It is quite interesting to note that the word “house” is found in the Bible more than 1700 times. Although the same Hebrew and Greek words are used, there are a number of different meanings to these words. Sometimes the word is used to indicate a company of people; for example, the House of Israel. The “House of Israel” is found in the Bible 148 times. In the Old Testament Scriptures we find the “House of God” 80 times. This same expression is used 6 times in the New Testament Scriptures. Generally in the Old Testament Scriptures, the term “House of God” had reference to the temple which Solomon built in Jerusalem, according to the pattern the Lord gave unto him. In the New Testament Scriptures the “House of God” referred more particularly to the company of redeemed people, the “ekklesia”, the “Church of God”.
In I Peter 2:5, we read of redeemed ones who are “built up a spiritual house”. The Greek word here translated house is “oikos” which has the meaning of a house or a temple. The Greek word “naos” is also translated temple. In Ephesians 2:21 we read of members of the Body of Christ who “groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” In I Timothy 3:15, there are instructions as to how to behave in the House of God. In Hebrews 3:6 we find these words: “But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Thus we see that the whole number of redeemed sinners is called, “The House of God.” In I Corinthians 3:16 and 17; I Corinthians 6:19 and II Corinthians 3:16 we find that members of the Body of Christ are temples of God. We quote II Corinthians 6:16. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Before the sinner is redeemed he is spoken of, in Matthew 12:29, as “the strong man’s house.” Here Satan is referred to as the strong man, and the sinner as his house. The Apostle Paul declared that he was to turn sinners from Satan to God. Acts 26:18. Thus we are taught in God’s Word that the unbeliever is Satan’s house or temple, and the believer is God’s house or temple.
Unto the redeemed sinner the Lord Jesus gave this very precious promise and hope: “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2 and 3. The little company to whom He first made this promise were His disciples who belonged to the House of Israel. At that time, the Lord Jesus was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Matthew 15:24. But His own received Him not, and He said to them: “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:38. But, according to Ezekiel 37, that same Son of man, as Israel’s Messiah and King, will return and Israel will be saved. We quote Ezekiel 37:11: “Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel; behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts.” This is confirmed in Romans 11:26; “All Israel shall be saved.” And then there will he the realization of Luke 1:33: “Jesus shall reign over the House of Jacob.” According to Luke 1:69, He came from the house of His servant David, and will yet fulfill Isaiah 9:6 and 7 as the Prince of peace on David’s throne.
There is one other house to which we would call your attention. We quote II Corinthians 5:1 and 2: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” Some day the Lord is to transfer His House from earth to heaven. Here the members of His household have earthly bodies, dwellings of clay; but each member is to have a house eternal, not made with hands. According to Galatians 6:10, which we quote, we are of the household of faith. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” According to Ephesians 2:19, which we quote, we are of the household of God. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
Whatever may be the meaning of this statement, let us remember, according to I Peter 4:17, that judgment must begin at the House of God. We have mentioned a few of the houses of the Bible. To the sinner, we say, “Come in the house”, and also, let Christ come into your house. To Zachaeus He said “this day is salvation come to this house.” Luke 19:8 to 10.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.