“Therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together into a dwelling place for God in His Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22
I’ve never been a builder. I’m certainly not a craftsman at any level. Ask my wife, Jo. However, I have long admired homes and buildings crafted by creative minds and hands, with much more patience than me. Our passage today both encourages and admonishes us to be pliable enough to become what Peter (1 Peter 2:5) calls living stones. Without mentioning those exact words, the Apostle Paul is writing to say that our life here has much more value and permanence than we may have imagined. We are being fashioned and built into a living and holy temple in the Lord. The Greek word Paul uses here (naos) means sanctuary or place of worship. We, as God’s people are being fitted together with those saints who have gone before us, including the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. What company to be aligned with in a living sanctuary!
To make it even better, Paul instructs that Jesus Christ himself is the chief cornerstone. A cornerstone is the very first stone placed in a building to ensure the whole structure is right and true. Everything in the entire structure is dependent upon the cornerstone. As a living building, we are designed to continue to grow, but not as single building stones. We are designed to grow together.
Just hours before Jesus went to the cross, he prayed a moving and magnificent prayer recorded in John 17. He prays that we would be one as Jesus and the Father are one. He prays a second time that we would all be one, as the Father and the Son are one. He prays that we wouldn’t just get along, but that we would have the closeness and mindset that Jesus and the Father have. What an amazing and lofty prayer! Paul echoes this prayer asking us to be fitted into one holy sanctuary for worship.
How are you getting along with other believers? Are you willing to be living stone, part of the growing sanctuary of God?
Pastor of Care & Counseling