If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. - 1 Corinthians 3:17There are many things that are considered sacred in this earth. Certain old artefacts, museum pieces are considered irreplaceable and are reverenced as a very special thing. There are certain buildings in our culture that represent special purposes such as court houses, parliament buildings and other government buildings of authority. And such things are important and if someone would harm or ruin these things there are severe consequences. A jewish person would think immediately of Solomon's temple, something that was considered the holiest site in Israel. Yet above all these sacred things the most sacred thing in the world to the Lord is His Church that he is building. Jesus said he would build His Church (Matthew 16:18) and to this day he is still building this temple. Paul the Apostle shares that the temple is God's people who are assembled together as the Church. God has a called out people that are holy towards his purposes in the earth and who are doing good, loving the poor, preaching the Good News in the earth. We read the very sober words that warns us that this work of the Church, if someone seeks to destroy or hurt this work, the Lord will defend it. Gamaliel gave the sound counsel that if we oppose Gods work we "find yourselves fighting against God" (Acts 5:39).Many people in our day do not have a sense of the holy things of God, they do not consider things sacred. Sadly such people oppose God's work without fear, speak evil of things they do not understand. Jude speaks of such people who "reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings" (Jude 1:8). No one is holy to them and they do not want to submit to authority but feel themselves above all authority. They speak against things that are holy and end up even destroying themselves. God treats his work as a very holy thing, when we oppose his work we set ourselves against God Himself. It seems extreme to say but our passage even says that "God will destroy them." When someone would neglect the holiness of solomon's temple and walk into the holiest of all they would be destroyed. Likewise in the days of the prophet Samuel when people who lacked reverence for the sacred, "God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them" (1 Samuel 6:19). Likewise Ananias and Sapphira spoke with holy Apostles without the fear of the Lord (Acts 5:1-11). God is still at work, although the Church is not perfect it is what God is doing in this earth. May we see what he is doing as holy and have reverence for what is sacred.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
_________________SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey
I'm a bit lost here. I think it is important to see things in a wider context and in this situation we should at least add v16 as well.16Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you areMatthew Henry writes: 3:16,17 From other parts of the epistle, it appears that the false teachers among the Corinthians taught unholy doctrines. Such teaching tended to corrupt, to pollute, and destroy the building, which should be kept pure and holy for God. Those who spread loose principles, which render the church of God unholy, bring destruction upon themselves.Gill's Exposition of the Entire BibleIf any man defile the temple of God,.... By the wisdom of the world, through philosophy, and vain deceit; by bringing in false doctrines, errors, and heresies, and hereby corrupt their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ; and make rents, factions, and divisions among them: him shall God destroyIt seems that Paul is talking about people ( we are the temple ) and about false teachings and not about "holy things"Nobody can be saved by "things" only by the pure Word of God. False teachers are wolfs in sheep clothing and can destroy the flock.My thoughts...