Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through Him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by His Spirit.Ephesians 2:20-22
Paul returns to the analogy of the building that he has used before. We met it in 1 Corinthians 3 (Gems 328 – 330). It is logical for Paul to pick up on this concept. He has been talking about the walls that separate us and now he puts those walls together so to speak. Now it’s d whole building rightly fit together. Clearly the presence of the temple of Diana in Efesus was an influencing factor too. It was a magnificent building and one that people came to see. We too are living stones (as Peter says) in the temple of God. In the Corinthian letter Paul talked about the building materials and said Christ is the foundation. No other foundation can be laid other than Christ. Here he has switched the focus. In this letter to the Ephesians, Paul refers to the apostles and prophets as the foundation and Christ is the cornerstone or foundation stone. Even though Paul seems to refer to two different foundations they are in reality one and same. The apostles and the prophets are also referring to or pointing to Christ, the Messiah. He is the beginning and the end of it. He is the foundation on which all else stands. Ephesians, you might look at the magnificence of the temple of Diana in Ephesians but we, the people of God are a magnificent building too. We are God’s house.
The point of focus here with this word picture is the way in which it is put together. Paul says “carefully joined together”. Other versions – fit framed together, joined together harmoniously, being fitted together, holds all the parts together. Paul appears to be referring to the frame-work of a building. The materials are accurately and carefully united by mortises and tenons. so that the building is firm. Different materials may be used, and different kinds of timber may be employed, but one part is fitted into another or dovetailed together without nails to ensure the whole building stays firm and rightly fitted together. It is the construction and the fit that is important here.
The different materials in this case are the Jews and the Gentiles; the people of various nations, who were separated and discordant, become are now united, and form an harmonious society. Some saints are the beams, some the rafters, others the pillars, but now all are in symmetry and proportion, and are joined together in the same way a building is. Once put together it is hard to take apart. Each load bearing beam is fitted into another and locked in place. You can’t take one part out without disturbing the whole. All is fitted or knitted together in Him. Yes I know you don’t knit a building but you get the point. All is dependent on Him.
Christ is the ἀκρογωνιαῖος [akrogōniaios] variously translated: cornerstone, keystone, most important stone.
We will look at this concept in the next Gem.
A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.Anon
A Christian unconnected to a local church is a disemBODIED soul.Rick Warren
Love God – Love your wife -Love your family – Love your church – Love people and watch how simple your life becomes!Brian Houston