In the House of the Lord

Psalms 27:4-5 ESV

“One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.”

Jesus Christ is the temple of God, and we who trust him as Lord and as Savior of our lives are his body, so we are his temple. And Jesus Christ, in the person of the Holy Spirit, lives within those of us who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. So, we are his temple, for he dwells within us. So we who are in Christ by genuine faith in Christ are the house of the Lord. For our God does not dwell in buildings built by human hands.

But this isn’t just about God not dwelling in buildings built by human hands, but he does not dwell in the creations of man, i.e. in institutional churches (ICs). He is not the author of these institutions of man, either. So, just because someone calls a gathering of people “the church,” it doesn’t make it “the church.” For “the church” is the body of Christ comprised of true followers of Christ who have died and who are dying with him daily to sin and to self and who are living to him and to his righteousness.

So, a building called “church” is not the church, the temple of God, the house of the Lord. We the people of God are that temple. We the people of God are his house, provided that we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and that we have been raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And provided that we are now walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, for if we are living to the flesh and not to the Spirit, we are not God’s.

And so church denominations are not “the church,” either. So if you attend gatherings of Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Presbyterian “churches,” et al, those are not “the church,” either. For they are of man. They are creations of man being led by men (and women). And God is not divided. He has one church, one body, yet that one body meets in various places all over the world. And again, that body is not a conglomeration of people from the world, and those giving lip service to God only, and institutions of man, in addition to true followers of Jesus Christ.

So, for us to dwell in the house of the Lord has nothing at all to do with buildings or with church denominations and physical structures. It has to do totally with us dwelling with our Lord in his presence in fellowship and communion with him. It has to do with oneness with Christ in heart and mind and character. And we can only dwell in the house of the Lord via genuine God-given faith which dies with Christ to sin and then lives to God and to his righteousness, in the power of God and his work of grace.

So, if you want to seek after dwelling in the house of the Lord all the days of your life, then this is about seeking after the Lord Jesus and his righteousness and holiness and surrendering your all to the Lord Jesus to now walk in his ways and in his truth the rest of your days, and no longer in sin and for self. And if you want to be hidden in his shelter in the day of trouble then your life must be submitted to him as Lord and you must no longer be living for the pleasures of your sinful flesh.

[Ac 2:42-47; Ac 7:48-50; Ac 17:24-25; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 12:3-8; 1 Co 1:10-17; 1 Co 3:9,16-17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 5:1; 2 Co 6:14-16; Eph 1:22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18-24; Col 2:19; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:19-25; 1 Pet 2:4-6,24; Jude 1:20-21]

Psalms 27:11-14 ESV

“Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!”

And who are our enemies? They are the same as Jesus’ enemies. And his primary enemies were religious people who were going through the motions of religious practice and performance but whose hearts were far from God. For they were still living in sin, sinning in secret, while outwardly they were putting on shows of righteousness to impress other people with how “godly” they were. And they were rulers in the temple of God and they were instructors in the Scriptures, too.

So, they were liars and they were hypocrites who were leading the people to perform religiously outside while they continued to live in secret sin. And we have the same types of people in our “churches” (ICs) today who are leading the people to false faith and false religion and who are not leading them away from lives of living in sin and for self. For we have many people claiming to be servants of the Lord and pastors of the sheep of God who are working for men, not for God, and who are teaching gospels of men.

And not only are they leading many people to follow after lies and not the truth of the gospel, but they are leading them to be followers of man and not of God, and to be members of religious institutions and not necessarily members of the body of Christ. For these religious institutions are often raised up higher than God, as are many of their leaders, too, and so they are demanding undying loyalty to these religious institutions and to their leaders, regardless of whether or not these leaders are truly of God.

And then they are marketing “the church” to the world, and so they are conforming the gatherings of these “churches” to the world in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world to their religious institutions which they call “the church.” And so they have altered the whole meaning of “church” and have turned their gatherings mostly into religious social clubs and places for religious fun and entertainment to make people feel good about themselves and others, but mostly not to lead them to Jesus Christ.

For they have also altered the gospel message to make it more palatable to the people of the world and to human flesh. And so most have removed God’s requirements for holiness and righteous living and walks of obedience to the Lord, for they call them “works salvation” and tell people to stay away from them. And they encourage the people to just be “nice” to other people while they also coddle people in their sins and make no demands for genuine repentance and obedient walks of faith in the Lord Jesus.

So, we need to test everything we hear from anyone calling himself (or herself) a preacher of the Word of God or who is expounding the Scriptures. For there are many liars and deceivers out there who are twisting the Scriptures and who are teaching them out of their context and who are making them to say what the Scriptures do not teach. And they are leading many people astray. So we need to be students of the Scriptures who study them in their context, and then who walk in obedience to our Lord.

For Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. And so our salvation involves us being crucified with Christ in death to sin, not just once but daily, and us walking in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). For if we continue living in sin and not in righteousness and not in walks of obedience, we do not have salvation from sin nor eternal life with God. So we need to take this to heart.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?
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