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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:16

 

 

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ye are the temple of God - The apostle resumes here what he had asserted in 1 Corinthians 3:9; : Ye are God's building. As the whole congregation of Israel were formerly considered as the temple and habitation of God, because God dwelt among them, so here the whole Church of Corinth is called the temple of God, because all genuine believers have the Spirit of God to dwell in them; and Christ has promised to be always in the midst even of two or three who are gathered together in his name. Therefore where God is, there is his temple.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Know ye not … - The apostle here carries forward and completes the figure which he had commenced in regard to Christians. His illustrations had been drawn from architecture; and he here proceeds to say that Christians are that building (see 1 Corinthians 3:9): that they were the sacred temple which God had reared; and that, therefore, they should be pure and holy. This is a practical application of what he had been before saying.

Ye are the temple of God - This is to be understood of the community of Christians, or of the church, as being the place where God dwells on the earth. The idea is derived from the mode of speaking among the Jews, where they are said often in the Old Testament to be the temple and the habitation of God. And the allusion is probably to the fact that God dwelt by a visible symbol - “the Shechinah” - in the temple, and that His abode was there. As He dwelt there among the Jews; as He had there a temple - a dwelling place, so he dwells among Christians. they are His temple, the place of His abode. His residence is with them; and He is in their midst. This figure the apostle Paul several times uses, 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20-22. A great many passages have been quoted by Eisner and Wetstein, in which a virtuous mind is represented as the temple of God, and in which the obligation to preserve that inviolate and unpolluted is enforced. The figure is a beautiful one, and very impressive. A temple was an edifice erected to the service of God. The temple at Jerusalem was not only most magnificent, but was regarded as most sacred:

(1) From the fact that it was devoted to his service; and,

(2) From the fact that it was the special residence of Yahweh.

Among the pagan also, temples were regarded as sacred. They were supposed to be inhabited by the divinity to whom they were dedicated. They were regarded, as inviolable. Those who took refuge there were safe. It was a crime of the highest degree to violate a temple, or to tear a fugitive who had sought protection there from the altar. So the apostle says of the Christian community. They were regarded as his temple - God dwelt among them - and they should regard themselves as holy, and as consecrated to his service. And so it is regarded as a species of sacrilege to violate the temple, and to devote it to other uses, 1 Corinthians 6:19; see 1 Corinthians 3:17.

And that the Spirit of God - The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. This is conclusively proved by 1 Corinthians 6:19, where he is called “the Holy Ghost.”

Dwelleth in you - As God dwelt formerly in the tabernacle, and afterward in the temple, so His Spirit now dwells among Christians - This cannot mean:

(1)That the Holy Spirit is “personally united” to Christians, so as to form a personal union; or,

(2)That there is to Christians any communication of his nature or personal qualities; or,

(3)That there is any union of “essence,” or “nature” with them, for God is present in all places, and can, as God, be no more present at one place than at another.

The only sense in which he can be especially present in any place is by His “influence,” or “agency.” And the idea is one which denotes agency, influence, favor, special regard; and in that sense only can he be present with his church. The expression must mean:

(1)That the church is the seat of His operations, the field or abode on which He acts on earth;

(2)That His influences are there, producing the appropriate effects of His agency, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, etc.; Galatians 5:22-23;

(3)that He produces consolations there, that he sustains and guides His people;

(4)That they are regarded as dedicated or consecrated to Him;

(5)That they are especially dear to Him - that He loves them, and thus makes His abode with them. See the note at John 14:23.

(“These words import the actual presence and inhabitation of the Spirit himself. The fact is plainly attested, but it is mysterious, and cannot be distinctly explained. In respect of His essence, He is as much present with unbelievers as with believers. His dwelling in the latter must therefore signify, that He manifests himself, in their souls, in a special manner; that He exerts there His gracious power, and produces effects which other people do not experience - We may illustrate His presence with them, as distinguished from His presence with people in general, by supposing the vegetative power of the earth to produce, in the surrounding regions, only common and worthless plants, but to throw out, in a select spot, all the riches and beauty of a cultivated garden” - Dick‘s Theology, Vol. III. p. 287.)


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

The words of this text are sometimes applied to individuals; but, as Morris said, "The reference here is to the church."[24] There is no article before "temple" in the Greek; and it would be more accurately translated, "Ye are a temple of God."[25] "The building of which the apostle speaks is the Christian church, called in this verse The Temple of God."[26]

THE CHURCH THE TEMPLE OF GOD

Of all the beautiful metaphors of God's church such as the bride of Christ, the vineyard of the Lord, the household of God, the pillar and ground of the truth, the spiritual body of Christ, and the flock of Christ, none is more beautiful or intriguing than "The Temple of God."

The first suggestion ever made regarding a temple for the one true God was made by David, whose conscience was stricken with the thought of his own house of cedar compared with the humble tent-shrine which housed the ark of the covenant. Nathan the prophet, however, explained to David that God had never once expressed any desire to have such a house (temple), stating emphatically that after David's death, David's son would build God a house, that his kingdom would be established for ever in the person of that "seed" (which was Christ, of course). See 2 Samuel 7:1-13. Concerning the Greater Son of David, who is Christ, it was prophesied that he would build a house (temple) for God's name and that his throne would be established for ever. From the remarkable teachings in this passage from Samuel it is absolutely clear that God never intended that a physical temple would be constructed in Jerusalem. The departure of Israel from God's word in 2 Samuel 7 is exactly parallel to their departure from God's word in 1 Samuel 8.

How did David react to the prophet's forbidding him in God's name to build a temple, and promising that "the Son of David" would build God's temple (a prophecy of the church)? He said, in effect, "Well, that has to be Bathsheba's boy! Solomon will build the temple!" To be sure he did so, but there is no evidence whatever that the building of a material temple in Jerusalem was any different in the sight of God than the setting up of the earthly monarchy in the days of Samuel. God permitted both. He used both. He accommodated to the hardness of the people's heart; but that extravagant earthly temple of the Jews was only a second outcropping of the fleshly desire of Israel to be like the nations around them, which had their richly ornamented temples erected to pagan deities.

It is known that God would not permit David to build the temple because of his wickedness. He was a man of blood. But was Solomon any less wicked and bloody? His notorious debaucheries were the scandal of forty generations.

Moreover, the temple proved to be as big a stumbling block to the Jews as the secular kingdom was. Christ's first announcement to his generation included the fact that "One greater than the temple is here!" (Matthew 12:6). While Christ was on earth, the true temple was "his body" (John 2:21); and after Pentecost, the true temple has been nothing other than the spiritual body of Christ. This was the element of Stephen's speech that so infuriated the religious partisans in Jerusalem that they mobbed him. See under 1 Corinthians 3:9.

Therefore, Paul's designation of the body of Christ in this passage as the temple of God is of the utmost significance. Paul himself had, with difficulty, come to understand this. As soon as he was converted, he went straight to that old secular temple; and God told him to get out of the place, even out of the city (Acts 22:17-21); and Paul, even after that, returned to the temple where he was mobbed; and in the behavior of the temple partisans (including the high priest), Paul finally read the will of God as it had been declared by Jesus that the temple was nothing but a "den of thieves and robbers" (Mark 11:17), that it was not God's house at all, but the house of the Jews, and that it was left unto them "desolate" (Matthew 23:38).

