Bible LanguageBy: Joseph H. Murray
“Don’t go to church, be the church”
– We are the church –
“assembled...with [all] the church” (Acts 11:26)
“church...in their house” (1Cor. 16:19)
“church...in his house” (Col. 4:15)
“church of the Firstborn...written in heaven” (Heb. 12:23)
Jesus, the Chief Corner Stone, was the first member of the church. He was the first temple indwelt by the Holy Ghost (Mal. 3:1). “Destroy this temple and in three days…” (John 2:19). “He spake of the temple of His body” (v. 21).
“Ye are the temple of God” (1Cor. 3:16).
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (1Cor. 6:19).
“What agreement hath the temple of God with idols” (2Cor. 6:16).
“Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48).
You can’t go to something unless you have left it. The only way a baptized believer into the body of Christ, through the Holy Ghost, can leave the church is to blaspheme the Holy Ghost and have his or her name blotted out of the Book of Life. This is the point of no return, for there is no forgiveness for this sin.
Let’s leave the “go to church” expression to and for the world because they haven’t got there yet – and again we must be careful that we don’t get out of church to have to try to go back.
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 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” (1Pet. 2:1–5).
The psalmist David tells us what spiritual sacrifices are in these words, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17). He also said, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18). Again, the prophet Isaiah speaks on sacrifices acceptable to God. “For thus saith the High and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa. 57:15).
The apostle Paul compared the deed and gifts of the saints bestowed upon as “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18).
The acid test of your wellbeing with God is contained in this passage of Scripture found in Hebrews. “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13:12–17).