You are built together (Eph. 2:22)

“In Christ,

You also

Are being built together

Into a dwelling place

For God

In the Spirit.”

ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε εἰς κατοικητήριον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν Πνεύματι.

Paul said, “In Christ (ἐν ᾧ), you also are being built together (καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε) into a dwelling place (εἰς κατοικητήριον) for God (τοῦ Θεοῦ) in the Holy Spirit (ἐν Πνεύματι).”  Only this Ephesian letter used this unique word συνοικοδομεῖσθε, that means to build together.  Paul explained that we have to build together with Christ this new dwelling place for God the Father in the Holy Spirit.  The new every expanding, non-static spiritual Church of Christ must continue to grow.  We have a part in the building of this new temple to God so that God, the Father, his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit may dwell in us and in our new ever expanding spiritual temple.  Are you developing God’s church?

The growing holy temple (Eph. 2:21)

“In Christ,

The whole structure

Is joined together.

It grows

Into a holy temple

In the Lord.”

ἐν ᾧ πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ συναρμολογουμένη αὔξει εἰς ναὸν ἅγιον ἐν Κυρίῳ,

Paul said, “In Christ (ἐν ᾧ), the whole structure (πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ) is joined together (συναρμολογουμένη).  It grows (αὔξει) into a holy temple (εἰς ναὸν ἅγιον) in the Lord (ἐν Κυρίῳ).”  Only this Ephesian letter used this unique word συναρμολογουμένη, that means to fit together or compact.  Paul explained that this new spiritual structure will take the place of the old Jerusalem Temple.  This new spiritual church structure is joined together around Jesus Christ.  It will continue to grow into a holy temple for the Lord, Jesus Christ.  We need to water and nurture this temple to help it increase and grow.  Do you help the Christian church to grow?

Christ is the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)

“God built

Upon the foundation

Of the apostles

And prophets.

Christ Jesus himself

Is its cornerstone.”

ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ προφητῶν, ὄντος ἀκρογωνιαίου αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ,

Paul said, “God built (ἐποικοδομηθέντες) upon the foundation (ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ) of the apostles (τῶν ἀποστόλων) and the prophets (καὶ προφητῶν).  Christ Jesus (Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ) himself is its cornerstone (ὄντος ἀκρογωνιαίου αὐτοῦ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐποικοδομηθέντες, that means built upon a foundation.  Paul explained that God built his church on the foundation of the Christian apostles and prophets.  Jesus Christ was himself the cornerstone of this new spiritual church temple.  The cornerstone was the first stone set into a building, so that everything was built around it.  This was the important key stone for the whole building.  The foundation and the cornerstone of this new spiritual church edifice has been laid.  The Christian community has its foundation and keystone in place, Jesus Christ.  Our task is to simply build on it.  Do you build on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ?

You are members of God’s house (Eph. 2:19)

“So then,

You are no longer strangers

And aliens.

But you are fellow citizens

With the saints

And members

Of the household

Of God.”

ἄρα οὖν οὐκέτι ἐστὲ ξένοι καὶ πάροικοι, ἀλλὰ ἐστὲ συνπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων καὶ οἰκεῖοι τοῦ Θεοῦ,

Paul said, “So then, you are no longer strangers (ἄρα οὖν οὐκέτι ἐστὲ ξένοι) and aliens (καὶ πάροικοι).  But you are fellow citizens (ἀλλὰ ἐστὲ συνπολῖται) with the saints (τῶν ἁγίων) and members of the household of God (καὶ οἰκεῖοι τοῦ Θεοῦ).”  Only this Ephesian letter uniquely used this word συνπολῖται, that means a fellow citizen.  Only the Pauline letters used this word οἰκεῖοι, that means seen or perceived, of one’s family, domestic, or intimate.  Paul explained that the gentile Christian Ephesians were no longer strangers or aliens.  They were fellow citizens with the Israelites.  They were now the saints and intimate members of God’s household.  They were like the Israelites of old.  They were God’s chosen people, part of his family.  All this was achieved through Jesus Christ.  Do you feel that you are part of God’s chosen people?

Access to the Father (Eph. 2:18)

“Through Christ,

We both have access

In one Spirit

To the Father.”

ὅτι δι’ αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν οἱ ἀμφότεροι ἐν ἑνὶ Πνεύματι πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα.

Paul said, “Through Christ (ὅτι δι’ αὐτοῦ), we both (οἱ ἀμφότεροι) have access (ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν) in one Spirit (ἐν ἑνὶ Πνεύματι) to the Father (πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word προσαγωγὴν, that means bringing to, approach, access, or admission.  Paul explained that Jesus Christ made it possible for both Jewish and gentile people to have access to God the Father in one Holy Spirit.  Thus, this was a Trinitarian work.  The Son of God enabled us to approach God the Father through the Holy Spirit.  Do you feel that you have access to God?

Peace to those near and far (Eph. 2:17)

“Christ came.

He proclaimed

Peace to you

Who were far off

And peace to those

Who were near.”

καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐηγγελίσατο εἰρήνην ὑμῖν τοῖς μακρὰν καὶ εἰρήνην τοῖς ἐγγύς·

Paul said, “Christ came (καὶ ἐλθὼν).  He proclaimed (εὐηγγελίσατο) peace (εἰρήνην) to you (ὑμῖν) who were far off (τοῖς μακρὰν) and peace (εἰρήνην) to those who were near (τοῖς ἐγγύς·).”  Paul explained that the message of Christ when he came to earth was peace.  He proclaimed this peace to those like the people of Ephesus who were far away as well as peace to the Jewish people who were near to him.  The Jewish people were near to Christ, since he lived among them.  The gentiles, on the other hand, were far from Jesus in the various parts of the world other than Israel.  Are you near or far from Jesus?

Christ put hostility to death (Eph. 2:16)

“Christ reconciled

Both groups

To God

In one body

Through the cross.

Thus,

He put

That hostility

To death

Through the cross.”

καὶ ἀποκαταλλάξῃ τοὺς ἀμφοτέρους ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι τῷ Θεῷ διὰ τοῦ σταυροῦ, ἀποκτείνας τὴν ἔχθραν ἐν αὐτῷ·

Paul said, “Christ reconciled (καὶ ἀποκαταλλάξῃ) both groups (τοὺς ἀμφοτέρους) to God (τῷ Θεῷ) in one body (ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι) through the cross (διὰ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  Thus, he put to death (ἀποκτείνας) their hostility (τὴν ἔχθραν) through the cross (ἐν αὐτῷ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀποκαταλλάξῃ, that means to reconcile completely or change from one state of feeling to another.  Paul explained that Christ reconciled both the Jews and the gentiles into one body through his cross.  They were all now united to God, since Jesus Christ with his death and resurrection on the cross had put an end to the hostility between the Jewish and the Greek people.  Jesus Christ brought peace and reconciliation to all.  Do you try to reconcile people in your life?

Christ has abolished the law (Eph. 2:15)

“Christ has abolished

The law

With its commandments

And ordinances.

He creates

In himself,

One new humanity

In place of the two,

Thus,

Making peace.”

τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν καταργήσας, ἵνα τοὺς δύο κτίσῃ ἐν αὑτῷ εἰς ἕνα καινὸν ἄνθρωπον ποιῶν εἰρήνην,

Paul said, “Christ has abolished (καταργήσας) the law (τὸν νόμον) with its commandments (τῶν ἐντολῶν) and ordinances (ἐν δόγμασιν).  Thus, he creates (κτίσῃ) in himself (ἐν αὑτῷ), one new humanity (εἰς ἕνα καινὸν ἄνθρωπον) in place of the two (ἵνα τοὺς δύο), so making peace (ποιῶν εἰρήνην).”  Paul explained that Christ has abolished the Jewish law with its commandments and ordinances such as circumcision and the various dietary laws.  Thus, God created one new man instead of two separate men.  There would be peace, since they would not be any longer separated by God.  Jews and gentiles would live in peace with Jesus Christ.  Do you try to live in peace?

Christ has broken down the wall (Eph. 2:14)

“Christ is our peace.

In his body,

He has made

Both groups

Into one.

He has broken down

The dividing wall

Of the hostile fence.”

Αὐτὸς γάρ ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν, ὁ ποιήσας τὰ ἀμφότερα ἓν καὶ τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ λύσας, τὴν ἔχθραν, ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ αὐτοῦ

Paul said, “Christ (Αὐτὸς γάρ) is our peace (ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν).  In his body (ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ αὐτοῦ), he has made both groups into one (ὁ ποιήσας τὰ ἀμφότερα ἓν).  He has broken down (λύσας) the dividing wall (μεσότοιχον) of the hostile (τὴν ἔχθραν) fence (τοῦ φραγμοῦ).”  Only this Ephesian letter uniquely used this word μεσότοιχον, that means a middle wall, partition wall, or barrier.  Paul explained that Christ has brought peace, a spirit of reconciliation between the two divided groups of Jews and gentiles.  Paul said that the two groups had now become one.  This may have been an aspiration rather than a reality.  Christ had broken down the dividing wall, perhaps an allusion to the Jerusalem Temple with the division between the outer and inner court.  Some signs in the Temple indicated that gentile intruders would face the death penalty.  Christ had now broken down this partition or dividing wall of hostility.  The fences or the walls were torn down, since all were one in Christ.  It was easier said than done.  Have you built a wall around yourself?

Near and far (Eph. 2:13)

“But now in Christ Jesus

You who once were far off

Have been brought near

By the blood of Christ.”

νυνὶ δὲ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ὑμεῖς οἵ ποτε ὄντες μακρὰν ἐγενήθητε ἐγγὺς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Paul said, “But now in Christ Jesus (νυνὶ δὲ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ), you (ὑμεῖς) who once were far off (οἵ ποτε ὄντες μακρὰν) have been brought near (ἐγενήθητε ἐγγὺς) by the blood of Christ (ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ).”  Paul explained that things have changed.  These gentiles who once were far off from Jesus Christ have been brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Yes, they certainly were estranged from God and far away from Jesus Christ.  Now, however, God has brought them near by the blood of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection.  They now had access to God via Jesus Christ.  They were no longer distant strangers but close up friends to Jesus Christ.  Are you close to Jesus Christ?