The Lord is in His Church

…to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:21

(T)here is a special place where God dwells among men, and that is in His church. He has but one church, chosen by eternal election, redeemed by precious blood, called out by the Holy Ghost, and quickened into newness of life-this, as a whole, is the dwelling place of the covenant God. Because God is in this church, therefore the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. “The Lord is there” might be said of the church in all ages. I have seen the crypts and underground chapels of the catacombs, and it made one feel that they were glorious places, when we remembered that the Lord God was there, by His Spirit, with His suffering people. When holy hymn and psalm and solemn prayer went up from the very bowels of the earth, from men who were hunted to the death by their foes-the Lord was there. In those dreary excavations, unvisited by sunlight and wholesome air, God was as He was not in the palaces of kings, and is not in the cathedrals of priests. In this land of ours, when a few people met together, here and there, to hear the gospel and to worship, they made cottages, caves, and hollows in the woods, to be “holiness unto the Lord.” Ay, and when crowds met beneath your gospel oaks, or gathered together by the hillside to listen to the pure word of grace, the Lord was there, and souls were saved and sanctified. When the Puritans solemnly conversed together of the things of God, and held their little conventicles for fear of their adversaries-God was there. On Scotland’s bleak moors and mosses, when the Covenanters gathered in the darkness and the storm, for fear of Claverhouse and his dragoons-God was there…And so onward, to this very day, wheresoever the chosen of God lift up holy hands and worship Him, whether it be in cathedral or in barn, beneath the blue sky or beneath a thatched roof, anywhere and everywhere when the heart is right, and the soul adores the living Lord, this is the special glory of the place…the Lord is there.”~ C.H.Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/2182.cfm

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6 thoughts on “The Lord is in His Church

  1. I have taken the liberty of dividing your post into five “paragraphs” and have appended my thoughts along with a number of carefully researched scriptures to support what I have commented.
    1. (T)here is a special place where God dwells among men, and that is in His church. He has but one church, chosen by eternal election, redeemed by precious blood, called out by the Holy Ghost, and quickened into newness of life-this, as a whole, is the dwelling place of the covenant God.
    Hopefully, when you use the word election in your writing, you mean that the only voter was God himself, since he runs a theocracy, and can make decisions that affect every one of us, without consulting us. We must grant him that right.
    Too, your post implies that God’s earthly organization contains the His dwelling. It seems the Bible does not support the position you have taken. Psalm 115:16 KJV reports “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”
    You appear also, in your first paragraph, to have ascribed personality to the holy spirit. This additionally appears counter to the Bible’s clear position that the holy spirit is a force that God uses to accomplish his will. When the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would have a son even though she was a virgin, the angel told her: “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son.” (Luke 1:35) According to Gabriel’s words, there is a link between the holy spirit and the “power of the Most High.”
    A similar idea appears elsewhere in the Bible. The prophet Micah said: “I myself have become full of power, with the spirit of Jehovah.” (Micah 3:8) Jesus promised his disciples: “You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you.” (Acts 1:8) And the apostle Paul spoke of “the power of holy spirit.”—Romans 15:13, 19.

    Because God is in this church, therefore the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. “The Lord is there” might be said of the church in all ages. I have seen the crypts and underground chapels of the catacombs, and it made one feel that they were glorious places, when we remembered that the Lord God was there, by His Spirit, with His suffering people.
    Your 2nd para. indicates that the “church” would not be forced to have “the gates of hell” prevail against her, “because the Lord is there.” Where does this come from? “Hell”: is not a hot place. Jesus was in hell, Job prayed to God, “Protect me in hell [Hebrew, Sheol].” (Job 14:13; Dy) What meaning would his request have had if Sheol was a place of eternal torment?
    Even Jesus had to go there, and both Job and Jacob realized they would be descending into hell. (Acts 2:31 KJV, Dy; Job 14:13 Dy; Genesis 37:35 KJV, Dy.
    You get an idea of what “sheol” really represent when you consider that at, Job 14:13, the KJV translates the word “sheol” as “the grave.” And, the consistency of the Bible shows that “sheol” is, rather than a fiery place of torment, [Greek,hades] nothing other than the common grave of all mankind, where we are all headed, unless God intervenes in humankind’s affairs. [Which, as you already know, He has promised to do.]

