God’s Greatest Building Project

God Takes Serious the Way We Build Our Lives

1 Corinthians 3

Sept 16, 2018 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.     Introduction (1Corinthians 3:6-9)


A.   The life of a Christian is so much more than getting up and going to work every day, and on occasion coming to church when it suits them

B.   Your life is being PLANTED, WATERED, WEEDED and BUILT-UP by God.


1.    You realise that… Nothing good happens by accident – life has to be managed, farmed, constructed, or else you only have overgrowth, and weeds, and rubbish.

2.    So God is at work, in every person that is breathing

3.    And especially in every person who is a believer (Philp 1:6)


C.   What does God think of His work in YOU and ME?

D.   What if I told you:


1.    That every believer, and every Bible believing church is a TEMPLE in God’s kingdom?

2.    And that God takes it extremely seriously how we treat His temple! What we allow into it, how we worship in it, and what we do in it!


II.   Background


A.   You Are God’s Greatest Building Project (3:9,10)


1.    From the moment of conception, you are fearfully and wonderfully MADE by God

2.    But God is NOT finished with you yet!

3.    You are…


a.     A Life – not things, or money or even success, but LIFE (John 10:10)

b.    A Work of God in progress

c.     A Work of Grace

d.    An Investment of Others


1)    God uses loads of different people in your life

2)    Parents, Preachers, and Pressures to forge Christian maturity

3)    Fight and reject any of those and YOU LOSE!

4)    Let God mould you and shape you through the people already in your life


e.     AND, Part of something bigger than just YOUR life – notice the ‘YE’


1)    Don’t neglect the church God has you in

2)    The more you neglect your church, the more God neglects YOU

3)    In other words, God assembles you with other Christians to make something awesome – a Temple (you will see this in a few minutes)



B.   There is only ONE Foundation to build your life upon (3:11)


1.    Not SAND, or dirt, but a Solid Rock– a foundation stone

2.    Jesus Only


a.     Not built on science or wealth or culture

b.    Not on the Church, or Mary, or the Saints, or Peter, or the bishops and priests!

c.     But built upon the perfect life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ


C.   Be Careful of Cowboy Builders


1.    The Apostle Paul, Peter, James, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Jude, were all Master-builders, as were Moses and Samuel and David and Solomon, and Hosea and Daniel

2.    Be aware of the cowboys, the hustlers out there – Paul calls the WOLVES (Acts 20:29-31; Mt 7:15; 23:23,24)


a.     Act 20:29-31  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

b.    Mt 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

c.     Mt 23:23,24 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ...  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

d.    They usually look more successful, sound more polished, have more money, and are on TV and especially on youtube big time!

e.     I’m talking about the Benny Hinns and the Paula White’s and the televangelists

f.     I am also talking about the wolves named Ophra Winfry and Dr Phil, and Richard Dawkins, and Dr. Benjamin Spock, and all the mainstream media authors who think they know more than God!


3.    If you are building your home and your heart on youtube channels, and TV channels, then shame on you when you have a pastor and church and disciplers RIGHT here!

4.    Php 3:18,19 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)


D.   And Beware of Poor Building Materials – I need to take 2 hours and expose this


1.    Only two kinds of materials we can build with:


a.     Wood, hay and stubble

b.    Gold, silver and precious stones


2.    One is cheap, and the other will cost you

3.    One won’t last, and the other will

4.    Those building materials WILL be tested – found out if they will last!


a.     Like all the New philosophies that are abounding today

b.    New authors and theories about life and purpose and happiness


5.    Remember the story of the three little pigs?


a.     One built his house out of straw, because it was easiest and quickest

b.    One out of sticks because it looked nicer than the straw house, but was still quick and easy to build

c.     The third little piggy took the time, paid the price to build his house out of BRICKS

d.    At each house, the wolf, who loved to eat sausages, and ham and cheese sandwiches, huffed and puffed and blew them down, all except one house – the one built of stone!

e.     Jesus tells a parable about two men who built their houses: one on SAND and the other on a ROCK. Which one withstood the storm?


6.    I will give you one guess what TEMPLES are made out of – not flammable materials, but the best materials. Materials meant to last for generations!

7.    What is YOUR life being built out of?


E.   Know This… Everything About Your Life Will be Tested


1.    All the cracks, false hopes, will be tested and found out

2.    Just like if you go to purchase a car or a house – you ask someone to test it and make sure it will last

3.    God calls them TRIALS – Both GOD and the devil puts our faith and life on trial (James 1:2,3,12)

4.    Don’t get upset at ME! It is just the fact of life folks!

5.    God uses:


a.     Troubles, disasters, storms, earth-shattering events, stress, disappointments

b.    Persecutions, mistreatments, mockery, discriminations

c.     Even fire (1Peter 1:6-8)

d.    Just to see what will remain

e.     Remember three young men named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?


