Build Yourself Up

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“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21)

The New Testament relationship of the twice-born to the eternal condition is compared to a “building” of God (Ephesians 2:22) made up of “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5). Thus, there is often the exhortation for us to build a holy association with each other (Romans 14:19) and to seek to build a strong assembly as we work together (Ephesians 4:16).

Each of the many references uses some combination of descriptive preposition or adjective along with the term for house. The general application assumes that since we will be “housed” together in eternity, we should seek to be building that house while on Earth. Even those who are in authority in the “house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15) are to be focused on building that house (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Jude addresses the individual. He presumes we are aware that we are “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” with “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). Even with a “wise masterbuilder” like Paul to give us inspired instructions (1 Corinthians 3:10), we need to be very careful how we build on the foundation that Jesus Christ has laid for us. Our work can be “gold, silver, and precious stones, wood, hay, [or] stubble,” and will be evaluated by the “fire” of God’s timeless judgment (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

The construction of the building—both the larger house and the individual “lively stones” that make up the house—are to be built up on the “most holy faith.” Once the foundation has been laid by Jesus Christ, we are to be “rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). HMM III