Image of the Church P2: Built to Stand

_MG_7161Adelaide is getting a little less chilly, and the sun came out the other day. Despite what everyone had been telling us about nearby walking trails and giant mansions, my husband and I had never really explored the part further down our suburb (and we’ve been in our home for over a year…) Seeing as it was such a nice day, I decided I would take a little walk and see what was around. Turning left up the hill was fairly uneventful, but I then explored the right turn which took me to a street of very large and impressive homes – I would call those mansions. In fact, I thought I had found “the mansion” that everyone had been talking about, but my friend corrected me later that evening and showed me “the king of mansions”. I was gobsmacked. This was more like a palace. In fact, it resembled Buckingham palace.

I found it interesting to see the somewhat dilapidated house at the beginning of the street contrasted against the grandeur of its surrounding neighbours. I thought of the architects, engineers and builders who might have laboured to build these homes. I thought of the families who lived them and wondered what their lives were like. I love our older-style, but homey house. It has character, the story of a family who designed it, built it and lived most of their last years in it. We have built our own stories in our home, but in the end, this house is material. Our home, any of the mansions further up the suburb, or even the palatial house I saw could eventually turn to rubble. These buildings will not last forever, but God has a home that is eternal.

A home is made to be a dwelling place. It needs a good foundation and a structure to stand. With this in mind, look at how God describes the church:

Its foundation is Jesus Christ.

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is (already) laid, which is Jesus Christ.” – [1 Corinthians 2:11]

People of all places are fitted together to form the church

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – [Galatians 3:28]

It is made to be a temple, a city, and a building for God’s dwelling.

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” – [Revelation 21:3]

It will stand for eternity.

Consider the image of Jesus walking amongst the seven lampstands which represent the churches in Revelation

Ephesians 2:19-22 gives a wonderful description of the church as God’s household and building.

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members in the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:19-22]

The image of the church as the temple of God also makes me think about the praise of the church – the people of God continuously praising Him, and giving glory to Him. It also reminds me of what God says in 2 Chronicles after Solomon’s dedication of the temple.

“For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.” – [2 Chronicles 7:16]

Below, is a little piece I wrote some time ago which gives another image of how the household of God might look: THE HOUSE OF THE FATHER, THE INHERITANCE OF THE SON

The kingdom is heaven is like a house with many rooms1. The Father gives his Son the keys to the house2, and the Son is responsible for the house. He has authority to invite people in, authority to hold banquets for those He invites, authority to close and to open doors, authority to organise all that is in the house and authority over all who are in the house for He is the firstborn from among the dead3.

The Father welcomes many sons into His house and they belong to Him4. The Son prepares a place for them in the house and brings them with Him to the house1. He shows them His plans and His thoughts5, and gives them His seal and His authority6. They build on His foundation and are accountable to Him7. They are given authority to open doors and close doors, to bind and loose8.

Some stand at the front door to welcome the Son and those He brings with Him into the house. Others spend their days in the library of God’s word, dwelling in the place of His thoughts, and seeking out His wisdom and desires9. There are those who sing and dance for joy in the house of their Lord10, and others who walk with Him in the garden as He browses amongst the lilies11. Still others sit at His table and dine with Him on the finest foods12, and many work as stewards of what is in the house13. All who are in the house know the Son and the Son knows them. He speaks with them, and they hear His voice14.

This is the house of the Lord, and the picture of His kingdom. The Father has given His Son His desired inheritance15. They are His and His desire is for them16. All authority on heaven and earth has been given to the Son17 and the will of the Father is fulfilled for the Son does only what He sees His Father doing18.

  1. John 14:2-3 _MG_7163
  2. Revelation 3:7
  3. Colossians 1:18
  4. Luke 15:20-24
  5. 1 Corinthians 2:10-12
  6. Haggai 2:23
  7. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
  8. Matthew 16:19
  9. Psalm 1
  10. Psalm 27:4
  11. Song of Songs 6:2-3
  12. Isaiah 55:2-3
  13. Luke 16:8-12
  14. John 10:27-28
  15. John 17:24
  16. Song of Songs 7:10
  17. Matthew 28:18
  18. John 5:19

We, the church, are the dwelling place and temple of the Lord. We are built up together on the foundation of Christ and it is His Spirit that joins us in strength. We will stand with Christ forever, to dwell with Him, and Him with us for eternity. In this, we are God’s household, His people, and His praise. The building of the church in all nations is a beautiful thing to see because it reflects God’s glory and testifies of Him.

Aaaand here’s another little song:
“There is a Redeemer” (arrangement) –

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