Intro: In chapter 2, Paul has emphasized the role of God's grace in salvation. In verses 1-3, he describes our lost condition. In verses 4 to 10, he talks about how amazing God's salvation is. Paul then points out to us that we were Gentiles. As a result, we were cut off from God's promises and provisions, verse 12. We were also cut off from the Jews, who were God's chosen people. They held the keys to pleasing God and the God-given Law. Nothing but condemnation and hopelessness existed for the Gentiles.
We were lost and headed for Hell in our natural state, just like the Jews were. They may have had God's Law, but they did not know who gave it to them. Both Jews and Gentiles perished. Paul informs us that we have been reconciled to God and one another through Jesus. Verse 13–18 describe how Jesus tore down the barriers that separated lost sinners from God and Jews from Gentiles. All people, Jew or Gentile, who would believe opened the door of salvation when Jesus died on the cross. Paul now moves on to talk about our relationship with God after telling us how God saved us and brought us together through Jesus. Paul talks about the magnificent temple of God in these verses. Paul talks about the temple that God is building with both Jews and Gentiles who have been saved. Our hearts should be challenged and encouraged by these truths. As we consider The Magnificent Temple of God today, let's pay attention to these facts. A "metaphor" is "a figure of speech in which one thing is laid over against another thing in order to make a comparison between the two." I. THE METAPHORS PAUL USES Ill. The metaphor was Jesus's to master. The following are a few examples of His use of this literary device: Matt. says, "Ye are the salt of the earth." 5:13. Matt. says, "Ye are the light of the world." 5:14. John 10:9, "I am the door," John 10:14, "I am the good shepherd," John 15:1, "I am the true vine," John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," John 6:35, "I am the bread of life," John 8:12, "I am the light of the world," John 11:25 says, "I am the resurrection and the life." Paul uses three metaphors to describe the children of God in this passage. The significance of these metaphors lies in how they emphasize our relationship with the Lord. Let's take a moment to discuss these valuable metaphors together. A. v. 19b: A Belonging's Metaphor Paul uses the phrase "now therefore." This refers to "subsequently, or as a result of this." This immediately brings our focus back to the verses that came before it. We are reminded of who we were prior to meeting the Lord Jesus Christ in the first section of this chapter. V. 1: We were dead. Verse 2 says, "We lived to serve the flesh and the devil." We are utterly wicked, verse 3. Verse 12 says that we were rejected by God, His promises, and His people. We were a people in terrible circumstances. We were separated from God and lost in our sins. Verse 3: We were literally doomed to Hell. Paul now declares that we are "no longer strangers and foreigners." Those individuals who "are not of one's family" are referred to as "strangers." Those who "are sojourners in a country that is not their home" are referred to as "foreigners." aliens.” Before we were saved by God's grace, those two words accurately describe who we were. We were always on the outside looking in as "strangers." Have you ever encountered a "stranger"? Have you ever been somewhere where neither you nor anyone else knew you? It's possible that you relocated, changed jobs, or attended a new school. That is how it feels to me. Between the third and sixth grades, I changed schools four times. In those brand-new schools, I was a stranger. I relocated to various states. I came from a different county to this church. I've experienced being a stranger. In a different town, a man once approached me and asked me where he was going. Because I was also a stranger in that town, I had to tell him that I had no idea where he was asking about. I was a stranger, so I didn't know where to go. I was unaware of the community's benefits; I didn't know how to get to things or where they were. To put it another way, I was ignorant of the situation. I didn't know much about where I was in my life at the time. Strangers are people with whom we are unable to interact. We are instructed to "never speak to strangers" when we are young. People you don't want to invite into your home are strangers. People you are wary of and suspicious of are strangers. Being a stranger is something we are familiar with. As both people in this world and aliens from God, we are familiar with that feeling. We are aware of what it's like to not fit in at God's house. We are familiar with the sensation of being separated from God. Being a stranger is something we understand! We are in a place where we do not belong as "foreigners." We are in another nation than our own. Culture, language, and nationality set us apart from other people. You know what it's like to be a foreigner if you've ever traveled to another country. When we were in Mexico last year, we needed to get a few things from a nearby pharmacy. It was clear that