ARE YOU PART OF THIS BUILDING?
Text: EPHESIANS 2:19-22
- Here in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, he uses different metaphors to describe the church.
- He refers to the church as the body of Christ (1:23;4:12).
- He refers to the church as the family of God (3:15).
- He likens the church to the bride of Christ (5:21-33).
- Here in chapter, Paul describes the church as a "building," "the household of God" and "a habitation of God" (2:19-22).
- Today, we will look at this building. Study the Bible and ask yourself: "Am I part of this building?"
- THE FOUNDATION WAS LAID BY THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS
- JESUS CHRIST IS THE CHIEF CORNER STONE
- IT IS BEING BUILT "THROUGH THE SPIRIT"
I. THE FOUNDATION WAS LAID BY THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS (2:19,20).
- Some people assume that Paul is referring to the OT prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, et al. He is not.
- Apostles are mentioned before prophets. If Paul had meant the OT prophets, he would have said, "prophets and apostles."
- There are no OT saints in the NT church.
- There were prophets in the apostolic church (cf. Acts 13:1).
II. JESUS CHRIST IS THE CHIEF CORNER STONE (2:20b).
- The RCC teaches that the church of Jesus Christ is built upon Peter, not Christ (cf. Matt.16:18; Scofield’s notes, p. 1021).
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the Rock, not Peter (I Cor.10:1-4; I Peter 2:4-8).
- Since Jesus Christ Himself is the chief corner stone, the building is "fitly framed together" (Eph.2:21). The corner stone was set in the foundation at the corner of the building to bind all the stones together and to give the walls a straight line. Some professed Christians are not very "straight." They are very "out of line" because they are not built upon the proper foundation (cf. Matt.7:24-29).
- The building is growing "unto an holy temple in the Lord" (2:21b). This is important:
- The building is "in the Lord," a phrase emphasized throughout this epistle (cf. 1:1,3,4, etc.).
- Because of our position "in Christ" (or "in the Lord"), we are holy positionally, and ought to be practically. It is incongruous for a "holy temple in the Lord" to have shabby, unholy, defiled, and worldly people in it.
- This "holy temple" must be set apart from the world and dedicated to God for sacred purposes (cf. I Cor.3:16,17).
- Christian radio and television (much of which is heretical) has replaced the local church for many people.
- Para-church groups such as Campus Crusade, PK, the Navigators, etc. are competing with the local church and draining funds from the local churches.
- Apostate mainline churches are being accepted as valid, in direct contradiction to the Word of God (II Cor.6:14—7:1).
- This attack on the purity and preeminence of the local church has gotten so bad that today the evangelicals are even promoting the RCC and the WCC!
- Cults and weird charismatic churches are being established with absolutely no Scriptural authority.
- Many so-called Christians have a flippant and unscriptural attitude toward the local church.
III. THE CHURCH IS BEING BUILT "THROUGH THE SPIRIT" (2:22b).
- In the OT God instructed Moses and the children of Israel to build the tabernacle. This was to be the place where God would dwell (cf. Ex.25:21,22).
- Today, God does not dwell in a building, but in people who meet in a building. God indwells people, not buildings. And the local church is the place where God meets man – not in a tabernacle in the wilderness, nor in a temple in Jerusalem, but in local churches all over the world.
- How are these churches organized? How are they established? What brings people together from all walks of life into a local church? Black and white, rich and poor, old and young – who unites us all into a local church? It is "through the Spirit" (2:22).
- And if a work is being built apart from the Holy Spirit, it is not of God, no matter how successful it may appear to be.
- The Holy Spirit indwells all true believers (I Cor.3:16). If one is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then he or she has never been genuinely born again (cf. Rom.8:9).
- Therefore, a true church must be built upon the Son of God (He is the corner stone – 2:20b), put together through the Spirit of God, based upon the Word of God, and all the members must be children of God (cf. Gal.3:26).
- I do not worry about tares getting mixed in with the wheat. I have noticed that God always removes them sooner or later (cf. I John 2:19).
- The true church of God must be "an holy temple in the Lord" (2:21). This means each member must be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit, and led by the Holy Spirit.
- Peter expressed this in a similar way when he wrote that we are stones fitted in and built into a "spiritual house" (I Peter 2:5).
- Ephesians 2 is an interesting chapter. It begins with Gentiles who were "dead in trespasses and sins" (2:1ff.).
- And it ends with these Gentiles forming a "habitation of God through the Spirit" (2:22). This is the grace of God!
[Send Email ]