A DAILY DEVOTION FOR DECEMBER 8TH
READ THE SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 3:1-6
Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
Six times in this short section the word house appears, the house of God. There is a very common misunderstanding abroad in our day, especially among Christians, which uses the term, the house of God to mean a church building. There is nothing more destructive of the greatest message of the New Testament than that belief! A building is never truly called the house of God, either in the New Testament or the Old Testament, in the present or in the past. Certainly no church building, since the very beginning of the early church, could ever properly be called the house of God. The early church never referred to any building in that way. In fact, the early church had no buildings for two or three hundred years. When they referred to the house of God they meant the people. A church is not a building, it is people!
Even the temple or the tabernacle of old was not really God’s house. Let someone point out the fact that no building today can properly be called the house of God, and some Bible-instructed Christian nearby wisely nods his head and says, Yes, you’re right. The only building that could properly be called the house of God was the temple. It is true that those buildings were termed that in Scripture, but it is meant only in figure. They were never meant to be the place where God dwelled.
In the sixty-sixth chapter of his magnificent prophecy, Isaiah records the words of the Lord, saying, Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool — where is the house which you would build for me? … All these things my hand has made, (Isaiah 66:1-2 KJV). Paul, in preaching to the Athenians, reminded them that God does not dwell in temples made by hands, (Acts 17:24 KJV). Even as he said those words the temple was still standing in Jerusalem. No, God does not dwell in buildings.
Then what is the house of God that is mentioned here? The answer is very clearly stated in Verse 6. We are his house. We people. God never intended to dwell in any building; he dwells in people, in men and women, in boys and girls. That is the divine intention in making men, that they may be the tabernacle of his indwelling. Paul refers to this in 1 Corinthians, Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you which you have of God? (1 Corinthians 6:19a). God’s purpose is to inhabit your body and to make you to be the manifestation of his life, the dwelling place of all that he is.
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In this house of God which is ever people, Moses ministered as a servant, but Christ as a Son. Therefore, the Son is much more to be obeyed, much more to be listened to, much more to be honored and heeded, than the servant. Moses served faithfully as a servant. What is the ministry of a servant? A servant is always preparing things. He must prepare meals, he must prepare rooms, he must prepare the yard. He is always working in the anticipation of something yet to come. His work is in view of that which is yet future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. What is the role of a son in a house? To take over everything, to possess it, to use whatever he likes. The house was made for him.
Thank, you, Lord, that you have come to dwell in me. What a privilege it is to be your house!
Incredibly, the Spirit of God has chosen the believer’s body as His temple! Who, then, is to be worshiped? For what purpose does the Risen Christ honor us with all the resources and power of His Presence?