The Tabernacle of Christ (Part 3)


Please read Part 1 and Part 2

More Than Enough

“Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.” (Ex. 36:6, 7).

The verses just quoted are a perfect example of God being able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20).   What if the members of a church so overflowed with resurrection life that the pastor had to ask people to cut back, to be more prayerful about giving of themselves so that enough could be found for everyone to do?

A Place Where God Is Seen

“So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels” (Ex. 40:38)

This verse represents the goal of all that has been said about the body building itself up in love.   God must be seen in us or nothing that is in His heart has been accomplished. Moses’s tabernacle was THE place God could be found in the earth. Jesus, the true tabernacle, said to His Father, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world” (John 17:6). Our mission, the reason for our existence, is to continue the revelation of God as His many membered tabernacle. We can evangelize the whole world, but if we cannot bring those who believe our message to a people where God can be seen, then we have done nothing but given stones to those whom we promised bread (Matt. 7:9). John’s first epistle begins:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it (1 John 1:1, 2).

John and the other apostles didn’t preach the Word. They preached the Word made flesh and dwelling among us.   If the Word isn’t becoming flesh in us, we have no gospel to preach but only a biblical fiction. And those who respond to such a message will know it is a fiction when they come to church but do not hear Him, see Him, look at Him, or touch Him in us.

God wants the glory of His Son to fill His tabernacle, and for the testimony of those who meet us to be, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In writing to the Ephesians, Paul hoped to draw them into this vision. He did not just want people to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior but as the consummation of all things. It is for this same reason that God has preserved this letter and delivered it to us. There are so many ways we can make Jesus small. We can reduce Him to theology or a set of tenets.   We can reduce our relationship with Him to ministries or Christian activities. We can make Him just one of many Bible subjects. All of these shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces and do not allow them to enter (Matt. 23:13). Hopefully, Ephesians helps us know the One who “fills everything in every way,” the One who cannot be put in a box anymore than He could be put in a tomb.

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love” (Ephesians 6:24).

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