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The Church – A Dwelling Place for God

In the wonderful book of Ephesians the church is symbolized as a building. In the building of this house we see God’s part in building this house (temple) and we also see our part. Understanding what is our part and what is His part is very impotent. We never want to try to do something that is God’s part and vice-versa.


At the end of Ephesians Paul makes a few profound statements.

In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:21-22)

That word “being fitted together” literally means a framing together. The Master Builder, God Himself, chooses each piece and where they should go. In other words, He chooses each of us in the church and fits us where He sees best. The word “being built together” means “to build” and “with.” God and the Trinity work together with us to build the house.

Now, take note of something very important about those two words that I highlighted. They are both found in the passive voice. This means that the church is on the receiving end of what God is doing. He, the Master Builder, chooses, fits and builds the house as He pleases. That is wonderful but you may be asking what your part is in the building of the church? I am glad you asked.


Skip over to Ephesians 4.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the EQUIPPING of the saints for the work of ministry, for the EDIFYING of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what EVERY JOINT SUPPLIES, according to the effective working by which EVERY PART DOES ITS SHARE, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (vv.11-16 – emphasis mine)

Here we see the purpose of the five-fold ministries. We also see what the rest of the church functioning, causing growth in the body. First, we see that the 5-fold ministries are there to equip. The Greek word katartismos means to “furnish, make fit.” It can also be translated as “perfecting.” Then we have edifying, which means to “build up.” Those are functions of those ministries.

Then we see the functions of the rest of the body. This is often overlooked but as every part of the human body is important so is each member of the church. “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what EVERY JOINT SUPPLIES.” Every joint is the one who prays in church, shows compassion, or who visits the elderly in a nursing home. There are many more such possible examples we could list.

When EVERY PART DOES ITS SHARE the body grows. The key is that each of us know our place and walk in it. In Eph 2:10 we learn “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” We are His workmanship and created for good works. How about that for good news?

Many are unaware of their place in the church. Pray this simple prayer: Lord, show me my place. Fit me as You see fit. Give me revelation as to my ministry then give me the grace to walk in those good works. In Jesus’ name.

Now for the most beautiful part of this. We have the privilege of having God Himself dwell in us. See it: “In whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:22) That is what’s its all about – housing His presence! What was Solomon’s Temple without God’s presence? Nothing. You see, as we function as we were called to we are building a habitation for God Himself. Think on that!

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