“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone and whom the whole structure being joined together grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Is that not an awesome picture? At the end of this chapter, where for the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2 talk about God’s grace, astounding, amazing, unexplainable, mysterious, glorious grace to save us from our sins. We who were dead in our sins, enslaved to our sins and children of wrath, disobeying God, on our way to eternal punishment and God, in His mercy, sent Jesus to die on a cross for our sins so that we can be saved from our sins and all they deserve not by any works we do, but by God’s grace by God’s mercy, by grace. You’ve been saved through faith, not from your works. This is the gift of God.
God’s grace creates His people. The household of God is only possible because of his grace towards us.
Then right after that, so verse 11 says “Therefore,” and then starts talking about how this grace is available to all people, not just to Jewish people, God’s people throughout the Old Testament, but to Jews and Gentiles and by His grace, through faith in Jesus, He brings Jews and Gentiles together. He breaks down, verse 14 says, “The dividing wall of hostility between different people, different groups of people, it brings them together into one body,” so that’s how this chapter ends. You’re no longer strangers and aliens, talking specifically to Gentiles, you’re not out of this picture, you’re fellow citizens with the saints. You are members of the household of God.
I mean, think about this: For every one of us listening right now, which most people listening right now are Gentiles, but regardless, we are all counted as saints. We who were enslaved to sin, children of wrath on a road that leads to hell, we’re saints. How is that possible? Only by grace and it’s only by grace, that’s true of you, it’s only by grace, that’s true of me. We’re saints, members of the household of God, members of God’s family together with Jesus being the cornerstone, so we see this picture of foundation and cornerstone, this building, this structure that’s joined together and grows together, is being built together. Verse 22: “And then you also being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
You get the picture here? You and I and every single person saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus is a saint and member of the household of God and we are being built together as the church, as a family, into a dwelling place for God by His Spirit. God dwells, yes, in our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, but in a broader way, in His body, the church, in local churches, in the global church, as we’re joined together in Christ.
In a world where there are so many temptations and tendencies to divide the body of Christ, the household of God, we pray, God, help us to realize who we are, all of us. By Your grace, I don’t deserve to be a part of Your church, Your household. I certainly don’t deserve the title of saint and no one that’s praying with me right now does, either. The only reason we’re in your church is because of Your grace and Your mercy through faith in Jesus, this gift of faith that you have made a reality in our hearts, so God, we pray, help us to show this kind of grace to one another, help us to live in Your household with love for one another. God, help us to love one another well in the church. Help us to build one another up into this dwelling place for You and Your Spirit and Your glory to be manifest to the world around us. God, we pray for the unity of Your church, the unity of all. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus have been saved by Your grace.
God, we praise You for the privilege of being Your sons and daughters, members of Your household, saints. This is awesome beyond words. We pray especially for Your church during these days of tension and division around the world in the middle of a pandemic. God, we pray that Your church would be built up together into a dwelling place for Your Spirit and Your glory in greater ways than we have ever experienced. God, we pray for this according to Your word and what you’ve made a reality, what you’ve made possible, Jesus, according to Ephesians 2:19-22. In Jesus’ name, amen.