Men at Work … Temple Under Construction
I’m sure we have all walked past busy building sites, that are a hive of activity. We see men labouring away doing various jobs needed for the construction of that building, and more often than not there will be a sign saying “Men at Work, Building Under Construction”, or words to that effect.
Constructing a large building cannot be done in a haphazard fashion; if plans or alterations are made that do not comply with regulations then the building is put at risk. One example of this is one of a building constructed in Asia that tragically collapsed resulting in the loss of many lives.
Upon investigation it was found that:
- The building collapsed due to a weak supporting structure, inadequate design, and excessive load.
- They also noted that the foundations were unfit in many ways — certain areas were missing beams.
- What was originally planned was a ground floor plus three upper floors, but they decided to build it as five floors plus a penthouse.
- In essence it had a weak supporting structure, inadequate design and excessive load all contributing to the collapse.
The study of this tragedy illustrates spiritual lessons we can draw upon. God’s Word says that our bodies are to be a spiritual temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). As we build our spiritual temple, let’s reassess and make sure that although it is under construction, we must ask ourselves are we building correctly?
Before we take stock and see how we are building our own temple, please take encouragement from the Biblical truths that God has called us (John 6:44) and that the Work He has started He will complete (Philippians 1:6).
As Christians constructing our spiritual temple, what is it that we should build upon? There are many scriptural examples that we could use for this point, but they all boil down to building upon the foundation of God’s Law as the true starting point.
So in light of the collapsed building noted at the start, let’s look at our spiritual foundation, building with spiritual design and avoiding excessive overload.
In Matthew 7:21–27, Jesus explains: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
He goes on to add that no matter what you may have done in His name in the manner of “good works” that they should depart from Him as they were practitioners of LAWLESSNESS, and the Bible describes sin as LAWLESSNESS.
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).
One man thought he would ask Jesus the question of what is the greatest commandment in the Law; to which Jesus replied:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37– 40).
It’s clear to any student of the Bible that Jesus is referring to the Ten Commandments. As our perfect example, He lived His entire life sin-free (Hebrews 4:15) by living the Ten Commandments. They are the building blocks of a Christian’s life, and once we, as individuals, or a society, start chipping away at them, then as in a real foundation cracks start to appear and the result will be spiritual collapse. So a foundation based on the Law of God is essential to build on.
So having laid the foundation, how then do we build, to what design specification do we build, and where do we start?
It’s worth noting that in physical construction a bricklayer takes time marking and setting out — it’s important to get that first brick laid correctly, and the corners are the most important. Once the corners are in place they run the line to make the wall.
Spiritually building upon the Ten Commandments we look to the Chief Cornerstone Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20) to aid us in building our spiritual temple; Jesus being without sin led the perfect life, and we too must strive to be perfect. It is actually our Father’s will for us to be perfect.
However we cannot achieve perfection as flesh and blood — we, of course, are prone to the frailties that being human brings, but we can by the power of the Holy Spirit change our character. The more we are led by the Spirit, the more we desire to change our inherent ways and bring it into line with the Father’s ways.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Jesus made this statement after saying in the same chapter that not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Law, or for the purpose of this blog you could say that not one jot or tittle will be removed from the foundation — the foundation is set, but you can build upon it. Read all of Matthew
5 where you will see how Jesus fulfilled the law and took it to another level. This, brethren, is how we become perfect — it is a lifetime of using God’s Spirit developing godly character, building upon His Word and the example of our Elder Brother Jesus.
How, during our construction, do we avoid being overloaded and avoid the risk of a spiritual collapse?
Remember that hotel we are using as our example originally had a ground floor plus three upper floors, but in their “wisdom”, alterations were made and the powers-that-be decided to go for five floors plus a penthouse. Tragically this had devastating consequences, and this too played a part in the building’s collapse. Parts of the structure became overloaded and could not take the stress placed upon it.
And brethren we have to be very careful of the load we add to our spiritual temple. I would like to make a distinction here: as we build, God will allow us to be tested and proved, just like he did with Job, and as He tested Abraham, indeed all the faithful men and women in Scripture were tested and proved. Our loving Father in His wisdom will not let us be tried in a way that will be too much for us to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
It is, as we have seen, His desire that we build holy righteous character. Paul advises Timothy that we should exercise ourselves for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).
However, consider that we can put stress on ourselves if we love the world more then we love God, if we indulge by knowingly and willingly allowing the god of this world to influence us, then we shall reap what we sow, we shall be overloaded with the cares of this world, our spiritual beams and pillars won’t be in place, and we shall collapse spiritually, exposing our failure to lay the right foundation.
So as we carry on building our spiritual temple, we must check our foundation, make sure we are building in line with God’s spiritual design based upon His Law, and don’t overload ourselves making alterations to fall into line with the world.
Author: Gary Monks, serving in CGI UK