CHRIST BUILDING HIS HOME IN US
The apostle Paul told us in the Epistles that Christ as the Spirit indwells us, and he went on to tell us that He not only indwells us but also makes His home in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). To make a home is much more than to dwell. The Lord is not just dwelling within us. He is building His home in us. This means that this Indweller is dwelling in us in a very positive sense. While He dwells in us, He builds Himself as the very element into our being to build up a kind of wonderful constitution for Him to dwell in.
Many of us are familiar with Ephesians 3:17. I myself have put out many messages on Christ making His home in our hearts. But I do not believe that anyone among us, including me, has ever paid adequate attention to the fact that day after day the indwelling Christ is building, constituting, a structure in us for Him to dwell in as His home. I never was so impressed about this matter until the recent winter training on 1 and 2 Samuel.
The light on 2 Samuel 7:12-14 came to me while I was speaking. I did not have this light even when I wrote the outlines for the training. I would ask you to read the Life-study messages on this portion of the Word. David wanted to build a house, a temple, for God, but God stopped David. Instead, He told David that He would build Himself into David to be his seed and this seed eventually would be born to be the Son of God. This reveals God building Himself into a human being to be a human seed. Eventually this human seed will be born into divinity to be the firstborn Son of God, and this is confirmed by David’s second Psalm: “You are My Son;/Today I have begotten You” (v. 7). God said this to David’s seed. Then in Acts 13 Paul told us that this birth was Christ’s resurrection (v. 33). Christ was begotten to be the firstborn Son of God with humanity uplifted to the divine standard in and by His resurrection.
In the life-study on Samuel, I pointed out two verses. One is Ephesians 3:17. Christ is now making His home in us. He is building Himself into our being to be a kind of structure for Him to dwell in. Another verse is John 14:23. The Lord said, “If anyone loves Me…We [My Father and I] will come to him and make an abode with him.” To make an abode is to build a house, which is the Father’s house. John 14:2 says that in the Father’s house there are many abodes. The Lord makes an abode with us in this age, the age of the church, for God to build up a house for Himself and for us as well.
Now we need to consider what this house is. I believe that since the history of the church began, no one has ever touched this matter thoroughly. Today the Lord has shown this to us. What is the age of the church? This is the age of God’s divine building. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:9 that we are God’s farm to grow Christ. To grow Christ is to produce some element for God to build up His building in this age. So the following words of verse 9 say, “You are…God’s building.”
While Paul spoke this, he was doing the building. He said that he had laid the unique foundation, that is, Jesus Christ (vv. 10-11). Now we, including Paul, are building upon this foundation. But we must be careful about what kind of material we build with. There are two categories of material. One category is wood, grass, and stubble. These are the earthen things. The second category is gold, silver, and precious stones (v. 12). Gold, silver, and precious stones are found in the earth, but they are the earthen things which have been transformed to be the very material with the divine element with which we build the church, that is, the Body of Christ.
Many of you are co-workers, and you do not know what a heavy burden I have for you all. Since the Lord has opened my eyes, I cannot deny that I have seen something. But I am very concerned about whether you have seen this or not. Are you building the so-called church you are in with wood, grass, and stubble? Paul says that if you do this, you mar the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:17—see note 171). Mar is the opposite of beautify. To mar is to defile, ruin, or corrupt. To try to build up the church with wood, grass, and stubble is to mar the church.
Without your work, the church as the temple of God would remain just as it is. But after you come, you add some work into the church where you are, and this work is of wood, grass, and stubble. This means that the intrinsic element of your work is the natural man and the flesh, with something of the evil nature inside. In the outward element, you may help people to preach the gospel and do other things, but what you have done is full of the flesh, the natural man, and the earthly things. This kind of work is to mar God’s building today.
The Lord dwells in us to build Himself into our being and to build us into His being. He builds the redeemed, uplifted man in Christ’s resurrection into divinity. Christ builds this man into Himself. In John 15 the Lord said, “Abide in Me and I in you” (v. 4). This implies building. If we abide in Christ, we build ourselves into Christ, or we may say we are built into Christ. While Christ abides in us, He is building Himself into our being. Eventually, this is a mutual abiding, mutual dwelling, and mutual building.
The New Testament stresses this to the uttermost. The Spirit as the pneumatic Christ, the processed and consummated Triune God, is building Himself into us and building us into Him. Ephesians 4 tells us clearly that there is one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one God, the Father of all (vv. 4-6). The redeemed ones who were born of the Spirit to be the children of the Father are the very Body of Christ, and the Spirit, the Lord, and the Father are built within them. All three of the Divine Trinity have been built into the redeemed and regenerated believers. We must see this.
(Practical Points Concerning Blending, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)