(Model of house building)
(Section from the book titled Which direction is the Church going to?
by Sandor Abonyi)
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God created the Body of Christ, which is the Church, with great wisdom. The Church of God is one and indivisible. God didn’t create separated denominational “churches”, rather the present condition of the church can basically be characterized by schisms. When God’s Word speaks about the building of the Church, the example of house building is used several times to support understanding. In the Church ministries like stones are built into God’s house. When we preach the Gospel we collect stones for this building. This house-building has been started 2000 years ago and we are building the same house now. This house is a huge house. One of the corners of this house is at Jerusalem – „I take down a corner stone at Zion” – and the other end of this house is at the latest end of the Earth.
If somebody has ever built a house he must know that it has to follow instructions. People can’t start building a house unless
– they know the exact site to build on,
– they know what it will look like,
– they estimate the costs and the necessary material,
– they have the skill.
Many people think it is not necessary to have a masterbuilder for the construction. It is not important to have a plan. “I know how to do it. I myself will do it.” Unfortunately a lot of houses have been being built in such an amateurish way. Some kind of huts or small hovels can be constructed this way and they might stand for a while, but a huge house with one corner in Jerusalem and the other corner at the far end of the Earth can’t be built this way. This big task needs to have craftsmen, masterbuilders, who know how to do it, because they are professional workmen. If we want to build a very big building in a professional way it needs professional workmen (craftsmen), who are skilled. In this case it is important to decide about the following:
– Where are we going to build the house, what exposure does the site have? (What visions has God given us to preach the Gospel?)
– What do we want to build? (a new house, want to have renovation or to enlarge an existing building)
– Do we have plans (visions) concerning the specific building?
– In case we have a plan, we need a very good masterbuilder (an apostle), who is able to execute the plans.
It is the masterbuilder (apostle) who directs and coordinates the tasks of the workmen and also he is the one that lays the foundations of the building.
„…as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation and another built thereon….”(1 Co. 3.10.)
The masterbuilder is not an entrepreneur doing everything himself but he has partners. He knows which craftsmen are needed for the building and also knows the skills they are required to have. He knows the craftsmen very well. He knows who is a good bricklayer, a carpenter, a tinsmith, a purchaser,… etc. Out of the craftsmen he selects the ones into his brigade (ministry team) he can start building the house with and also complete it. This masterbuilder is very wise, because
– he knows what it means to build a house,
– he doesn’t want to do all the work alone,
– he knows the order of the building process and also what he can expected of each craftsman.
He knows that first of all the foundation has to be laid and therefore it is important to dig deep down. He has to find hard, rocky soil, on which it is possible to build a good foundation. The Church builds on the ground stones of apostles and prophets and Jesus Christ himself is the corner stone (Ephesus 2.20.). Likewise building a house, the foundations are needed to be laid first and then examined if they are massive enough to bear a building. If we look at a house, we can see nothing of the foundation. Only the visible part of the building can be seen, which is over the ground level. If somebody started building a house according to the picture he can see, he would surely forget about the foundation, because it is invisible and he would think that it is not necessary at all. Needless to say, he would make a big mistake. Though the foundation is invisible, it is the most important part of the house. First of all, we have to lay the foundation with the help of an architect (prophet) and a wise masterbuilder (apostle). After laying the foundation, the master (apostle) trusts another craftsman with the building of the walls. (teacher).
„…as a wise masterbuilder I have laid the foundation and another builds thereon….” (1 Co. 3.10.)
“I have planted Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Co. 3.6.)
Having laid the foundations and if his work is not needed there any more, the apostle goes to another building site to help lay down the foundations. He has to be present at the foundation work! During this time he also has an eye on the construction work going on at the previous place and sends craftsmen there as the different stages of the construction demand it. When the walls stand, the apostle will send there the roofers. The last stage in the construction of a house is the putting on of the roof, which protects the building from the outside. This work equals to the appointment of the elders. They are the ones that have to protect and supervise the building, which is the local church (the flock).
„Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit had made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he had purchased with his own blood.” (Act. 20.28.)
As we can see, through the model of construction the Word gives a nice example for the building of the Church. With an amateurish work small huts can be constructed which might stand for a while, but the moment a big storm (attack) comes, the house can be broken (splits). A well-founded building is able to stand the storms, but the ones with weak foundations will collapse. A wise apostle is farseeing and builds a foundation which stands the trials.
„Therefore whosoever heard these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heard these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Mat. 7.24-27.)
In the Church there have been a lot of “botcher work” done recently. There aren’t too many signs of biblical constructions. Now the building of the Church seems to lack foundation (apostles and prophets) and is built onto the sand. It will come tumbling down if floods come and winds blow. It is the Lord’s long suffering and mercy that still keeps the Church despite its present condition. However, the big storms that will tower before the last harvest will cause big loss for the Church, because it has no foundations.
“…And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Mat. 7.24-27.)
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