Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Temple of God

The Temple of God
by William MacDonald
(Author of the Believer's Bible Commentary)

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"If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.
For the temple of God is holy, which temple  you are."               (1 CORINTHIANS 3:17).

In this verse, the temple of God refers to the local assembly.  Paul is not speaking to individual Christians but to believers collectively when he says "which temple you (plural) are.             "The saints in Corinth comprised a temple of God."

It is also true, of course, that individual believers are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Apostle brings this out in 1 Corinthians 6: 19:  “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  The Holy Spirit of God dwells in the body of every child of God.

But in our text for today, it is the assembly that is in view.  Paul is saying that if any man destroys the assembly, God will destroy him.  It is the same word that is translated “defile” and “destroy” in this verse.  “It is used of marring a local church by leading it away from that conditions of holiness of life and purity of doctrine in which it should abide, and of God’s retributive destruction of the offender who is guilty of this sin”  (W. E. Vine).

So our verse warns us that it is a serious thing to tamper with a local fellowship.  In fact, it is a form of self-destruction.  Yet how diffident people often are in this very area.  Here is a man who doesn't get his own way in the assembly.  Or he becomes involved in a violent personality clash with some other brother.  Rather than make things right in a scriptural manner, he lines up people to take his side and forms a faction in the church.   Things go from bad to worse and soon there is an open split.

Or perhaps it is a carnal sister who carries on a campaign of gossip and backbiting against someone else.  Her slanderous tongue lashes out until the church is filled with bitterness and strife.  She will not stop until a once-prosperous assembly lies in ruins.

People like this are playing a perilous game.  They cannot get away with it.  The Great God of the universe is committed to wreck those who wreck His assembly.

Let all who are inclined to faction, beware!

An adaptation from the book ONE DAY AT A TIME 
by William MacDonald (The author of "Believers BibleCommentary) 

To Read a portion from the commentary Please Click on the Below Link:

(A Complete Bible Commentary in one volume)

Copies of this commentary is now available from Back to the Bible Head Office for a donation of Rs.1300/- (Including Packing and Postage)

William MacDonald, 
Gospel Folio Press, 
Moriah Ministries, Chennai.
Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad

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