Ephesians 2:21
In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
Gospel Reconciliation - its Subjects, Agency, and ResultsD. Thomas Ephesians 2:11-22
The Spiritual TempleR.M. Edgar Ephesians 2:11-22
Union of Jews and Gentiles in the Christian ChurchR. Finlayson Ephesians 2:11-22
The Christian TempleW.F. Adeney Ephesians 2:19-22
A New and Physical MetaphorA. Barry, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
Believers are TemplesF. W. Robertson, M. A.Ephesians 2:20-22
Believers God's HabitationPaul Bayne.Ephesians 2:20-22
Christ a BuilderA. Maclaren, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
Christ the CornerstoneA. Barry, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
Christian UnityAnonymous.Ephesians 2:20-22
God's TempleW. J. Chapman, M. A.Ephesians 2:20-22
Growth and PermanenceT. Carlyle.Ephesians 2:20-22
Growth in HolinessD. L. Moody.Ephesians 2:20-22
Home SymbolsSunday Teacher's TreasuryEphesians 2:20-22
Inhabited by the Holy SpiritJames Freeman Clarke.Ephesians 2:20-22
Jesus Christ HimselfC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 2:20-22
Jesus Christ Himself the Marrow and Essence of the GospelC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 2:20-22
Jesus Christ Himself the Proof of the GospelC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 2:20-22
Jesus Our RockJ. H. M. D'Aubigne, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
Living TemplesE. Blencowe, M. A.Ephesians 2:20-22
Necessity of HolinessEphesians 2:20-22
The BuildingA. P. Perceval, B.C. L.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Christian ChurchJ. Lathrop, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Christian TempleJ. A. James.Ephesians 2:20-22
The ChurchEphesians 2:20-22
The Church, a BuildingH. Foster, M. A.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Foundation of the Apostles and ProphetsA. Barry, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Growth of the New KingdomJohn Pulsford.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Growth of the StructureJ. Eadie, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Rival BuildersClerical AnecdotesEphesians 2:20-22
The Spiritual BuildingIsaiah Birt.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Spiritual TempleA. F. Barfield.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Tabernacle of the Most HighC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Temple of the FaithfulPaul Bayne.Ephesians 2:20-22
The True FoundationT. L. Cuyler, D. D.Ephesians 2:20-22
Thy Spiritual BuildingPaul Bayne.Ephesians 2:20-22
Truth -- a Strong FoundationJ. Vaughan, M. A.Ephesians 2:20-22
The Church a Holy TempleT. Croskery Ephesians 2:21, 22

It is elsewhere called" a spiritual house," composed of "living stones," built upon him who is a living Stone laid in Zion, elect, precious, though rejected of men (1 Peter 2:4, 5). Each believer is a living stone, dug out of the quarry of nature, hewn by the Word and ministry, laid in the foundation, and built into the heavenly structure. The Church is God's building, not man's. There are four things observable in the apostle's account of this blessed structure.

I. IT HAS A GOOD FOUNDATION. Built on the foundation of "apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Cornerstone." It is built on the foundation that apostles and prophets laid, namely, on Jesus Christ himself, who is at once Foundation and Cornerstone: "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 3:11). This was the Foundation which the apostle was always laying: "I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon" (1 Corinthians 3:10). But it was God himself who laid this stone in Zion: "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief Cornerstone, elect, precious" (1 Peter 2:6). The foundation is not, therefore, in man, but in God, not in Rome, but in heaven. Therefore it is an indestructible building. Jesus Christ is called "the chief Cornerstone,' which has its true supporting-place in the foundation, because it is the binding-stone of the building, holding two walls because it is built into both. Perhaps there is a reference to the union of Jews and Gentiles in Christ, who has made both one, and thus builds the whole number of believers into the glorious temple, and bears the weight of the whole structure.

II. IT IS FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER. It is not a mere heap or mass of heterogeneous materials.

1. The materials must be prepared for their place in the building so as to promote its unity and compactness. All the members of the Church must first be joined to Christ as the Foundation, and then cemented to one another by love. Thus their unity gives beauty as well as strength to the structure. "Happy, indeed, the stones that God chooses to be living stones in this spiritual temple; though they be hammered and hewed to be polished for it by afflictions and the inward work of mortification and repentance."

