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Of God's Household

As we saw last week, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross broke down the ancient barriers between Israel and the Gentiles. He removed the dividing walls, and by His blood adopted us into His family and the promise given to Israel through Abraham. In this, we now share in the rich, eternal blessings of this covenant – something we should never take for granted.


Today, let’s look at one more of these blessings we get to share in: being part of God’s household. We hear this phrase a lot, that we are part of God’s family, and the Apostle Paul’s explanation here of how God’s household is built up is really quite incredible!


So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Eph 2:19-22 NASB


The imagery here is vivid and worth chewing on. Jesus Christ is called the corner stone of the household of God and our faith (cf: Ps. 118:22, Acts 4:11, 1 Pet 2:6). The corner stone is the very first brick set in a masonry foundation and all other bricks laid are referenced to it, and it therefore determines the position of the entire structure. God the Father set Christ the Son as this Corner Stone, and then laid the remainder of the foundation of our faith through the work and sacrifice of the apostles and prophets, whom He specifically chose for this purpose (cf: John 15:16, Eph 1:1, etc).


And now, as saints and citizens of God’s heavenly household, we all (Jews and Gentiles who have a saving faith in Christ) are being fitted together and growing into a holy temple in the Lord.


It’s worth mentioning that the Greek words used in this passage imply more action than the English text conveys. For example, building is oikodomē and it is defined as the act of building or putting together, and growing is auxanō which means to cause to grow. What we can gather from this is, once again, this is all God’s work. God is set the Corner Stone, He laid the foundation, and He’s building us together as a holy temple unto Himself. And keeping in the context of this letter, we can see once again that it’s not about us, it’s about God and His glory.


Because God is so loving we gain great benefit from His work by having the Spirit dwelling within us. The Greek work for dwelling used here is katoikētērion, a noun meaning habitation or dwelling place. When we say God lives in our heart, we mean His Spirit dwells in our spirit, and this is by Him, through Him, and for Him.


As we reflect on Ephesians chapter 2, we can see how Paul is really trying to make the point that Gentile believers share in this incredible promise of being included in God’s family, a family from which were once estranged. When Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” (Matt 28:19) he was deliberately instructing His disciples to go preach Christ-crucified beyond the borders of Israel. And through their obedience to this calling, you and I have received the true gospel (the good news) of heaven. Now we can start to see how the promise God made to Abraham 4,000 years ago came to fruition through the work of Christ:


And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Gen 12:2-3

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