Pristine Grace

God's House?
by J.C. Philpot
God's House?

    In the New Testament Scriptures, we find mention made in several places of "the house of the God." The New Testament never, in any one instance, means, by "the house of God," any material building.

It has come to pass, through the traditions
received from the fathers, that . . . 
  buildings erected by man,
  collections of bricks and mortar,
  piles of squared and cemented stones, 
are often called "the house of God." 

    In ancient Popish times they invested a consecrated building with the title of "God's house", thus endeavoring to make it appear as though it were a holy place in which God specially dwelt. They thus drew off the minds of the people from any internal communion with God, and possessed them with the idea that He was only to be found in some holy spot, consecrated and sanctified by rites and ceremonies.

    The same leaven of the Pharisees has infected the Church of England; and thus she calls her consecrated buildings, her piles of stone and cement, "churches," and "houses of God."

    And even those who profess a purer faith, who dissent from her unscriptural forms, have learned to adopt the same carnal language, and even they, through a misunderstanding of what "the house of God" really is, will call such a building as we are assembled in this morning, "the house of God."

    How frequently does the expression drop from the pulpit, and how continually is it heard at the prayer meeting, "coming up to the house of God," as though any building now erected by human hands could be called the house of the living God.

    It arises from a misunderstanding of the Scriptures, and is much fostered by that priestcraft which is in the human heart, inciting us to believe that God is to be found only in certain buildings set apart for His service.