The above reflections are not denied by the fact of God's using the temple after the Jews constructed it against his will; he did the same thing with the secular kingdom.

The true temple of God, therefore, has never been anything else except the church of Jesus Christ our Lord. In it alone, not in some man-made shrine, men are called to worship and serve the Lord of glory. Meeting houses are not, in any sense, "true" sanctuaries.

The fact of God's Spirit dwelling in the spiritual body of Christ which is the church does not deny the residence of the Spirit of promise in the hearts of individual Christians (Acts 2:38ff; Ephesians 1:13).

[24] Leon Morris, op. cit., p. 69.

[25] Ibid.

[26] James Macknight, op. cit., p. 46.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,.... The apostle having spoken of the saints as God's building, of himself as a wise master builder, of Christ as the only foundation, and of various doctrines as the materials laid thereon, proceeds to observe to this church, and the members of it, that they being incorporated together in a Gospel church state, were the temple of God; and which was what they could not, or at least ought not, to be ignorant of: and they are so called, in allusion to Solomon's temple; which as it was a type of the natural, so of the mystical body of Christ. There is an agreement between that and the church of Christ, in its maker, matter, situation, magnificence, and holiness; and the church is said to be the temple of God, because it is of his building, and in which he dwells: what the apostle here says of the saints at Corinth, the Jewish doctors say of the IsraelitesF14R. Alshech in Hag. ii. 5. , היכל יהוה א־תאם, "the temple of the Lord are ye"; and which being usually said of them in the apostle's time, he may refer unto; and much better apply to the persons he does, of which the indwelling of the Spirit was the evidence:

and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you: in particular members, as a spirit of regeneration, sanctification, faith, and adoption, and as the earnest and pledge of their future glory; in their ministers to fit and qualify them for their work, and carry them through it; and in the whole church, to bless the word and ordinances, for their growth, comfort, and establishment. This furnishes out a considerable proof of the deity and distinct personality of the Spirit, since this is mentioned as an evidence of the saints being the temple of God, which would not be one, if the Spirit was not God, who dwells therein; and since a temple is sacred to deity, and therefore if he dwells here as in a temple, he must dwell here as God; and since he is mentioned as distinct from God, whose Spirit he is, and dwelling, a personal action is ascribed to him, he must be a distinct divine person.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

9 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

(9) Continuing still in the metaphor of building, he teaches us that this ambition is not only vain, but also sacrilegious: for he says that the Church is as it were the Temple of God, which God has as it were consecrated to himself by his Spirit. Then turning himself to these ambitious men, he shows that they profane the Temple of God, because those vain arts in which they please themselves so much are, as he teaches, many pollutions of the holy doctrine of God, and the purity of the Church. This wickedness will not go unpunished.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Know ye not — It is no new thing I tell you, in calling you “God‘s building”; ye know and ought to remember, ye are the noblest kind of building, “the temple of God.”

ye — all Christians form together one vast temple. The expression is not, “ye are temples,” but “ye are the temple” collectively, and “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5) individually.

God … Spirit — God‘s indwelling, and that of the Holy Spirit, are one; therefore the Holy Spirit is God. No literal “temple” is recognized by the New Testament in the Christian Church. The only one is the spiritual temple, the whole body of believing worshippers in which the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19; John 4:23, John 4:24). The synagogue, not the temple, was the model of the Christian house of worship. The temple was the house of sacrifice, rather than of prayer. Prayers in the temple were silent and individual (Luke 1:10; Luke 18:10-13), not joint and public, nor with reading of Scripture, as in the synagogue. The temple, as the name means (from a Greek root “to dwell”), was the earthly dwelling-place of God, where alone He put His name. The synagogue (as the name means an assembly) was the place for assembling men. God now too has His earthly temple, not one of wood and stone, but the congregation of believers, the “living stones” on the “spiritual house.” Believers are all spiritual priests in it. Jesus Christ, our High Priest, has the only literal priesthood (Malachi 1:11; Matthew 18:20; 1 Peter 2:5) [Vitringa].


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Ye are a temple of God (ναος τεου εστεnaos theou este). Literally, a sanctuary (ναοςnaos not ιερονhieron the sacred enclosure, but the holy place and the most holy place) of God. The same picture of building as in 1 Corinthians 3:9 (οικοδομηoikodomē), only here the sanctuary itself.

Dwelleth in you (εν υμιν οικειen humin oikei). The Spirit of God makes his home (οικειoikei) in us, not in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Temple ( ναὸς )

Or sanctuary. See on Matthew 4:5. Compare Ephesians 2:21; 2 Corinthians 6:16.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-corinthians-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Ye — All Christians.

Are the temple of God — The most noble kind of building, 1 Corinthians 3:9.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-3.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

16.Know ye not, etc. Having admonished the teachers as to their duty, he now addresses himself to the pupils — that they, too, may take heed to themselves. To the teachers he had said, “You are the master-builders of the house of God.” He now says to the people, “You are the temples of God. It is your part, therefore, to take care that you be not, in any way defiled.” Now, the design (190) is, that they may not prostitute themselves to the service of men. He confers upon them distinguished honor in speaking thus, but it is in order that they may be made the more reprehensible; for, as God has set them apart as a temple to himself, he has at the same time appointed them to be guardians of his temple It is sacrilege, then, if they give themselves up to the service of men. He speaks of all of them collectively as being one temple of God; for every believer is a living stone, (1 Peter 2:5,) for the rearing up of the building of God. At the same time they also, in some cases, individually receive the name of temples We shall find him a little afterwards (1 Corinthians 6:19) repeating the same sentiment, but for another purpose. For in that passage he treats of chastity; but here, on the other hand, he exhorts them to have their faith resting on the obedience of Christ alone. The interrogation gives additional emphasis; for he indirectly intimates, that he speaks to them of a thing that they knew, while he appeals to them as witnesses.

And the Spirit of God. Here we have the reason why they are the temple of God Hence and must be understood as meaning because (191) This is customary, as in the words of the poet — “Thou hadst heard it, and it had been reported.” “For this reason,” says he, “are ye the temples of God, because He dwells in you by his Spirit; for no unclean place can be the habitation of God.” In this passage we have an explicit testimony for maintaining the divinity of the Holy Spirit. For if he were a creature, or merely a gift, he would not make us temples of God, by dwelling in us. At the same time we learn, in what manner God communicates himself to us, and by what tie we are bound to him — when he pours down upon us the influence of his Spirit.


Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-3.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE TEMPLE OF GOD

‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and than the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’

1 Corinthians 3:16

Not only does the Holy Ghost come to convict of sin, not only does He come to lead us into the path of righteousness, but He dwells in us. And, therefore, the tremendous fact is this, that the Holy Ghost within me speaks to the Holy Ghost within you, and that both of us will have to render an account before the judgment-seat of God.

