in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:21-22 ESV)
In today’s passage Paul continues to use the metaphor of a building to describe the eternal family that God is creating through the human race. The “in whom” refers to Jesus who we saw yesterday is the one upon whom God is building, for He (Jesus) is the cornerstone.
The words translated “being joined together” are one word in Greek: συναρμολογεο (pronounced: soon-ar-mol-og-eh’-o). In the original language this word implies skill and intention. God does not work haphazardly. He has a plan and He is working towards that plan. That plan is to create a family that will last for all of eternity.
The interesting thing about this building is that its construction never ceases; new stones (believers) are constantly being added. Jesus was the first stone – the cornerstone. The rest of the stones began to be added on the day of Pentecost when God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, indwelt the first New Testament believers [Acts 2:1-4]. Construction continues today and will not end until God raptures His children from the earth sometime before Jesus returns to earth.
We know from elsewhere in the Bible that every believer is a temple in which God physically resides [Romans 5:5, 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19 et. al]. Today we read that the entire structure (i.e. family) that God is building is symbolically like the Temple that existed in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that God resided and met with His people. So, too, does God reside among His family of believers and He will do so for all eternity. We are being built into “a dwelling place for God by the Spirit”.
God will dwell with us in the form of (“by”) the Holy Spirit. Here is another verse in Scripture that clearly equates God with the Holy Spirit. There is only one God. He manifests Himself in 3 forms (i.e. “persons”): God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Many faiths including Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and Scientology (to name just a few of the more recognizable ones) deny the Trinity.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, deny the Holy Spirit is God but if you read their website, they offer no rationale as to why they think this way other than to imply that since the Trinity can’t be understood it must not be true.
Just because a concept is difficult to understand does not mean that it is false. Just like young children cannot understand much of the adult world, we cannot understand everything about the spiritual world.
How God indwells the human body of a believer is inexplicable. But that does not mean it isn’t true. We can’t reject the teachings of God (the Bible) just because we can’t understand it all. Frankly, if we could understand everything about God then He wouldn’t be God – we would be.
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