The chapter begins by the apostles reminder that we were “dead in trespasses and sins”, and gives us good reason for believing it so. Even more does he remind us that we have been “quickened” or “made alive”, and delivered from the old course we were once walking.
We are also told of God’s rich, marvelous, wonderful and glorious grace and mercy due to His great love for us. That we have been raised up with Christ to sit with Him in “heavenly places” (v. 6). Then in verses 8-10 the good and faithful words, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV). It does not seem right, nor Biblical, nor even teaching if we do not include verse 10 in there with verses 8 and 9.
The Gentiles of Ephesus, and you and I who are not Jewish, are reminded that we were not or are not of the “common wealth of Israel”; we did not receive the oracles, the Word of God, nor have we ever had the presence of God previous to the birth of the Church. We were once strangers, separated from any hope, but God sent His Son. It was like a wall of separation, that now, “through the blood of Christ” are made near, and brought into the Family of God.
THE WALL IS TORN DOWN BY THE DEATH OF JESUS ON THE CROSS (vv. 18-19). God raised up a nation of people who would follow Him, and be a light to other nations ( ). The nation of Israel has not been faithful to the LORD’s calling, and were not an obedient people. However, the LORD still used them to give us His Word; both the written oracles, and the Living Oracle [Jesus Christ].
It was and is the will of God to bring together in the one body of Christ people from all nations, races, cultures. With the people of Israel, through the call of Abraham from Ur, to go to a land he knew not of, with Sarah his wife, and to a land yet inhabited, but promised to his people in a future day; God promised to make of him a blessed nation. God promised to him, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3); and we have with the oracles [Scriptures] which have been written for us. The Law, History, Poetry [Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations], and the Prophets (Major and Minor).
Where all seemed to be specifically for the Jew; now through the cross of Jesus Christ, there is access for all. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil which separated the holy place in the Temple from the most Holy place was torn from top to bottom; signifying to us that the way was made by God Himself, into the very presence of the throne of God.
Those who come to God through Jesus (which is the exclusive way) become the “…Household of God”. No longer strangers, no longer aliens, but brothers and sisters, with one Father.
THE DIVINE ARCHITECT’S FOUNDATION AND CORNERSTONE (v. 20). Before there is a building there must of necessity be a foundation and a cornerstone. Jesus Christ is that cornerstone. It is the cornerstone which determines the size, the shape of buildings made of stone.
Hear what God says of this cornerstone:
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” (Psalm 118:22)
“Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation…” (Isaiah 28:16)
“For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
Actually before there was the “foundation of the apostles and prophets”, there was the cornerstone which is the beginning of the foundation. The “Apostles and prophets” have spoken, and written the words of God for us to hear and read, applying them to life and heart that we through the power of the Holy Spirit, believing would be living stones, added to the “building” of this “household of God”. Since the “Apostles and prophets” are the foundation, and this is dealing with Scriptures, then, there can be no more apostles and prophets. They have already spoken and written what God has given us. Let’s be more diligent by His Spirit to obey what we have received; instead of searching for something new which will most likely be deceptive, and seek to lead astray.
Hear what the apostle Peter has written:
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” 1 Peter 2:4-8 (KJV)
According to Peter’s inspired words we are, through faith in Jesus Christ, “living [lively] stones, are built up a spiritual house”. That house is the “household of God”. It can be called the “Family of God”.
THE DIVINE ARCHITECT FITS ALL WHO BELIEVE INTO THE “BUILDING” AS HE SEES FIT (v. 21). It is only the Divine Architect who can “organize compactly” all those who are called to fit in just right for His glory. A stone building designed correctly will have each stone in its proper place, fitting every niche, so that it will sit well with the one below it, beside it and over it.
Think of it this way. Each part of this “household of God” is placed into this household in its proper time, proper place, and proper service. It is Jesus Christ who determines this. It is He who shapes and molds us for that fit that He needs, at that time He places us into His household.
WE HAVE BEEN DESIGNED TO BE THE PLACE OF GOD’S DWELLING ON EARTH (v. 22). Everyone who is born again is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Together all born again believers are the Temple of God, giving Him even greater glory.
It is a sin against Him when we refuse to join together. It shames His glory when we have the opportunity of gathering with brothers and sisters, and refuse to because of some carnal mindset, such as hurt feelings, something is not quite the way you like, envy, jealousy, etc.. What shame. Glorify God in your body and your bodily presence with the other saints in Christ gathered together for His glory.
Together we are strengthened. Together we are encouraged. Together we are empowered to resist sinful desire and temptation. Together we can assault the gates of hell. Together we can pray with authority and power. Together we are the Body of Christ.
You are the place of God’s dwelling. Let others rejoice with you by joining with other dwellings of God, becoming one with Him. God does not have any “Only child”.
-Tim A. Blankenship