Ephesians 2:19-22

The Dwelling Place of God


Question for you to consider today:

A) Is the Church a place that you go to – or is it a something that you are a part of ?


B) Is the Church a club that you participate in or a Family to which you belong .


C) When you talk about your Church – is it the building you drive to or is it a body that you are a member of .


D) Those are interesting questions in our day and age – Many people “Do Church” – Once a week – Fulfill the Spiritual part of their lives

1) A lot of people go to Church – They go to be fed / they go out of a sense of spiritual duty – they go for their kids /


But the thing that the NT makes very clear is that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ – the Church is something you are a part of

A) When you opened your heart to Jesus : Jesus came to dwell in your heart by His Spirit – But something else happened – Mystical – Mysterious


B)  You were placed IN CHRIST& IN HIM - you became a part of something Bigger than yourself – THE CHURCH OF JC


C) We are continuing our in-depth look at the in Christ statements found in the first 3 Chapters of the Book of Ephesians – Wed [ V by Verse ]

1) In the verses we have just read – Paul gives us some key insights into this thing that we call the Church.  Note 4 important things


#1 We are a Family v.19 Members of the household of God

A) Notice that Paul  begins with a negative. "You "are no longer strangers and foreigners { No longer outsiders


B) When it came to the family of God – that is what we were – S/F/O

C) What is a stranger? We have all experienced that before – You travel to a different state – new city – don’t know where everything is

1) First time in Yugo – dropped off in the middle of the night – didn’t know where we were / Howard & Eddie were around the block ………


D) Once we were strangers, says the apostle. We did not know what God could do for us.

1) We had no idea of the resources of peace and joy and forgiveness – that were available to us


E) But no more, he says. Now that we have come to Christ we are no more strangers.  Now we are well acquainted w/ the things of God


And we are no longer foreigners, either. A foreigner is different than a stranger.

A) A foreigner may be very familiar with the country in which he lives.


B) He may have lived there for years and may be fully acquainted with the possibilities of it.

1) But he is limited. He is all alien; he has no ultimate rights. He is living on a VISA


C)  He does not have a birth certificate which makes him a citizen of that land. – No rights / no privileges – he is limited


This is very descriptive of many people in churches. They attend church regularly, sometimes study the Bible, they are familiar w/ the Songs 

A) The language of the Church is very familiar to them – but because they have not surrendered their hearts to Christ – still foreigners


B) They can’t experience the blessings of Being in the family of God !!!


C) But Paul says – that is not our Place in Christ we are no longer Strangers & foreigners – Now we are members of the household of God

1) Citizenship in the Kingdom & Access to the Father / Rights

D) And being a part of the household of God means that we are now a part of wonderful family – The Church


Consider for a few minutes how the Church is like a family

A) It is a place where love is present: Nothing more special touching seeing a family that loves each other


B) Husband and Wife – look & sparkle in their eyes when they look at each other

1) Love of a parent for their children – Love of siblings

2) Aaron – talking to Amanda – Any boy ever hurts her – He is going to knock their block off – THAT IS MY BOY


C) Family that rallies around a member who is sick or in need –

1) Great to see that


 Romans 5:5   the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

A) God has placed His love in us – because His spirit in our hearts – He works in us – in such a way – Start to love others


B) The love of God in the Church is a beautiful thing to behold – how people who hardly know each other – { Common bond – caring }

1) Rally around each other – Awesome thing to behold


C) So the Church is a place where love is present .


The Church is also a place where  encouragement is given

A) Sometimes one of my kids comes home after a rough day at school or a bad game – they are upset – crying – discouraged


B) And maybe they have been holding it in all day : Suddenly they get home and it just all comes out

1) Denise or I or both of take them aside – Work of encouragement starts to happen – Building them up –

C) That isn’t very different from what often happens here –

1) After service – up front – Prayer – IN the counseling offices

    In the home fellowships


D) 2 Cor 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God


The Church is also a place Peaceful refuge

A) Some days are busy – sometimes in this world is to get drained feel thrashed – spent or beat up


B) My home is my Sanctuary – Favorite times – being together w/ my family – Watching a movie – playing  a game – reading


C) Just great to be together like that – place of rest – turn on the answering machine – put away the cell phone – Relax { goof around

1) Families need down time like that –


Well the Church Should be that type of place for those in the family of God – OASIS

A) A place where we can come – Sanctuary – place where we can be refreshed – Peace from the chaos / rest from the constant – on the go


B) Place to be Nourished – place to gain perspective – be reminded about what our priorities should be – what is most important


C) Place where the weary can be built up again


A place where people work together :

A) Saturdays family Chore day: We all have a job to do – get it finished so that we can do something fun -  Group effort


B) Well the Church is definitely the same – Group effort

Phil 1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel


C)  So First we are a Family members of the Household of God


#2  We are a building -  Not a building that we come to – but we make up the Building – the House  of God

v.20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord


A) In ancient days when a builder was going to build a Building – start w/ the Cornerstone


B) A cornerstone was the most basic and essential part of a building, from which the proper placement & alignment of every other part was determined. 1) If the cornerstone was imperfectly cut or placed, the symmetry & stability of the entire building would be adversely affected.


C) It had to be strong enough to support what was built on it, and it had to be precisely laid, because every other part of the structure was oriented to it


D) The cornerstone was the support, the orienter, and the unifier of the entire building.