2. The members are to have each their proper place in the building. Thus only can it become a compact structure. Some have a higher, some a lower place; some are appointed to teach, others to be taught; some to lead, others to be led; some to counsel, some to execute; but all the stones are to keep their due place, and thus grow up into a holy temple, "edifying itself in love" (Ephesians 4:16). The Lord requires stones of all sorts and sizes, the smallest as well as the largest, for his temple; and it ought to reconcile us to our respective positions, that it is the Lord's own hand which not only fits us into our place, but keeps us there.

III. IT IS IMPERFECT BUT STILL GROWING. "It groweth into an holy temple." It is growing by the accession of new stones, or by the addition of new members, and by the addition of new graces in the individual members. Provision is made for a vast increase in its size and height, but as it is fitly framed together in its growing dimensions, it will lose nothing in symmetry and strength by its continuous elevation.

IV. THE END OR DESIGN OF THE BUILDING. "For a habitation of God." When we build houses, it is that men may dwell in them. Thus the Church is the temple of God. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16). "I will dwell in them, and walk in them" (2 Corinthians 6:16). Thus "we will be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19). Thus we have the true temple of the Father, built in the Son, inhabited in the Spirit, the offices of the three blessed Persons being distinctly pointed out: God the Father in all his fullness dwells in, fills the Church; that Church is constituted to him a holy temple in the Son; is inhabited by him in the ever-present indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


1. Think of the safety and glory of the church. Christ is its Foundation. All the stones are knit to the Cornerstone. It is well proportioned, because the Holy Spirit is the Architect; it is vast in its proportions, for it is spread over the earth; and it is inviolable, for it is devoted to the Lord.

2. Think of God dwelling in the Church. The Christian is an epitome of the Church. He is himself a temple of the Holy Ghost.

(1) What condescension in God to dwell in human hearts! "It is a marvel that the habitation he has chosen for himself is an impure cue."

(2) What a fearful thing it would be to be in collision with such a God!

(3) How careful we ought to be not to defile this temple! We ought to live purer lives, to breathe a sweeter air, to open our hearts to all that is heavenly.

(4) What an awful thought, that the holy God dwells in our unholy hearts, watching us in our secret moments, and reading our very thoughts!

(5) Yet let us remember with gratitude and love that "the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy," selects his dwelling-place "with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit." - T.C.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

1. A Church must resemble a family or city, in respect of order and government; for without these a religious society can no more subsist, than a civil community or a household.

2. In a city or household all the members have a mutual relation, and partake in the common privileges; and, though they are placed in different stations and conditions, they must all contribute to the general happiness.

3. In a city, and also in a family, there is a common interest.

4. In a well-ordered city or household there will be peace and unity: so there ought to be in a Christian Church.

II. THE MANNER IN WHICH IT IS FOUNDED. The mediation of Christ is the foundation of our faith and hope.




(J. Lathrop, D. D.)


1. The foundation is Jesus Christ — the foundation of the apostles and prophets, i.e., which they laid. It was laid in the promises, types, and prophecies of the Old Testament, and the witness of apostles and evangelists in the New (John 3:14; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Matthew 16:16).

2. The foundation of the Church must be the foundation of each member of the Church. The essence of a foundation lies in its strength. The foundation in individual character is truth. Truth is a Person — "I am the Truth." The foundation, therefore, is the truth concerning Jesus Christ believed, loved, and lived. The gospel thus received becomes a principle which forms the mainspring of a new life.


1. Look abroad upon the face of the world, and note the advances which the Church is making in all parts. The very hindrances to missionary work prove its success, for the more active the servants of God are, the more active the agents of Satan will be.

2. The building must rise in each heart. Growth is almost the only proof of life. The growth of the temple is due to the operation of the Spirit.

3. In most forms of life there is an exquisite symmetry. We see something of it in this temple: "fitly framed together." As there is a beautiful proportion in the doctrines of the gospel, so, though God's servants are many and their gifts various, their aim is one; and through their united wisdom and love and effort, all the building groweth into a. holy temple in the Lord.