we were foreigners because of the language barrier. We were there during a significant celebration of the Virgin of Guadeloupe organized by Roman Catholics. Children would want to sing for donations each night and roam the streets in bands of three or four. I never understood the subject matter of their songs, which they sang in Spanish. Why? I was an outsider! I was a newcomer. I had no idea how they spoke, dressed, or behaved! because foreigners do not enjoy the same rights as citizens of the nation they are visiting. While a foreigner has no rights, they are citizens and enjoy the benefits of citizenship. A foreigner uses his passport to travel. He can only stay in that country with the government's permission, and they can deport him at any time. A "foreigner" may be more knowledgeable about his host nation than a "stranger," but his options are limited. We were, according to Paul, "strangers and foreigners" spiritually. We were considered "strangers" to God. We were unaware of Him and everything He could offer us. We weren't aware that those very things could be ours because we were on the outside looking in at God's blessings. We too were "foreigners." That is, we were near God's things but did not comprehend them. We would go to church, read a tract, own a Bible, sing a hymn, etc., However, because we did not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that could have saved us, we were not fully citizens of His kingdom. We lacked any spiritual standing or rights. We are now, however, "fellow citizens with the saints" because God has reached out to us and accepted us through Jesus Christ. This indicates that our citizenship has changed. We belong to a brand-new kingdom. We have returned home, joined the family, and are no longer "strangers and foreigners." We have rights, privileges, and responsibilities that non-citizens do not have because we are citizens of the United States. We are protected by our government as citizens. We are governed by our government as citizens. As citizens, we are required to pay our taxes and vote for our leaders. We have entered a brand-new kingdom because we were saved by grace. Our new national anthem is: Graceful Grace! Under a new flag, we march: Calvary's blood-stained flag! We are placed under His authority and protection as citizens of God's kingdom. We are no longer ignorant about God, His blessings, or what He can do for us as citizens. I understand what they mean when they talk about, sing about, testify about, and preach about Him! We are now citizens and have both rights and standing. We cannot be deported as citizens. We are no longer apart from God as citizens. We are citizens just like the rest of the saints, Illinois Matt. 8:11. We even have access to the King himself, Eph., as citizens. 2:18; Heb. 4:16. "We no longer live on a passport;," as Dr. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones put it. We have a certificate of birth. We do indeed belong. B. v. 19c: The Meaning of a Birth: We are both "fellow citizens" and "of the household of God." This indicates that we are not merely kingdom citizens; We also belong to God's family. We were "born again" when we were saved by God's grace, according to John 3:3, 7. Col. says that we were adopted from Adam into Christ. 1:13. Being a national citizen does not compare to this intimate relationship. As a citizen, I may be able to learn about the King and meet him, but as a son, I know him. Illustration: A king was having court in his throne room, according to the tale. The ministers of state, noblemen, and counselors of his were all present. There was a sudden loud banging on the door. Everyone turned their heads that way when they heard the clatter. A young boy ran into the room as soon as the door opened. The boy was attempting to stop when one of the royal guards said, "Here now, boy! Are you aware that you are interfering with your king's council? The young boy continued to run toward the king, to which the king responded, "He’s your king, but he’s my daddy!" He then jumped into his father's arms and ran! We rank above all others in the kingdom as God's children! Because we are His children, we always have access to our Father! In 1 John 3:1, John marveled at the elevated status enjoyed by followers of Jesus. He cares about our welfare because we are His children. He is moved by what you touch. Ill. Zech. says, "...for he who toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." 