Friday, August 31, 2012

Verse for Today - Ephesians 2:19,20 (Click for mini-blog)

Ephesians 2:19,20

"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,

Read all of Ephesians 2

These two verse from Ephesians 2 are important.  They anchor a number of essential truths that affect how we're supposed to think about ourselves, the Church, and the Scriptures.

1. Ourselves.  The Book of Ephesians is written to essentially a "Gentile" church.  Most of the members were not of Hebrew or Jewish descent.  They are no longer "strangers and foreigners" but "fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."   In other words, they are not second class citizens, but are fully on par with other members.  While this might not sound like that big a deal, it really is.  It identifies believers (regardless of race) as belonging to God... as those who have been bought and paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The Church.  The Church is composed of individual believers who become inter-related with each other..."fellow citizens and members of God's household" or family.  Pretty remarkable.  These words describe the core of our identity.  We really, truly, and genuinely become co-heirs with each other through the Gospel of grace in Christ.

3. The Scriptures.  Here's the zinger.  1 and 2 are amazing, but don't yet distinguish those who assume they are the Church from those who actually are.  3. The Scriptures are the only foundation on which the Church is built.  "The Foundation of the apostles and prophets" is the objective standard of the Word of God, such that our relationship to them determines our relationship to God.

Not everything that calls itself the Church is.  Only those who hold to the Scriptures and its message are true.  Paul affirms this in Ephesians 4:4f "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism...." And with earnestness in Galatians 1:8 when he says, "But even  if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."    

So be like the Bereans in Acts 17 and search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so.  :)

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