As workers together with God, we earnestly desire to grow in our ability to edify and build up the Church according to God’s plan. We are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we seek to build according to God’s blueprint for the ages, which is His Holy Word.
II Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is profitable, so we can draw from the entire Word of God for our learning and scope. Then the specific blueprints written to us, the believers in the Church of Grace, are the seven Church Epistles, Romans through Thessalonians. The Church Epistles set the doctrine, the true standard, for our believing. Once we know God’s plan set forth in these Epistles, we can build according to His specifications.
Rev. Roger Mittler, who coordinates The Way International’s building projects, taught at the February 9, 2003, Sunday Teaching Service: “We have one standard that we attempt to adhere to in the ministry when it comes to building, and that is, we do not build anything without a set of plans. A set of blueprints helps us get clear and concerned and focused on what it is we want, and it helps us eliminate the temptation to get distracted by considering things we don’t want.”
In my secular occupation, selling quality windows, I work with home builders, tradesmen, and architects who rely on me to review new home plans and to give them a proposal for the products needed to meet all the requirements of the plans, including aesthetics, budget, building codes, and scheduling.
To accomplish this, I need to know the scale used by the architect, the wall thickness that the framer will use, the location of the house, the direction the house will face—detail upon details. Then I have a starting point for doing my specialized part of the house. The home’s outcome is determined by how well the final plans are designed in detail and how well the project is coordinated among all aspects of the building process.
If building a physical house requires such deliberation and planning, we can be assured that God’s vision for building His household far surpasses any design of man. In this article, let’s look at God’s building plans and the solid foundation that He has laid. Then we’ll focus on some of the tools and resources He has given us to utilize as we build according to His plans.
I Corinthians 3:9:
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
We labor with God for rise and expansion, to cultivate and to perpetuate this building God has made for His home. In God’s Magnified Word, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille stated in the chapter “God’s Dwelling Place,” “…When Christ’s accomplishments were complete, God could then have a permanent dwelling place, not in a temple made with human hands, but in a temple made by His own work. And this temple was His very own children.” Further in the chapter, he wrote, “There is only one building on that foundation. Those who are born again of God’s Spirit, whom He knows as His sons, make up the building, the family.”
I Corinthians 3:16:
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
II Corinthians 6:16:
…for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
In the above verses the words “dwelleth” and “will dwell in” are derived from the Greek root word oikos, meaning “house.” They carry the meaning of “to inhabit.” God wants us to live with Him, to abide with Him in a tender family, a household in which to learn and grow. Note the multiple derivatives of the Greek root oikos in Ephesians 2:19-22 to emphasize the importance of God’s house.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners [paroikos], but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household [oikeios] of God.
Because we have access to God by the new birth, we are no longer wandering about without a home. We are fellow citizens with the saints. Even greater, God is our loving Father; we are His sons and daughters in His household!
And are built upon [epoikodomeō] the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ [“Christ Jesus” is the text] himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building [oikodomē] fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together [sunoikodomeō] for an habitation [katoikētērion] of God through the Spirit.
Our heavenly Father is the Architect that designed and built us for His temple, His dwelling place, His home. He made the whole building to be fitly framed together, and it continues to grow unto a holy temple because new people are continually being born again. God has desired this habitation since before the foundation of the world, but He legally could not bring it to pass until Jesus Christ finished his work and became the cornerstone….
This is an excerpt from the March/April 2004 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2004 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
For more information on subscribing to The Way Magazine, Click Here