from the coarseness of earlier centuries, it is too often pervaded by a subtle taint which poisons almost imperceptibly the imagination of its readers; while the silent and deadly effect of the publication in our newspapers of things of which it is a shame even to speak in secret, has corrupted the purity of thousands of souls.

2. The fashion of treating marriage flippantly, and the fact that leading reviews insert articles which deliberately question its sanctity, tend to strike at the very root of morality and home life.

3. The growing luxury which has accompanied the accumulation of wealth, brings with it its own Nemesis in the relaxing of our moral fibre.

4. And, while rejoicing in every honest attempt to remove all the disabilities under which women have suffered, I venture to think that the tendency to destroy the distinction between the sexes must help, in the long run, to rob a woman's life of those graces which have been the secret of her highest influence, and her most invulnerable shield. Now to us, exposed to these dangers, the fact of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when once realised, becomes a great safeguard, and a mighty incentive to a pure and self-restrained life.

(F. J. Chevasse, M. A.)

He, uncreated love, pours out into our souls all our power of Divine love for Him and for each other. He, uncreated wisdom, orders our thoughts secretly. He, uncreated truth, dissipates from our mind the mist which we have gathered round ourselves. He, uncreated strength, instrengthens us to bear or to overcome all evil, and to will mightily all good. He, uncreated holiness, cleanses by His presence an habitation for Himself, and hallows by His abiding the dwelling-place, which He has repaired, that He might enter in; which He has enlarged, that it might contain Him. He Himself, within us, informs our memory that we may remember Him, enlightens our minds that we may know Him, moves our wills that we may choose Him and obey Him. He Himself, within us, quickens our diligence that we may seek Him, gives us wisdom that we may find Him, perseverance that we may attain unto Him. Nor is it our spiritual nature only which He so hallows. "Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost." Yes, these poor bodies, which hunger and thirst, are heavy and weary; which shall return to corruption, which shall be subject to the dishonour of the grave — these God has chosen to be His dwelling-place; within these He is forming that glorious body which shall be after the resurrection; with these He unites Himself now, that they may be full of His glory hereafter. They shall shine above the glory of the sun, because they shall be filled with the light of His divinity. They shall know no decay; for He shall be their immortality. They shall know no weariness; for He shall be their life. They shall know no suffering; for they shall be made impassible, since He is not subject to suffering. They shall obey, unhindering, every motion of His will, for they shall be spiritual through His indwelling Spirit. How, then, should we reverence this our mysterious being. How should we reverently use the eyes; how keep them from all wrong use and all unlawful sight, which are, through the light of God, to see God! How should we keep the tongue from evil words, which, moved by the Spirit of God, is endlessly to sing the new song! How should we guard the heart from evil affections, which God has claimed as His own, and bidden us to give it wholly to Him; the soul which is capacious enough to "contain God," yet not large enough to contain the world and God!

(E. B. Pusey, D. D.)

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy... which temple ye are.
I. THE HUMAN SOUL GOD'S TRUEST TEMPLE. This truth expresses one of the great changes introduced by Christianity. Why has Christianity abolished the one local house and consecrated man himself as the dwelling-place of God? Because —

1. God is equally present everywhere. Though recognised in Judaism, this never broke forth into its wonderful glory until Christ appeared. Men feared God, and the shadow of that fear led them to fancy Him far away. The whole tendency of Christ's life was to wear down the barrier between God and man. He showed that nature was but the living work of an ever-present Father. But although equally present, God is not equally manifested everywhere. Thus God is revealed in His worship, but who sees Him? Not the careless or the carnal; but to holy men spiritual emotion has hallowed strange places, and made them temples. To Jacob, the stones became a temple. To Peter, the mountain where Christ's glory shone became the Holy Mount. Nathaniel would never pass the fig-tree without feeling it to be a place of prayer. Perhaps we all have our holy places; the chamber where we first really prayed, &c. These are our earthly temples, because there God has been most clearly manifested to us.

2. God is most clearly manifested in humanity. Christ, pre-eminently, was the glorious temple in which God dwelt, and through whom the Divine glory was revealed to the world. There was the holy of holies; there the altar which made every other altar fire grow pale and expire.

II. THE MANNER OF REALISING THIS. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (ver. 16). Assuming that, how may we attain more of the full presence of God in our souls? In man there is a trinity of power, and in order to become a temple all these must be consecrated.

1. Intellect to realise God's presence, To awaken the soul to energy you must think on Him. Go, then, and stretch every faculty of your souls to realise His glory and His presence.

