I Corinthians 3:16,17 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys "God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."
The church at Corinth had gradually slipped into ungodly attitudes and practices - arguing, jealousy, rivalry, boasting, factions, divisions, etc which took them from focusing on the nature of the church. In this passage, Paul reminds us that "YOU" (plural, meaning the collective body of believers) are God's temple. You and your fellow believers compose the actual sanctuary ("naos") of God.
The Corinthians had visited the temples of the gods in the city of Corinth. Now, Paul is saying that since there is only one God, He can have only one temple and THEY, collectively, ARE IT!
The believers (the church) is God's alternative to Corinth. Paul urges them not to destroy the only alternative that God has for the city. God's people are "holy" - set apart for God's purpose.
Paul warned them and invited them to become what they were - holy. That admonition is the same for us. We - the believers in our towns are the church - God's holy alternative. Be very careful not to destroy it.
Respecting God's holy domain ~ Bob