I. In one sense the earth itself is the temple of the Holy Ghost.—Half our difficulties in faith arise from forgetting that the earth itself is an expression of the Holy Spirit. The world is not a dead, pagan, unholy thing. That sunshine is an expression of His being; He lingered over that glorious lily; those roses He thought of; He is the Spirit of order Who made the world. And it is not only that the idea of the earth as the temple of the Lord is an inspiring thought, but it is so helpful. Have you never felt any difficulty about the Incarnation? Have you never thought it was almost too good to be true, that the Son of God came down and took human flesh? But what if it is God’s world to start with? What if human flesh is a holy thing, which it is? There is no such thing as the purely secular when we understand the world. It is God’s world. ‘God’s in His heaven’—God is in His earth—‘all’s right with the world.’ And, therefore, it helps me with the Incarnation. He came into His own world; and so, when the Holy Spirit came, He came down upon the earth which He had made. It is most striking to-day, and I like to help the thinking men who may be among us and who study these things. Have you ever noticed how the philosophers and thinkers of the world are coming round to this truth to-day? I can remember when the fashionable philosophy of the day was what is called materialism; materialism is out of date to-day. Even though they have not reached our full truth—that the Holy Spirit is the centre of everything—you find advanced thinkers (I could mention some of their names) to-day who begin to tell us that spirit is the only reality; that matter is a form of spirit, and that the spiritual world is the only real world. How the children of God come to their own, if they only wait! It is what we said years ago. And therefore the thought—the first thought before we get to even more intimate truths—that the earth itself is an expression of the Spirit of God wonderfully helps the spiritual life. Are we surprised that the dead body of Jesus Christ was raised from the dead? But what if the flesh itself, what if the body itself, was a spiritual thing?

II. The Church is a body which the Holy Spirit fills.—‘Ye are the temple of God’—the whole of you. Do you remember how the waiting Church waited as silently as you wait—timid, irresolute, cold—when with tongues of fire and sudden rushing wind down came the Holy Ghost upon that waiting Church, and has never gone back? And while we are accustomed to the thought that the Church exists for you and me, have you never thought that you and I exist for the Church? That the Holy Spirit’s great office is to prepare a bride for Christ?

III. ‘The Spirit of God dwelleth in you.’—Do you see what it means? That behind the outer court of the temple, which is your body, behind even the holy place, which is your soul, in the inner holy of holies of your being, the Holy Ghost lives—except ye be reprobate. ‘The Holy Spirit is in you,’ says St. Paul, ‘except ye be reprobate.’ Have you never felt some still, small voice speaking within you? That was the Holy Spirit’s voice pleading with your conscience. You know that the flesh lusteth against the spirit, but do we all realise that the spirit lusteth against the flesh? that we cannot be quite happy if there is an impulse uncrushed yet within us that cries aloud for good, that draws us towards better things, that stirs us up, which prevents us being really happy in our sin? Oh, for God’s sake do not choke it down. That is the Holy Dove of God struggling, pleading still within you.

IV. What effect, if this is so, ought the Holy Ghost to be having over spirit, over mind, and over body, as He dwells in the holy of holies behind the body, behind the mind, and behind the spirit?

(a) What effect upon the body? The body is a holy thing—there is nothing wrong in the body. Jesus Christ wore the body without a touch of sin. Do not lay the blame on the body. Passions, instincts of the body, are planted there by God. The body is a holy thing, but there is all the difference between a man on a horse with the reins in his hands and the bit in the horse’s mouth and that same man with the reins round his feet dragging him in the dust. That is the difference between the man or woman whose body is ruled by the Spirit and the man who has let his passions master him and drag him into the dust. The body, like the horse, is a splendid servant, but a terrible master.

(b) What effect will it have upon the mind if the Spirit dwells within us? You cannot indulge those bad and wicked thoughts; you cannot harbour that jealousy which you brought to church with you; you cannot go back and carry on that bitter quarrel if the Holy Spirit is going to rule your life. Yield to those better, gentler feelings; to ‘whatsoever things are pure, lovely, and of good report.’ Let your mind dwell on these alone; that is what the Spirit is putting into your mind; not the wicked, jealous, angry, bitter thoughts.

(c) What effect will it have upon the spirit? How earnest will be our prayers if, in the holy of holies, our spirit dwells with God. There will be no forgetfulness of prayer; no cold, half-hearted petitions. If the Holy Spirit of God dwells in the holy of holies with my spirit, then how I shall pray for others! Then how earnest will be my prayers; then I shall say, ‘Come, Holy Ghost, my soul inspire, pray with me, give me the words, the thoughts, to pray.’ That will be the effect of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me.

—Bishop A. F. Winnington-Ingram.

Illustrations

(1) ‘Here is one of those inspirations about the earth which that wonderful poet, Browning, has put into the lips of a little maiden, “Pippa,” as she “Passes” in the early morning:—

The year’s at the spring

And day’s at the morn;

Morning’s at seven;

The hill-side’s dew-pearled;

The lark’s on the wing;

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in His heaven—

All’s right with the world!

That maiden’s spring song is full of a glorious truth. Our earth, our world, is part of the mind of the Spirit.’

(2) ‘“There was a poor girl lying on her back,” said the Bishop of London, “whom I used to visit every week in my first curacy, and it used to puzzle her and those who watched her, why she was allowed to lie like that for over fifteen years, I think it was. (I was only there for a year or two, she lay years before I went and years after I left.) Why was she allowed to lie there year after year, month after month, in constant pain? I found a reading which comforted her more than anything in Bishop Walsham How’s book Pastor in Parochia. It was about the stonemason’s shop; how the stonemason takes his chisel and works away at the stone day after day, with very little apparent result at first, but he is getting it ready for a place in his building, and the more time he spent upon the stone the more beautiful a place it is going to have. That taught her that she existed for the Church, for the temple; that it was not waste of time, her years of suffering and patience. She loved to think that the Master Builder was working away at her, and refining her, to make her more fit for a beautiful place in His temple.’

(SECOND OUTLINE)

THE POWER OF THE INDWELLING SPIRIT

The first visible fruit of the coming of the Holy Ghost was in the gift of tongues. It was the extraordinary, and not the ordinary, gift of the Holy Ghost, and we make a great mistake when we think that the extraordinary must of necessity be of more value, of greater worth, than the ordinary. The extraordinary gifts which appear from time to time in the New Testament have passed; do not envy them. The ordinary gift of the Holy Ghost—that remains with us, and that is of much higher value than the extraordinary.

What is the ordinary gift? It is the gift of spiritual power. ‘Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ That is the Master’s promise, and they were to wait for it. Of this other gift of languages He said nothing—only of the more precious gift, the gift of the power from on high.

I. It is the power of the Holy Spirit which takes hold of our understanding.—The Holy Spirit entering into our soul, making the body and the soul His temple and dwelling within us, comes as an added strength to our understanding, raising our understanding, so that it can not only deal with the things that it sees, but rise to the height of faith, giving a new power of faith, and opening our eyes to see the true bearing and meaning of the words of the Lord, and of the acts of the Lord. All that He has done and said for our own soul needs a key. There the words lie on the page, and they are like a locked room. It is the Holy Spirit Who can come and open those words for our understanding, according to the promise of the Lord: ‘When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.’ Remember, the words of the Lord are only to be understood by the help and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

II. The Holy Spirit comes and brings power or brings strength to our own heart and to our own affections, and teaches a man, and helps a man to hate what is hateful, and to love what is good and what is true. The Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts and puts in them that double faculty of the appreciation of what is good, the love of what is good, and the renunciation and hatred of what is evil.

