Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 7, 1964
NUMBER 1, PAGE 8,13b

Cleaving To The House Of God

Jimmy Tuten, Jr.

Text: Neh. 10:39 Introduction:

1. The house under consideration was the Temple reconstructed after the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon.

a. In this state it was more glorious than the one constructed by Solomon. (Hag. 2:1-9) Note: Haggai lived during the return under Cyrus, and the restoration of the Temple. For this reason, he is called the "prophet of the second temple."

2. Our purpose and aim in this lesson: to determine HOW and upon WHAT CONDITIONS the Jews cleaved to the "house of God," making application to the house of God today.

Body: I. "We Will Not Forsake The House Of God" — The Temple, Rebuilt In 516 B.C.

A. Resolution itself: in effect that they would not be parties to any neglect or interruption of the services of the temple. It means more than expresses. They would interest themselves in it, support it, and promote its prosperity.

1. This they did by gifts, attendance and prayers for its prosperity.

B Why should they desire to cleave to the house of God?

1. Because the Lord God promised to be with them in it. (Hag. 2:4) God forsook them in the former because of conditions described in the book of Isaiah.

2. Latter house more glorious than the former. (Hag. 2:6-9) Difficult passage, possibly Messianic.

3. God would give them peace in it. (Hag. 2:9) Heathens never as oppressive to the Jews after the captivity because of their loyalty to God.

a. This peace was conditioned upon their being strong (Hag. 2:4), upon their faithful work (Hag. 2:4-5), etc.

b. They were also told not to fear. (Hag. 2:5)

c. They were also taught to understand that the house and everything belonged to God. (Hag. 2:8)

II. God's People Today Need To Cleave To The House Of God —

A. In this dispensation, the "house of God" is the church.

(I Tim. 3:15) Cf. Eph. 2:19-22 - this is the deeper, literal sense.

1. We cleave to the church (house of God) because it is by far more glorious than the I "mplc of the Law. (Heb. 9:1-12)

a. The latter (i.e., the church) is a heavenly tabernacle, dedicated by the blood of Christ. (Heb. 9:13,14, 19-24)

2. We should cleave to the church because peace is promised only to those within it. (Acts 2:38, 47; Eph. 1:3, 7; Heb. 10:21-22 - "Peace" is used in the sense of spiritual contentment.)

a. This complete satisfaction is conditioned upon our being strong in the Lord. (Eph. 6:10; 1 Cor. 16:13; 2 Tim. 2:1; Heb. 10:26)

b. Conditioned upon our working. (1 Cor. 15:58)

c. Conditioned upon fear (Heb. 4:1-6), fear of God (Heb. 13:6; Phil. 1:28).

III. In A Lower Sense, Cleave To The Building Set Aside To The Service Of God —

A. I do not mean by this that the building is hallowed, sacred, or worthy in itself of adoration, but because it is the means to an end. It is "holy" or "sanctified" only in the sense that it is used in the service of God. Brethren misunderstand this and go to both extremes. One says building can be used for social, recreational, and religious functions. The other says, the preacher, the secretary, etc., cannot eat lunch in the building working during the day, that there can be no wedding, funeral, etc., for the building is for holy purposes only. Note:

1. The building is implied in the command to assemble, to preach, to partake of the Lord's Supper. (Acts 20:7; 2:42; Heb. 10:45; 1 Cor. 11:17,20,33)

a. This implies a place. It may be a brother's dwelling etc. Regardless of type of place, it infers in the command, it is authorized!

b. Whatever is involved in the assembly is authorized if it does not in any way violate the Word of God. (Examples: lights, heat, etc.)

c. The building is a tool of the church to be used in performing tasks God gave the church to do. We cannot take the building and use for personal uses no more than one could take the contribution and use it for personal uses. Or, take my property without my permission and use for self.

d. If a function does not expedite the command to assemble, then it is sinful. (Sinful functions would be "fellowship" or recreational halls, kitchens for the purpose of preparing food, etc.)

B. Arbitrary views toward the building, i.e., calling it "holy" etc., to extent that only religious matters can be conducted in building, overlooks incidental aspects in performing the mission of the church.

1. ALL THINGS NEEDED to effectively and efficiently perform a work decently and in order is authorized. Illustrate: satisfying physical needs during worship by use of rest rooms, cry rooms for tending the needs of baby, drinking water, warming bottles for babies, work parties eating in building during lunch hours, are certainly not out of order.

a. These incidental matters will not allow the treasury to be used for providing facilities for banquets or gymnastics. There is a big difference in a mother warming a bottle using church electricity and providing utilities for home functions!

C. Why then, should one cleave to the building?

I. Because it is the place of assembly for the Saints. (Heb. 10:25; 1 Cor, 11:17, 20, 33)

a. It is a means to an end and not the end itself. It is a place where we serve God, hence we cleave to the house in this sense through the services that are conducted there.

2. Because of the profit to be gained. (Eph. 4:11-16; Heb. 10:22-25 - edification)

3. Because of attachment of people who worship there. (1 Cor. 12:12-14, 27; Eph. 4:16 - we are brethren, cf. Rom. 12:1 - Fellowship, 1 Jno, 1:6, 7)

4. Because of the good of others which is there promoted:

a. Through this means we seek to convert and teach, b. To edify the saints,

c. To teach how to apply principles learned and thus letting lights shine and making community in which one lives a better place in which to live.


1. We should cleave to the building because of the assemblies and services conducted in the building. Those who attend are:

a. Preserved from temptation.

b. Learn that which is helpful to one's character and well-being.

c. Receive blessing of God.

d. Receive eternal salvation if faithful unto death.

2. "We will not forsake the house of our God" is the positive side of Heb. 10:25. We do so by:

a. Interest. (1 Cor. 15:58)

b. Attendance.

c. Monetary support with ungrudging liberalism in this respect fills the treasury of the house of God.

d. By prayer for its prosperity.

3. Those who have a heart to "observe and do all the commandments of God" will cleave to the house of God.

— 6316 Pernod Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri