Christ is the only One qualified to build up His church, and he does this by building Himself into our being, that is, by making His home in our heart so that we may be mingled with the Triune God and become a mutual abode with Him. This is what the Bible reveals that God’s desire is.
The central work of God is nothing else but to build Himself into man and build man into Himself so that God and man, man and God, would become a mutual dwelling place, which is God’s building, His corporate expression on earth and in the universe.
The conclusion of the book of Ezekiel, just like the conclusion of the book of Revelation, is the holy building of God. What we see in Ezekiel is that the glory of the Lord, the judgement of God on His people and on the nations, and the recovery of the Lord are all for the holy building of God.
God doesn’t just want to manifest His glory, judge everything and everyone that doesn’t correspond to Him, and recover His people back to Himself. What He desires and what He works to gain is a building, a corporate expression of Himself. And this building is in man, with man, and through man.
The intrinsic element and constitution of this building is the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and the outward frame is humanity. The way Christ builds His church, the building of God in this age, is by building Himself into us.
David was a man after God’s heart, and he desired to build a house for God. This is such a noble and lofty desire, and God should have surely been very pleased with this. But God’s response was quite striking. He stopped David from building the temple, saying that first God will build him, David, a house, and out of David someone will come to build God’s house.
We are not qualified to build God’s house, no matter how much we love the Lord and desire to build the church. But the way we can be suitable material for God’s house is by allowing God to work Himself into us, to build Himself into our being, so that something in us will be produced for God’s building.
Only what God builds into us can be suitable for God’s building.
May we learn to stop our being, turn to the Lord, and let Him build Himself into us by making His home in our heart, so that we may be constituted with the Triune God as our essence and element, and we would be part of God’s building.
Christ Builds the Church by Making His Home in our Heart to Constitute us with God
The best New Testament verse telling us how Christ builds His church is Ephesians 3:17, where Paul says that Christ is making His home in our heart, with the result that we all become the building of God.
Through regeneration Christ has come into our spirit, and now Christ lives in us, in our mingled spirit. In spirit we are one with the Lord, and Christ as the Spirit dwells in us.
However, the spirit is enveloped and surrounded by our heart, and our heart is full of intentions, emotions, decisions, thoughts, desires, wishes, and many other things. Christ is at home in our spirit, but what about our heart? Is Christ at home in our heart?
We all have to admit that our heart is still in a large part void of Christ, for we still desire to do our own things, choose things by ourselves, think in our own way and our own thoughts, and many times our heart is far away from God, not interested or involved with God’s purpose.
The Lord builds His church by making His home in our heart, that is, by saturating, permeating, and soaking our heart with Himself. He doesn’t want to be imprisoned in our spirit, with no access to our heart, our real being. He wants to build Himself into our being by making our heart His home.
It is Christ who builds up His church, and the way He builds it is with Himself – the Triune God, the father, the Son, and the Spirit – as the essence and element, and with humanity as the frame and structure.
As seen in Eph. 4:4-6, the Body of Christ is the mingling of the Triune God as the source, element, and essence, and the redeemed and regenerated humanity as the frame and structure.
On the one hand, the gifted persons perfect the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ, so that the body would build itself up in love.
On the other hand, the processed and consummated Triune God Himself is the source, element, and essence, and He is building the church by building Himself into our being.
When we allow Christ to make His home in our heart and spend time with Him to repent, confess under his divine light, and receive His dispensing through His word, Christ builds up the church by building Himself into us.
Paul bowed his knees to the Father to ask Him to strengthen us into our inner man so that Christ may make His home in our heart through faith, so that we all may be full of strength to apprehend all the universally vast dimensions of Christ and be filled unto all the fulness of God, for the building up of the church.