III. The Holy Spirit, entering into our hearts, finds His way into our will—our will which has been weakened by self-indulgence and self-pleasing—and puts new strength into that will, and gives to us what He gave to the Apostles at that time—new heart and new courage to face the difficulties before them. The coming of the Holy Ghost made of these men, who were cowards, heroes and martyrs. One after another, these men who had denied their Master, after the coming of the Holy Ghost, laid down their lives. The strength of the martyrs is the witness of the power of the Holy Ghost, just as all the most beautiful things which have been written and thought are the gifts of the Holy Ghost. And all true love of God and man is an outcome of that Holy Spirit Who has made the soul His temple and resting-place.

—Rev. E. F. Russell.

(THIRD OUTLINE)

THE SUBJECTION OF THE BODY

There are fallacies by which men often deceive themselves into luxurious life. God made my nature, they say; God made my passions, my instincts, my body; God spread this fair world around me, and may I not use it? There is something so plausible in that that it is the fallacy by which again and again men deceive themselves. God made my nature—yes, but

I. He impressed a law on my nature, the same law that He has impressed upon the whole of His creation, and that is the great law of sacrifice. I am to use the material world in which He placed me, I am to use my body, with all its capacities and powers, but I am to use them in obedience to that law, seeing that I never make the material thing, the dead piece of matter, an end, an object of pursuit in itself, but always make matter the obedient minister of spirit, and seeing that it is ever rising up through me to God. And so stamped upon creation, when we look it in the face, is this great law of sacrifice; and when we are bidden remember that our bodies are the temples of God, that is no arbitrary command laid on us; we are only thereby bid to remember that we are part and parcel, and the crowning part and parcel, of the whole material creation, that part of it through which it rises into articulate expression in the spirit of man, and is able to praise the God Who made it. And it is in that deep sense that we are the priests of creation, we gather the lower world into ourselves, and through ourselves we raise it up and offer it back to God Who made it. And through us the whole family of the material world is capable of becoming the minister of spirit.

II. That then is why luxury, the misuse of the material world, is wrong; it is a counterworking of the laws of creation, it is using matter down, down to the dust, instead of to lift us up to God; it is misusing the whole of this creation in which God has placed us. And the thing which you can see to be the misuse and contravention of the Divine law is surely a very terrible thing. By looking at luxury in this way I do not minimise its dangers; no, you see rather how deeply rooted in the very nature of the world this will be if it is a contravention of the law of God.

III. And its results are commensurate with the deepness of its evil.—Think of what luxury does for men; think how it blinds the spirit; take luxury in its lower forms, the deliberate life of pleasure lived on year after year, the deliberate pursuit of money for its own sake, any of those grosser forms of the life of luxury, see what they do for the spirit. Let a man live in them for years, and he can no longer see God; he no longer believes that there is a God; gradually but certainly they darken the spiritual vision till at last the luxurious life ends in blindness. And possibly there is even a worse thing than blindness—hardness of heart. And think what love is in human life, think what it can do for human life, think how it glorifies human life; and is there any one thing that man can do which more kills love than to lead the life of luxury? Slowly as it grows upon you it hardens the heart, it lowers love from its spiritual down to an earthly nature, and gradually it kills it out of the heart; all the finer feelings and sensibilities and emotions die, and love passes over into its own deadly opposite of cruelty.

When luxury and the life of luxury has had its perfect fruit, it is then the contravention of Divine law stamped upon the world; it blinds the spirit, it hardens the heart, it destroys the temple which should be the temple of the Spirit of God.

Rev. Canon Illingworth.

Illustration

‘Consider the principle upon which the sinfulness of luxury rests; people often rest it upon inadequate principles; they think that they may be luxurious, for example, if it does not hurt other people, and so forth; but all those imperfect reasons do not root the thing out from your heart. There is a deep principle in the very creation which makes luxury a sin. Luxury is the misuse of the material world; and in what does that consist? We misuse the material world directly we make it an end in itself, an object of pursuit for its own sake, instead of a minister and a means to something higher.’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Ver. 16. Ye are the temple of God] Not God’s building only, as 1 Corinthians 3:9, but his temple. A mud wall may be made up of anything, not so the walls of a temple or palace, that must have other materials.

And that the Spirit of God, &c.] Next to the love of Christ indwelling in our nature, we may wonder at the love of the Holy Ghost, that will dwell in our defiled souls. (Dr Sibbs on Ephesians 4:30) Let our care be to wash the pavement of this temple with our tears, to sweep it by repentance, to beautify it with holiness, to perfume it with prayers, to deck it with humility, to hang it with sincerity. Delicata res est Spiritus Dei; A sumptuous person is the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost will dwell in a poor, so it be a pure house. Religion loves to lie clean, as was a grave speech of an ancient saint.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 3:16

Consider the Offices of the Holy Ghost.

I. 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. The decayed frame of the soul is rebuilded, its lost powers restored, blind prejudice is removed from the understanding, and the bias of the will turned from the tendency to evil, and thus he who has been brought up a child of wrath with unruly passions and inclinations, and loving nothing but what God disapproves, is transformed into a child of God, with a capacity to apprehend spiritual things, a disposition to entertain them and strength to pursue them. And as it is through the work of the Holy Ghost that man is first created anew to God in righteousness and true holiness, so it is owing to this Divine Agent that he is afterward enabled to pursue steadfastly the Christian course. 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.

II. Having wrought this wondrous change, the Holy Spirit does not leave its subject to himself, for he needs unremitting assistance, and never, while on earth, attains a point at which his own strength suffices for his safety. He must continually pray, and he knows not what to pray for as he ought; he must labour after holiness, and he finds another law in his members warring against the law of his mind; he must count all things but loss that he may win Christ, but the objects of sight have a vast advantage over the objects of faith, and it is intensely difficult to give to what is future the required predominance. But in all these duties and difficulties it is the office of the Spirit to communicate strength sufficient for the occasion, and the Spirit carries on to a gracious consummation the work which He has begun in the man's heart. It rebuilds the fallen and desecrated fabric; it ministers continually at its altars, and makes its walls flash with the hope of immortality.

H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2067.

I. Every Christian is a dwelling-place of God. This is not a metaphor. It was the outward temple that was the metaphor. The reality is that which you and I, if we are God's children in Jesus Christ, experience. That God should dwell in my heart is possible only from the fact that He dwelt in all His fulness in Christ, through whom I touch Him. That Temple consecrates all heart-shrines; and all worshippers that keep near to Him partake with Him of the Father that dwelt in Him.

II. As temples all Christians are to be manifesters of God. The meaning of the Temple of all temples is that there the indwelling Deity shall reveal Himself, and if it be true that we Christian men and women are, in deep and blessed reality, the abiding-places and habitations of God, then it follows that we shall stand in the world as the great means by which God is manifested and made known, and that in a twofold way—to ourselves and to other people.

III. As temples all Christian lives should be places of sacrifice. The difference between all other and lesser nobilities of life and the supreme beauty of a true Christian life is that the sacrifice of the Christian is properly a sacrifice—that is, an offering to God, done for the sake of the great Love wherewith He hath loved us. As Christ is the one true Temple and we become so by partaking of Him, so He is the one Sacrifice for sins for ever, and we become sacrificers only through Him.

