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Where God Dwells

February 29, 2020
By Martin Luther

"How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

GENESIS 28:17

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Where God Dwells

This is a very wonderful speech. All Holy Scripture has nothing like it either in the Old or in the New Testament. For this place is called the house of God and the gate of heaven, and this is stated only in this one passage and nowhere else. This is nothing else than calling it the kingdom of heaven and heaven itself, for the place where God dwells is the house of God. But where does God dwell? Does He not dwell in heaven? Therefore he joins the earth with heaven and heaven with the earth. He sets up a heavenly habitation and the kingdom of God at that place on the earth and says: "The kingdom of heaven, the gate to heaven, is where the approach to heaven is open and also where the exit from the house of God is open." For [Jacob] distinguishes between heaven and earth, that is, between the present and the future life; for after this life he promises himself eternal life and the kingdom of heaven, which begins in the present life. Indeed, Jacob already feels that he is and lives in that kingdom. . .. For here nothing else is meant than the Church and the teachers and hearers in it. Then the Church is defined here, what it is and where it is. For where God dwells, there the Church is, and nowhere else; for the Church is God's house and the gate of heaven, where the entrance to eternal life and the departure from the earthly to the heavenly life are open.

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