Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
1. A NEW NATION
- We were strangers and foreigners.
- We are now fellow citizens with the saints of God.
Philippians 3:30 – “For our conversation (life, citizenship) is in heaven; from where we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 11:9-10 – “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Hebrews 11:13-16 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
2 Peter 3:13 – “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
Revelation 21:27 – “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
2. GOD’S FAMILY
- Revelation 21:27 NU-Text and M-Text read anything profane, nor one who causes.
- Adopted as his sons
Romans 8:15-17 – “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…..”
Hebrews 2:11 – “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
1 John 3:1 – “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
- Privilege of responsibility and service.
Matthew 12:50 – “For whoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 10:43-45 – “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
John 13:14 – “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Romans 12:10-11 – “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”
Gal. 6:2, 10 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
3. GOD’S BUILDING
- Jesus is the Chief cornerstone.
- The cornerstone is the first stone laid.
Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”
Hebrews 5:9 – “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”
Hebrews 2:10 – “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
- The cornerstone is the supportive stone.
1 Corinthians 3:11 – “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
- The cornerstone is the directional stone.
1 Peter 2:6-8 – “…Behold I say in Zion, a chief cornerstone elect, precious; and he that believes on him shall not be confounded…”
4. A LIVING AND GROWING ORGANISM
- Christ is a living stone.
1 Peter 2:4-5 – “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
- The church must grow.
Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….”
Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth
Acts 4:20 – For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
Acts 5:20 – Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
- Each believer within the church must fulfill their function of bringing new stones to fit into the temple of God.
2 Timothy 2:2 – “And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.”
5. A WORLD-WIDE TEMPLE – THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
“The whole building”
Matthew 16:18 – “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
6. A LOCAL TEMPLE – THE LOCAL CHURCH
“You (the local church) are being built together”
Romans 12:4-5 – “For as we many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
1 Cor. 12:12-28 – “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And 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.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”
7. INDWELT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
John 14:17 – “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because neither sees him nor knows Him; but you know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
Romans 8:9 – “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
1 Corinthians 6:19 – “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
2 Timothy l:14 – “And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”