IV. This great truth of the text enforces the solemn lesson of the necessary sanctity of the Christian life. The first plain idea of the temple is a place set apart and consecrated to God. Christianity is intolerant. There is to be one image in the shrine. One of the old Roman Stoic emperors had a pantheon in his palace, with Jesus Christ upon one pedestal and Plato on the one beside Him; and some of us are trying the same kind of thing—Christ there, and somebody else here. Remember, Christ must be everything or nothing. Stars may be sown by millions, but for the earth there is but one sun. And you and I are to shrine one dear Guest, and one only, in the inmost recesses of our hearts.

A. Maclaren, Christian Commonwealth, May 6th, 1886.

Christians the Temple of God.

I. A temple is a place in which Deity is supposed specially to dwell, and in which He may be approached in worship. It supposes the existence of God and His willingness to hold intercourse with His creatures, and these are truths which have been universally admitted. The true dwelling-place of spirit is spirit; the true temple of Jehovah is the human soul. Christ appears not to abolish sacredness, but to extend it; not to defile holy ground, but to make all the earth holy; not to demolish temples, but to multiply them by making human souls more truly God's habitation than ever had been the sanctuary upon the sacred hill. And thus our Apostle—Jew though he was—drew attention from the outward and visible, saying, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

II. Glance at the past history of this temple. It is in ruins. The lamps have gone out, and the altar is overturned. No incense rises from the censer, no anthem swells from the choir. Majestic, it is still lovely even in decay; but the wind is wailing amid the colonnades, the filth defacing the chiselled relics, the screech owl nestling in the ivy, and the viper hissing among the rank weeds that grow round a few shattered columns that are still erect. Ah! how eloquently these things declare, "Know ye not that man was once the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God did dwell in him? If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy."

III. Consider the reconstruction of the temple. This was Christ's great work. He himself was a temple. This world has been consecrated by Jesus Christ, the High Priest of the universe. Not only so; He makes us individually temples. We were polluted—polluted by sin; but He cleanses the temple from its pollution. We are led under the influence of the Spirit of God to deplore the desolation, to long for the reconstruction of the temple, and when this change in our heart is produced the temple is rebuilt. Christ is the builder of it; He is the chief corner stone. Because sin polluted, God forsook it; but because Christ has purified it, God has returned to it, dwells in it, makes it glorious with His presence; but lest we should again pollute it, and a worse thing happen, the solemn voice comes forth to us from the most holy place, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy."

Newman Hall, Penny Pulpit, No. 3890.

References: 1 Corinthians 3:16.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 124; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 327; G. E. L. Cotton, Sermons and Addresses in Marlborough College, p. 38; Hutchings, The Person and Work of the Holy Ghost, p. 118.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/1-corinthians-3.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Corinthians 3:16. Know ye not that ye are the temple, &c.— "I told you that ye are God's building, 1 Corinthians 3:9. I now observe more than that;—Ye are the temple of God, in which his Spirit dwells." Many of the first ancient writers represent a holy mind as the temple of God, and speak in the highest and strongest terms of the obligations men are under to keep his temples inviolate and unpolluted. Indeed, we cannot conceive a more forcible argument for internal purity, than this, which leads us to consider our bodies as the temple of God, inhabited by his ever-blessed and most holy Spirit. The word rendered defile, in the next verse, more properly signifies destroy, and should be so read, to keep up the contrast. See Elsner, Wetstein, Calmet, and Ostervald's useful treatise "on Uncleanness."


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle here, in the judgment of some interpreters, makes use of a farther argument to convince the Corinthians of the evil of their divisions. They are the church and temple of God, therefore not to be profaned by divisions; Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?

As if the apostle had said, "You Corinthians, by being converted to Christianity, are become a Christian church, an holy temple, in which the Spirit of God doth dwell, and where the spirit of division ought not to dwell; for if any man defile the temple of God by dividing the church into factions and parties, him will God destroy; for the temple of the Lord is holy, and not to be profaned by your dividing lusts: which temple ye are."

Learn hence, 1. That the people of God met together to worship him, are the church or spiritual temple of God.

2. That the Spirit of God dwells in the church, or temple of God; and this dwelling implies propriety, familiarity, authority, residency, and fixedness of abode.

Learn, 3. That such as defile the holy temple of God, either by factious divisions or erroneous doctrines, do provoke God to destroy them; that is, to punish them with temporal destruction, and, without repentance, with eternal damnation. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

16.] The foregoing figures, with the occasion to which they referred, are now dropped, and the οἰκοδομὴ θεοῦ recalled, to do further service. This building is now, as in Malachi 3:1, and as indeed by implication in the foregoing verses, the temple of God ( ναὸς θεοῦ, with emphasis on ναός, not θεοῦ ναός), the habitation of His Spirit.

οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι—Are ye ignorant that … an expression of surprise arising out of their conduct.

καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν = ἐν ᾧ, τουτέστιν, ἐν ὑμῖν.

Meyer rightly remarks, that “ ναὸς θεοῦ is the temple of God, not a temple of God: for Paul does not conceive (as Theodoret, al.) of the various churches as various temples of God, which would be inconsistent with a Jew’s conception of God’s temple, but of each Christian church as, sensu mystico, the temple of Jehovah. So there would be, not many temples, but many churches, each of which is, ideally, the same temple of God.” And, we may add, if the figure is to be strictly justified in its widest acceptation, that all the churches are built together into one vast temple: cf. ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε, Ephesians 2:22.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-3.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:16. ναὸς, the temple) The most noble kind of building.— ἐστὲ, ye are) the whole of you together.— τὸ πνεῦμα, the Spirit) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that of God, are held in the same estimation [are equivalent]: therefore the high honour due to the Holy Spirit is the same as that due to God, 1 Corinthians 6:19.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The apostle, 1 Corinthians 3:9, had called the church of Corinth, and the particular members of it, God’s building; after this he had enlarged in a discourse concerning the builders, and the foundation and superstructure upon that foundation; now he returns again to speak of the whole church, whom he here calleth the temple of God, with a manifest allusion to that noble and splendid house which Solomon first built, and was afterwards rebuilt by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah at Jerusalem, as the public place for the Jewish church to meet in to worship God according to the prescript of the Levitical law: in which house God was said to dwell, because there he met his people, and blessed them, and there he gave answers to them from the mercy-seat. He calls them the temple of God, because they were built, that is, effectually called, for this very end, that they might be to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved, Ephesians 1:6: and, as the apostle Peter further expoundeth this text, 1 Peter 2:5, the people of God are a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. And God by his Spirit dwelt in them, both by his person, and by his gifts and graces, which is a far more noble dwelling in them than the dwelling of God was in the Jewish temple. From this text may be fetched an evident proof of the Divine nature, of the Third Person in the blessed Trinity; for he is not only called here the Spirit of God, but he is said to dwell in the saints: which dwelling of God in his people, is that very thing which maketh them the temple of God; and those who are here called the temple of God, are, 1 Corinthians 6:19, called the temple of the Holy Ghost.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

1 Corinthians

TEMPLES OF GOD

1 Corinthians 3:16.

The great purpose of Christianity is to make men like Jesus Christ. As He is the image of the invisible God we are to be the images of the unseen Christ. The Scripture is very bold and emphatic in attributing to Christ’s followers likeness to Him, in nature, in character, in relation to the world, in office, and in ultimate destiny. Is He the anointed of God? We are anointed-Christs in Him. Is He the Son of God? We in Him receive the adoption of sons. Is He the Light of the world? We in Him are lights of the world too. Is He a King? A Priest? He hath made us to be kings and priests.

