According to Genesis 1:26, God’s eternal purpose in creating the universe and creating man was for Him to have a corporate expression in man and to have His dominion over the whole earth through man. The first man – and all the other men following him – failed God, but God Himself came to be a man in the person of the Lord Jesus: this Second Man, the Last Adam, fulfilled individually God’s eternal purpose. Through His death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus produced the church, His duplication and His reproduction to be His continuation on the earth. Now the church is the house of God to express God in all that He is, and the church is the city of God for God’s dominion and rule over the earth. We see this clearly in the book of Psalms – the church is the house of God, where God is at home and where He dwells, and the city of God, where God rules and reigns in His kingdom. In the house of God the main aspect is God’s presence, whereas the principal aspect of God’s city is God’s authority, God’s rule, and God’s reign. When we were regenerated, we became members of the Body of Christ and part of the church as the house of God and the city of God. Whenever we enjoy the Lord, He makes His home in our heart(Eph. 3:16-18) and He even lives in us(Gal. 2:20). When we gather together, God is among us and His presence is with us – this is the church as the house of God. But the house of God needs to be enlarged and strengthened to become the city of God, where God rules and reigns, where He has His dominion and authority.
I was impressed while going through the morning revival today about the fact that church as the house of God needs to be enlarged, strengthened, fortified, and expanded to become the city of God. If people come among us and they see God’s presence being with us, we are indeed the church as the house of God(see 1 Cor. 14). But if people realize that there’s some kind of divine rule and authority among us, if there’s an order and a divine ruling, then the church is the city of God. It is sometimes a struggle for us to get ourselves to the meetings and exercise our spirit, but most of the times God gets His house – He is resting, He is satisfied, and He is happy when we enjoy Him and express Him. But His desire is to gain the city of God, which is the enlargement of the house of God, so that from the city and through the city God can fill the whole earth and rule over the earth in His kingdom! The church as the city of God is much safer, much stronger, more elevated, more established, and more enlarged than the church as the house of God! God can fulfill His purpose fully through the church as the city of God – as proof, at the end of the Bible we don’t have the temple anymore nor the house of God, we just have the city, New Jerusalem, which is the full enlargement and development of the church as the house of God! Saints, where is the city of God in the church life today? The house is wonderful, but the city is glorious to God and terrifying to the enemy! For God to gain the earth, subdue His enemy, and bring in His kingdom, He needs the church to be the city of God and not just the house of God! Here are some more aspects of the city of God in the Psalms – The Psalms reveal several aspects of the church as the city, such as:
- It is the city of the great King (Psa. 48:2).
- There is a river with streams within it (Psa. 46:4).
- God is in the midst of the city (v.5).
- It is God’s holy mountain (Psa. 48:1).
- It is beautiful in elevation and the joy of the whole earth (v. 2).
- It is the perfection of beauty (Psa. 50:2).
- It is the goal of God’s good pleasure(Psa. 51:18).
- It is the salvation of God’s people (Psa. 53:6).
- It is God’s resting place forever (Psa. 132:14).
- The city is built up by the Lord (Psa. 147:2).
- The Lord blesses others from the city (Psa. 134:3),
- The Lord is blessed from the city (Psa. 135:21).
[sharing inspired from, Christ and the church revealed and typified in the Psalms(by brother Witness Lee) as quoted in the Morning Revival on the Crystallization Study of the Psalms – become a fan on Facebook for more updates, or read more portions on the Crystallization of Psalms. Intro: the church is the house & city of God. Picture credit: Lake Lake Bohinj, Slovenia]
Lord, gain the city of God today in the church life. Thank You for Your presence with us all the time – we can enjoy You and have You expressed among us. We treasure Your presence, and we love to dwell in Your house. It is so wonderful here in Your house, Your habitation! But Lord, enlarge and strengthen Your church to be the city of God! Gain the reality of the city of God, Your dominion and Your kingdom, in all the local churches today! Where is Your city today, Lord? Increase in us to such an extent, and head us up in You until we are corporately the city of God for God’s dominion!
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