2:8. Luke 12:32 says that He will take care of you. C. v. 20-22: The Picture of a Building: In addition to belonging to the family and the kingdom, we are also a part of His building. The building metaphor is just one more way to describe the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed, verse 18. We are all citizens of the same nation. We were born into the same family as children. We are one with God and one another because we are all a part of the building. A kingdom's citizens may be divided. Take a look at America right now. All other Americans have the same citizenship, but our nation is very divided on many different issues. However, a building is unified in every way. Distance and circumstance can cause family members to be apart. Take a look at Casey Anthony's family. That family has been torn apart and will never be the same again. I have relatives with whom I haven't talked in years. Even though we are related, we are not close. However, the components of a building are interdependent. There is no space between the stones in a structure. The builder brings them together, places them where they belong, and they remain there. Stones are stacked one on top of another and placed side by side to form a single structure. Despite the fact that one stone came from one quarry and the stone next to it came from another, they are both components of the same structure. Either they stay together or the entire structure collapses. Therefore, Paul informs us that we are no longer strangers or foreigners. We both belong to the same kingdom. In addition, we are a part of the same family. More than that, we are all parts of the same structure, standing together in Him with a constant, powerful, and priceless closeness. There are Jewish and Gentile parts to this building. You came from a different place than I did. We have different histories, skills, interests, and approaches. Nevertheless, despite our differences, we have been united in Jesus Christ and given a unity greater than blood. A unity has been given to us that will outlast time. The kingdom will end. Families will fall apart. God is using stones like ours to build a building that will stand forever as evidence of His glory, grace, power, and honor! Paul uses metaphors like those. I. Paul's Use of Metaphors II. The lessons that we can learn from Paul's words are numerous and powerful. Permit me to present them to you today. A. There Is A Message Of Salvation: The expression "are no more" serves as a reminder to us that we are who we are and have in Jesus Christ because of God's grace in our salvation. We are a part of the kingdom; We are family members; We are also a part of the structure because God, through His grace, reached down to lost, worthless sinners like us, drew us to Himself, and through His grace, He saved us. We do not merit what He gives us. What we have in Him was not earned by us. God's grace is the source of everything we have and are in Jesus Christ, Eph. 2:8-9. Both a message of new beginnings and a message of salvation are in Paul's message. It conveys the profound transformations that Jesus Christ brings to every life He touches, 2 Cor. 5:17. "Are no longer...!" ill. We've changed, thank God! B. There Is A Security Message: In verse 20, our safety is mentioned. The "foundation of the apostles and the prophets" serves as our foundation. That is, the Bible is our solid foundation for our hope, faith, and salvation. The "apostles and prophets," or men of God, received the Word from God and passed it on to their generation. It was heard. They were saved because they believed it. They built on the information they had been given and shared it with the next generation. Therefore, the structure has been constructed generation after generation. I'm doing that right now. I do my best to adhere to the Bible and Gospel's accurate teachings. When some hear the preaching, they believe, which adds another generation. "The Chief Cornerstone" also contributes to our level of security. The most crucial component of ancient buildings was the cornerstone. It needed to be able to hold up the building that would come out of it. Since it would be used to measure every other part of the building, it also needed to be in the right spot. The cornerstone had to be perfect for the building to be square and level. The support, reference, and unifying element of the entire structure was the cornerstone. Without it, the entire structure would be out of square, out of plumb, and likely to collapse. Jesus Christ is the church's equivalent of a building's foundation. He is the most important part. Everything we build on that weak foundation will be wrong if we are wrong about Him. But if we know the truth about Jesus Christ, if we know who He is, and if we know what He did to make the church possible, everything we build will be strong, stable, and long-lasting. Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago to save His bride. That message was spread to their generation by the apostles and prophets, who then began to build upward and outward from that perfect foundation. The structure has been added to generation after generation, and it is still straight, solid, and sturdy today. The burden that is being placed upon Him can be supported by the Cornerstone that stands beneath the church. Every stone that has been added to this building is as straight and true as he is, and he was placed appropriately! He is building a church that has no flaws or spots. It is a flawless structure that demonstrates His goodness, power, and character! Isa. ill. 28:16; 1 Pet. 2:7, 9) C. There Is A Message of Success: God's building is not ours to construct. We would be doomed to failure if we were. The fact that someone else is building is made abundantly clear in verse 21. The "passive voice" contains