Key Sacrifices of the House of God

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By Rev. Dr. Joseph Campbell

All over the world God is calling His people to gather as the house of God. The Scriptures reveal that the house of the Lord is the place where His people offer sacrifices unto Him. Three obvious sacrifices which God desires are holiness, praise, and intercession. Any church or group of Christians who successfully offer these three sacrifices will experience a mighty move of the Spirit of God.

Holiness

The first and probably pivotal requirement of the people of God is for them to present their “bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God” (Rom 12:1, NASB). God is displeased whenever sin is present or tolerated in the Church. Sometimes He shows His displeasure by withdrawing His tangible presence or favor. At other times He shows His disgust by sending judgment upon His people (1 Cor 11:26 -32). On the positive side, God is pleased when Christians repent of their personal and corporate sins. He reveals His pleasure by pouring out His Spirit upon His people or by sending revival. In addition, God has promised to meet the needs and come to the aid of those who walk uprightly before Him. It should also be remembered that sin is the greatest hindrance to God answering the prayers of or accepting sacrifices from His people.

Praise

Once the people of God have dealt with the issue of sin, then they are in the place to offer unto God the “sacrifice of praise” (Heb 13:15 ). The Lord invites His people to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Such an invitation is not based upon how people may feel, because they can choose to praise Him irrespective of their feelings. Indeed, when people don’t feel like praising God, that is when praise becomes a true sacrifice. What other reasons are there for praising God? First, genuine worship is one of the few things God seeks (John 4:23 ). When Christians, through praise and thanksgiving are able to enter into genuine worship, they attract God’s attention and their sacrifice I well received. Second, Christians become a living habitation or house of God when they offer unto God praise and thanksgiving. This is because God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps.22:3). In other words, when there is authentic praise, God will manifest Himself; and where His presence is evident, healing, miracles, and signs and wonders occur. In the house of God nothing is impossible.

Intercession

The Lord said that His house will be called a house of prayer for all nations (Is. 56:7). Intercession for the salvation of all peoples is central to the heart of God and is one of the primary purposes for which He has established the church. The apostle Paul echoes this when he encourages the Ephesians church to pray for all men especially those in authority, because God desires everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-4). The church that fails to intercede fails to function as a true house of God, and bears some responsibility for people not receiving salvation. Intercession plays a vital part in people being led and empowered to share the gospel. Perhaps only eternity will reveal the real power that is linked to the sacrifice of prayer.

Conclusion

The call to function in the house of God is fulfilled when the church offers to God the sacrifices of praise and intercession. God joyfully responds to those sacrifices by pouring out His Spirit and stretching out His hand of salvation to all peoples. The question that remains is whether local churches and Christians in general are going to respond to God’s call.

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