1. We may refer the consecration to the end of the age, because consecration usually follows upon completion.

2. But even now there is to a certain extent a consecration of this building (1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:16). How shall I know this?(1) By self-consecration. Yield yourselves unto God (Romans 6:13), not simply your brain, pen, money, influence, but "yourselves." God wants the man — the whole man.(2) By God-consecration. He who gives himself to God will surely find God giving Himself to him, consecrating His temple by His presence, and indicating that presence by holy aspirations and a Christ-like disposition, by meekness and gentleness, by self-denial and zeal. He who is spirit taught and spirit wrought will be such a temple as the great God of heaven will not despise.

(W. J. Chapman, M. A.)

Like a building, the Church of God has been going on to the present day, and will do to the end of time. The honour and. stability of this building.

1. As built upon Christ.

2. As wrought by the Spirit.

3. As an habitation of God. "Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in," etc. (Psalm 68:16). "In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion (Psalm 76:2). This denotes —

(1)His knowledge of them.

(2)His concern for them.

(3)Their access to Him.

(4)His readiness to help them.God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved, etc. (Psalm 46:5). Each member in Christ has his state and office in the Church by God's appointment, for promoting the good and glory of the whole. "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets," etc. (Ephesians 4:11, etc.). "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body," etc. (1 Corinthians 12:18). No spiritual life and salvation without being united to Christ by faith.

(H. Foster, M. A.)


1. Strangers to God. To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Ephesians 2:12).

2. Strangers to the Word of God (Psalm 119:158).

3. Strangers to the Church of God (1 John 3:1).

4. Strangers to themselves (Revelation 3:17).

5. Strangers to the enjoyments, fears, duties, privileges, persecutions, and prospects of a Christian (1 Corinthians 2:11).Foreigners.

1. Naturally of another race (Psalm 51:5).

2. Under the authority of another prince (2 Corinthians 4:4).

3. Of a totally different complexion (Jeremiah 13:23).

4. Speaking another language (Psalm 58:3).

5. Seeking other interests than God (Philippians 2:21).

6. At an infinite distance from the celestial kingdom, where only true happiness rests (Ephesians 2:13).

II. THEIR ADOPTED OR PRIVILEGED CONDITION. "Fellow citizens," etc. The city they belong to is either the Church below, or the Church above.

1. It is the city of God (Hebrews 12:22).

2. Of God's building (Psalm 127:1).

3. Where He dwells (Psalm 68:16).

4. Which is strongly fortified (Isaiah 26:1).

5. It is delightfully situated by the river of God's love (Psalm 46:4).

6. Endowed with various privileges (1 Corinthians 3:21-23).

7. Peopled with high-born inhabitants (John 1:13).The Church of God above.

1. This is a city of God's preparing (John 14:2, 3).

2. There He has His more especial residence (1 Corinthians 13:12).

3. The inhabitants are angels and saints (Hebrews 12:22, 23).

4. Of this city we are also citizens (Galatians 4:26).

5. Set apart by the Father's grace (Jude).

6. By the work of Christ in their behalf (Hebrews 10:14).

7. And by the agency of the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5).

8. And having a right to a name and a place in the Church on earth; so have they their citizenship in heaven (Job 16:19).

9. This they have not by birth, nor purchase, but by the free grace of God, which gives them both a right and meetness (2 Timothy 1:9).

10. And believing Gentiles are here made equal with the Jews in the blessings of salvation (Ephesians 2:14).And of the household of God.

