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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Are You In God’s Holy House?

Most houses need some improvement or there would be no such thing as "home improvement" or "remodeling" the house. Rita Rudner told about being disappointed with her apartment. She said, "Yes, I've got this nice little apartment in New York, one of those L-shaped ones. Unfortunately, it's a lower case 1." There is a house near Asheville, North Carolina, that leaves most of the people who visit it flabbergasted and speechless in trying to describe it. Perhaps you've seen it. Known as the Biltmore House (or estate), the Biltmore is a chateau-like mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt between 1888 and 1895. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States. It contains 175,000 square feet and features 250 rooms which are filled with exquisite pieces of furniture and art. Still owned by one of Vanderbilt's descendants, it remains today as one of the most prominent examples of the Gilded Age. Vanderbilt commissioned Richard Morris Hunt to design the gargantuan-sized house. After seeing it, most people are awestruck. It is, quite simply, breathtaking in scope and beauty and grandeur.

There is one house on earth that exceeds the glory of the house Vanderbilt (or any other man) built. It is the house Christ built! You can read about it several places in the New Testament. One of my favorites is Hebrews 3:2-6 where an inspired writer spoke of Jesus this way - "who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." The New Testament reveals God has a house right here on earth. That house is the church of Christ, described in 1 Timothy 3:15 as "the house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). Ephesians 2:19-22 makes clear the church is God's holy house (go on, read it and see). There were many houses of worship in 1st century Ephesus - but there was none like the house Christ built! It was "the household of God... a holy temple in the Lord... a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." The church is Christ's own house, bought and built with His own blood through His work at the cross (Acts 20:28; Matthew 16:18). He built just one house, also referred to as the body/church of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4). The occupants of Christ's house are the saved (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:23; 1:22-23). The apostles are the foundation of God's holy house, the church, and Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone. We enter Christ's house when we obey the Gospel through faith, repentance, and baptism into Christ (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, 47). There simply is no other house on earth like the house/church Christ built. It is God's holy house. Are you in God's house?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