The building of the temple of the Holy spirit, which we (the church) are, has to start with the foundation like all other buildings.
The scriptures are clear that this foundation for the the church which is Jesus Christ is already laid. That to me means that any form of work even if it goes by the name of Christ, that is not on the foundation of Jesus Christ is no church at all. Having said that, subsequent courses of the building can be built wrongly even when the foundation is right, so Paul gives an admonition,
“….let each one take heed how he builds on it. ….” (1 cor 3:10 KJV).
When we get born again, Our lives are on a clear foundation entirely on the revelation of Jesus Christ. Thereafter we are prone to build differently depending on the discipling environment we grow up in. Again like the foundation, the building can only be right if it is built using the same material with the foundation, a growing revelation of Christ Jesus, and not just knowledge about Him. Any other material will not stand.
“but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Heb 12)
There is more than one thing that compromises the building material for our lives in Christ, but in a general sense, it is mixture of what is of the Spirit and that which is of the flesh. There are two major culprits I have observed;
“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God” (1Cor 11:16)
Reading church history over the ages , one will not take too long to notice how some missionaries would mix the gospel with their own cultures. Closer home, as missionaries brought the gospel to Africa, to whom we are forever grateful, they also brought it together with their own cultures.
Observing the Christian landscape in Kenya, you will not fail to tell where the missionaries that took the gospel to specific parts were from. Where Italians took the gospel, the predominant ‘Christian’ names will be Italian; where the British missionaries went, English names will be the common ‘Christian’ names. In more recent times, the West African influence is equally noticed in the places they have taken the gospel.
“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition,” (Mark 7:3)
Where I grew up, the predominant church denomination was the Anglican church. As I grew up and became aware of existence of other denominations, I somehow felt like those other ones were inferior to the denomination of my parents.
I soon observed while in boarding high school that people from different parts of the country had different denominational orientation and those in one denomination tended to come from specific parts. We were each feeling superior or better informed in our little denominational molds.
Again like culture, this is attributable to which denomination predominantly took the gospel to the specific part of the country. It is like the scramble for Africa was not only on governmental lines, but also cultural and denominational (read church traditions).
When we want to go further with the Lord, or when He wants to take us further into Himself (which He always longs to do Luke 12:32), we will find ourselves being frustrated when we do not allow for deconstruction.
“No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” (Mak 2:21-22)
“…Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; …”2Cor 10:4-5
Resisting the process of deconstruction is like trying to build the 3rd course while the 2nd course is compromised. For guaranteed stability, the 2nd course need to be brought down and redone with the pure material before the 3rd can be made with the assurance for standing.
“…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.….” (Matt 16:18)
When the owner of a house builds the house, He does so with ultimate care using the best of material. The very presence of compromise in the building of the church is evidence that man has put his hand in a work that is not his. “What shall man do then?”, One may ask. Surrender himself utterly into the hands of the Potter for the modelling into the right shape and for the laying into the right place on the building.
“…The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?.…”(Matt 21:42).
“…For in him we live, and move, and have our being;…..” (Acts 17:28)
Beloved, let us surrender to Him, for in Him alone are we secure.
Love in Him,