The House of God

A unique relationship we have with Christ is that we are His house and God permanently lives in us by the indwelling of His Spirit, Eph. 2.22. In light of this let's consider some of the characteristics of His house.

1. Its Foundation (Who do you say that I am? Matt. 16.15)

The Lord Jesus once asked His disciples this personal question, Matt. 16.15. Through a revelation of the Father Peter answered that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Matt. 16.16. The Lord responded by saying that He would build His church upon this rock. The rock is the Lord Jesus and through His infinite wisdom He continues to build his church upon this confession, 1 Cor. 3.11, 1 John 5.5.

The truth about Christ's person is foundational, has eternal consequences and must be emphasized in our teaching and gospel work. He is the church's foundation, was built upon by the apostles and every believer has since been added as a stone to the spiritual house, 1 Pet. 2.5, God is constructing, Eph. 2.19-22.

2. Its Atmosphere (Where are you staying? John 1.38)

We might raise the question, "where does God like to dwell?" Isaiah declares that the high and lofty one, who inhabits eternity, also delights to dwell with the humble and contrite, Isa. 57.15.

The devil's heart was filled with pride and he was cast out of heaven. Similarly, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, Gen. 3.5, and they were cast out of Eden. Yet our holy God will inhabit any sinner who comes to Him in repentance and faith, Acts 20.21, Jas. 4.6.

The centurion asked the Lord to heal his servant through His word because he recognized that he was not worthy to have the Lord enter his house, Luke 7.6-7.

We must also remember our unworthiness and that it is only by His grace He entered our house. Considering our low estate an air of humility should permeate the house of God, Phil. 2.1-5.

3. Its Authority (By what authority are you doing these things? Luke 20.2)

After cleansing the temple the Lord's authority was questioned by the Pharisees. Their objection was answered later when Christ asked them about His Sonship, Matt. 22.42. Indeed He was the son of David in his humanity nevertheless David called Him Lord because He was God, Matt. 22.43-45.

In the Jewish home a son had an authority and inheritance that a servant could never have. Christ's authority is rooted in the reality that He is the Son of God. Moses was a faithful servant in Israel's house however Christ was a faithful Son over His house, Heb. 3.5-6.

The Lord Jesus mentioned that all authority was granted to Him in heaven and earth, Matt. 28.18. Through His death and resurrection He has the authority to declare repenting sinners clean without violating His holiness, Rom. 3.25-26. He is head of the church, Eph. 2.22, and has left instructions for it regarding its pattern and order, 1 Cor. 2.9-10, 1 Cor. 11.23.

Christ has delegated to us the task of proclaiming His authority. In the same way He cleansed the temple before teaching in it, Luke 19.45-48, we witness about the One who cleanses, Matt. 28.19, and then teach those newly cleansed temples, Matt. 28.20.

Furthermore, we are sons of God, John 1.12, joint-heirs, Rom. 8.17, and will reign with Him, Rev. 20.6.

4. Its Satisfaction (Is the Lord among us or not? Exod. 17.6-7)

During a time of great thirst the Israelites questioned the presence of God. The Lord answered them in an astonishing way by instructing Moses to strike a rock resulting in an abundance of water. We know from 1 Corinthians 10.4, that this Rock symbolized the once smitten Christ.

The Lord told the woman at the well that she would never thirst again if she drank of His water, John 4.13-14. The water speaks of the Holy Spirit who has been given to all believers, John 3.5.

Today many are searching for fulfillment but are left with an unsatisfied thirst. However the believer who has found his satisfaction in Christ, Ps. 42.1, will also be a blessing to others, John 7.37-39.

His presence brings satisfaction in all circumstances, Heb. 13.5, and it's what makes the house a home, John 14.23. Likewise a restored Israel will someday know the truth "THE LORD IS THERE", Ezek. 48.35.

It's a comfort knowing the Lord is present when we are enduring trials and need His guidance. We must guard against discontentment, Phil. 4.11, and serve Him knowing that He is walking among us even when times appear barren.

5. Its Glory (Can anything good come out of Nazareth? John 1.46)

We know there is no righteousness, Isa. 64.6, in us and it was by His grace He revealed His goodness to us. He deserves all glory because the one who builds the house has more honor than the house, Heb. 3.3.

When God's glory filled the temple the Israelites worshipped and praised Him, 2 Chr. 7.2-3, moreover nothing was able to enter into it. In a like manner, no other desires will fill us when we are captivated by His glory and allow it to be displayed in our lives.

God is building Himself an exalted house to dwell in forever, 2 Chr. 6.2. In view of this, the church's purpose in all our activities is to bring glory to Him, Matt. 5.16, 1 Cor. 10.31. The house's exaltation originates from God's presence and is magnificent, 1 Chr. 22.5, when it reflects the Lord's glory, 2 Cor. 3.18.

6. Its Chief Activity (Which of them will love Him more? Luke 7.42)

God demonstrates His love for us by His grace and mercy, 1 John 4.9. In response we can demonstrate our love for Him by our worship. Indeed, God desires worshippers, John 4.23, and worship must be the chief activity in the church.

When Simon the Pharisee criticized the Lord for accepting a woman's costly worship Christ asked this question about two forgiven debtors, one who owed much and one who owed little.

Since we recognize that God has richly forgiven us we must ask this question, "Which of us will love the Lord more?" We have the opportunity to worship Him with our praise, Heb. 13.15, money, Rom. 15.26, possessions, Heb 13.16, and time, Eph. 5.16. Yet the one who offers up their whole life to Him demonstrates the higher love, Rom. 12.1. When we do so He reveals His will to us so that we can astutely worship Him, Rom. 12.2.

7. Its Approval (Where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? John 8.9-10)

After watching all her accusers leave the adulterous woman heard the Lord utter these marvelous words, "neither do I condemn you; go sin no more." All believers in happy fellowship should feel at home regardless of what we were preceding our salvation. God's house is a place of approval because we have been clothed with Christ's perfect righteousness, Rom. 5.17-21, 8.33-34.

Christ also exhorts us as He did this woman to live holy lives, 1 Pet. 1.16, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Gal. 5.16. We must take this seriously since we as individuals, 1 Cor. 6.19, and as the church, 1 Cor. 3.16, are inhabited by God.

The Lord told the church at Pergamos that the overcomers would receive a white stone, Rev. 2.17. In that day a judge placed a white stone in a vessel to indicate acquittal and a black stone to reveal guilt. Likewise a host would present a white stone to a guest indicating that they were welcome.

The Lord said to Peter, "You are Simon son of Jonah; you shall be called Peter" (a stone), John 1.42. Similarly, all saints are called a stone in the house of God and the Lord will give us a new name, Rev. 2.17, as He did to Peter. Truly, He has pardoned us and will welcome us, Acts 7.55-56, into His presence with open arms.

We are blessed partners in God's building project as we teach the person of Christ, demonstrate humility, proclaim His authority, enjoy His presence, display His glory, actively worship Him and rejoice in His approval. What's more, we gain a growing appreciation for the house that He delights to dwell in.