1. The Church of God consisting of believers (Acts 5:14).

2. This family is named after, and by Christ (Ephesians 3:14, 15).

3. Of this family God is the Father (John 20:17).

4. Christ is the first-born (Romans 8:29).

5. Ministers are stewards of this house (1 Corinthians 4:1).

6. To this family all believers belong (Acts 4:32).

7. Not by birth, nor merit, but by adopting grace (Ephesians 1:5).

8. The members of this family are freed from all bondage (Romans 8:15).

9. They can never be arrested or condemned (Romans 8:1).

10. They have liberty of access to God (Ephesians 2:18).

11. Share in the fulness of Christ's grace (Ephesians 3:19).

12. Are well taken care of (Psalm 145:20).

13. They are richly clothed (Isaiah 61:10).

14. They have plenty of provisions (Psalm 36:8).

15. And are heirs of a never-fading inheritance (1 Peter 1:4, 5).

III. THE FOUNDATION AND CORNERSTONE ARE CHRIST. "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets."

1. The Father saved them designedly in Christ (2 Timothy 1:9).

2. The Son saved them positively in Himself (Hebrews 10:14).

3. The Spirit saves them apprehensively in Christ (Titus 3:5).

4. Christ, then, is the foundation of the Church (Matthew 16:18).

5. He is the foundation of all covenant blessings (Ephesians 1:3).

6. Of faith (Acts 20:21).

7. Of hope (Colossians 1:27).

8. Of peace (Ephesians 2:14).

9. Of joy (Romans 5:11).

10. Of comfort (2 Thessalonians 2:17).

11. Of glory (Jude 1:25).

12. The stones of this building are hewn out by the Word, and the ministers of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:7).Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

1. He joins together Old and New Testament saints (Ephesians 2:14).

2. Saints above and saints below (Hebrews 12:23).

3. Saints in all parts of the world (John 11:52).

4. This stone is refused by many (Psalm 118:22).

5. Yet a durable and precious stone (Isaiah 28:16).

6. It is a foundation cornerstone, reaching under the whole building to the four corners (1 Corinthians 3:11).

IV. THE PERFECTION OF THE BUILDING. "In whom all the building fitly framed together."

1. All the building — The universal Church of Christ (Acts 4:12).

2. Fitly framed — Is of a spiritual nature (Colossians 2:19).

3. It consists of various parts as a building does (Romans 12:4, 5).

4. Fitly or closely joined to Christ by living faith (Galatians 2:20).

5. Banded to each other by Christian love (1 John 4:7).

6. These are all set in the Church in exact symmetry and proportion (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).Groweth into a holy temple in the Lord.

1. It grows by the accession of elect souls, newly called by Divine grace (Acts 2:47).

2. It is not yet openly and visibly completed, but it will be in the calling of the Jews and the fulness of the Gentiles (

When the immense stone piers of the East River bridge were begun, three or four years ago, the builders did not attempt to manufacture a foundation. They simply dug down through the mud and sand, and found the solid bedrock which the Almighty Creator had laid there thousands of years ago. It is a wretched mistake to suppose that you need to construct a foundation. "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Your own merits, however, cemented by good resolutions, will no more answer for a solid base than would a cart-load of bricks as the substratum of yonder stupendous bridge. God has provided for you a cornerstone already.

(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)

For a whole week, riot only bishop but all the priests and friars of the city (Exeter) visited Bennet night and day. But they tried in vain to prove to him that the Roman Church was the true one. "God has given me grace to be of a better Church," he said. "Do you know that ours is built upon St. Peter?" "The Church that is built upon a man," he replied, "is the devil's Church, and not God's."... At the place of execution he exhorted with such unction, that the sheriff's clerk exclaimed, "Truly this is a servant of God!" Two persons, going up to the martyr, exclaimed in a threatening voice, "Say, 'Precor sanctam Mariam et omnes sanctos Dei.'" "I know no other advocate but Jesus Christ," replied Bennet.

(J. H. M. D'Aubigne, D. D.)

In these verses there is a sudden change from a political to a physical metaphor, possibly suggested by the word "household." The metaphor itself, of the Church as "a building of God" — frequently used in the New Testament reaches its full perfection in this passage.

1. It starts, of course, from the words of our Lord (Matthew 16:18), "On this rock I will build My Church"; but in the use of it sometimes the prominent idea is of the growth by addition of individual stones, sometimes of the complex unity of the building as a whole.

2. The former idea naturally occurs first, connecting itself, indeed, with the still more personal application of the metaphor to the "edification" of the individual to be a temple of God (found, for example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:23; 1 Corinthians 14:4; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 10:8). Thus in 1 Corinthians 3:9, from "ye are God's building," St. Paul passes at once to the building of individual character on the one foundation; in 1 Corinthians 14:4, 5, 12, 26, the edification of the Church has reference to the effect of prophecy on individual souls; in 1 Peter 2:5, the emphasis is still on the building up of "living stones" upon "a living stone" (Comp. Acts 20:32).

