"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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    The Local Church

    1Peter 2:5 - you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house...

    Solomon’s Temple was perhaps the most expensive building built in human history. Kings and Queens visiting from other nations stood in wonder and awe when seeing it for the first time. Yet in these days, God is now building a spiritual building that far exceeds Solomon's Temple in worth and value. It is made of human souls.

    Christ said, "what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world let loses his soul?" The obvious answer is that all the gold and silver, all the wealth of this world and the prestige that goes with it - all would be futile if in the end, the soul was lost. That's because one human soul is worth more than all the riches of this world.

    Christ builds individual Christians into a spiritual temple. It's spiritual because it houses the Holy Spirit. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16). That's a reference to the local church, not to individuals in this particular context. The word "you" is plural, referring to the corporate gathering rather than individuals. Most people do not esteem the local Church in such high terms, because they see its obvious flaws. But it is good to be reminded that this is indeed how God sees it. The local Church is amazingly precious to God. - JS

    Posted by John Samson on October 4, 2009 07:45 PM

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