Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 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 3:16-17 NIV
Later on, Paul uses similar language about God’s temple to describe us individually (1 Cor. 6:19). That passage was encouraging us to honor God in how we lived, in particular in dealing with sexual immorality. But this passage is dealing with God’s temple as a corporate unity. Collectively, we as believers, are the temple in which God dwells.
The Body of Christ
As a follower of the Lord Jesus, I am a part of something bigger than myself. We are not called to independent existence as believers. But to unite together. Not as a loose collection of Christians. But as a tightly bound body of believers. With Christ as our head.
Christ’s church today is divided in a myriad of ways. We have different understandings of what the Scripture says to us. We have different ways that we worship and serve. And we represent a wide variety of cultures. But, in spite of our differences, we are together God’s temple and his Spirit dwell’s in our midst. And we should take to heart Paul’s warning here not to do anything that would cause harm to that temple we all are a part of. Rather than let our differences divide us, let them make us stronger. Reach out to those whose ways are different. Not in compromise. But to strengthen and lift each other up.