UCG Members

Resources for the Members of the United Church of God

You are here

How to Build Your House

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

Have you ever been involved in building a house or helping to build a house or ever dreamed of building a house?

Are there lessons we can learn from building a physical dream home that we can apply to building the reality of our spiritual home?

Where Is God Building His Spiritual Temple Today?

Paul tells us the answer in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
American King James Version×
:

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”

The amazing reality for us as Christians today, is that we are building a spiritual temple to God.

Did Jesus give us a vital lesson in how we should build?

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27 Matthew 7:24-27 24 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house on a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell not: for it was founded on a rock. 26 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house on the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
American King James Version×
).

What do we notice from this parable?

To hear and to do is to be founded on the spiritual Rock (Jesus Christ). To hear and not to do is to be founded on unstable sand (Satan and this world's philosophies and theology).

Why are the “houses” people have built falling apart morally?

Hosea prophesied: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6 Hosea 4:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
American King James Version×
). They do not love God nor do they love His truth.

So, how can we “prevent truth decay” in the way we build our spiritual house?

1. We need an excellent Architect/Engineer/Master Builder to show us the way.

When we consider building our spiritual house to God, it is encouraging that the vision of what we are to construct and how we can grow and develop spiritually has already been laid out for us, by God.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
American King James Version×
).

2. We need to be stirred with enthusiasm.

What was the significant frame of mind of the people who built the first tabernacle of God? “Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing” (Exodus 35:21 Exodus 35:21And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
American King James Version×
).

It is so important we continue with the will and enthusiasm for completing the job of building our spiritual house to God.

3. We need a good plan.

We need to check out the vision of our Architect as laid out in plan form, to know what the spiritual Temple we are constructing should ultimately look like in us.

It is God's plan that we be the sons and daughters of God.

As Paul wrote:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'

“Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.' “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the L ord Almighty'” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 14 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
American King James Version×
).

In short, the plan is to conduct ourselves in our thinking, words and actions as sons and daughters of the true God and not as children of the god of this world.

4. We need detailed specifications of how the Temple is to be built.

What are the basics in building an excellent physical house?

The most important basics are:

• Sound foundations.

• Sound substance in the structural components.

• Sound in being level, plumb, square and true.

Spiritually, here are some specification basics for building our spiritual house:

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22 Ephesians 2:19-22 19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
American King James Version×
).

5. We need to count the cost.

In 2005 my wife and I visited Nigeria, and we were amazed at the number of unfinished houses. It reminded us of the physical and spiritual principles Jesus explained to us about counting the cost:

“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish'” (Luke 14:27-30 Luke 14:27-30 27 And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
American King James Version×
).

An old and wise master builder once told me, when I was an up-and-coming building inspector, that the hardest thing about building a house “is finishing it!”

Yes, I have now found from experience that a physical house's foundations and walls and roof are constructed relatively quickly, but what really takes the time is all those quality finishing touches.

When we consider counting the cost, the most important one is that we need to love God and follow God more than anyone or anything and let no person take our crown.

Remember these words of Jesus:

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:37-39 Matthew 10:37-39 37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.
American King James Version×
).

6. We need to be good builders, following our Master Builder as our mentor.

A profitable spiritual builder builds on a sound foundation of godly truth, knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

Paul gives more instruction on how to be a quality builder of the spiritual Temple:

“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,' and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:19-23 2 Timothy 2:19-23 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared to every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do engender strifes.
American King James Version×
).

As a quality builder following the Master Builder's guidance, we need to be continually about our Father's business, if we are to build a quality Temple to God's glory.

7. We need to use God's sound tools of the trade as Christians to build ourselves as a Temple to God.

What are some of our most important tools of the trade as a quality Christian builder?

• Bible study to learn to grow in faith and love in Jesus Christ. “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13 2 Timothy 1:13Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
).

• God's gift of the Holy Spirit given to us as His indwelling power. This comes by the laying on of hands of the ministry after we are baptized, upon our repentance and forgiveness of our sins by God, through Christ's sacrifice to pay the death penalty for our sins.

“That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Timothy 1:14 2 Timothy 1:14That good thing which was committed to you keep by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us.
American King James Version×
).

• Daily prayer to build a close, loving relationship with God.

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22 Ephesians 2:19-22 19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
American King James Version×
).

• Fasting to repent of our sins and to gain help to replace evil with God's good way of life.

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:16-21 Matthew 6:16-21 16 Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 18 That you appear not to men to fast, but to your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly. 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
American King James Version×
).

Follow Daniel's example in fasting and repentance as outlined in Daniel 9.

• Doing the will of God in following His way of life and preaching the good news (gospel) of the coming Kingdom of God on this earth.

Take Heed How We Build

So, what is the value of us building our spiritual house to God now?

Everyone's spiritual house is going to be tested and tried by fire right down to the depths of its foundations. So, doesn't it behoove every one of us to take heed how we build our spiritual house?

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.

“If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Corinthians 3:10-17 1 Corinthians 3:10-17 10 According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
American King James Version×
).

When God the Father and Jesus Christ began to build the household of the family of God, They planned it all out before They laid the foundation.

God set out the way for us to become converted and to be able to be sons and daughters in God's family, by God's forgiveness and grace— forever.

In appreciation of God's love for us, and in our return love for God, shouldn't we be continually stirred and willing to build our spiritual house God's way— the way of the supreme Architect? UN

You might also be interested in...

It can be hard to wrap our minds around the fact that we can be sons and...
After Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, His disciples waited in...