The Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets
“And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” — Ephesians 2:17-22
In the passage quoted above, the household of God, the Temple of the Lord, is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone. But it is interesting to note that the whole structure “grows into a holy Temple in the Lord.” This structure grows. It is alive. The walls of the Temple God is rebuilding are a living entity, and we are the building blocks of these walls if we stand on the foundation of Jesus, together with His apostles and prophets. We are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Holy Spirit. In the past, we may have been strangers and aliens to God, but in His mercy He has brought us near and knit us together by his Holy Spirit into one Body. And He has incorporated us into this household where he has built a foundation in the Church, firmly established on the apostolic and prophetic ministry of the Body of Christ. This structure only holds together if we remain in relationship with the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. And if we remain in Him He will continue to build us together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
In Isaiah 60:18, the prophet gives us a vision of the New Jerusalem that he has received from God. In that vision, the prophet tells us, “You will call your walls salvation, and all of your gates will be praise.” There is no salvation outside of this living Body of Christ’s Temple. And when we live together, fashioning our lives as a righteous dwelling place for God by the Spirit, our lives will redound to the praise of His Glory. It is an inviting image, and one that we hope the world will witness and desire for themselves.
This new Temple that God is creating, is a living entity, and it will only work if the building blocks stand firmly rooted to the foundation, and stick closely together. St. Paul says in the passage above that “You (that is a plural: “y’all”) also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” As we make our pilgrimage through this Lenten Season, let us remain open, humble, and repentant, so that He may build US into that holy structure.