The church of the living God: The house of God
How can we be part of the house of God, the church, the body of Christ, which He will fetch when He returns?
“But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which isof the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15.
Jesus purchased the church with His blood
The living God has a living church on earth. When Jesus returns, this church will be finished in all its glory. “That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27.
The church has been purchased with Jesus’ precious blood, and she is His eternal possession. The church is God’s house on earth and contains an everlasting glory. Jesus Himself is the entrance to this house in which is life, and life in abundance. (John 10:9-10) Only Jesus’ disciples—those who have forsaken everything in order to follow Him in obedience—can become one with God’s Word which is spirit and life. (John 6:63) They are united with Him in a lowly body, and they will be united with Him in a glorified body. Philippians 3:20-21) They are dead with Him, and they will live with Him. (Romans 6:8; 2 Timothy 2:11) They suffer with Him, and they will be glorified together with Him. (Romans 8:17)
The church is the body of Christ of which He is the head. (Colossians 1:18) This life of discipleship, which is separate from the world, is highly exalted above every form of fellowship on a human level. Only as disciples can we melt together with Him as members in one body and grow up into Him who is the head. (Ephesians 4:11-16) “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31. “If anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” John 8:51. We will have an eternal life-fellowship together with the Father, the Son, and with each other.
The glory of the house of God
The prophets saw the house of God from the outside, but the apostles saw into the riches of the glory of the house, which had been a great mystery.
The temple of the old covenant was the greatest glory on earth, but that glory vanished. The temple of the new covenant is God’s greatest work of creation on earth today, and that glory will never vanish. (2 Corinthians 3:11)
Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech.” 2 Corinthians 3:12. The ministry of the new covenant is the ministry of glory, which results in an inner, immovable life in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit through the word of faith.
This house of God is a spiritual house with spiritual people. (1 Peter 2:5) The Corinthians possessed all the gifts of the Spirit, but there was not one spiritual person among them. They were carnal in spite of the gifts. (1 Corinthians 1:4-7; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3) They had not planted the cross of Christ over their “I” and their possessions, over their desire to be “great, greater, greatest.”
Members of the body of Christ
Only a flock of disciples will melt together with Christ in one Spirit and one mind. They are united as members in one body, and they grow up in obedience and faithfulness into Him who is the head—Christ.
Each member of Christ’s body is valuable. He should be esteemed and honored. Each member ought to learn—as a disciple—how to conduct himself properly in the house of God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15) All lying and unrighteousness must be kept outside this house. Every single member must walk according to the laws of the Spirit of life, which are written in the temple of the heart.
Paul exhorts us to lead a life worthy of the calling with which we have been called. (Ephesians 4:1) Peter exhorts us to conduct ourselves in fear throughout the time of our stay here on earth. We have been redeemed with Jesus’ precious blood from our bad conduct, which we have inherited from our fathers. (1 Peter 1:17-19) We are born again, and as new creations we are to conduct ourselves in such a way that we fear to do anything against Christ—He who has bought us so dearly.
Representing the church of God
We are to represent the church as the bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9), and the New Jerusalem in the most beautiful, glorious garments which she was given to wear in the days of her humiliation. Jesus humbled Himself the most, and so He received a name that is above every name in the eternal glory.
In order to bring out this glory here on earth, Jesus gave us servants: some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some shepherds, and some teachers, so that the saints might be fully equipped for the work of ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12) Each member of the body of Christ has an important ministry to perform, and we need to take care of this ministry with great zeal.
May we, with enlightened eyes of the heart, see how the Day is approaching when everything will be ready for the heavenly wedding.
This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published in BCC’s periodical “Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden Treasures”) in May 1986
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.