The Corporate House of God
Now, what is the House of God in its fullest sense, in its corporate or collective sense? It is, to take up that wonderful phrase with its almost two hundred occurrences in the New Testament, all that is meant by "in Christ." If we are in the House of God, we are only in the House of God because we are in Christ. To be in Christ is to be in the House of God, and not to be in Christ Jesus is to be outside of the house of God. He is the House of God. We are brought into Him.
But to be in Christ means a total exclusion of all that is not Christ, and in a previous meditation we strove to make one thing so clear, and that is, the altogether and absolute "other-ness" of Christ from ourselves, even at our best. How utterly different He is from man, even at man's religious best; different in mind, in heart, in will; different altogether in constitution, so that it takes us a whole lifetime, under the tuition of the Holy Spirit, to discover how different we are from Christ and how different He is from us. But God has ranged that difference absolutely from the beginning. It does not take God a lifetime to discover the difference. He knows it, and therefore He has put the absolute position from His own standpoint right the beginning. He has, in effect, said, The difference between you and Christ is so utter and final that it is the width and the depth of a grave! It is nothing less than the fullness of death. There is no passing over. Death and the grace are the end. On the one side, therefore, is the utter end of what you are, and if there is to be anything subsequent can only be by resurrection: a passing out of yourself and into Him as through a death and a resurrection. So that, in that death, you are regarded as having passed out of the realm of what you are, even at your best, and as having passed into the realm of what He is. The depth of a grave lies between you and Him, and there is no passing over. It is an end. To get into the House of God means that.
(continued with Part # 19 - "The Altar")