The Church is a Building
©2015 Stan Hallett
A habit I’ve worked at trying to break as well as help others with is calling the building that we meet in, the Church. We who are saved, who have obeyed the Gospel, and continue to walk with Him are the Church. The building that we meet in or assemble in on Sunday morning is just a building.
However the Church is a like a building and is a building of sorts. Jesus said: “I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
Everyone that is in the Church has a part and a function. Despite the doctrine of Catholics and most Protestant denominations, there is no laity/clergy division in the Church, or in God’s Word. All of the Church is in the ministry.
In Acts 8:4 we read that those that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word. The whole Church, or those that some would call just the laity, went everywhere preaching the word without the Apostles. We know this because back in Acts 8:1 we read that the Church was scattered, except the apostles. We are all in the ministry!
As part of the building that God is building we all have a function and an active part. God never intended His Church to be a bunch of spectators that just show up on Sunday morning to hear some professional Christian that we refer to as pastor, preach a message.
We that are part of the Church need to be knit into the body. We need to find a place of service, “as lively stones, are built up into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).
Think of the each of us as components of a physical building just like lumber, roofing, sheetrock, carpet, windows, paint, etc. Lets suppose we have all of those things that make up the building delivered to the site where we want the building. If we did not assemble them and construct them into a complete structure, we would have stacks of lumber and sheetrock, rolls of carpet, boxes of roofing, boxes of nails and screws, cans of paint, and all the rest just piled up in a field.
The carpet would get wet and moldy and begin to deteriorate. The sheetrock would get wet and turn to mush. The nails and screws would rust. Probably many of the building supplies would be stolen and carted off.
However, with the building fully constructed, with everything in it’s place, the carpet and walls would be protected from the elements. It would be very difficult for a thief to steal the materials because the doors and windows would be firmly affixed and locked. If a thief did break in, it would be very difficult to steal anything that was firmly fitted, nailed, screwed, or glued on place. The completed building would be able to serve its intended purpose in giving shelter and comfort to those that entered in.
Some Christians are like those materials just stacked up in the field. They never get knit in and actually commit to service. They get weathered and are often gone all too soon. Perhaps the thief is able to steal them away because they are offended, or just lured away. They never found a place of service in the building, never became part of it. Perhaps they just visited once in a while, never fully committing.
The thing that binds us, that screws, nails, or glues, or that firmly attaches us to the Church, and the Church to us, is love.
We are no longer under the law. We are not even under the ten commandments. Those of us that have obeyed the Gospel are under a new covenant that really only contains three laws.
1.) Jesus said “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).
2.) Jesus said: “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Matthew 12:31).
3.) The before Jesus ascended into heaven He said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34,35).
Everything is contained in these three commandments. It is the foundation of the Church. The Church is built up, grows, and becomes strong, when love is the mortar, and the adhesive that binds us together as one ministering body.
Do you have questions? Feel free to write to me via my contact form.