By Stan Brown
Ephesians 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
We have discussed the foundation. Now we get to the formation of the building. The verse begins and ends with Christ. The temple is being built in Christ (the word Lord is used in Ephesians in reference to Christ (see also 1:2,3,15,17; 3:11). The sphere in which this holy temple is being built is Christ. After all it is Christ who died for us which allows us to be the building blocks of this holy temple. This building that is being built is a living animated building as it is built with the building blocks of believers. It is a building that is growing as believers are continually being added to it as they come to know Jesus as Savior. It is a holy temple. The word translated temple, when referring to the physical temple in Jerusalem, is used to refer to the place where God dwells in that temple. It is a holy structure because Christ has made the building blocks holy through His shed blood. It is obvious that God is the builder of that temple as Paul writes being fitted together. Today stone structures use mortar to hold the stones in place. In Paul’s day stones were cut to fit together perfectly without mortar. It is God who fits us together perfectly in His building. We are not thrown together haphazardly. We are molded and united by the Master Builder. The word translated fitted together is used only here and in Eph. 4:16 where Paul uses the analogy of the body to describe the unity of believers (Eph. 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.)
I am struck by at least two things here. (1) The fact that God has chosen us to be united together in one unit. Paul uses analogies of both a holy building and a body to describe our unity and function as believers. In both cases imperfect humans are perfectly fitted together for His purpose. (2) I repeat what I said two verses ago. In his letter to the Corinthians, we are individually described as God’s temple, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you (1Cor. 6:19). Paul pictures both individual believers and corporate believers as being God’s temple (We are His dwelling place individually and together.)
ALL believers are currently being built into the holy temple where God dwells. I cannot help but be amazed by this. God has chosen people to be the place where he dwells. We are imperfect yet He crafts us together into one unity in Christ. The imperfect creature that I see when I look into a mirror and often drives other believers mad is crafted into that building (In fact, that imperfect creature often drives me crazy as well.). The imperfect folks (about whom I may say, “unbelievers are easier to get along with than they are”. And they may say the same about me) are crafted together into the same building in a manner where we fit perfectly together. This may be why Paul describes it as a continuing process but nevertheless we have been chosen by God as His dwelling place. We have been chosen by God as His message to the world. I sometimes don’t know how He expects to accomplish anything using us. Yet, it is the God of the universe who has chosen us to work together with Him and with each other to accomplish His perfect will. He does not need us but He has chosen us. He is an amazing God.