Here is my commentary on Ephesians 2:22. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site, http://www.new-life.org.au
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit
God is building something from the believers. it is described as a household, then a temple, now a dwelling place for God.
The word “you” here is plural, that is all of the believers not just one. All the believers in Ephesus of being built together in this project of God .
This is a big project. Sometimes the project might contain modules or parts which first have to be constructed from smaller components. A cupboard might come as a flat pack, and first must be built from its component parts. Only then can it take its place in the house.
The church is being built into a temple or a dwelling place for God. Our individual congregations are being designed to take their place in the church.
So we are being built together. The module is being constructed so that it can be slotted into its correct place .
We have to play our part by being community. We are being built together. For this to happen, I must learn to get on with, and to love unconditionally, those other people in the congregation.
We cannot claim to love one another if there are people we cannot talk to or we dislike. Being built together means that we have to learn to love. Being built together means that I have to learn to make room in my life for the bumps and irregularities in the lives of those around me, accommodating people who are different .
The outcome of this is a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.
Most of us are accustomed to the idea that, as individuals, we are vessels of the Holy Spirit. When I first gave my heart to the Lord, the Holy Spirit came into me. I became a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit .
Paul is saying that we together are meant to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Together we are the Temple of God. This is something much bigger .
The concept of synergy is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You are worth more then the basic chemicals that comprise your body. Your house is much more than a pile of bricks and timber stacked on a plot of ground .
In the same way, the church is more than a collection of believers. God is building a dwelling place, a place where He can abide and stay.
As all the individual Christians- bearers of the Holy Spirit- take up their rightful place in the church, God makes it something much greater. Whereas one person could not hold the glory of God, perhaps one billion can. While one person can carry a simple expression of God’s majesty, a billion can carry that many and more expressions of God’ majesty.
God’s plan was never to just redeem individual sinners. His plan was always to build those sinners into something greater- a tabernacle, a temple, a dwelling place.
God is dwelling with his people, in his people, among his people. He is not up there, out there, or any other place than right here where the people of God are right now.
If my prayers rise up to cover my household, then the prayers of christians in my town cover the city, and the prayers of believers in all the world cover the globe. The prayers of Gods people construct a net or tent of God’s presence. As we come together in Christ, the presence of God transforms the world as it transforms us.
The world becomes the Lord’s footstool by the prayers and worship of Gods people together.
Key points in this verse
- We are being built together
- The church is bigger than our congregation
- God is transforming the world as he transforms us