By Oscar M. Baker
The church which is the body of Christ is like unto a temple. It is growing. And it is to be an habitation of God through the Spirit. This can be a great source of satisfaction and joy to every member of that body.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He did not create them empty, but to be inhabited. The earth became empty. There was darkness. So the earth was again prepared for inhabitants. They were placed in a garden.
Now the heavens and the earth were a creation. And so was man. We see, dimly at first, that man was also created to be inhabited. He was created in the likeness of the image of God. God came to the earth and tabernacled among men in the likeness of sinful flesh. For God was the Word, and it was the Word that walked with men.
The Lord prayed for a unity of Himself and His disciples. And this unity also included the Father. For the oneness He asked for was that He should be in His disciples and the Father in Him. The great apostle to the Gentiles realized the truth of this indwelling of God by the Spirit. He realized that when in the flesh he was weak, it was at that very time he was strong. For then the Lord could and did work through the apostle.
The man who believes unto life age-abiding must realize his identification with Christ. First in His death; and then in resurrection. But in the latter it is not the man that lives, but Christ in him. To that extent the man of God becomes an habitation. And for what purpose? Christ not only lives in the believer, but also works through the believer. The Acts of the apostles is a continuation of what the Lord Jesus Christ both began to do and teach when He walked on the earth. But then in the Acts, He did this through the apostles. That is why it is a continuation.
Man was made in the beginning the to be an habitation of God. He was to work the works of God. Angels might have done this. But God chose man to do it. And that is the reason that man was created without any of the instincts that are found in the animals. God wants to direct our lives Himself, personally.
Now we can begin to see why that a man without the indwelling Deity is a dangerous derelict on the sea of life. He is like a ship without a rudder. He cannot be compared to the beast. He is far worse. The beast cannot imagine and do the things that a godless man will.
Men, indwelt by the Creator have done great exploits. Such have written the Scriptures. God put words in their mouths. So the Scriptures have been God breathed. The apostles went out and did greater things than their Lord did. He told them that they would. It was like the double portion of Spirit upon Elisha after Elijah was taken away.
The believer is given a new nature or spirit in which God may dwell. The believer has only to make himself available so that God can work through him. This is the secret of the Christian life