We need to have the same prayer to the Lord, asking Him according to His word that He would build Himself into us by making His home in our heart, so that we may be built into His dwelling place in spirit. It is good to tell the Lord,
Lord Jesus, make Your home in our heart through faith so that we may be part of Your dwelling place, Your building. Build Yourself into us, Lord, and constitute us with Your element. We open our heart to You: make our heart Your home, and make Yourself at home in all our heart. May there be a process of mingling of God and man in our being day by day, so that we may be strengthened, filled with God, saturated with God, and built up in God and with God as His dwelling place. Lord, we say Amen, make Your home in our mind, emotion, and will, for Your dwelling place, Your building!
Being Filled and Saturated with God to Minister the God who is Built into our Being
Our whole mindset needs to change when it comes to building up the church as the dwelling place of God. Merely knowing the Bible and speaking verses and doctrines from the word, no matter how accurate they are and what a good heart we have, is not something that builds up the church.
What builds up the church is ministering God into man, that is, ministering the building God and the built God to others, for God to gain His church.
Through our prayer, fasting, repentance, and confession, the Triune God can fill us, saturate us, and mingle Himself with us as our source, element, and essence. In this way He becomes us – He becomes our very inward being, our constitution.
Then, when we speak to others, we will simply flow Him out to minister God into them.
We need to let God build Himself into us and fill us with Himself, and we will then minister the building God and the builded God into others.
We need to realize that we need God in Christ as the Spirit to be built into our being, and as He does this, He builds us a house, and this is His house also; it is a mutual dwelling place of God and man, and this is the church.
How does Christ build His church (Matt. 16:18)? It is not merely by saving sinners to make them members of the Body and believers in Christ, but it is by building Himself into His people.
When we believed into Christ, He came into us and began the work of gradually building Himself into our being. Day by day, as we open to Him, fellowship with Him, confess our sins, and let His light expose and shine in us, we have God being built into our being.
God is working Himself in Christ into us to make a house not only for us but to us; the house He is making in us – by Christ “housing Himself” in our being – is God’s house and our house, a mutual abode.
This is what God is after: not a physical building but a dwelling place in man, a group of people who cooperate with Him to let Him make His home in their heart so that there would be a mutual dwelling place in their being – God in man and man in God.
First, Christ builds Himself into our spirit, and then, as we grow in life and let Him spread into our inner being, he saturates our mind, emotion, and will to occupy our entire soul and make our inner being His home and our home.
On the one hand, He transforms our soul, on the other, He saturates our soul with Himself; furthermore, as He does this, He uplifts and resurrects our God-created humanity, so that divinity and humanity would be mingled to be God’s habitation, a mutual abode of God and man.
The consummation of such a building is the New Jerusalem for eternity, in which God’s redeemed are God’s tabernacle for Him to dwell in, and God is the temple for us, His redeem, to dwell in (see Rev. 21:3, 22).
Lord Jesus, carry out Your building work within us. Gradually build Yourself into our being to make our inner being a mutual abode of God and man. Keep our heart open to You, Lord, as we go through things, so that You may work Yourself into us and make Your home in our heart. May our heart be Your home, and may You gain a mutual dwelling place in us. O Lord, how much we need to be filled with You, saturated with You, and soaked with You, so that we may have God built into us and we may minister the builded God to others for the building up of the church!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ron Kangas for this week, and portions from, Life-study of 1 & 2 Samuel, msgs. 24, 29 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 8 (week 20 in the HWMR), Being Measured by God’s Building.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Spread into my heart, O Lord Jesus, / Spread into my heart, I pray; / Spread into my heart from my spirit, / Spread into my heart today. (Hymns #1134)
# O that Christ may make His home my heart, / Spread Himself in every part! / Saturate and life impart! / That with all saints, I may apprehend / All the vast dimensions of my loving Christ. (Song on Christ making His home in us)
# May this vision, Lord, re-center us, / Save us from our old self-centeredness. / Be our center and centrality, / And our inward harmony. / Give us sight to see Your purpose— / Build Yourself into our being! / Mind, emotion, will, Lord, we give to You— / All our heart Your home must be. (Song on God’s central work)
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