1) That is what Jesus Christ is to God's kingdom, God's family, and God's building.


He is the Cornerstone

A)He is the Rock that we have built our lives upon rock of our lives –


B)  TRIED STONE Isa.28:16 A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;


C) The  word tried  was commonly used to describe “metals” which are tried in the fire to test their quality /

   1)The idea is, that God would lay for a foundation not a stone whose

       qualities are unknown, and whose stability might be doubtful,


D) but one whose firmness and stability were so fully known, so that the 

     foundation and the structure would be secure.

1) Our lives are built upon a ROCK that is immovable / no matter the storm the trial that comes – We stand ON HIM!!!!


So Jesus is the Cornerstone – but Peter  in his epistle gives us some insight into our place in this building -

A) 1 Peter 2:5-6  Peter declares that you & are living stones who are being built together as a spiritual house


B) Paul says here in v.21 In Christ we are being fit together –

1) fitted together) refers to the careful joining of every component of a piece of furniture, wall, building, or other structure.


C) Every part is precisely cut to fit snugly, strongly, and beautifully with every other part.


D) We are being fit together – by the Lord – Church as a whole & this Church individually – Every person has a place – importance


Is there anything that is more Beautiful than the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ – A building built of Souls – a structure made of hearts

A) There is no Structure like it- Jesus Delights in it


B) So pleased is God in the architecture of his church, that he has rejoices over his church as he never did with the world.


C) When God made the world he heaved the mountains, and dug

the seas, and covered its valleys with grass; birds of the air

1) and all the beasts of the field; He made man in His own image

D) And when the angels saw it, they sang together & shouted for joy.

1) But God did not sing; He exclaimed that it was very good-  But there was no song


E) But listen to what Zeph the prophet declared in Zeph 3:17 about His Church

17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty one, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing."


Isa 62:5 as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,

So shall your God rejoice over you.


Our Wedding Denise came down the isle – Sing Hallelujah – I was rejoicing over my Bride -

A) That is God – looks at us His Bride – And He rejoices – He sings

Man in love – sings a song to His beloved –


B) God’s heart sings at the site of His Church - God himself looking at his church: so fair and beautiful is the structure,

1) that he sings over his work, and as each stone is put in its place,


C) So In Christ - The Church is a Family – the household of God

 – the Church is a Building – a structure of souls – a building of hearts

1) Living stones being fit together by the Lord Himself


#3 The Church is the Dwelling place of God v. 22 in whom ( In Christ) you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

A) Understand – it is not the Building that He inhabits but the people in the Building


B) There may be great beauty in an uninhabited structure,- A few weeks ago – I went to the dedication service of CCSD – my friend Pastor Brian Newberry


C) Great new Facility – Impressive – well done –neat design – I got some ideas – for our facility – It was impressive – yes


D) But really made it awesome – When you went into the Sanctuary there saw the people – began to worship –


E) That was the Church – The Dwelling place of God – not in a Building  but in the people who came to the building – Diversity of people

1) Excitement of the People – awesome time of Rejoicing


There are times when I come here on a Wed night – thrashed from the week and stuff going on – tired – discouraged

A) I get here early – walk into this room – I don’t feel anything – I don’t feel the presence of God –


B) But then body starts to show up – enter act with people – my heart is encouraged – Worship starts – Crying out to God in Song


C) The Bible tells us that God seeks after worshippers – Seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and in truth

1) and when He finds them – he inhabits the praises of His people


D) That means that He is enthroned upon their Praises – He enters that place – His presence is felt –


I can’t count the times when my spirit is just radically lifted – by the Presence of God in all of you

A)  I can’t count the times people have come to me and told me how much they sensed the – pretense of God in this place


B) What were they sensing – some holy aura that just kind of hovers over the stage – somehow comes out of the speakers & light fixtures ?– No

1) They were sensing the Presence of God and the spirit of God – Present and real in your lives


So the Church is a family / a building – The dwelling place of God

One more thing:   not mentioned but true – HOSPITAL

A) The Church is not a country club for the well off and affluent but a hospital for the hurting – place of healing for the sick


B) Place where lives are rebuilt – restored – that which is broken is set in place { Jesus is the Great Physician – Master Healer


(Isa 61:1-3 NKJV) "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,  To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

Two older men were talking about their health problems while at their church. “My new doctor doesn’t just treat the symptoms, he treats both the mind and the body.”

“Hmm,” the second man grunted and thought for a moment; then he asked, “Does he give a discount if the mind is already gone?”

C) Jesus is the great Physician who renews the mind – heals broken hearts – mends crippled lives / rebuilds broken marriages


D) We are the patients – but we are also the nurses / the Phrygian assistants – Ministers of Grace / Vessels of healing

1) God’s word & the love of the spirit are the medicine


E) The Church is a Hospital for the Hurting and the Broken

1) Our goal is to take them to the great Physician – the master healer and encourage them to sit at his feet – lay their burdens before him


F) To place their hearts in his nail scarred hands – surrender their lives to the one who Gave himself to redeem them / Bleed to cleanse them

So that is what we are because we are in Christ – We make up this beautiful and dynamic Structure called the Church

A) A Hospital for the Hurting / The Dwelling place of God – a holy Habitation / Building – structure made of souls & hearts / Family


B) I pray that we wouldn’t take for granted this wonderful thing – that God paid a high price for – in order to make us a part of it


C) Not a part – Pray – become a part of it today !!!!