The Soul of the Building

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Scripture tells us to strengthen the things that remain—strengthen the things that appear to have some lingering stability. Shore up the permanent things.

But because of our penchant for idolatry, we sometimes make a grave mistake when it comes to this. We see churches and cathedrals built centuries ago, and we think that the stone and brick are what remain because they are still here. But those who built these structures from a vibrant and true faith are now with God, and they will live forever. They remain, while the world and everything in it do not. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord is forever.

The faith of the people is the soul of the building. The building itself, without living, evangelical faith—without songs pouring out of forgiven hearts, without a proclamation of truth that is piping hot, without prayers of honest and sincere contrition—becomes a mausoleum. When the people are alive, the sanctuary is animated and alive.

Nothing true will ever die. No sincere sacrifice to God has ever gone extinct. We strengthen the things that remain so that they will continue to remain, and this is all by the grace of the God who has said that whatever work He begins, He will complete.

The Holy Spirit does not build the kingdom in fits and starts. His work is purposive, all of it. Everything has a function. He does what He does in accordance with the counsel of His will. Some tools are used up in the course of His work—like a building—while other things grow increasingly useful—like you.

We are not the scaffolding for the building; the building is the scaffolding for the true church, the church that will stand forever. To the extent that the dead stones are a help to the living stones, we rejoice in their use. If they get in the way, it would be better to meet in places like this until the Lord comes. So let the stones cry out.

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