the phrase "fitly framed together." It indicates that another person is building the structure. In order to build His temple for His glory, He is adding stone by stone. He selects the stones one at a time and places them precisely where He wants them, acting like a master mason. Our obligation is to remain pure and to continue introducing the Lord Jesus to each new generation. He gets some of his stones from here and there, but He always builds His temple with them. The "present tense" is used for the word "groweth." It indicates that the structure is constantly expanding. Acts 2:47 says that God is always building His house. Even though we don't see any new stones added to the temple today, the Lord has added stones to the structure somewhere. He has selected some from the quarry to incorporate into His structure. Gal., because of this, we must never give up on our work for Him. 6:9. The church's success is not our responsibility; He has control over it. We must have faith that He will construct what pleases Him correctly! I. Paul's Use of Metaphors II. The Message Paul Communicates The miracle Paul describes is ill. I see a few miracles in this building that God is building with His grace that we should not miss. A. The Miracle in Our Redemption: I've already mentioned this, but the stones didn't want to be a part of the building. They are chosen by the builder. When the builder looks at the stones, he selects the ones he wants. We should still be in the quarry with the other stones, which is the miracle of our redemption. But God reached down to us in His grace and brought us to Himself for His own purposes, saving us from our sins and putting us in the building, Ephesus. 1:4; 2:8. Why He chose to love me is beyond me. Why He chose me to be a part of the body of Christ is beyond me. Why Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for me is beyond me. But I do know this: I don't have to comprehend it to be happy about it! For the miracle of redemption, I praise God! B. The Miracle That Saved Our Rehab: When the builder reached out and grabbed a stone, he had to shape it so that it would fit in the spot he had chosen. Using his hammer, the builder would reshape the stone by chipping off small pieces until it was just right. After that, He would relocate it. With us, it's the same. We were a mess when God came to us and saved us by His grace. He has been reshaping us into His image ever since that moment by chipping away at everything He does not want. His ultimate objective is for us to imitate His Son, Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 4:13. Although the process of chipping is unpleasant, the end result will be worth the pain! God's process of building includes everything from setbacks to minor annoyances to minor frustrations. He transforms us into His likeness as He finds us. He is constructing "a sacred temple." He is not constructing a muddled heap of misplaced stones. He is building the church, a beautiful temple! Every stone will be in place when the building is finished, and each one will appear to belong there! C. The Miracle at His House: Verse 22 says, "built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit," and this is the miracle that we are. The fact that, when we are saved, we become "living stones," 1 Pet., is the real miracle of everything. 2:5. In Jesus, we are made alive, and as a result, we become the Temple of the Holy Spirit (Col. 12:13; 3:16-17; 6:19. He comes to be a part of us! A permanent residence is referred to by the term "habitation." When He enters our lives, He makes us into His temple. Additionally, He takes us as individuals and integrates us into the world's larger spiritual temple. I profess faith in Jesus Christ. Because of this, I am His temple. In the church, also known as the body of Christ, I am also a "living stone." As a result, I share a holy temple with all other believers for God's glory. In order for God to bring us to life as a living testimony of His power and glory, He constructs His church out of the shattered stones of this world! By including "living stones" like you and me in His temple, He shows the world, which is lost and dying, His grace and power. That is amazing! Take note of the term "holy temple" we used. We were saved by God and set apart from the world. When His temple brings honor and glory to His name, nothing brings Him more glory than that. Conc: "Through the blood, the suffering flesh, the cross, and the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, aliens become citizens, strangers become family, idolaters become the temple of the true God, the hopeless inherit the promises of God, those without Christ become one in Christ, those far away are brought near, and the godless are reconciled to God," Dr. John MacArthur stated. The reconciliation of men to God and men to men is contained therein. “[i] There is good reason to worship and praise the God whose name saved us. You might need to come help with that. You might have to come to get saved. Please follow His call to action if He has spoken to your heart today!

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