1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
Think McFly, think.
Paul’s not to amused by the Corinthians today. He actually seems a little peeved. When you open up a section calling people a bunch of babies, the rest probably isn’t going to go that well. And while the verse I choose today has some profound meaning, the tone of this entire section is what really gets me. Paul’s got to be frustrated at the lack of these people “getting it.” It reminds me of an interaction between Biff and Marty McFly in Back to the Future. Watch this:
Hello? Hello? Think Corinthians, think. So Paul is giving some correction and instruction to these guys and hoping that they will get the hint he wants them to make some changes. The one that jumped out of me was verse 16: Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? Don’t you guys know that? Isn’t this what I have been teaching, that Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to live in you?
Yet somehow we think that God is fills a building. We think we have to go somewhere to find Him. If we could just get ourselves inside the temple, God will be there. Well Paul has got news for you – you are the temple. God choose to dwell in man, not in a building. Don’t get me wrong, God can and is present in the church – at least we hope so. After all, it is a good place to grow, learn, laugh, cry, and share life. But the presence of God is also in you. Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to dwell IN us and Jesus is no liar. He did it.
I really think the Corinthians already knew this, which leads to Paul’s frustration. Because if you know that the Holy Spirit lives in you, why does your life look like He doesn’t? That’s what Paul wants to know. It’s the heart of this chapter really. Paul’s not just some cranky apostle with unrealistic expectations. He simply wants to know how you can understand you are the temple of God, the dwelling place of God, and live a life that appears to be devoid of Him.
I wonder what Paul would say to us. We know that we are the temple of God. We know that the Holy Spirit lives in us. I just hope Paul wouldn’t have to call us a bunch of babies… ’cause I might just have to sit down and cry about that.