“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9 NKJV).
God’s building on the earth is the Church (the Ekklessia). This building is not an impressive or imposing physical edifice; it is an assembly of a people called out from sin, self and the world to God.
The Lord Jesus is the Chief builder of the Ekklessia!
Jesus aptly said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18 NKJV).
Although it is the Lord Jesus who is building His Church, yet He calls some men into partnership with Him as co-builders, for the Lord Jesus takes delight in working in, with and through mortal men.
This is why Paul said to the Corinthian Christians, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9 NKJV).
What a great privilege and huge responsibility to be called to be God’s fellow workers or builders!
God’s delight has always been with the sons of men (Prov. 8:31). God delights in having a loving and intimate relationship with the people He created in His image. It is God’s desire to dwell in us and walk among us.
Paul queries the believers at Corinth, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16 NKJV).
The ultimate purpose of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins is to redeem, sanctify or set us apart for God to dwell in us, walk among us, and work in and through us.
Paul clearly reveals this truth in his epistle to the Church at Ephesus.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (NKJV).
He further reveals that the Lord Jesus gave Himself for us, “that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14 NKJV).
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).
Before the offering of the body of Jesus Christ on the cross to purify or sanctify us as God’s spiritual building or temple on earth, God was always calling for a physical building or temple to be built and set apart for Him so that He might dwell with men and walk among men (Exo. 29:42-46, Hag. 1:8).
God specifically commanded the children of Israel, saying, “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” (Exo. 25:8 NKJV).
But after Christ’s death on the cross, God is no longer calling men to build or set apart a physical building or temple for Him to dwell among men. God’s delight is no longer in any physical building, but in a spiritual building, His Church (the Ekklessia).
The born-again believers are now God’s building or temple which God desires to dwell in, walk among, and work in and through!
Paul pointed out this truth to the Christians at Corinth, saying, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9 NKJV).
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16 NKJV).
Sadly, the delight or passion of many church leaders today is building impressive and imposing physical structures or temples for God, rather than building the believers as a spiritual temple for God.
While much energy, strength, time and financial resources are being expended today on physical buildings or temples for God, the believers who are God’s spiritual building or temple are left unattended to.
We are simply esteeming that which is of no value or significance in God’s sight.
How we have misplaced our priority today!
Having been redeemed, justified, sanctified or set apart to God, the born-again believers are the living stones to be built up as a holy temple for God’s habitation on earth.
Apostle Peter testifies, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5 NKJV).
It is God’s utmost delight to see the believers today being “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:20-22 NKJV).
Therefore, anyone whose utmost passion, purpose, or priority is not building God’s people as a spiritual house or temple for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit is not a co-builder with Christ, rather he is anti-Christ.
It is certainly a great privilege and responsibility to be called and chosen by the Lord Jesus to be a co-builder of His Church with Him. Apostle Paul understood the huge responsibility of being a co-builder with Christ. Therefore, he didn’t take the responsibility lightly.
Paul writes, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” (1 Cor. 3:10 NKJV).
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Col. 1:28-29 NKJV).
Sadly, many men today, unlike Paul, who are called to be co-builders with Christ are taking this responsibility very lightly, not taking heed to build on the right foundation, with the right building material, and according to God’s specification, design, pattern or model.
Apparently, this is the reason why God abhors, rejects, and refuses to dwell in or fill with His awesome presence what they have built.
It is sad but true that believers today rather than being joined together as living stones to grow up into a holy spiritual house for God to dwell in and manifest His awesome power, presence and glory on earth are being divided and disjointed by men’s doctrines and denominations.
The Church today is being torn apart by her carnal human leaders called to build her. It is obvious to all that these men are only after their selfish interests, vain glories and material gains (1 Cor. 3:3-4).
It is sad but true that many spiritual leaders today called by the Lord into partnership with Him to build His Church for Him are now completely engrossed or occupied with building names, empires and monuments for themselves.
Consequently, the Lord is raising among His people today a new company of co-builders who will not build His Church according to the wisdom, pattern, principles or ways of this world, but according to His revealed divine wisdom, principles and pattern.
Like the faithful builders of the tabernacle or temple of old, the new company of faithful co-builders the Lord is raising today will tarry in God’s presence (labour in God’s Word and prayer) until they clearly see, know, understand and receive God’s building plan, pattern and specification for the spiritual temple He desires to build on earth. Then, they will arise in God’s might to build according to the plan, pattern and purpose which God has revealed to them.
Beloved, are you one of the rising new generation of co-builders with Christ in this generation?
The Lord is saying to you today, “Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.” (Hag. 1:8 NKJV).
“And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” (Exo. 25:40 NKJV).
What is God’s building pattern and material for His Church today?
Find out in the next piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, behold the ruins of Your building today on earth. Raise a new generation of co-builders with You who will build according to Your divine pattern, plan and principles, and make me one of them, in Jesus’ name. Amen.