Brought into the Family

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Ephesians 2:19-22

. . . no longer strangers and aliens. (2:19)

In conquering an early example of racism, not based on skin color but the distinction of gentiles against Jews, and of Jews against all the rest of mankind who are “outside the Law,” Jesus has made us his followers all one people. He has “broken down the dividing wall . . . that he might create in himself one new humanity” (vv. 14-15).

Again, the contrast: gentiles are “no longer strangers and aliens but you are citizens.” Then Paul changes the metaphor. The church, an international commonwealth, a multiracial family (v. 19), is also a unified building (vv. 20-22). In Christ we are one building, with one foundation laid, one cornerstone that secures and holds the whole edifice together, united in that we are all just “stones.” This is the secret, the “mystery” that God had kept hidden—which reminds us that God has his own plans and neither reveals nor explains everything to us.

Two thoughts about this building. First, we are built together into this holy temple, and so become holy by our contact with other holy people, as those who touched the holy things in the Old Testament became holy too (see Exodus 29:7). Second, and breathtakingly, as God’s Temple we become the dwelling place of God himself, as the Holy Spirit comes to live in each of us.


Father, help me welcome others as sharers together in your grace.