The Temple of God

1Corinthians 3:16-17 Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 

‘Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?’ “Know you not” contains a gentle reproof and is used 14 times in the New Testament (3:16; 5:6; 6:3, 9, 15, 16, 19; 9:24; Mark 4:13; Rom. 6:3, 16; 7:1; Jas. 4:4; cp. 2Sam. 3:38; 2Chron. 32:13; Ezek. 17:12).

‘You are the temple of God.’ Believers are the temple of God for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The manner in which the Spirit dwells in believers is always in union, never through bodily entrance. The so-called doctrine of interpenetration, that is, persons entering physical into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc.

‘Defile’ [Greek: phtheiro] to corrupt, spoil, ruin, waste, destroy. This (3:17) is a solemn warning against sexual sin, alcoholic drinks, tobacco, narcotics, etc. which destroy the body.

‘Him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.’ This is the 3rd New Testament prophecy in 1Corinthians and is unfulfilled until the judgment.

‘Temple of God’ – This refers to the body of man (1Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 12:1; 2Cor. 7:1).

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