You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5).
‘This is God’s house; please keep quiet.’ You will perhaps have seen such signs at the entrance to some great cathedral or religious building. It is a sign that strikes us as odd, for it suggests that perhaps God is somehow offended by conversation as people walk around. But not only is it odd, it is inaccurate! For actually, the ‘house of God’ is not a building, but ‘people’. We are his house!
In the Old Testament King David wanted to build a ‘house’ for God – a temple that he felt would be worthy of such a great God. But God said to him, ‘I don’t want you to build a house for me – I’m going to build a house for you instead!’ Initially a ‘royal house’ or dynasty, it would eventually become a vast family through King David’s descendant, the Lord Jesus. You see, God has always had it in his heart to have a house, not of stones, but of people.
But this house of God is not yet complete. Paul told the Ephesians that ‘you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit’ (Ephesians 2:22). Note how he says we are being built. The work is still in progress and the building is still under construction! This means, first, that we will have to exercise patience and tolerance with one another at times (ask anyone who has worked on a building site!); and second, that we need to take care how we build together, co-operating with one another rather than working against one another.
God’s promise is that he is building a house for himself – and we are a part of that. He has not saved you in order to leave you as some lonely brick on the building site, put to one side while more important parts are set in place; there is a place for you too! Believe his promise, take your place – and be gracious with the other bricks!
For we are … God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:9)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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