If you read my post on Sunday That I May Dwell Among Them, you have seen that I am thinking about how we as Christians are the temple of God. I also established the fact that it is good to study the Tabernacle and earthly Temple to discover how we, as the temple of God, should live.Ultimately, we want to glorify God and show Him to others as He dwells in our midst. The Tabernacle was copied after the heavenly one, which shows God’s glory and holiness. Our lives too should show God’s glory and holiness. All of that to say, I’ve been studying the tabernacle.
In my study, I came to this verse. “You shall make fifty hooks of gold, and you shall attach the curtains to one another with the hooks, so that the Tabernacle shall become one.” Exodus 26:6
God’s tabernacle was to be one, a single whole. That reminded me of John 17.
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world make know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:22-23
Knowing that the tabernacle was to be one, it should be no surprise to us that we are to be one. Look at the end of those verses. Why are we to be one? So that the world will know that God sent Jesus and loves us and Him. We are not told to be one because our lives will be easier, or because God did not want church splits. No, we are told to be one so that the world would know that God sent Jesus and loves Him and us. This is not about us, at all. It is all about God.
The earthly tabernacle was not to bring glory to its earthly builders. It was to bring glory to God and show His holiness to the people. The body of believers are not to bring glory to us, but to bring glory to God and show Him to the world. I think the American church thinks entirely to much of ourselves and to little about God, when in reality everything is about God and nothing is about us. It is once we really grasp this view that we truly can be one.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” And Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” If the truths of these verses sink into our hearts, we could live as one within the body of Christ.
There are two truths those verse present that are critical to living as one. The first is from the Galatians passage. We must be dead to ourselves. We must see ourselves nailed to the cross and then raised, except it is not us who has risen it is Christ in our place. This is very challenging to really live out. I struggle with it everyday, and every morning (when I remember) I pray and ask God to kill myself, I reminded myself that I am dead with Christ, yet I live, but not I, it is Christ in me. Praying that daily helps me remember that it is Christ in me and not myself. You see, self claims to have tons of rights, and wants, and needs, and desires, and annoying emotions that get in the way. When self is dead you have no rights, wants, needs, or selfish emotions, all you have is Christ. Christ living in you produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, you know the fruits of the Spirit. So the first thing you have to do to live as one is to kill yourself and live in Christ.
The second truth is that we must look on other men’s things. Now, this does not mean you covet them or want them. No, this means you are looking out for the best interest of your neighbor. If you see him in trouble, you help in out. If you find something she lost, you return it to her. If you hear something bad about him, you do not repeat it. Remember the golden rule you were taught in first grade Sunday School? Yeah, this is basically that. Love your neighbor, plain and simple. Put other people before yourself. (This should be easy because you are dead, see above.) If you always put others before yourself and their interest before your interest, you would avoid many of the arguments and fights that people have. So look out for your neighbor’s things before your own.
These truths may sound simple enough on the internet, but in reality they are very hard to live out. However, it is essential that we do live them out so that we can be at one with one another. We want to keep God’s testimony true to the world, and Jesus said the way to do that was to be one. Strive for unity. Forget yourself. Be a peacemaker.
This is not to be taken lightly. It is serious. If nothing else motivates you to be one with your fellow believers think about this. When we are at strife with each other and do not have unity, we are destroying the temple of God. God says He destroys those who destroy his temple. Can we afford to not be united?