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You Are God's Temple

Image of two hands clasped in prayer over an open Bible with the words "you are God's temple, October 27, 2022, 1 Corinthians 3:16"

October 27, 2022

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”


In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul was using metaphors in his letters to the church in Corinth.  First he compared them to a field being planted and watered by himself and Apollos as God’s workers.  Then he compared their community of Christians to a building be constructed on top of a foundation of Jesus Christ by other teachers and leaders.  Now Paul is comparing them to the temple of God. 

He’s asking his readers if they understand that they are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in them. Most likely, the people reading this letter however, would have a hard time understanding this description.  Their church in Corinth likely didn’t even meet in an actual building. They met in smaller groups in the homes of various members.  In their heads, they probably thought about the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and had a hard time picturing them being God’s temple.

The point that Paul is trying to make however is that we aren’t just a building. We are a temple of God and His spirit is dwelling in us. We represent God. That can be both encouraging, but it could also be frightening! The encouraging part to me is that I am never alone. The creator of everything lives in me. No matter what happens to me, if I’m hurt, or scared, He is right there with me. He’s there to help guide me and help me decide what is right and what is wrong. He’s there to comfort me whenever I need it.

But, the frightening part is, we represent Him to the world. The church in Corinth had missed that point. They were fighting amongst themselves and got caught up in believing what the world believed. So Paul was reminding them that if they weren’t careful, they would be misrepresenting the church to the city. Instead of leading people to Christ, they would hinder and lead people away from Christ. 

We need to remember as Christians that the Holy Spirit is always with us. He sees and knows everything that you do. You can’t hide from Him. So use that. Use it for good. Use it to share Him with the rest of the world, and do good in the world. Use it to help lead you where He wants you to go. Use it to feel comforted and loved at all times. 

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