BuILdInG up or tearInG doWn
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
Is all this worth it? Is it worthwhile sharpening our skills and developing our Christian character so that others might grow to be like Jesus Christ? Of course, it is. The problem is not that we doubt the ultimate value of the work we are given to do but that we get bogged down in the hard, daily task of fashioning the stones of this building and fitting them to the overall structure. We get our eyes off the blueprint and get bogged down in the rubble.
It helps to remember that what God is building is a temple. Here is an illustration. We are told in 1 Kings 6:7 that when the great temple of Solomon was constructed “it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built.” To my knowledge, no other building in history was ever built in this way. Its construction was so well done it was almost silent. Silently, silently the stones were added, and the building rose.
So it is with the church. We do not hear what is going on inside human hearts as the Holy Spirit creates new life and adds individuals to the temple he is building. We do not even fully realize the part we are playing as we seek to build these other people up by focusing on the important matters, laying aside petty differences, and teaching the Word of God to each of them faithfully. But God is working, and the temple is rising. In the days of the apostles God was adding Gentiles to his church. Paul was his chief instrument in carrying the gospel to them. God added the high and low, slaves and freemen, Greeks, Romans, and barbarians. He added many at the time of the Reformation and in the days of the Great Awakenings and revivals.
He is still building his church today, and we are his workmen, laborers together with Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to do the work well.
Release Date: 10/31