The Sanctuary of God
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 5 - Worship in the House of God

Ephes. 1:4-10, 12, 18-19.

Coming back to the book of Exodus we remind ourselves that the tabernacle was intended to set forth the glories of Christ. Moses received the pattern, and others were endued with the Holy Spirit to perform the work. All that went to make the tabernacle was to show the many-sided glories of Christ:

Righteousness issuing from judgment, the righteousness of Christ.
Redemption unto God.
The glory of God.
Heavenly nature.
The witness of the Holy Spirit.
The worthiness of the Lord Jesus as the ground of communion with God.
Precious stones
The preciousness of the Lord Jesus to the Father.

That is enough to convey the truth that this tabernacle was intended to set forth the glories and excellencies of the Lord Jesus. It is that which the Church, the habitation of God, is intended to be; that which sets forth the glories and values of Christ. There is an end in view, "that we should be unto the praise of His glory"; that the glories of God being manifested in us, in the Sanctuary, in the Church, should bring forth praise to Him.

Worship is praise for His grace and praise for His glory in Jesus Christ - grace leading to glory. Firstly it is grace that makes us a habitation of God, because it provides the necessary conditions for God's presence. Then it is God's work, through grace, to conform us to the image of His Son, that eventually we shall be to the praise of His glory. That is the full development of the purposes of grace.

Ephesians 1 shows us what God is after, and how He starts where believers are concerned, and what the end is to be - the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 6 brings us into touch with the forces that are opposed.

That which lies between chapter 1 and chapter 6 is all that by which God's end is reached and Satan's object is defeated. There is Divine order in the Body and in the House. Upset the Divine order and the Divine glory disappears. In the order there is God's glory; in the disorder there is God's dishonour. A living expression of God's thought in the Church is an object of terrible antagonism on the part of the enemy.

Supremely the House of God is characterised by worship. God has brought it into being for that purpose. When you come into the realm of the living Church you come into the living reality of the powers of evil because of worship. Worship is not a form of words, or attitude of body or mind, nor just the singing of hymns. It is such a dwelling in the excellencies of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit that God is being glorified. It is firstly the heart expression of the appreciation of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

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