Here we have the Apostle making the same solemn assertion in regard to Christian men, ‘Know ye not that ye are’-as your Master, and because your Master is-’that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’

Of course the allusion in my text is to the whole aggregate of believers-what we call the Catholic Church, as being collectively the habitation of God. But God cannot dwell in an aggregate of men, unless He dwells in the individuals that compose the aggregate. And God has nothing to do with institutions except through the people who make the institutions. And so, if the Church as a whole is a Temple, it is only because all its members are temples of God.

Therefore, without forgetting the great blessed lesson of the unity of the Church which is taught in these words, I want rather to deal with them in their individual application now; and to try and lay upon your consciences, dear brethren, the solemn obligations and the intense practical power which this Apostle associated with the thought that each Christian man was, in very deed, a temple of God.

It would be very easy to say eloquent things about this text, but that is no part of my purpose.

I. Let me deal, first of all, and only for a moment or two, with the underlying thought that is here-that every Christian is a dwelling-place of God.

Now, do not run away with the idea that that is a metaphor. It was the outward temple that was the metaphor. The reality is that which you and I, if we are God’s children in Jesus Christ, experience. There was no real sense in which that Mighty One whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain, dwelt in any house made with hands. But the Temple, and all the outward worship, were but symbolical of the facts of the Christian life, and the realities of our inward experience. These are the truths whereof the other is the shadow. We use words to which it is difficult for us to attach any meaning, when we talk about God as being locally present in any material building; but we do not use words to which it is so difficult to attach a meaning, when we talk about the Infinite Spirit as being present and abiding in a spirit shaped to hold Him, and made on purpose to touch Him and be filled by Him.

All creatures have God dwelling in them in the measure of their capacity. The stone that you kick on the road would not be there if there were not a present God. Nothing would happen if there were not abiding in creatures the force, at any rate, which is God. But just as in this great atmosphere in which we all live and move and have our being, the eye discerns undulations which make light, and the ear catches vibrations which make sound, and the nostrils are recipient of motions which bring fragrance, and all these are in the one atmosphere, and the sense that apprehends one is utterly unconscious of the other, so God’s creatures, each through some little narrow slit, and in the measure of their capacity, get a straggling beam from Him into their being, and therefore they are.

But high above all other ways in which creatures can lie patent to God, and open for the influx of a Divine Indweller, lies the way of faith and love. Whosoever opens his heart in these divinely-taught emotions, and fixes them upon the Christ in whom God dwells, receives into the very roots of his being-as the water that trickles through the soil to the rootlets of the tree-the very Godhead Himself. ‘He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.’

That God shall dwell in my heart is possible only from the fact that He dwelt in all His fulness in Christ, through whom I touch Him. That Temple consecrates all heart-shrines; and all worshippers that keep near to Him, partake with Him of the Father that dwelt in Him.

Only remember that in Christ God dwelt completely, all ‘the fulness of the Godhead bodily’ was there, but in us it is but partially; that in Christ, therefore, the divine indwelling was uniform and invariable, but in us it fluctuates, and sometimes is more intimate and blessed, and sometimes He leaves the habitation when we leave Him; that in Christ, therefore, there was no progress in the divine indwelling, but that in us, if there be any true inhabitation of our souls by God, that abiding will become more and more, until every corner of our being is hallowed and filled with the searching effulgence of the all-pervasive Light. And let us remember that God dwelt in Christ, but that in us it is God in Christ who dwells. So to Him we owe it all, that our poor hearts are made the dwelling-place of God; or, as this Apostle puts it, in other words conveying the same idea, ‘Ye are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth . . . for a habitation of God through the Spirit.’

II. Now then, turning from this underlying idea of the passage, let us look, for a moment, at some of the many applications of which the great thought is susceptible. I remark, then, in the second place, that as temples all Christians are to be manifesters of God.

The meaning of the Temple as of all temples was, that there the indwelling Deity should reveal Himself; and if it be true that we Christian men and women are, in this deep and blessed reality of which I have been speaking, the abiding places and habitations of God, then it follows that we shall stand in the world as the great means by which God is manifested and made known, and that in a two-fold way; to ourselves and to other people.

The real revelation of God to our hearts must be His abiding in our hearts. We do not learn God until we possess God. He must fill our souls before we know His sweetness. The answer that our Lord made to one of His disciples is full of the deepest truth. ‘How is it,’ said one of them in his blundering way, ‘how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us?’ And the answer was, ‘We will come and make Our abode with him.’ You do not know God until, if I might so say, He sits at your fireside and talks with you in your hearts. Just as some wife may have a husband whom the world knows as hero, or sage, or orator, but she knows him as nobody else can; so the outside, and if I may so say, the public character of God is but the surface of the revelation that He makes to us, when in the deepest secrecy of our own hearts He pours Himself into our waiting spirits. O brethren! it is within the curtains of the Holiest of all that the Shekinah flashes; it is within our own hearts, shrined and templed there, that God reveals Himself to us, as He does not unto the world.

And then, further, Christian men, as the temples and habitations of God, are appointed to be the great means of making Him known to the world around. The eye that cannot look at the sun can look at the rosy clouds that lie on either side of it, and herald its rising; their opalescent tints and pearly lights are beautiful to dim vision, to which the sun itself is too bright to be looked upon. Men will believe in a gentle Christ when they see you gentle. They will believe in a righteous love when they see it manifesting itself in you. You are ‘the secretaries of God’s praise,’ as George Herbert has it. He dwells in your hearts that out of your lives He may be revealed. The pictures in a book of travels, or the diagrams in a mathematical work, tell a great deal more in half a dozen lines than can be put into as many pages of dry words. And it is not books of theology nor eloquent sermons, but it is a Church glowing with the glory of God, and manifestly all flushed with His light and majesty, that will have power to draw men to believe in the God whom it reveals. When explorers land upon some untravelled island and meet the gentle inhabitants with armlets of rough gold upon their wrists, they say there must be many a gold-bearing rock of quartz crystal in the interior of the land. And if you present yourselves, Christian men and women, to the world with the likeness of your Master plain upon you, then people will believe in the Christianity that you profess. You have to popularise the Gospel in the fashion in which go-betweens and middlemen between students and the populace popularise science. You have to make it possible for men to believe in the Christ because they see Christ in you. ‘Know ye not that ye are the temples of the living God?’ Let His light shine from you.

