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Demonstrate A Fully Obedient Faith
Develop a Mature Faith
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Paul reminds the believers that they are the temple (Gk., the inner shrine or sanctuary) of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in them. It is true that every individual believer is also a temple of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but that is not the thought here. The apostle is looking at the church as a collective company, and wishes them to realize the holy dignity of such a calling.
1 Corinthians 3:17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
A third class of work in the local church is that which may be spoken of as destructive. Apparently there were false teachers who had come into the church at Corinth and whose instruction tended more to sin than to holiness. They did not think it a serious matter to thus cause havoc in a temple of God, so Paul thunders out this solemn declaration: “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.”
Viewed in its local setting, this means that if any man enters a local church and wrecks its testimony, God will destroy him. The passage is speaking of false teachers who are not true believers in the Lord Jesus. The seriousness of such an offense is indicated by the closing words of verse 17: “For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
In Christian service, as in all of Christian life, there is always the danger of self-deception.
Perhaps some of those who came to Corinth as teachers posed as men of extreme wisdom. Any who have an exalted view of their own worldly wisdom must learn that they must become fools in the eyes of the world in order to become wise in God’s estimation.
Godet helpfully paraphrases at this point: If any individual whatever, Corinthian or other, while preaching the gospel in your assemblies assumes the part of a wise man and reputation of a profound thinker, let him assure himself that he will not attain true wisdom until he has passed through a crisis in which that wisdom of his with which he is puffed up will perish and after which only he will receive the wisdom which is from above.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;
Man by searching could never find out God, neither would human wisdom ever have devised a plan of salvation by which God would become Man in order to die for guilty, vile, rebel sinners.
Job 5:13 is quoted in verse 19 to show that God triumphs over the supposed wisdom of men to work out His own purposes.
Man with all his learning cannot thwart the plans of the Lord; instead, God often shows them that in spite of their worldly wisdom, they are utterly poor and powerless.
1 Corinthians 3:20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
Psalm 94:11 is quoted here to emphasize that the Lord knows all the reasonings of the wise men of this world, and He further knows that they are futile, empty, and fruitless.
But why is Paul going to such pains to discredit worldly wisdom? Simply for this reason—the Corinthians were placing a great premium on such wisdom and were following those leaders who seemed to exhibit it in a remarkable degree. How are we challenged with this same pattern of thought today?
1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:
In view of all that had been said, no one should boast in men.
And as far as true servants of the Lord are concerned, we should not boast that we belong to them but rather realize that they all belong to us. All things are yours.
1 Corinthians 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours.
Someone has called verse 22 “an inventory of the possessions of the child of God.” Christian workers belong to us, whether Paul the evangelist, or Apollos the teacher, or Cephas the pastor. Since they all belong to us, it is folly for us to claim that we belong to any one of them.
Then the world is ours. As joint heirs with Christ, we will one day come into possession of it, but in the meantime it is ours by divine promise. Those who tend its affairs do not realize that they are doing so for us.
Life is ours. By this we do not mean merely existence on earth but life in its truest, fullest sense.
And death is ours. For us it is no longer a dread foe that consigns the soul to the dark unknown; rather it is now the messenger of God that brings the soul to heaven.
Things present and things to come—all are likewise ours. It has been truly said that all things serve the man who serves Christ.
A. T. Robertson once said: “The stars in their courses fight for the man who is partner with God in the world’s redemption.”
1 Corinthians 3:23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
All Christians belong to Christ. Some in Corinth were claiming to belong to Him to the exclusion of all others. They formed the “Christ-party.” But Paul refutes any such contention. We are all Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. By thus showing the saints their true and proper dignity, Paul reveals in bold relief the folly of forming parties and divisions in the church.
Experiencing Spiritual Breakthrough in the Family
Ice Breaker: Who in your family, if anyone, had the most spiritual influence on you as a child?
Understanding God’s Purpose For the Family
Genesis 8:15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying,
The family must receive direction God. How can receive direction from God in our families?
Genesis 8:16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. :17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
God’s directions lead to abundance. Notice God wanted the creatures to abound, and be fruitful and multiply. How can this be applied to our lives and church?
Genesis 8:18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. :19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
What can we learn about family from these scriptures?
Genesis 8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. :21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. :22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”
Noah responded to God’s saving grace by building an altar. Those of us who have been saved from the wrath to come should likewise bring to God our heartfelt worship.
Macdonald, Farstad Grady Scott, Hindson, E. MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006).