Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Vision (11/3/11): Consider the privileges of that house

I’ve been reading through John Owen’s Communion with God (Banner of Truth ed.). In this classic work, Owen describes the fellowship that believers have with the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

In one section, Owen reflects on the privileges believers have as members of the family of God. Here are a few excerpts:

The church is the ‘house of God’ (1 Tim 3:15; Heb 3:6). In the church, Christ keeps and maintains his whole family, ruling them according to his mind and will. Now who shall have any right in the house of God except his own children? We will not allow a right to any but our own children in our houses. Will God then allow any right in his house to any but his children?....

Consider the nature of God’s house. It is made up of ‘living stones’ (1 Pet 2:5). All those in this house are a ‘chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people’ (1 Pet 2:9). They are ‘saints and faithful brethren’ (Col 1:2). Every one of them is righteous (Isa 60:21). The whole fabric of the house is glorious (Isa 54:11-14)…..

Consider the privileges of that house. These privileges will not suit any others but the children of God. Is food given to a dead man? Will he grow strong by it? Will he thrive on it? The things of the family and house of God are food for living souls, and only God’s children are alive. All others are dead in trespasses and sins. Look at any of the things which saints enjoy in the family of God and you will find that not one of them are suited to unbelievers….

Only the children of God have the right and title to the things of God. They have fellowship with one another and with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. They set forth the Lord’s death till he comes again. They are entrusted with the ordinances of God’s house. And who shall deny them the enjoyment of this right, or keep them from what Christ has bought for them? And the Lord will give them hearts to make use of this privilege and not wander on the mountains, forgetting their resting place (pp. 162-163).

This week, let us consider what a blessing it is be part of God’s family, his household. Let us consider and treasure the spiritual privileges and benefits have been given to those made alive in Christ.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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