III. I remark again that as temples all Christian lives should be places of sacrifice.

What is the use of a temple without worship? And what kind of worship is that in which the centre point is not an altar? That is the sort of temple that a great many professing Christians are. They have forgotten the altar in their spiritual architecture. Have you got one in your heart? It is but a poor, half-furnished sanctuary that has not. Where is yours? The key and the secret of all noble life is to yield up one’s own will, to sacrifice oneself. There never was anything done in this world worth doing, and there never will be till the end of time, of which sacrifice is not the centre and inspiration. And the difference between all other and lesser nobilities of life, and the supreme beauty of a true Christian life is that the sacrifice of the Christian is properly a sacrifice-that is, an offering to God, done for the sake of the great love wherewith He has loved us. As Christ is the one true Temple, and we become so by partaking of Him, so He is the one Sacrifice for sins for ever, and we become sacrifices only through Him. If there be any lesson which comes out of this great truth of Christians as temples, it is not a lesson of pluming ourselves on our dignity, or losing ourselves in the mysticisms which lie near this truth, but it is the hard lesson-If a temple, then an altar; if an altar, then a sacrifice. ‘Ye are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, that ye may offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God’-sacrifice, priest, temple, all in one; and all for the sake and by the might of that dear Lord who has given Himself a bleeding Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, that we might offer a Eucharistic sacrifice of thanks and praise and self-surrender unto Him, and to His Father God.

IV. And, lastly, this great truth of my text enforces the solemn lesson of the necessary sanctity of the Christian life.

‘The temple of God,’ says the context, ‘the temple of God is holy, which {holy persons} ye are.’ The plain first idea of the temple is a place set apart and consecrated to God.

Hence, of course, follows the idea of purity, but the parent idea of ‘holiness’ is not purity, which is the consequence, but consecration or separation to God, which is the root.

And so in very various applications, on which I have not time to dwell now, this idea of the necessary sanctity of the Temple is put forth in these two letters to the Corinthian Church. Corinth was a city honeycombed with the grossest immoralities; and hence, perhaps, to some extent the great emphasis and earnestness and even severity of the Apostle in dealing with some forms of evil.

But without dwelling on the details, let me just point you to three directions in which this general notion of sanctity is applied. There is that of our context here ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God? If any man destroy the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, and such ye are.’

He is thinking here mainly, I suppose, about the devastation and destruction of this temple of God, which was caused by schismatical and heretical teaching, and by the habit of forming parties, ‘one of Paul, one of Apollos, one of Cephas, one of Christ,’ which was rending that Corinthian Church into pieces. But we may apply it more widely than that, and say that anything which corrupts and defiles the Christian life and the Christian character assumes a darker tint of evil when we think that it is sacrilege-the profanation of the temple, the pollution of that which ought to be pure as He who dwells in it.

Christian men and women, how that thought darkens the blackness of all sin! How solemnly there peals out the warning, ‘If any man destroy or impair the temple,’ by any form of pollution, ‘him’ with retribution in kind, ‘him shall God destroy.’ Keep the temple clear; keep it clean. Let Him come with His scourge of small cords and His merciful rebuke. You Manchester men know what it is to let the money-changers into the sanctuary. Beware lest, beginning with making your hearts ‘houses of merchandise,’ you should end by making them ‘dens of thieves.’

And then, still further, there is another application of this same principle, in the second of these Epistles. ‘What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?’ ‘Ye are the temple of the living God.’

Christianity is intolerant. There is to be one image in the shrine. One of the old Roman Stoic Emperors had a pantheon in his palace with Jesus Christ upon one pedestal and Plato on the one beside Him. And some of us are trying the same kind of thing. Christ there, and somebody else here. Remember, Christ must be everything or nothing! Stars may be sown by millions, but for the earth there is one sun. And you and I are to shrine one dear Guest, and one only, in the inmost recesses of our hearts.

And there is another application of this metaphor also in our letter. ‘Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?’ Christianity despises ‘the flesh’; Christianity reverences the body; and would teach us all that, being robed in that most wonderful work of God’s hands, which becomes a shrine for God Himself if He dwell in our hearts, all purity, all chastisement and subjugation of animal passion is our duty. Drunkenness, and gluttony, lusts of every kind, impurity of conduct, and impurity of word and look and thought, all these assume a still darker tint when they are thought of as not only crimes against the physical constitution and the moral law of humanity, but insults flung in the face of the God that would inhabit the shrine.

And in regard to sins of this kind, which it is so difficult to speak of in public, and which grow unchecked in secrecy, and are ruining hundreds of young lives, the words of this context are grimly true, ‘If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.’ I speak now mainly in brotherly or fatherly warning to young men-did you ever read this, ‘His bones are full of the iniquities of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust’ ? ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?’

And so, brethren, our text tells us what we may all be. There is no heart without its deity. Alas! alas! for the many listening to me now whose spirits are like some of those Egyptian temples, which had in the inmost shrine a coiled-up serpent, the mummy of a monkey, or some other form as animal and obscene.

Oh! turn to Christ and cry, ‘Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest, Thou and the ark of Thy strength.’ Open your hearts and let Christ come in. And before Him, as of old, the bestial Dagon will be found, dejected and truncated, lying on the sill there; and all the vain, cruel, lustful gods that have held riot and carnival in your hearts will flee away into the darkness, like some foul ghosts at cock-crow. ‘If any man hear My voice and open the door I will come in.’ And the glory of the Lord shall fill the house.


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Bibliography
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/1-corinthians-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Ye are the temple of God; elsewhere the apostle calls the bodies of individual believers the temples of the Holy Ghost, chap 1 Corinthians 6:19. Compare Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:1-2. But here, as in Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5; he has reference to the church of Christ, which is "God’s building." Each true member, quickened by God’s Spirit, is a living stone, and all united form a living temple, in which He dwells in a much higher and fuller sense than He dwelt in his temple of old.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

16. οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ναὸς θεοῦ ἐστέ; ‘Ναός, sanctuary, more sacred than ἱερόν; the Holy Place in which God dwells, ναίει.’ Wordsworth. Another view of the subject is now abruptly introduced. The figure in 1 Corinthians 3:10 is resumed, but is applied, not to the ministers, but to the people. As the teachers are to avoid unprofitable questions and seek ‘that which is good to the use of edifying,’ so the taught are to shun all that may do harm to the temple of God, that is the Church at large, for what is true of the individual (ch. 1 Corinthians 6:19) is true of the community. This figure of speech is a common one in the N. T. See 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:20; Hebrews 3:3; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 2:5.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16. Know ye not—Recognise you not this solemn fact?

Temple of God— Not only are ye a building, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, but ye are a temple.

Dwelleth in you—As the Shekinah or divine Presence, dwelt in the holy of holies.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-3.html. 1874-1909.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

16. Do you not know that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” The Holy Spirit dwells in every sanctified human spirit. As He is holy, He is unwilling to dwell in anything which is unholy. Hence He will never make you His temple until you let Him sanctify you wholly. Solomon’s temple beautifully symbolizes the sanctified heart. While they were felling the trees in Mount Lebanon and hewing out the cedar timbers, there was heard a great noise, roar of axes, clangor of saws and crash of the falling trees. All that symbolized the stir and commotion produced by the conviction of the Holy Ghost in the unregenerate heart. Then the temple was built without the sound of a hammer or the clangor of a saw, thus symbolizing the silent lightning of the Holy Ghost in regeneration. After the temple was built, King Solomon, who emblematizes Christ, slaughtered twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep, thus quantity for quality typifying the blood of Jesus, which sanctifies the heart. After the dedication, i. e., the sanctification of the temple, by this enormous effusion of blood, God came down and filled it with His presence, manifesting His glory. So your heart, convicted amid the thunders and earthquakes of the Sinai gospel, regenerated by the silent interior work of the Holy Ghost, and sanctified by the precious blood of Jesus, then becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost. He comes in to abide. As your spirit, now the temple of the Holy Ghost, fills your whole body, therefore your body also becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost. If you would have the Holy Ghost take your body for His temple, move in and abide forever, you must “cleanse yourself from all the filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (1 Corinthians 7:1).

