Calendar

IS THE CHURCH A PHYSICAL BUILDING?

DEC 17

1 Peter 2:5
Memorise 1 Peter 2:5
“As lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,” 

The word “church” can mean two things: 1. a church building 2. a gathering of Christians. In our daily lives, we usually use the word to refer to the church building (“I’m going to church!”)

However, in the New Testament, the word “church” usually refers to a local congregation (never a church building), and sometimes to the “universal church” (i.e. all the Christians all over the world, throughout the ages!)

In the verse today, we read, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

So, we are all stones that build up the house of God. We are lively (i.e. living, not dead) stones, because we are spiritually alive (and so we are a “spiritual house”) and this life comes from our Lord Jesus! “House” here refers to the temple of God – so Christians are a new temple of God guided by the Holy Spirit.

We see therefore that the emphasis is on the people and persons, and not the building at all! Without a building, the church still can function, meeting at rented premises or at someone’s home. However, without the people, the building itself is useless. Sadly, some churches today emphasise the physical building far more than the spiritual house that we ought to be. We are a church not because of how grand or beautiful our building is, but because of the people whom God has called out of this world. We are instructed to gather together for our mutual edification, and also so that we can be a witness to the rest of the world. Is this what you do when you go to church?

Thought: We may think of our service to God as sacrifice, but think again – whatever we have comes from God, and what we give Him is only our giving back to Him what belongs to Him. Is this sacrifice?
Prayer: Lord, teach me to have “the mind of Christ”, so that I will see things from the right perspective, so that I will love You so much that I no longer consider a sacrifice as sacrifice, but as something that I will joyfully offer back to You – because You have given us the greatest gift of all – our Lord Jesus Christ!