6.    What will remain of your life when it has all been said and done???


a.     For all the wood, hay and stubble, it will all turn to ash

b.    But all the gold or silver, oh, they only get brighter and more pure, the more heat they experience!


III.     Message – What is the Big Deal?


A.   Ye Are God’s Temple (1Corinthians 3:16)


1.    Not a warehouse, or a cinema, or a theatre, or a shopping centre

2.    But a serious kind of building – a TEMPLE


a.     Eph 2:19-21  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

b.    1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house [TEMPLE], an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

c.     2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


3.    You are all living, breathing, walking , talking TEMPLES of God here on earth


B.   You are a Place Where the Holy Spirit Dwells


1.    Your life is a VESSEL – a container – it was designed to hold many things


a.     It is a memory bank, containing untold memories

b.    But it also has a hole the size of Texas, that you have sought to fill all your life


1)    It either will be filled with every demon and devil, every form of darkness

2)    Or it will be filled with the presence of Jesus Christ IN YOU

3)    John 14:16,17  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


2.    Every believer is a place for the residence of the HOLY Spirit of God


a.     The apostle Paul says in Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

b.    We were saved to be a place of worship – a place for the dwelling of the Holy Spirit of God

c.     Most people walk into grand and massive cathedrals and churches and get a “feeling” of awe and inspiration, and of the presence of God

d.    Now born again Christians! We have found a BETTER more AWESOME place! Jesus said all it takes is just 2 or 3 believers and He is there!

e.     Listen to all the times people were FILLED with the person of the Spirit of God


1)    Luke 1:41  And ... Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

2)    Luke 1:67  And ... Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost.

3)    Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost

4)    Act 4:8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them...

5)    Act 4:31 and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

6)    Act 13:52  And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

7)    Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit


3.    He can FILL you if you want Him to, like He did in the Old Testament (Ex 40:34,35)


a.     Exo 40:34  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

b.    Exo 40:35  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.


4.    What are YOU filled with?


a.     Are you full of God’s HOLY Spirit?

b.    Or full of dirt and filth and dark, hateful, evil, vengeful, bitter thoughts?


5.    Does the Holy Spirit even reside in you (2Cor 13:5)?   If the Holy Spirit of God DOES dwell in you, then you will know it, and so will everyone around you


C.   God Takes It Serious if ANYONE Defiles HIS Temple


1.    What does it mean to defile?


a.     To pollute, dump rubbish into, poison, spoil, ruin, taint, pervert, damage

b.    How would YOU feel if someone slept in YOUR home and brought a dozen dirty dogs into your house and let them do their business everywhere?

c.     How would you feel is someone was dating your daughter and abused them, and defiled them, and hurt them emotionally, and physically?

d.    How would you feel if someone took the Bible and rewrote it and made it say filthy, wicked, and ungodly things?

e.     Have you ever watched a film, or read something and it made you feel dirty?

f.     That’s what it is like to DEFILE something!


2.    Jesus got VERY upset when people defiled His Temple (John 2:13-17)


a.    13  And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

b.    14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

c.     15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

d.    16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

e.     17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.


3.    Remember, What you DO with your BODY matters not only to you, but to GOD (1Cor 6:15-20)


a.     There are OBVIOUS consequences to abusing your body


1)    Not sleeping well

2)    Too much stress

3)    Bad diet

4)    Smoking

5)    Drinking

6)    Drugs

7)    Watching TV into all hours

8)    Not exercising


b.    Your very BODY belongs to God – He BOUGHT it at the highest price possible!

c.     Why is that news to you?


1)    Tattoos ruin your body – and THAT matters

2)    Drugs being injected into your body matters!

3)    Alcoholic drink poured down your throat matters

4)    Fornication/sex outside of marriage – flaunting your bed, matters to God

5)    Piercing every part of your body imaginable, matters to God

6)    Staying angry and bitter and proud affects your body and THAT matters!





A.   You Are God’s Greatest Building Project (3:9,10)

B.   There is only ONE Foundation to build your life upon – the Lord Jesus Christ

C.   Be Careful of Cowboy Builders

D.   And Beware of Poor Building Materials

E.   Know This… Everything About Your Life Will be Tested

F.    What’s the Big Deal?


1.    Ye ALL Are God’s Temple – if you are born again!

2.    You are EACH a Place Where the Holy Spirit Dwells

3.    God Takes It Serious if ANYONE Defiles HIS Temple


G.   Wouldn’t it be smart to be on guard what you allow IN your thinking and your feelings?


1.    Take this seriously!

2.    Cry out to God this morning – shed a tear for how defiled YOU probably are

3.    Ask God, BEG God to change you and change your stubborn heart and clean your home up! Take and break your hard heart and replace it with a NEW heart of flesh

4.    Stand guard against anything that would defile your life now


H.   Or else, you too will join the rubbish heap of messed up lives full of regret! Because the promise is there – God will judge, destroy, let you and all your home fall apart!