Your tobacco, opium, beer, whisky, gluttony, and slovenliness must all go, and go forever. Oh! what a glory to be the temple of the Holy Ghost.


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Bibliography
Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-3.html.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Corinthian church was a temple that God"s Spirit indwelt. Paul was not speaking here of individual believers being temples of God, though we are ( 1 Corinthians 6:19), or of the church universal as the temple of God, though it is ( Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5). He meant the collective body of believers that made up the local church, as is clear from his use of the plural "you" in the Greek text and the singular "temple." The local congregation was not just any building ( 1 Corinthians 3:9) but a sanctuary (Gr. naos) that God inhabited. The presence of the Spirit alone marked them off as God"s sanctuary in Corinth. Ten times in this epistle Paul asked, "Do you not know?" (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 6:15-16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 9:13; 1 Corinthians 9:24) and each time the question introduces an indisputable statement.

The New Testament writers spoke often of the church (a group of believers) as God"s temple. They did not usually make the distinction between the holy place and the holy of holies that existed in the Israelites" physical temples. They viewed the temple as a whole. However here Paul did distinguish the place of God"s dwelling, the temple building itself (naos), from the temple precincts that surrounded and included the sanctuary (Gr. hieron).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-corinthians-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Corinthians 3:16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?—a sudden transition, apparently, from the teachers to the taught; yet this is more in appearance than reality. For the transition is simply from warnings against a dangerous pandering in teachers to the corrupted taste of their hearers to warnings directed to those vitiated hearers themselves.

and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? The word rendered “temple” here means, classically, ‘the dwelling-place of a deity.’ In the New Testament, when applied to the temple of Jerusalem, it denotes the holy of holies—that most sacred part of it where of old the Shechinah, or visible symbol of the Divine Presence, was manifested. As applied to believers under the new economy, it means that they are “a habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22).


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-3.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and {that} the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

"Know ye not"-"a touch a amazement at their ignorance." (McGarvey p. 65) "An expression of surprise arising out of their conduct." (Alford p. 993)

"ye are a temple of God"-i.e. the local church in Corinth. (1 Peter 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 6:16) "In verse 9 he had called them God"s building; he now reminds them of what kind the building was." (McGarvey p. 65)

"temple"-"The word used (naos) refers to the actual sanctuary, the place of the deity"s dwelling, in contrast to the word "heiron", which referred to the temple precincts as well as to the sanctuary....now Paul is calling their attention to the fact that since there is only one God, he can have only one temple in Corinth, and they are it..."Do you not know that you are THE temple of God in Corinth?"" [Note: _ Fee pp. 146-147]

"the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"-(Ephesians 2:19-22) Reminding us of the fact that the glory of God inhabited the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) and the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 8:11).

"The main idea to be conveyed is that the church is just as holy as Solomon"s temple was. During Christ"s day, a person could be put to death for defiling the Temple. The Corinthians needed to be warned of the same danger with reference to the Church." [Note: _ Willis p. 115]


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Know ye not. This expression occurs twelve times in Paul"s epistles. Elsewhere, 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 6:3, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 6:15, 1 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 9:13, 1 Corinthians 9:24. Romans 6:16; Romans 11:2. One other occurance is in James 4:4. It conveys a delicate reproach.

Know. App-133.

Temple. Greek. naos. See Matthew 23:16. There is no art. because naos is the predicate.

Spirit. The Holy Spirit. App-101.

in = among. App-104. The Spirit dwells in the shrine formed by the collective body of believers. Compare Ephesians 2:22.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Know ye not - It is no new thing I tell you, in calling you "God's building;" ye are the noblest of buildings, "the temple of God."

Ye - Christians form together one vast temple. Not, 'ye are temples,' but "ye are the temple" collectively, and "lively stones" (1 Peter 2:5) individually.

God ... Spirit - God's indwelling, and that of the Holy Spirit, are one; and therefore the Holy Spirit is God. No literal "temple" is recognized in the Christian Church. The only one is the spiritual temple, the whole body of believing worshippers which the Holy Spirit dwells in (1 Corinthians 6:19; John 4:23-24). The synagogue was the model of the Christian house of worship. The temple was the house of sacrifice, rather than of prayer. Prayers in the temple were silent and individual (Luke 1:10; Luke 18:10-13), not joint and public, nor with reading of Scripture, as in the synagogue. The temple (since naos (Greek #3485) means, from a root 'to dwell') was the earthly dwelling-place of God, where alone He put His name. The synagogue (i:e., an assembly) was the place for assembling. God now has His earthly temple, not of wood and stone, but the congregation of believers, the 'living stones' in the 'spiritual house.' Believers are all spiritual priests in it. Jesus, our High Priest, has the only literal priesthood (Malachi 1:11; Matthew 18:20; 1 Peter 2:5).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

You are God's temple. You = the church of God in Corinth. God's Spirit lives in you. See Ephesians 2:22.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) The temple of God.—From the thought of grand edifices in general the Apostle goes on to the particular case of a building which is not only splendid but “holy”—the temple of God—thus reminding the reader that the rich and valuable metals and stones spoken of previously are to represent spiritual attainments. He introduces the passage with the words “Do ye not know,” implying that their conduct was such as could only be pursued by those who were either ignorant or forgetful of the truth of which he now reminds them.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Know
5:6; 6:2,3,9,16,19; 9:13,24; Romans 6:3; James 4:4
ye are
2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21,22; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 2:5
the Spirit
Ezekiel 36:27; John 14:17; Romans 8:11; 2 Timothy 1:14; 1 John 4:12,15,16

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-3.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and (that) the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

The apostle justifies the representation given above of the responsibility of ministers. The unfaithful builders deserve to be thus punished, because they are engaged in the erection of no ordinary building. They are not raising up a house for themselves, to be constructed of what materials and on whatever plan may suit their taste. They are building the temple of God. This truth the Corinthians seem to have forgotten, for they regarded their teachers as men allowed to preach their own speculations, and valued them according to their proficiency in "the wisdom of words." He, therefore, asks them, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?" See 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21. A temple is a house in which God dwells; and therefore, it is added, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. This indwelling of the Spirit constitutes each believer, every separate church, and the Church collectively the temple of God. As in the Jewish temple, in its inmost recess, the Shechinah, or glory of God, was constantly present, and conferred on the building its awe-inspiring power, and rendered any profanation of it a direct offense to God; so does the Holy Spirit dwell in the Church, the profanation of which by false doctrine is therefore sacrilege.


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Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:16". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-3.html.

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