    3.When holy hymn and psalm and solemn prayer went up from the very bowels of the earth, from men who were hunted to the death by their foes-the Lord was there. In those dreary excavations, unvisited by sunlight and wholesome air, God was as He was not in the palaces of kings, and is not in the cathedrals of priests.
    In Para. 3, I’m unclear as to who was in your mind as you composed these words about “men who were hunted to the death by their foes.” Were these men of Bible times, or more recent? Scripture shows that God doesn’t even hear prayers from some people: Isaiah 1:15, and Lamentations 3:44 support this view, because God these expresses his unwillingness to hear prayers from those whose hands are “filled with blood.”
    You must admit that Christendom’s hands have truly been filled with blood, from the Crusades to both World War I and World War II, in which it was deeply involved. At least one commentator has made note of the fact that churches were turned into recruiting stations during the first war.
    Other than that comment, I need clarification of the personalities being discussed in the first line of Para. 3.
    4. In this land of ours, when a few people met together, here and there, to hear the gospel and to worship, they made cottages, caves, and hollows in the woods, to be “holiness unto the Lord.” Ay, and when crowds met beneath your gospel oaks, or gathered together by the hillside to listen to the pure word of grace, the Lord was there, and souls were saved and sanctified.
    As you mentioned earlier in your post, regarding God, “He was not in the palaces of kings, and is not in the cathedrals of priests.” There is a scriptural precedent for this on the part of God. At Revelation 18:4, He calls upon His people to “get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.” These words are spoken to God’s sheep-like people to depart from that a vast religious empire that is so ubiquitous today. It’s a fabulous piece of advice from our Creator.

    Additionally, Para. 4 speaks of “souls” being “saved.” On this topic, surely you are aware of the wording of Genesis 2:7, which identifies the fact that individuals do not HAVE a soul, but rather each one IS a soul. God breathed into the man the breath of life and “the man became a living soul. “BECAME” not “CAME TO HAVE” A LIVING SOUL. The Bible is very consistent on this point, which tends to wipe out any hope of punishment in hell or delight in the presence of God in heaven.
    5. When the Puritans solemnly conversed together of the things of God, and held their little conventicles for fear of their adversaries-God was there. On Scotland’s bleak moors and mosses, when the Covenanters gathered in the darkness and the storm, for fear of Claverhouse and his dragoons-God was there…And so onward, to this very day, wheresoever the chosen of God lift up holy hands and worship Him, whether it be in cathedral or in barn, beneath the blue sky or beneath a thatched roof, anywhere and everywhere when the heart is right, and the soul adores the living Lord, this is the special glory of the place…the Lord is there.”
    The items discussed at the first part of Para. 5 have already been covered in other remarks, except that I would draw your attention to the matter of ‘lifting holy hands’ in worship of God. This is an act that Jehovah will not pay attention to when the provisions of Isaiah and the Lamentations citations are not observed.
    Finally, in closing, I apologize for the length of this diatribe, however, your initial post was a longish one, so I can blame you for the lengths I had to go to in order to respond. Also, I have found that the scriptures are totally in harmony, verse for verse. I you are going to follow the direction of one verse, first compare it to every other scripture in the book that comments on the same topic. They absolutely must harmonize, otherwise, your understanding is going to be flawed.
    Thank you for your post. I enjoyed reading it.

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    • You, sir, have unscriptural teachings! The Holy Spirit is God, equal to His Son and the Father-3 persons in one God. God dwells in us through His Holy Spirit, who is a “He” and not a force. Maybe the use of “Ghost” and “Spirit” causes some confusion? God in us is Him dwelling in His temple for we are the temple of God.

      BTW, these are devotionals of which one verse suffices so long as it is not taken out of context. And, please know that your criticisms are aimed at Charles Haddon Spurgeon and not myself, So, your corrections cannot be heeded for that reason.

      No more unscriptural teachings, please.

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  2. You have confused me now, Sherry. I think it would be fair to say that, “Yes, the words, ‘father,’ ‘son,’ and ‘holy spirit’ do appear in several verses throughout the NT.” However, does the context of those verses EVER show that the three are one, that a triune Godhead exists, or that the three are co-equal, co-eternal, or that they form a trinity, or a godhead?

    When God mentioned Jesus, he always spoke of him as the “son”; whenever Jesus mentioned God, he always spoke of his “Father.” If you wanted to use a family situation to describe two individuals who are co-equal, you would probably say, “siblings,” or, even better yet, “twins.”

    Now, why has it taken us ten seconds to twig this, when God and Jesus, the two smartest characters in the universe, are still trying to figure it out? Rgds and best wishes.

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