3. In this Epistle the other idea — the idea of unity — is always prominent, though not exclusive of the other (as here and in Ephesians 4:12-16). But that this conception of unity is less absolute than that conveyed by the metaphor of the body will be seen by noting that it differs from it in three respects first, that it carries with it the notion of a more distinct individuality in each stone; next, that it conveys (as in the "grafting in" of Romans 11:17) the idea of continual growth by accretion of individual souls drawn to Christ; lastly, that it depicts the Church as having more completely a distinct, though not a separate, existence from Him who dwells in it. (On this last point compare the metaphor of the spouse of Christ in Ephesians 5:25-33.) Hence it is naturally worked out with greater completeness in an Epistle which has so especially for its object the evolution of the doctrine of "the one Holy Catholic Church."

(A. Barry, D. D.)

My brethren, it becomes of the utmost importance to inquire, Have we a place in this spiritual building? Are we daily striving, as St. Jude exhorts us, to "pray in the Holy Ghost," and to "build up ourselves on our most holy faith"?

I. That we may know what our state is, what our hope towards God, let us, first, ask ourselves, Am I resting on the sure foundation? St. Paul tells us what it is: "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

II. Again: let us ask ourselves, Do we bear always in mind that we are called to be "a holy temple in the Lord," "an habitation of God through the Spirit"?

1. A temple gives us the idea of dedication. Do we look upon ourselves as those who are set apart unto holiness, and ought not to be conformed unto this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God?

2. A temple also gives us the idea of God's immediate presence (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19). This is a thought full of awe, and full of comfort. God is present in the hearts of them that believe, not as He appeared of old in the Temple at Jerusalem, shining above the mercy seat in a cloud of glory such as man's eye could see (John 14:23). And how should we regard our mortal body, if we believed it to be the temple of the Spirit of God?

3. A temple gives us the idea of continual service.

4. That the work of grace ought to be advancing in us. For what says St. Paul? "Growing unto an holy temple in the Lord."

(E. Blencowe, M. A.)

Temples have always excited feelings of the deepest interest in the human race. They generally contain within themselves, and in the materials with which they are constructed, much that is beautiful and grand. They form a kind of middle step between earth and heaven, where faith and sense meet and unite to indulge in contemplations suited to their varied powers and capacities. The Greeks and the Romans were perhaps the most superstitious people in the world, they covered their land with the most bewitching forms of their idolatry; their temples were of the most costly and splendid description. Among all the temples of antiquity, none were equal to the temple at Ephesus dedicated to Diana. It was the boast of ancient Greece, and one of the wonders of the world. Upwards of two hundred years elapsed during its construction, many sovereigns assisted in its progress with no small portion of their revenues. And it was considered peculiarly sacred in consequence of the figure of Diana which it possessed; and which popular report ascribed to Jupiter as his donation. To check the enthusiasm, and in some degree to extinguish the admiration which, notwithstanding the power of Christianity, still lingered in the minds of some members of the Ephesian Church, it is supposed that the apostle used the words of our text in his Epistle to that Church. He there places in contrast to the temple of Diana another fabric in every respect infinitely superior — the Church of God: while the former temple was built upon wooden piles driven into the earth, the latter rests upon the writings of the apostles and prophets; while the materials of the former were all earthly, the materials of the latter are, by the grace of God in the regeneration of the human mind, spiritual and Divine; while the former was devoted to the rites of idolatry and superstition, the latter is sacred to the service of the true and living God; while the former could only boast of the image of its goddess, the latter has the presence, the indwelling presence of its own Maker — the Creator of the world. Other persons, however, imagine that the allusion here made is not to the temple of Diana, but to that more sacred fabric erected by Solomon upon Mount Zion. This was heavenly in its design, gorgeous in its material; it was the residence of Jehovah, and the type of the Christian Church. The Church, then, in this passage is set forth under the figure of a temple; we shall consider —

I. ITS FOUNDATION. Prophets and apostles are here associated, Their theme was the same. The prophets predicted the Messiah who was to come, and the apostle recorded the history of the Messiah who had come; the one foretold the redemption to be accomplished, the other wrote of redemption finished and complete. And thus together they form a magnificent communication made from the invisible to the visible world; they resemble together the cherubim upon the ark of the covenant, turning their faces towards each other, and both together towards the mercy seat.

II. THE SUPERSTRUCTURE OF THIS TEMPLE. It often happens in the history of human affairs and transactions that men lay the foundation without being able to raise the superstructure; not so, however, with God. The building will rise and it will be equal to the basis.

