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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

 

3:16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
 
Do you not know
The phrase “do you not know” implies a rebuke. “You” is plural in the Greek. Evidently the Corinthian church never fully grasped the doctrine of the Holy Spirit collectively indwelling the local church. This doctrine should have been obvious to these believers.
that you are the temple of God
The “temple” in the Old Testament was the earthly dwelling place of God. There are two Greek words for “temple.” One word for “temple” means all the temple precincts. The other word for “temple” (used here) signifies the temple sanctuary – the place of the very presence of God. “Temple” in this passage is the local church – the place where the Holy Spirit indwells a group of people. The local church in Corinth was a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament at other points speaks of the Holy Spirit indwelling individual believers.
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
The Holy Spirit “dwells” in the local church. The word “dwells” means to live at home. The Holy Spirit continually (present tense) inhabits the people of God. God chose to make the church His home.  
PRINCIPLE:
God is protective of the local church.
APPLICATION:
There is a difference between the indwelling of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit. The indwelling is permanent but the filling is conditional, based on whether the believer has confessed his or her sin. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer and the church. The Spirit fills only those believers who allow Him to control their lives, because spirituality and carnality are mutually exclusive.
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