I Corinthians 3:9-17 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
Text I Corinthians 3:9 & 16 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
When one comes to I Corinthians 3, it doesn’t take long to discover that the people have an identity problem; “for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions” (vs.3). In an effort to bring about clarity, Paul said, “ye are.” The phrase means, to be, have been, and comes from a word meaning I exist, am, or it is I. Paul will use this phrase three times in this passage to declare who’s we are and what we are. The first thing that the phrase reveals is that we are a divine possession; “ye are God’s . . . ye are the temple of God.” Later, Paul would write; “ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Each one of us can say with perfect confidence; “I am and exist as the purchased possession of God.”
Secondly, we have a divine purpose! As God’s husbandry, we are to be fruitful; “ye are God’s husbandry.” The word “husbandry” means to cultivate, a farm, and comes from a word meaning farmer or land worker. Paul is emphasizing that we are to be the fruitful work of God; it is God that is working through us to give forth the increase. As God’s house, we are a family; “ye are God’s building.” The word “building” comes from two words. The first word means a dwelling, by implication a family. The second word means to build an edifice. Thus we have the idea of building a household or family. Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand that they were members of a family. As God’s habitation, we are to have fellowship; “ye are the temple of God.” The word “temple” means to dwell, a shrine. Speaking of the “temple”, Paul said, “God dwelleth in you.”
Paul wanted the Corinthians to know who’s they are and what they are! Each of us are the divine possession of God, purchased to serve a divine purpose. We are to be a fruitful family that enjoys fellowship with God!