2. Emotion. Thought is vain apart from this.

3. Action. Thought and feeling are both vain without this. Work from your emotion, and ultimately you may do all from it. Thus man becomes a temple of God — intellect the holy place; the heart's emotions the altar of sacrifice; the actions of life the revelation of both.

III. THE RESULTS OF THE REALISATION.

1. God manifested to the world. They say our temples are being deserted; that the young and the labourer are, going away. Is not this because we are not temples? It is vain to build stone temples to God unless we become His living ones.

2. Elevation of life above the sinful, trifling, earthly. His is no vain life who has, through the Spirit, become a temple of Jehovah! In the temple at Jerusalem there was a veil; at the death of Christ that veil was rent. In the temple of every human heart there hangs a veil; death will rend it, and will reveal either the glorious image of the Father, or the image of the demon-god for which it has lived.

(E. L. Hull, B. A.)

Why false doctrines are a defiling. First, from the pure nature of God's truth, and His worship, which falsehoods do stain and take away the glory of. Oh, then, how humble, tender, and careful ought men to be! Are the truths and ordinances of God by institution, and in their original so pure? Come not, then, with thy foul hands to handle such precious things. Secondly, they are called defilements and pollutions, because the truths and Church of God are not only pure, but dedicated and appropriated to Him, as the only object. Thirdly, errors and heresies may well be called defilements, because they are a disease, and so spread over the Church. Fourthly, they are defilements, because they pollute the conscience, mind, and heart, and whole life of a man. Hence you have that phrase, "Men of corrupt minds" (1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Timothy 3:8). Lastly, Corrupt doctrines are called defilements, to show how loathsome and abominable they should be to us. We have despatched the sin supposed, we come to the punishment proposed — "Him shall God destroy." Let us consider the aggravation of this destruction. First, it is an eternal destruction; a destruction that is always destroying, and yet the party is not extinguished. Secondly, it is a universal destruction in a moral sense. There is not the least mixture of any joy, of any hope. Thirdly, it is an inevitable destruction. God will destroy; who can stop God's hand?

(A. Burgess.)

There was, under the law —

1. The outward court, where the people did stand, and the inner temple, into which none but the priests did enter. So with a Christian; there is the outward temple of his body (1 Corinthians 6:19), and the holy of holies, his soul, where none but Christ our High Priest must come.

I. THE RESEMBLANCES BETWEEN A BELIEVER'S SOUL AND A TEMPLE.

1. All the materials were fitted for the building of the temple: the timber was to be sawn, the stones to be hewn and polished. So by nature we are not qualified for a temple, we are unhewn and unpolished. So far from preparing ourselves for a temple, we indispose ourselves; but God hews us by His prophets (Hosea 2:5), and cuts and carves us by afflictions, and so makes us meet for a spiritual temple.

2. The temple was very magnificent (1 Kings 6:32). So the soul of a believer is an illustrious temple. God Himself brings His glory into it (Psalm 45:13). Christ never admired the goodly stones of the visible, but admired the glory of the spiritual temple (1 Peter 3:4).

3. The temple was a place set apart for God's peculiar worship; it was separated from all other places. So a believer's heart is consecrated ground, and set apart for God's service (Psalm 4:3; Psalm 119:38).

4. The temple was a place of God's special presence: He did there command His blessings. So in a spiritual heart God wonderfully manifests His presence: there He gives forth the influences of His grace, the communications of His love.

5. The temple was adorned with curious pictures; so the temple of the heart hath God's image in it (Colossians 3:10); is drawn by the pencil of the Holy Ghost.

6. The temple had a fire burning on the altar; so a believer's heart is the altar on which there is a sacred fire still burning (Romans 12:13; Psalm 119:97).

7. The temple, being an hallowed place, was to be kept clean (2 Chronicles 29:15; 2 Chronicles 23:3). So must this (2 Chronicles 7:1).

II. THIS DIVINE TEMPLE OF THE SOUL DIFFERS FROM OTHER TEMPLES, AND HATH A TRANSCENDENT EXCELLENCY ABOVE THEM.

1. Other material temples, though of a beautiful structure, yet have no life in them; but a believer is a living temple (1 Peter 2:5). Hypocrites who have only a name to live (Revelation 3:1), are not temples, but tombs.

