The Building of God (Ephesians 2:21-22)
Scripture: Ephesians 2:21-22
These final verses in Ephesians 2 complete a most important chapter where Paul defines the church and who composes it. God has saved people who were previously dead sinners, alienated from God, and those redeemed people are the building stones being placed by God into His holy habitation. We discuss the terminology that Paul uses and how his words were carefully chosen to show the definition of the church as the people of God and how God is at work building His temple. The term used for "temple" denotes the inner court and holy place that is the very habitation of God. God now dwells in His people by His Holy Spirit. Paul says that this building is "growing." This leads to defining what church growth really is. Church growth happens when people are converted, not merely when religious consumers attend services in a building called a "church." We show how church growth advocates equivocate on the terms "church" and "growth." They are not speaking about the same thing Paul is. Their "church" is not the church as defined in the Bible. We reference Acts 19:24-28 where craftsmen in Ephesus were in an uproar because Paul's gospel was hurting their business. The false deity Artemis had a temple in Ephesus and much money was made creating shrines for it. The term "shrines" is the same Greek word Paul uses in Ephesus for the church being a holy sanctuary in the Lord. Paul's terminology in Ephesians 2 was pertinent to converted Jews who knew of the temple in Jerusalem and converted Gentiles whose religion had a temple for Artemis in Ephesus. Together, these saved Jews and Gentiles are where God dwells as a temple "not made with hands." We end by showing how Paul warned the Corinthians about the significance of the people as the temple of the Holy Spirit and how they should therefore treat God's people.
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