1. We shall consider the nature of the material of which the superstructure is to be composed. The Apostle Peter has a very beautiful description of it in the second chapter of his first Epistle, at the fourth and fifth verses, "To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious." "Living stone." The superstructure resembling the foundation, the foundation equal to the superstructure.

2. We will notice the symmetry of the building: "fitly framed together"; not a heap of misshapen ruins huddled together into a mass of inextricable confusion; not a clumsy fabric raised by joiners and masons without skill; everything is arrayed in beautiful order, all the parts dove-tailed into each other, everything is fitly framed in its proper place, and rightly connected.

III. I come now, in the third place, TO THE DESIGN OF THE BUILDING. It was to be "an habitation of God through the Spirit." Now let us consider the presence of God in the Church — in this building. It is an invisible presence, there is no sound of thunder like that which indicated His dwelling upon Sinai; no cloud of glory like that which indicated His presence with Israel is here; He is spiritual. He is a Spirit and must have a spiritual house. But it is a real presence, and here is the real presence in the Church.

(J. A. James.)

You will observe that the historical order — which is the order of time — is inverted, and the "apostles" are placed before the "prophets." And for this reason: because, in the sentence, we are descending the "foundation." The "apostles" are laid on the "prophets," and the "prophets" are laid on "Christ." This is the way that our faith touches God. The Bible rests on God — we rest on the Bible: so we reach God. It will not be out of place if I take occasion to say here to you what I often say to those whom I have under instruction — what are the four great proofs of inspiration?

1. The presumptive proof, of which I have been speaking — that we should expect that, when God has made such a creature as man, He would give to that creature some revelation of Himself.

2. The internal evidence. The authorship of the books of the Bible spreads over a period of nearly sixteen hundred years. There is one pervading current of thought. How could that agreement be, unless it had been dictated by some one Master-mind? And what could that Master-mind be, but God?

3. The external evidence. This book — from beginning to end — is full of prophecy. Could any human mind, unassisted, have done that? Could any but God do that? Then God wrote the Bible.

4. The experimental evidence. The book exactly fits the heart. I feel it when I read it; whoever made my heart made that book. The two must have one origin, and that origin must have been God. Thus, then, I arrive at the firm conviction that "the apostles and prophets" are a "sure foundation" on which to build our creed and our salvation, being themselves built on "the chief cornerstone." We get, then, at the "foundation" of "truth," "truth" in its two-fold strength — "prophetic truth," "apostolic truth"; "prophetic truth" representing the Old Testament, — "apostolic truth" representing the blew Testament — and both on Christ. What is "prophetic truth"? Taken in its broad outline, it is this: the affairs, the destinies of this world all under the one watchful eye, and the one superintending hand, of Almighty God. To Him, all time is one unbroken now. And "apostolic truth" is this. This world has been the scene of a great mission. Christ, the Son of God, has been here, and He hath been careful to extend and perpetuate the knowledge of His mission, and all its benefits by missionaries, whom He hath sent to all the world.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

1. Faith makes us lean on Christ, as a building on a foundation. Our faith must not be a swimming conceit, but an assurance, making us stay on our God.

2. The Church is built on Christ. The firmness of the house is according to the sureness of the foundation. How impregnable, then, is the Church! (Matthew 16:19; Psalm 125:1).

(1)The standing of Christians is sure.

(2)How insecure is the condition of wicked men.

3. The gospel builds us on no other foundation than that which was laid by the prophets from the beginning. The first preaching differs from the last not in substance but degree; we believe through our Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, even as they. There never was but one way of salvation. The sun rising, and at noon, differ not in substance. Christ is the kernel of both Testaments; blossom and ripe fruit.

4. Whatever is to be believed, must have prophetic and apostolic authority.

(1)Be not deluded with traditions.

(2)Stand not too much on the authority of men.

(3)Praise God for the fulness of Scripture.

5. We must rely on Christ for a sure foundation to uphold us. As one would cling by a rock, so must we by Christ. Peter and others are builders: Christ alone is the foundation. Let there be no mistake as to this.

(Paul Bayne.)