2. This is an heavenly temple; other temples are constituted of earthly materials. The believer's soul was breathed from heaven, and that which is in heaven is to be found in Him. In heaven there is —(1) Light (Colossians 1:12), so in a saint there is the light of knowledge (Ephesians 5:8).(2) Love (1 John 4:7), so a saint's heart is a temple of love (John 21:15).(3) Joy (Matthew 25:23), so a saint hath joy in believing (Romans 15:13).

3. He is an everlasting temple; other temples are of a perishable nature. God will not demolish His own temple. Christ's blood cements all the stones together, and as long as the foundation and cement hold, so long this temple shall last, and that is for ever.

III. Uses.

1. Of information.(1) See the difference between the godly and the wicked: the heart of the godly is a temple; the heart of the wicked is a cage of unclean birds (Revelation 18:2).(2) See wherein a great part of the nation's safety lies; namely, in having store of these spiritual temples. In ancient times temples were places of safety. The saints are England's sanctuaries.(3) If the saints are the temples of God, then how dangerous is it for any to abuse and injure them!

2. Of examination. All God's temples are made in some measure like Him.(1) God is a spirit. Are we spiritual?(2) God is pure. Have we holy and chaste affections?(3) God is merciful. What shall we say to them who have no mercy?

3. Of exhortation. You who are the temples of God.(1) Do not defile God's temple (ver. 17).

(a)By intermixing with the wicked. Bad company is defiling (1 Corinthians 5:9).

(b)By uncleanness. This sin defiles both the outward temple and the inner.

(c)By error. Heresies are as the leprosy, which defiled the house in which it was (Leviticus 14:39).(2) Be as temples.

(a)Do temple work. Offer up spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5) — of prayer; of a broken heart (Psalm 51:17); of praise (Psalm 50:23).

(b)Study temple purity. The temple was very holy. So Christians. Holiness beautifies God's temples, and is the cherisher of a Christian's peace.

4. Of consolation.(1) Such as are God's spiritual temples shall have much of God's company (2 Corinthians 6:16).(2) Such as are gracious temples shall one day be glorious temples.

(T. Watson.)

Take the figure in connection with any of the kinds of habitation spoken of in Scripture —

1. The home.

2. The tent.

3. The palace.

4. The temple — it exhibits a most comforting truth to us.To be God's home or dwelling, His tent or tabernacle, His royal palace, His chosen temple, of which that on Moriah was a mere shadow, how solemn the admonition as to personal holiness conveyed to us by this! In God's temple there is the blood, the fire, the smoke, the water, the lamps, the incense, the shewbread, the cherubim, the glory — all consecrated things, and all pertaining to what is heavenly!

I. WHAT INTIMACY WITH GOD. Acquaintanceship with Him who has made our heart His home is the least which could be expected. He must be no stranger to us. There must not merely be reconciliation — for that may consist with some degree of distance — but intimacy, peaceful friendship, loving acquaintanceship. If God be our inmate, how intimate ought we to be with Him in all respects! Of an old Scotch minister it is said (as the finishing stroke in his character), "He was one very intimate with God." So let it be said of us.

II. WHAT CALMNESS OF SPIRIT. In all false religion there is excitement, in true religion calmness. Man is never more truly and deeply calm than when filled with the Spirit of God. The tendency of much that is called religion in our day is to agitation, bustle, noise, unnatural fervour. God keeps His temple in perfect peace.

III. WHAT SOLEMNITY OF SOUL If God be inhabiting us as His temple we ought surely to be solemn men — called to a solemn life, speaking solemn words, manifesting a solemn deportment. Should the world's rude laughter echo through the aisles of the Divine temple? or its uproarious mirth ring through the holy of holies?

IV. WHAT RECOLLECTEDNESS OF THOUGHT AND FEELING. With God dwelling in us, shall we allow wandering thoughts or forgetfulness of the Divine presence to prevail. Let us gather up our thoughts and keep them gathered.

V. WHAT SPIRITUALITY AND UNWORLDLINESS. "God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." We need the spiritual heart, shutting out the world from a shrine which Jehovah has entered and made His own. If we are temples of the holy Ghost, and if His temples are holy, then are not such things as the following shut out? —

1. Vanity. How inconsistent 1

2. Pleasure. Can a lover of pleasure be a temple of the Holy Ghost?

3. Politics. What have the poor party politics of this world to do with the worship of this glorious temple? Can the smoke and dust of the world commingle with the incense of the golden altar?

4. Covetousness. Absorption even in lawful business is inconsistent with our being temples of God. Let us not grieve that Spirit whose temple we are. Let us allow Him to fill us wholly, and to cast out all that is unbefitting the holiness and glory of His habitation.

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