So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
(Ephesians 2:19-20 ESV)
The word “because” in today’s passage indicates that what follows is the explanation of what was written prior. Yesterday we read how Gentile believers became part of God’s family just like Jewish believers. What brought these two people groups together was not political solutions, or the United Nations, or bumper stickers exhorting them to coexist. They were brought together by Jesus Christ.
From the very moment Adam & Eve sinned God had a plan to reconcile the now wayward human race to Himself through a messiah [Genesis 3:15]. As this Old Testament verse attests, His entire plan is based on the person and work of Jesus, the incarnation of His only son.
The goal of God’s plan is to create an eternal family, metaphorically referred to as a building in this verse and the ones to follow. The “cornerstone” of that building is Jesus.
Before modern architectural practices, a cornerstone was the first stone laid when building a masonry structure. It had to be precisely cut and placed, as every other stone in the structure would be placed in relation to it. If it was not correct, the entire building would be compromised.
Likewise, the family that God is building is based on the work and person of Jesus. The foundation (the teaching of the apostles) and every stone (each believer) has Jesus as its reference point. By design, therefore, every member of God’s family is in a relationship with Jesus.
This is extremely important because it tells us that any attempt to be with God eternally apart from Christ will fail. All belief systems that don’t have Jesus as the reference point – atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and all the others – can’t deliver on their promises.
But we must also be careful about some churches which claim to be built on Christ but are not such as Mormonism, Unitarianism, and Catholicism. Jesus is the truth [John 14:6]. Everything He said – about Himself, about us, about God, about heaven and hell – is true. If any church takes away from Jesus’ teachings or alters them in anyway, as these (and others) have, they are not building God’s eternal family. They are actually keeping people out of it.
To know if the teaching of a church is true, all we need to do is see if it confirms what God has told us through Christ. And we find that out in the Bible. Jesus is the Word – He is the incarnation of God’s written truth (the Bible) [John 1:1,14].
Any church that denies any part of the Bible – such as homosexuality being sin or hell not existing – is a false church. Following their teachings will lead a person away from God [Proverbs 14:12, 16:25; Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 7:21-23].
All truth points back to Jesus. If one is not believing everything Jesus said and stood for then that person is living in a condemned building that is destined to collapse.
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