While reading Corinthians in the King James years ago, I ran across this phrase, “fitly framed together,” describing the body of Christ. I liked the sound of the phrase and wrote a little something about it, ending with a song with the same title. I ran across it a few moments ago and thought to share it with you.
Outside the city, the master-builder shaped the stones: chipping at this, chiseling at that, filing away the rough places. Only when finished were these stones carted to the site and laid, each piece, in place. Not a chisel or hammer was to be used on site. It was a quiet, peaceful place – the sounds of work far from the grounds. Each stone honed perfectly, by the master builder, to be fitly framed together with nary a sound, except praise, at the site of the holy place, for God would dwell there. Small stones, large stones, and all sizes in between, each one filling a need in building the Holy Temple of the Most High God.
The people brought gifts, gold, and precious gems of beauty, to make this new dwelling glorious. In fact, they brought until they were asked to stop giving, for the amount was abundant. Then, when the work was completed and praises lifted, the Shekinah Glory of God filled the Temple.
Isn’t this what God, the Master Builder, does with us? Even before we knew Him, the Master Builder found us, just the right piece to use for His temple, His dwelling place. So, He began preparing us: chipping away at our outer shell, shaping us, smoothing the rough places, placing us within the body of Christ. Parts of the body: the hands, the feet, the lips, the ears, with His own Son, the head of this body of believers.
All of the work, His work, happened beforehand. He chose us, even before the foundation of the world. He wanted us. He loved us. He saw in us what he could make of us. He saw through the ugliness of our sinful stone hearts, something beautiful. So, He chiseled, chipped away, filed, and smoothed, until our hearts were ready, wooing us to the cross where He died for us, and there, made us into a new creation, His Holy Temple. He placed us right where we were most needed within the body. He even gave us gifts to make his temple beautiful. Built is the Holy Temple of the Most High, fitly framed together by the Master Builder. Foundation laid by His Son, the Master Carpenter, and the Chief Cornerstone. His blood the mortar. The Master Designer, the Creator of the universe, found what He wanted in you and me.
We are all needed. No matter what part of the body we are. No matter what the task, each using his or her spiritual gift. Each exercising his or her God-given talents to further the labor of the Master Builder. He has filled His temple, us, with His Holy Spirit, the Shekinah Glory. “We are His workmanship, created for good works in Christ.” Are you using the gifts and talents He freely gave you? Or do you say, “I am the pinky, what am I good for?” Have you found your place of service? He gave His all for us on the cross. What will you offer in service to Him? Will it bring Him glory? Do you use your gifts and talents to make His temple beautifully pleasing? Remember who you are, whose you are, and what you are. You are the Temple of the Most High God.
Fitly Framed Together
Kaci Rigney 1997
In the past, we walked according to the course of this old world
But God who is so rich in mercy loved and gave us life in Christ
It’s not of works that we have done lest we should boast to everyone
But we are saved by grace through faith, a gift of God through Christ the Son
We are built for the habitation of the Spirit, through the Son
Who gave His perfect life to free us from the wrong things we have done
We are built on a firm foundation. Jesus is the Cornerstone
In whom all of the building grows into the temple of the Lord
Each one of us is given gifts according to His righteousness
Preaching, teaching, sharing praise, encouraging each one in love
The church must strive to bring Him glory. We must use the gifts He’s giv’n
To build a bond of unity, and share His work this side of heav’n
We are His workmanship – created for good works
That we might be His praise – His great and glorious church.
Now, we are fitly framed together, joined by God, are we
The body of believers fitted perfectly
By the Master Builder, the Spirit, and the Son
We’re chosen by the builder to make the body One.