Scripture Reading – Ephesians 2:19-22
The Church is the family of God, the spiritual house, built solidly upon the foundation of the Old and the New Testaments, Christ being the Corner Stone. The Apostle Paul, while talking about the Unity of the Body of Christ, explains that all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, are united in Christ. Through His work on the Cross, everyone has been reconciled unto God. He gives this unity of the Church by giving three metaphors, namely,
- the picture of fellow citizens in the same kingdom;
- the picture of the family where all believers are one spiritual body in Christ; and
- the picture of a holy temple where all believers are together a habitation of God.
This unity or togetherness is possible because of the strong foundation the Church has:
Church, Built upon the Word of God (vv 19-20a)
The Word of God, recorded by the Apostles and the Prophets by the inspiration of God’s Spirit, is the sure revelation of God and the foundation for the Church.
- In 1 Cor 15:3 Paul tells the Corinthians, “I delivered to you, first of all, that which I also received,” and he uses the term paradosis, which is the Greek term we translate as “tradition.” Paradosis literally means “a giving over, a transfer,” and that’s what the New Testament is.
- Revelation 21:14, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
- We are an Apostolic church, means built on the doctrines or the teachings of the Apostle. It is the Apostolic tradition that the Church has received. The Church received it from the Apostles, who received it from Christ, who received it from God.
- Jesus said, “I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me” (John 8:28).
- Christ told His disciples, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49).
- Jesus was granted authority by God the Father to speak on behalf of the Father and to deliver His Father’s Word, so Jesus’ teaching had God’s authority.
- Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
Church, Built upon Christ (v 20b)
- Matthew 16:16-18, Christ builds His Church upon the Rock, and that Rock is Christ
- Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
- Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Church, where Believers Grow and Dwell Together (vv 21-22)
Two benefits of this foundation Paul mentions here:
“In whom all the building being joined together, growing . . .”
“In whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.”
- As architectural metaphor, God places each one exactly where He wants him.
- The Church is a growing Temple in the process of construction. It happens in the Lord as He is the Corner Stone and the center of its unity.
- When the believers are united together in the Lord, they too play the crucial role in the building.
- And the great objective is to provide a place of habitation for God, who by His Spirit dwells permanently in His Holy Temple (Jn 14:16-17; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20).
- Note the Trinity appears here—the Triune God is not only responsible for our salvation, but even for our sustenance or growth.
- 2 Pet 1:16-21, especially v 19
It is the Corner Stone and the Foundation that make any structure strong and lasting.
Lord Jesus Christ is the Corner Stone, and the church is built on that Corner Stone with the Word of God as the Sure Foundation, and every believer is the living stone added to that strong foundation. So the Church stands solidly on these two elements of the strong foundation.