We’ve all heard of churches being referred to “The House of the Lord,” but what makes a building a house of the Lord?

I understand the point, but the “house” is just a building. Just because someone throws a sign on the front of a building and calls it “ ‘Something’ Church” or “ Church of ‘Something’” doesn’t make it THE church or the building THE house of God.

First, we have to understand the concept of what or more importantly, who The Church is.  

I am the church…. YOU are the church…. We make up the body of Christ when we become born again believers. As we choose Jesus, who has already chosen us, we receive salvation through faith in his death and resurrection. It is through His grace we become born again believers. As such, we become the body of Christ, also known as The Church.

If we remember in scriptural history, the temple was the sacred place where the Israelites would go to visit the priests who would absolve sins. This was done through sacrifice and prayer on behalf of the Israelites, but only a Priest could complete these tasks.

When Jesus came and died on the cross, He became the sinless sacrifice, The Lamb, needed to complete the process of absolving us of our sins. It wasn’t until Jesus, we, the Gentiles, had an absolute answer to the sin issue. In order to be in the presence of God, one would have to be made holy.

After the price was paid at the cross, we were given a way to be made holy through Jesus. Once He was raised from the dead, our ability to have a resurrected spirit was given.

Here is the key to understanding the church situation. When we choose Jesus, we are gifted with the Helper. God The Spirit, commonly referred to as Holy Spirit, comes to dwell within us. Thus, we became the temple. We no longer need the priests or the building in order to realize the presence of God on earth.

It is through this indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we become the dwelling place of God. We become the church. Individually, and corporately, we become the church.

This isn’t about a building, this is about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and our body becoming the Temple. The Holy Spirit takes residence within those who choose Jesus and WE become the Temple of the Most High…..

Now to address the “ house of God” definition of church. These buildings in which church services are held, are often great. I attend a local church service and I absolutely love it. The teaching is phenomenal, the outreach work is beyond anything I could ask for, and the corporate worship is pretty awesome too.

These things are the real reason for a “ house of God” to exist. The function of a church building is to house corporate worship and teaching, but also to be a headquarters for the real work of the ministry that we each have. I will get into individual ministries, our personal ministries, in another article. For now, just for the sake of this post, we will leave that topic vague.

What is the actual purpose of a corporate teaching? Group worship, group prayer, and the equipping of the saints, or you and I, to do the work of the ministry. When reading in Ephesians, the five fold ministry is explained.

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:10-12

To give a quick synopsis, we are able see that we are all given these gifts and talents to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We all have a portion of these gifts, but some of them may be more prominent than others in some of us. Again, this is a topic for another post. The purpose of including this is to explain that this is the reason for attending a church service. We, as the body of Christ, the Church, are to be equipped to fulfill the work of the ministry that is the Gospel of Jesus.

In closing, it is extremely important for us, as believers, to understand WE are the Body of Christ. We are the church. We attend a building for corporate worship and prayer and to be equipped to fulfill our roles as ministers to the world. We don’t go to get a message and internalize it to go back home and say we went. It’s not about checking a box, it’s about furthering your walk with God in order to fulfill your part and share the Gospel of Jesus.

The point is- Be the Church, don’t just check the box.