Monday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 2:19-22

The New Temple of the Lord

Having spoke of the “one new man” created by Christ through his own blood whereby he has reconciled both Jew and Gentile unto himself through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, Paul now moves to that new living institution to which both groups now belong using the metaphor of a building or temple which they not only inhabit but are parts of the building itself.  This institution is, of course, the Church of Jesus Christ, and as I have said in other devotions, this passage shows us that our Lord’s Church—both universal and local—is no mere gathering of likeminded believers who happen to agree on some key doctrines and so worship and minister together in their community.  No.  The Church of Jesus Christ is something much more: It is that living and breathing impregnable structure of which he himself is the cornerstone—meaning that it shall never be moved.  And he has so graced this building, his temple, such that its foundation is of those apostles and prophets through whom he spoke (thus indicating that it is his word which they spoke that is more the foundation of the building than the men themselves).  Moreover, we ourselves, Jew and Gentile alike, are being built into the structure of this new temple as fellow citizens, neither group counted as aliens or strangers but each and every one received as a part of this building, people born from above through the shed blood of Christ.

And this new temple seems to grow.  As more and more come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, more and more precious stones are being added, which only enhances the luster of this new temple until that day comes when “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).  And the primary inhabitant of this temple is not the stones themselves but the Holy Spirit of God who animates (i.e., brings to life) the stones.

The disciples had come to Jesus saying, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”  But Jesus shockingly replied, “Do you see these great buildings?  There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Mark 13:1-2).  Such is the end of all earthly buildings, but the building that God builds shall endure forever.  And that building is called His Church consisting of both Jew and Gentile—all of those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ in faith.  No wonder Martin Luther wrote: “To me she’s dear, the worthy maid, and I cannot forget her; praise, honor, virtue of her are said, then all I love her better” (LW 53:293).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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