Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018.01.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 2:19-22

Questions for Littles: What are we no longer (v19a)? What are we now (v19b)? Upon what foundation has this house been built (v20a)? Of whom are these apostles and prophets an extension (v20b)? When the building is fitted together this way, what does it grow into (v21)? For whom is this temple a dwelling place (v22)? How is it that God dwells in us? 
This week’s Call to Worship, Invocation, and Confession of sin came from Ephesians. Today’s devotional considers one of those passages from which they came. At this point in Ephesians, the apostle has just been talking about how the Lord has reconciled not only sinners to Himself, but especially how in Himself, He has reconciled sinners to each other.

This turns out to be important not only for our own well-being and interaction, but especially because of what the Lord has intended for us to be since before the world even began: monuments to the praise of His glorious grace! (see 1:6, 1:12, 1:14).

Why is it so important that we no longer be foreigners but rather fellow citizens of the same kingdom? Why is it so important that we no longer be strangers but rather members of the same household?

Why is it so important that we be able to say of the folks in the church, more than we would say of anyone else, “these are my people, and this is my family”?

Because the temple of the glory of the Lord is being built by Christ’s fitting us together in Himself. If we refuse to be fitted together—if we resist one another, refuse to cover over things in love, treat one another with contempt or even just indifference… if we are harsh, or take offense easily, or fail in gentleness and tenderheartedness… if we keep a record of wrongs or refuse to believe all things and hope all things… then like Sanballat and Tobias of old, we are setting ourselves up against construction progress on the temple of the Lord.

Nothing can be added to the foundation now. The apostles and prophets—extensions of the Lord Jesus who is the cornerstone—have come and gone. There is no other building; the Lord has chosen this one for Himself.

How petty would we have to be to value our pride over the glory of the Lord Himself? How short-sighted would we have to be to give little value to the Lord growing and building us into Himself so that we may be the dwelling place of God in the Spirit?!

Lord, help Your church to see that glory to which You have called us!
What are you doing to help or to hinder the unity of the church?
Suggested songs: ARP87 “The Lord’s Foundation” or HB437 “The Church’s One Foundation”

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