"In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place 
for God by the Spirit." Ephesians 2:22 ESV

Paul wrote many letters to churches, often upon hearing of troubles in those congregations. His letter to the church at Ephesus differs in that there was no specific problem that caused him to write. Ephesians 1:15, “For this reason”, is an indication that Paul wrote to the Ephesians to encourage and bless them. He wanted to share his prayer for them.

Chapters 1 through 3 consist of Paul teaching doctrine, and chapters 4 through 6 focus on how to apply that doctrine to our lives. Paul longed for the church at Ephesus to be grounded in their knowledge of the Gospel Message: SALVATION, GRACE, FAITH, HOPE, UNITY, PEACE, REDEMPTION, RECONCILIATION; and how these truths should be manifest in our lives…how we should live in response to the Gospel of Christ.

Ephesians 2:22 is just one of those doctrinal, truthful, statements from Paul, that should cause a RESPONSE from us. It should cause a response in our hearts, minds, and in our actions. What is your initial response as you MARINATE on this verse?

Ephesians 2:11-22

In the ESV translation of the Bible, the passage that includes Ephesians 2:22 is 2:11-22, and is titled “One in Christ”. Paul writes about the previous state of the Gentiles. They were “alienated…strangers…having no hope…without God” (v12). In Old Testament times there was a very clear distinction between Jews and Gentiles, with the understanding that Jews were God’s chosen people. However, after Christ, this new covenant relationship became available to ALL! There is no distinction. The gift of the Holy Spirit is poured out on ALL who choose to believe:

The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.” Acts 10:44-45 ESV

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 ESV

That includes YOU! God does not look down and see distinctions in class, gender, race, wealth, career…He looks down and sees your heart. God looks down and sees Jesus in every one of His children.

The theme of this whole passage is REDEMPTION and RECONCILIATION. 

Eph 2v11-22

REDEMPTION is the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus died, and HIS blood paid the ransom price for our sin, releasing us from the consequences of Spiritual death–separation from God.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)

RECONCILIATION is the change of relationship between us and God–when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are no longer alienated strangers, with no hope! We are united with Christ, and orphaned into the family of God as His children! What an INCREDIBLE change of relationship that is!!!

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:10-11 ESV)

This redemption and reconciliation through salvation makes us “members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19 ESV). Ladies, if you have recognized that you are a sinner, asked forgiveness for your sins, and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you are part of the most INCREDIBLE family!! No matter who you are, where you have come from, what your past holds, what your future holds…we are all sisters in Christ, and He is sitting at the head of the table!! Christ is the foundation that holds us together!

DWELLING PLACE!

Let’s look at some cross-references for Ephesians 2:22 to gain a wider perspective of what God is trying to tell us here.

“you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5 ESV)

Child of God…God is building Himself a temple (Hebrews 3:4) and YOU are a brick that He is using to build it, and He needs you! As you live and grow in your faith, and as more children of God come to faith, that temple is being “built up”.

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'”  (2 Corinthians 6:16 ESV)

WOW! Child of God…you ARE God’s temple. This verse includes a direct quote that God says to His people in Leviticus 26:12. God, through Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, is confirming that He will live among ALL Christians.

if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15 ESV)

Where does God live? He lives in His house, which is the church. What is the church? Is it God’s people…we make up the “church” (1 Corinthians 12:27; Colossians 1:24).

Child of God…you are a part of the church, the body of Christ, God’s temple, dwelling place…home. God is calling you to be not only be part of this, but to be alive and growing, continually building up by His power and strength, into a strong pillar of truth! This is His will and desire for you!

A Little Greek

"In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place 
for God by the Spirit." Ephesians 2:22 ESV

sunoikodomeó”: “built together” The original Greek word can be defined as “to build together” or “to build up together” – to “construct; compose”. It refers to several things (children of God) coming together to build up one whole (the church).

“katoikétérion”: “dwelling place; habitation; abode” This Greek word appears only TWO times in the whole of Scripture according to Strong’s Greek Concordance. When I looked up the second verse it appears in, my reaction was WOW!

“And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon
the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for
every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for
every unclean and detestable beast.” 
(Revelation 18:2 ESV) 

These two verses are in complete contrast to each other. There are two dwelling places. One of those is where the Spirit of the Lord makes His home, the other is where Satan and all things demonic make their home. It made me think of the contrast in Revelation 20:15: And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” God makes His dwelling place among those whose names are “written in the book of life”. Satan makes his dwelling place among those who are “thrown into the lake of fire”. 

There are only two options. There are only two dwelling places mentioned in the whole Bible. I am thankful that my name is written in the book of life. I am thankful that the Spirit of the Lord lives within me.

All those children of God whose names are in that book are, together, the church–the temple–the body of Christ. Child of God, the Spirit of God is bringing you together with other believers to be part of one body, so that He can make His dwelling place among you! Are you part of that body?

So What Now…

Do you look after your home? Do you keep it tidy? Do you care for all the people that live there? What about if someone in your family is suffering…do you ignore them, or do you come alongside them and help to build them up?

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-26 ESV)

We are ONE BODY. We are ONE FAMILY. Together we are being built up, and we are all individual bricks that are used to make God’s dwelling place. So…

"let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good
 works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
 but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the
 Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
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