Editor, Food for The Flock,
I have jotted down a little on the House of God for you to take from it anything useful to The Forum.
The first mention of the House of God in the Bible is found in Genesis 28, where the House of God is associated with a pillar, Jacob’s monument to the grace of God. For Jacob, Bethel became the link between heaven and earth, for there he heard the voice of God. There is a definite reference to this in 1 Timothy 3 in which passage the House of God is connected with a pillar, and with the voice of God, (“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,” (4:1).) The pillar is the Church as a monument drawing the attention of the world to the “Mystery of Godliness.” It is the details of this “Mystery” that constitute the testimony of the Church.
The House of God is synonymous with the Household of God throughout the New Testament, and of necessity each reference is to the Church Universal. When the local aspect of the Church is in view it is referred to as the part of one great whole.
The “great house” of 2 Tim. 2:2-21, is neither the House of God nor Christendom. It is a great eastern house from which a lesson is drawn. In such a house there are vessels of gold, silver, wood, and earth; gold and silver vessels to serve the master before distinguished guests; wood and earth to serve him in the kitchen just as well. Any vessel to be of service to him must be clean.
What is it that defiles the vessel? Sin. “If a man therefore purge himself from these.” To what does the pronoun “these” refer? Not to the dishonourable vessels so much, but to the sins that render them dishonourable. “Depart from iniquity.” “Flee youthful lusts.”
It is true, that when purging ourselves from these sins, we may be forced to withdraw from a disorderly brother, but let it be clearly understood that it is sins not persons that defile, and from these we must purge ourselves to be meet for our Master’s use.
With greetings from us both,
Dear Brother McC.
Many thanks for your thought provoking letter. There will be some who have read the Forum in the March issue who will appreciate having your views on this subject. You have made clear the distinction between what might be called the doctrinal House in 1 Tim. 3, and the illustrative house of 2 Tim. 2. We are saved from much confusion when these are thus distinguished.
We hope that you will give us some help with some of the propositions in future issues.
Very sincerely in Christ,
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The study of God’s Word for the purpose of discovering God’s will, is the secret discipline that has formed the greatest characters.
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Ignorance of Holy Scripture is ignorance of Christ. As you deal with God’s word so God deals With you.