If we go on with God, the Cross leads us immediately to the House of God. The Cross opens the way to the House of God, and the House of God depends for its full meaning upon whether the Cross has done its work.
A great many people think that the Church, the House of God – or whatever you may term it – is a doctrine, a part of a system of Christian truth. Have you thought that? Well, let me say that you are wrong. What is the House of God? We may first name a number of things which it is not.
The House of God is not a part of a system of Christian truth or teaching. It is not a congregation with religious services. It is not a Christian society with a membership. It is not a religious association for religious purposes. Yet these are the ideas that are in so many minds when we speak of the House of God. People think of it as a place where religious observances are carried out, or as a society set up for religious purposes. The House of God is the spiritual relatedness of believers. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body …” (1 Corinthians 12:13). That is the House of God… a spiritual relatedness.
But it is more. The House of God is the recognized and active relatedness of believers. It is not a nebulous thing. It is not an abstract idea. The spiritual relatedness of believers is very wonderful, but there must be a recognition of it; and that relatedness must be made an active thing. That is the House of God.
Then the House of God represents a greater measure of Christ than is possible to any number of separate individuals. Separate individuals can never come to the Lord’s fullness. It will necessitate all the believers for the Lord’s fullness to be entered into; but to come to it, believers must needs be in a relatedness… and that, an active relatedness. That is very practical. Any life that is a free-lance – that is independent and detached – will be limited, even though there may be belief in the spiritual relatedness of all believers. This thing has to become practical – an actual working thing. Fellowship is essential to fullness.