Carefully Build the House of the Lord (3)

 

“For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

 

The houses we live in require constant maintenance in order to sustain their durability. Lacking remedial attention, even totally new houses will quickly deteriorate, and turn into condemned structures. As well, we often see articles in the news about houses collapsing. For example, some illegal add-ons will overwhelm the exterior walls or supporting columns of buildings and cause their collapse.

 

The establishment of the spiritual life of a Christian may begin from a solid foundation, but if removal of the sins of the old self is overlooked, the behaviour of the old self will gradually erode the new self in Christ, and is in fact diametrically opposed to the blessed calling. Paul teaches us that if we truly live with Christ, the life of the old self has died with Christ, through continually putting to death this old self, and ridding ourselves of its practices. We should put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:1-10, Ephesians 4:20-24)

 

Also, allowing the concerns of the world to entangle us, such as money, fame, status, the pursuit of power, worries about what to eat or wear etc., will obstruct the growth of our spiritual lives. Just as in the parable of the sown seeds, those that fell in thorns were choked by the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth, so that their way was unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22) Maybe we have not yet been entangled by the aforementioned corruptions, but if things like work, love, marriage, children, and family become the focus of our thoughts 24/7, usurping our peace and joy in the Lord, and obstructing our communion with God, then we may unconsciously fall into another kind of spiritual peril. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Worries are illegal structures built on this temple. The more the illegal structures, the more unbearable your burden becomes. Eventually it will endanger the whole spiritual life. “Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

 

In the modern metropolis, land is scarce and people multitudinous. The demand for housing increases daily. In order to lure the prospective buyer, developers have brought out “Intelligent Homes”. Besides excellent locations and desirable surroundings, these houses feature innovative designs by famous architects, and are built of quality, energy-efficient materials with fiber-optic systems so that residents can connect to the web via broadband. There is also excellent building maintenance and repair.

 

Similarly, through the grace of the Lord, Christians can join together to build a magnificent holy temple, so that God is glorified. As long as we follow the blueprints of the Heavenly Father, choose our location upon the sturdy foundation of Christ, through the blessings of the Holy Spirit unify and coordinate with other members, and each select the best quality materials to build this spiritual house. These best quality materials are the characteristics of Christ, such as love, charity, joy, faithfulness, kindness, loyalty, watchfulness, self-control, perseverance, righteousness, and all manner of good virtues. It must also withstand the testing of fiery trials. Live always in the face of the Lord; pray and read the bible; maintain surpassing and uninterrupted communion with God and your brothers and sisters; constantly examine your spiritual life; continually rid yourself of the bad practices of the old self; and always renew and grow in the love and knowledge in Jesus Christ. Only such a construction process will be pleasing to God, so that the Holy Spirit can dwell in this spiritual temple freely and unencumbered.

 

“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 20)

 

By: Daniel To