A dwelling for God!
Scripture reading for September 23rd: Ephesians 2:1-22
God does everything with a purpose in mind. God knew His plans for us before creation. (Ephesians 1:4) God knew how these plans would be accomplished and is still active in bringing them to completion. One of His stated desires was to dwell intimately with His people and be their God. (Jeremiah 31:33-34) He chose to accomplish this through sending His Son, Jesus Christ to provide redemption and forgiveness of sins. His further plan was to send the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, to dwell within each believer. (Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit is a guarantee of our full redemption when God’s plan is fully completed to bring all things in heaven and earth under Christ. (Ephesians 1:9-10)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) God’s grace is at work through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. He has made us into a new creation. He is the Master Craftsman working on us from within to work in us God’s grace. He leads us into the things of God and reveals Christ to us. He prepares us for the good works God wants us to do and shows us what they are. We must chose to walk in them.
God is taking both Jew and Gentile into this plan through the blood of Christ. The two are no longer separate, but by faith in Christ they are now one! Both have access to God by the Spirit and both have become children in God’s house. This house included the apostles and Old Testament prophets and Jesus Christ Himself the chief cornerstone! (Ephesians 2:20) “In Him the building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21-22)
God’s plan included all nations, not just the Jews. God’s plan was outlined in former times before Christ by the prophets and now is being preached by the apostles. We who know Christ and believe are joined with those of faith to become a dwelling place for God–the new temple!