THE LORD’S HOLY TEMPLE

“Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:20-22)

Paul is describing the church, the people of God, as a holy temple. The foundation of this temple is made of “the apostles and prophets,” meaning the teachings of the apostles and the prophets (the Old and New Testaments). The core of their teaching is the gospel. The gospel teaches that human beings are sinners by nature. They are spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins (vs. 1-3). The gospel tells us that God, being rich in mercy and love, is a God of grace. He sent His Son to redeem His people from their sins by His death and resurrection. Jesus became their substitute who bore the punishment for their sins. Three days after His death, He was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. This is the foundation — the only foundation. Nothing can be added to it.

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. A cornerstone is a primary foundation stone at the angle of a structure by which the architect fixes a standard for the bearings of the walls and cross walls throughout the building. The cornerstone not only holds together all these structural foundation stones, it also binds them together and hold all the walls together. It is at the corner, and everything is supported by it and everything is held together by it. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the Church.

Notice that this temple is growing — “In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (v. 22). This temple is in the process of being built. God is building His Church. This is a process that is going on right now. Every day God is adding new people to His Church. The emphasis is on the work of God. God is the one who builds His temple.

The Church is a dwelling place for God. God lives in His Church, in the lives of His people. God actually lives in us — “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:18).

The temple (God’s people) will be completed one day. Everyone chosen by God for this building will be there. When it is finished, the consummation of this present age will come. God’s people will be glorified with Christ and we will spend eternity in the new heavens and new earth.

We must remember that we are a part of the greater work of God. We, together with all believers, are vital members of the Church of our Lord Jesus. We are individuals who belong together with other believers to be the dwelling place of God.

Lord Jesus, thank You for making me a part of Your Church. Don’t let me take the nature of Your Church for granted. It is holy and blessed because You dwell within Your people. Grant me grace to be a vital and growing member of the work You are doing in building Your Church.

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