House Of God
When people hear this title most often they think that it refers to a place of worship, a church building or something you can see. The thought is that if you go into a church building, you are going into the ‘House of God’. In the Old Testament, the term was clearly laid out to mean the place where God dwelt with His people. It was seen in the Tabernacle as it journeyed with the nation of Israel and when it was stationary for long periods of time and the service of God was conducted by the Levites bringing sacrifices and offering to God on behalf of the people. It was then associated with the Temple that Solomon built and in temples up until the Lord was born. He went into the Temple of Herod’s day to cast out the money changers and to declare that His house was to be a house of prayer but they had turned it into a den of robbers. Mark 11:17. He goes on to say, that this house would be taken from them and given to another (gentiles).
So, we move from the physical to the spiritual. Christ is the builder of the new spiritual house. It is addressed in Hebrews 3: 1-6. “But Christ was faithful as a Son over His house – whose house are we, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” You might note the little word “if”. It is a word on condition. Therefore, the general thought that the House of God is the same as the Body of Christ, made up of all believers, is challenged by this little word because being in the body of Christ is ‘unconditional’. Also, judgement starts within the House of God and 1 Timothy gives practical direction for such rule in Chapter 3. Overseers or Elders must take care of the Church of God and therefore know how to conduct themselves in the House of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. I Timothy 3: 5, 15. Complex subject but exciting as we in Churches of God seek to give effect to the Unity and Lordship of Christ in churches worldwide.