THE CHURCH AS GOD’S BUILDING--A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Back to the idea of the Church as “sons of God” in the “HOUSEHOLD OF GOD.” Let’s look at Ephesians 2:18-22.
“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but FELLOWCITIZENS with the saints, and OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the CHIEF CONRNERSTONE; in Whom ALL the BUILDING, framed together, grows unto a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord.”
In this passage, we see the TRUE CHURCH as THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD, which is another way of saying that we are “sons of God” and “children of God” through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We saints (in Christ’s Church) are FELLOWCITIZENS in God’s HOUSE.
Where is God’s HOUSE? Of course, the home of our Father God is IN HEAVEN. (I’ll show more about the Church’s TRUE CITIZENSHIP in a later section.)
Right now, I want us to see that Jesus is the CHIEF CORNERSTONE in a BUILDING which is FRAMED TOGETHER, and grows into a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord. What we see is NOT A NATURAL BUILDING. It’s NOT some EARTHLY CATHEDRAL or a LOG CHURCH IN THE WILDWOOD. The BUILDING is a HOLY TEMPLE unto the Lord, NOT made of wood, timbers, masonry or stained glass windows.
Have you heard “the saying” that we do NOT go to Church?--Instead THE CHURCH goes to local meeting place?
We, as INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS of Christ’s BODY, are “THE CHURCH.” It’s NOT some BUILDING handcrafted by men. We’re knitted and bonded together in the Spirit, and THE CHURCH is a LIVING ORGANISM (and we have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus). The “true Church” is NOT some “special denomination” or “ORGANIZATION” or touted “RELIGION.”
Other scripture describes us as LIVING STONES, placed together, to form the Church. Our bodies are also referred to as TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit.
ADOPTED INTO GOD’S FAMILY
Another facet found in the Church’s POSITION in Jesus Christ is that we have the ADOPTION OF SONS. What does this mean? Let’s look at Galatians 4:4-6.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might RECEIVE the ADOPTION OF SONS. And because you are SONS, God has sent forth the Spirit of HIS SON into your hearts, crying, ABBA, FATHER.”
We RECEIVE the ADOPTION OF SONS.
The ADOPTION is defined as this--“placing into position as a son.” This is IMMEDIATE KINSHIP. We’re taken into God’s FAMILY, where we become the Father’s SONS (or daughters), and we’re SIBLINGS to Jesus (becoming JOINT-HEIRS with Him)! We’re placed into GOD’S IMMEDIATE FAMILY--a part of His HOUSEHOLD!
We RECEIVE our POSITION in God’s household by LEGAL MEASURES. The LEGAL ACTION which brings us into God’s House as His sons (or daughters) is the PURCHASE PRICE of the transaction, which Jesus attained for us by His own blood.
Let’s look at more insight from Ephesians 1:3-7.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ: according as He has CHOSEN us in Him BEFORE the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestined us unto THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of HIS WILL, to the praise of the glory of HIS GRACE, wherein He has MADE us ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED. In Whom we have REDEMPTION through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of HIS GRACE.”
As members of God’s IMMEDIATE family, (through Jesus), we have EXCEEDING spiritual blessings in HEAVENLY PLACES. We’re GIVEN so much THROUGH our POSITION in Christ!--Overcoming power through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The DELEGATED AUTHORITY of Jesus--as His ambassadors. The MIGHT of the NAME of Jesus. The power of prayer: binding, loosing, setting captives free through works of Jesus that flow in and through us! The ministry of healing and compassion. The operation of the LOVE of God.
These are SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS, and they FLOW to us from HEAVENLY PLACES, where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. We are VITALLY LINKED to Him, made ONE with Him, and He MINISTERS “through us” to the world. (Remember, we DO NOTHING in our own selves. Any ministry, any good works, are the PRODUCT of Jesus in our lives, and the EVIDENCE of His LIFE, not ours!)
We see that we have been PREDESTINED by God unto the ADOPTION OF CHILDREN.
TAKE NOTE--Predestination is NOT God "DECIDING" who WILL and who WILL NOT be saved (like some preachers insist). Predestined simply means that God KNOWS BEFOREHAND who WILL and who WILL NOT “accept” His offer of salvation, because God KNOWS ALL THINGS--the BEGINNING and THE END, and EVERY DETAIL in between!
We have the ADOPTION as God’s CHILDREN, and are placed into His household, by WHAT Jesus Christ did for us. We’re no longer under God’s judgment upon sin, but we’ve become ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED.
ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED! This phrase is the most beautiful declaration of HOW God NOW sees us. Because we’ve BELIEVED and RECEIVED what Jesus did for us at the cross, God now says: WE ARE ACCEPTED. And this ACCEPTANCE is IN His BELOVED. Jesus is God’s BELOVED, and it’s IN Jesus that we find our ACCEPTANCE with God. Powerful revelation!
WHAT DOES BEING “SONS OF GOD” HAVE TO DO WITH A PRE-TRIB RAPTURE?
If you, as a parent, knew a horrible catastrophe was about TO DESTROY all you hold dear, would you SEND your CHILDREN right into the middle of it--so they can learn a lesson? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
If you’re hurt and upset that your son and daughter talked back to you, would you tie them onto a railroad track in front of an incoming train? HEAVEN FORBID!
If your son or daughter disobeyed your curfew, would you cast them into a den of ravenous lions? NO WAY!
I offer these OUTRAGEOUS examples to show that as a human parent, we’d NEVER enact such drastic measures upon our CHILDREN--even if they upset us, disobeyed us, or hurt our feelings. They’re OUR FAMILY, and they’re PRECIOUS to us. We LOVE our children, wish the BEST for them, and will do everything we can to HELP them. We’d DEFEND them with our very lives!
Can we expect ANYTHING LESS from God, Who LOVES with a capacity FAR ABOVE our own human frailties?
Is God going to cast His “sons,” members of His OWN HOUSEHOLD, made ONE with Jesus (by accepting His salvation) into that terrible time of wrath and vengeance (that’s coming) upon those who ignored or refused His salvation? NO!
Is God going to consider His “blood-bought household” as DESERVING of all the PUNISHMENT reserved for His enemies? NO!
Is God going to consider His “sons” (adopted as IMMEDIATE KIN to Jesus) as WORTHY to INCUR His abandonment? NO!
Is God going to throw out His “sons” (and reject them) so the Antichrist can trample and abuse them? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
God will NEVER toss the true Church, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus, into a judgment which is APPOINTED upon Israel, and upon the world, for their sin of ignoring or rejecting the gift of Jesus Christ. This simply WILL NOT happen!
If God did this, He would be committing “child abuse” of the highest degree!
We, true Church, are made the “sons of God” through Jesus’ work, which is the high cost of His shed blood. God will NOT turn around and throw us to the wolves, the bullies, the demon-possessed, so that we can be severely beaten by them. We’ll NOT do that to our OWN children--so, most assuredly, God will NOT do that to His ADOPTED SONS--now KIN of Jesus, and JOINT-HEIRS with Him!
We, true Church, will NOT INHERIT the judgments of God upon the wicked. Instead, we INHERIT all that God has given Jesus! That’s what it means to be His JOINT-HEIRS.
Jesus gets to sit at God’s right hand. We’ll be united with Jesus at God’s right hand in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Jesus gets power and dominion, the right to rule and reign over His Kingdom on earth. We rule and reign WITH Jesus.
That’s our destiny--and it’s NOT to receive a SMACKING DOWN in the hour of God’s wrath! Simple as that!