“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) How many times have you heard this scripture in sermons that justify the sinful nature of a person? Typically it goes like this: “well even Paul called himself a wretched man, that he’s a sinner. And if Paul was like this, then what can we say about ourselves?” But what is Paul really writing about here? Is this the condition (the condition of a wretched man) of a person who is born again, born from above? Paul is writing about the condition of war, a condition where you are in constant battle between the law (which is good) and sin (which is bad). This is the condition of a person who is under the law. Christ came to free us from the law and from the wretched state, from sin!
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
The children of God are living stones that are placed into the building of God (1 Peter 2: 5)! How do these stones fit together and build a Holy Temple?
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility… intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God!” (Colossians 2:18-19)
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:20-22)
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
And further more, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven… And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelations 21: 2-3) “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelations 21:7) The building was complete when the holy city of Jerusalem was revealed!
“Fitly framed together groweth…” – How is this done?
First: there is one foundation for faith and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other foundation from God.
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth. (John 8:31-32) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9) Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13). Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)
Secondly, there needs to be complete unity, and without the slightest division.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10) With one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. (Philippians 1:27) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. (Ephesians 4:4) And the disciples were called Christians. (Acts 11:26) One Lord, one faith, one baptism! (Ephesians 4:5)
Complete unity is where the thoughts are one, in other words, in one Spirit, and this is only possible when you become a new creature, whose life is Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:15 and James 1:18) Love – this is the working force of the new creature which builds up the body of Christ, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love… Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:7-17)
In God’s perfect love God builds in an orderly fashion, from the youth to the mature in faith, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ… But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:13-16).
The apostle Paul wrote: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ! (2 Corinthians 11:2) “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14) “The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)
Now the question arises, when our Lord will appear for the second coming, what church will He take for Himself forever? The church that is ONE with His body, in which He is the head. All the members of this body live within Him and He lives within them. The body, in which there is no division, but all is in complete unity and harmony according to Christ, in which everyone is of one mind and of one spirit and all together we will glorify God the Father our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 15:5-6). Being on earth, the Lord taught us, “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be.” (John 12:26) And in prayer He prayed to the Father about this one body, “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us… I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.” (John 17:21-23)
The true house of God is built accurately and is harmonious because the Lord works through the faithful and those who are His vessels. The Holy Scripture teaches and warns many times about division in the word and separation of unity in the teaching of our Lord such as envy, suspicion, dislike toward a brother or sister, not having communication with any other church members. This kind of person does not belong to the Body and will not be part of the Body when Christ comes for it, but will be sent to the eternal darkness.
So the Lord will take the pure, the whole Body for Himself, which will be transformed into His holy and righteous image.