19 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:19–21 (ESV)
Today’s text compares the church of Jesus Christ to a building. Not any building mind you, but rather a temple. It is a living temple, not made of word or stone but consisting of the people of God. The Apostle Paul calls them “fellow citizens and saints,” and “members of the household of God.”
Additionally, this temple is built upon the foundation of the New Testament apostles and the Old Testament prophets. Paul then identifies Christ Jesus as the cornerstone. It is in union with Christ Jesus, by grace alone, through God given faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, that the whole structure of the church grows into a holy temple.
The word grows (αὔξω; auxo) is a present active verb. To grow means to increase, extend and to spread. The word holy (ἅγιος; hagios) means divine and dedicated to purity. Thirdly, the word temple (ναός; naos) is a sanctuary dedicated to the One, True God.
Therefore, the church is a living and growing organism, dedicated and consecrated to purity before the Lord, each other and the fallen world consisting of both Jews and Gentiles who are in union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nineteenth century theologian Charles Hodge writes, “A temple is a building in which God dwells. Such a temple is holy, as sacred to Him. It belongs to Him, is consecrated to His use, and can neither be appropriated by any other, nor used for anything but His service, without profanation. This is true of the church as a whole, and of all its constituent members.”
Let us, as believers in Christ, resolve to be a holy, consecrated and dedicated church growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!