W. H. Westcott.
1 Cor. 3:16.
Extracted from Scripture Truth, Volume 36, 1949, page 120.
Taking an Old Testament Scripture for our guide, we see from 2 Chronicles 3:4 and 8, also 2 Chronicles 4:1 that the Porch, Oracle and Altar were all of the same dimensions: 20 cubits from the threshold inwards, never to be wider and never to be narrower. It is therefore necessary to know something of what is typified in the Oracle and Altar — in other words, the glory of Christ as the revelation of God and His sacrificial death.
Amongst men, the soldier's cry is "death or glory," but the Christians may say it is "Christ's death and glory." We are God's temple today, and should be consistent with Christ's death on the one hand and Christ's glory on the other.
It may be asked, what is the use of speaking thus? If all is broken up in the church externally, why trouble? The word to the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2 is, "Remember . . . from whence thou art fallen, and repent." Unless we know what God's thought is, we become satisfied with less proud of our shame.
Of old the temple was where God's glory was seen, and where God's Name was set. All nations were to be welcomed, and from it was to go out the testimony of the true and living God, whose house it was, and whose mind was made known therein.
What is God's testimony now? Briefly, the bringing in of Christ and those associated with Him, to the exclusion of man after the flesh. Two things are predicated of man after the flesh. He demands wisdom and he demands power. Wisdom is to know how to accomplish the end in view; power is ability to do it. The Greeks sought wisdom, and with the Romans was power, but the Jews were contemptuous of both, maintaining their outward connection religiously with God, and yet leading both Greeks and Romans to get rid of Christ.
Now, to us who are called, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God; the knowing how and the power of being able. So Christians are equipped in Him for everything. Perhaps some think that our circumstances today are unique in their difficulties. There has never been any other kind of circumstances, as all have proved until they turned to Christ. Every sinner saved, probably thought he was too bad to be saved, that his case was unique and required a special salvation. So, too, for us who are saved. Circumstances are sure to be against us, but the thing is not to give up, but to use the resources that are in Christ.
There are hindrances which obscure Christ and mar unity in the testimony of God. But God is one, and those who bear the testimony of God, who are His temple and in whom His light is to shine, should be one also. Human leaders, special doctrines and human means, all militate against the setting forth of what God is in Christ.