In spite of much ancient and valuable authority, it seems impossible to take "the prophets" of this verse to be the prophets of the Old Testament. The order of the two words and the comparison of Ephesians 3:5 and Ephesians 4:11 appear to be decisive — to say nothing of the emphasis on the present, in contrast with the past, which runs through the whole chapter. But it is more difficult to determine in what sense "the foundation of the apostles and prophets" is used. Of the three possible senses, that(1) which makes it equivalent to "the foundation on which apostles and prophets are built," viz., Jesus Christ Himself, may be dismissed as taking away any special force from the passage, and as unsuitable to the next clause. The second(2), "the foundation laid by apostles and prophets" — still, of course, Jesus Christ Himself — is rather forced, and equally fails to accord with the next clause, in which our Lord is not the foundation, but the cornerstone. The most natural interpretation(3), followed by most ancient authorities, which makes the apostles and prophets to be themselves "the foundation," has been put aside by modern commentators in the true feeling that ultimately there is but "one foundation" (1 Corinthians 3:11), and in a consequent reluctance to apply that name to any but Him. But it is clear that in this passage St. Paul deliberately varies the metaphor in relation to our Lord, making Him not the foundation, or both foundation and cornerstone, but simply the cornerstone, "binding together," according to s instructive remark, "both the walls and the foundations." Hence the word "foundation" seems to be applied in a true, although secondary sense, to the apostles and prophets; just as in the celebrated passage (Matthew 16:18) our Lord must be held at any rate to connect St. Peter with the foundation on which the Church is built; and as in Revelation 21:14, "the foundations" bear "the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." It is true that in this last passage we have the plural instead of the singular, and that the passage itself, is not, as this is, a dogmatic passage. But these considerations are insufficient to destroy the analogy. The genius, therefore, of this passage itself, supported by the other cognate passages, leads us to what may be granted to be an unexpected but a perfectly intelligible expression. The apostles and prophets are the foundation; yet, of course, only as setting forth in word and grace Him, who is the cornerstone.

(A. Barry, D. D.)

The metaphor is drawn, of course, from Psalm 118:22 (applied by our Lord to Himself in Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; and by St. Peter to Him in Acts 4:11), or from Isaiah 28:16 (quoted with the other passage in 1 Peter 2:6, 7); in which last it may be noted that both the metaphors are united, and "the tried cornerstone" is also "the sure foundation." In itself it does not convey so obvious an idea of uniqueness and importance as that suggested by the "keystone" of an arch, or the "apex stone" of a pyramid; but it appears to mean a massive cornerstone, in which the two lines of the wall at their foundation meet, by which they were bonded together, and on the perfect squareness of which the true direction of the whole walls depended, since the slightest imperfection in the cornerstone would be indefinitely multiplied along the course of the walls. The doctrine which, if taken alone, it would convey, is simply the acceptance of our Lord's perfect teaching and life, as the one determining influence both of the teaching and institutions, which are the basis of the Church, and of the superstructure in the actual life of the members of the Church itself. By such acceptance both assume symmetry and "stand four-square to all the winds that blow." (See Revelation 21:16.) That this is not the whole truth seems to be implied by the variation from the metaphor in the next verse.

(A. Barry, D. D.)

I. With Jesus Christ Himself we begin by saying, first, that Jesus Himself is THE ESSENCE OF HIS OWN WORK, and, therefore, how readily we ought to trust Him. Jesus Himself is the soul of His own salvation. How does the apostle describe it? "He loved me, and gave Himself for me." Because of this, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the object of our faith. "Look unto Me," "Come unto Me." How very simple, easy, natural, ought faith to be henceforth!

II. "Jesus Christ Himself" is THE SUBSTANCE OF THE GOSPEL, and therefore how closely should we study Him. While He was hero He taught His disciples, and the object of His teaching was that they might know Himself, and through Him might know the Father. Whatever else they may be ignorant of, it is essential to disciples that they know their Lord. His nature, character, mind, spirit, object, power, we must know — in a word, we must know Jesus Himself.

1. This, beloved, is the work of the Holy Spirit. "He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you." The Holy Ghost reveals Christ to us and in us.

2. Because Jesus is the sum of the gospel, He must be our constant theme. Put out the sun, and light is gone, life is gone, all is gone. The more of Christ in our testimony, the more of light and life and power to save.

III. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IS THE OBJECT OF OUR LOVE, and how dear He should be. The love of a truth is all very well, but the love of a person has far more power in it. We have heard of men dying for an idea, but it is infinitely more easy to awaken enthusiasm for a person. When an idea becomes embodied in a man, it has a force which, in its abstract form, it never wielded. Jesus Christ is loved by us as the embodiment of everything that is lovely, and true, and pure, and of good report. He Himself is incarnate perfection, inspired by love. We love His offices, we love the types which describe Him, we love the ordinances by which He is set forth, but we love Himself best of all.

1. Because we love Him, we love His people, and through Him we enter into union with them. We are at one with every man who is at one with Christ. So warm is the fire of our love to Jesus that all His friends may sit at it, and welcome. Our circle of affection comprehends all who in any shape or way have truly to do with Jesus Himself.

2. Because we love Himself we delight to render service to Him. Whatever service we do for His Church, and for His truth, we do for His sake; even if we can only render it to the least of His brethren we do it unto Him.

IV. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IS THE SOURCE OF ALL OUR JOY. How ought we to rejoice, when we have such a springing well of blessedness. What a joy to think that Jesus is risen — risen to die no more: the joy of resurrection is superlative.

V. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IS THE MODEL OF OUR LIFE, and therefore how blessed it is to be like Him. As to our rule for life, we are like the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elias had vanished, for we see "no man save Jesus only." Every virtue found in other men we find in Him in greater perfection; we admire the grace of God in them, but Jesus Himself is our pattern. It was once said of Henry VIII, by a severe critic, that if the characteristics of all the tyrants that had ever lived had been forgotten, they might all have been seen to the life in that one king: we may more truly say of Jesus, if all graces, and virtues, and sweetnesses which have ever been seen in good men could all be forgotten, you might find them all in Him: for in Him dwells all that is good and great. We, therefore, desire to copy His character and put our feet into His footprints.

VI. Lastly, HE IS THE LORD OF OUR SOUL. How sweet it will be to be with Him. We find today that His beloved company makes everything move pleasantly, whether we run in the way of His commands, or traverse the valley of the shadow of death. A poor girl, lying in the hospital, was told by the doctor or the nurse that she could only live another hour. She waited patiently, and when there remained only one quarter of an hour more, she exclaimed: "One more quarter of an hour, and then." She could not say what, and neither can I; only Jesus Himself hath said, "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory." And as He has prayed, so it shall be, and so let it be. Amen and Amen.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The religion of our Lord Jesus Christ contains in it nothing so wonderful as Himself. It is a mass of marvels, but He is the miracle of it; the wonder of wonders is "The Wonderful" Himself. If proof be asked of the truth which He proclaimed, we point men to Jesus Christ Himself. His character is unique. We defy unbelievers to imagine another like Him. He is God and yet man, and we challenge them to compose a narrative in which the two apparently incongruous characters shall be so harmoniously blended — in which the human and Divine shall be so marvellously apparent, without the one overshading the other. They question the authenticity of the four Gospels; will they try and write a fifth? Will they even attempt to add a few incidents to the life which shall be worthy of the sacred biography, and congruous with those facts which are already described? If it be all a forgery, will they be so good as to show us how it is done? Will they find a novelist who will write another biography of a man of any century they choose, of any nationality, or of any degree of experience, or any rank or station, and let us see if they can describe in that imaginary life a devotion, a self-sacrifice, a truthfulness, a completeness of character at all comparable to that of Jesus Christ Himself? Can they invent another perfect character even if the Divine element be left out? They must of necessity fail, for there is none like unto Jesus Himself.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

When the Apostle Paul meant that the gospel was preached he said, "Christ is preached," for the gospel is Christ Himself. If you want to know what Jesus taught, know Himself. He is the incarnation of that truth which by Him and in Him is revealed to the sons of men. Did He not Himself say, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"? You have not to take down innumerable tomes, nor to pore over mysterious sentences of double meaning in order to know what our great Teacher has revealed, you have but to turn and gaze upon His countenance, behold His actions, and note His spirit, and you know His teaching. He lived what He taught. If we wish to know Him, we may hear His gentle voice saying, "Come and see." Study His wounds, and you understand His innermost philosophy.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Sunday Teacher's Treasury.
Did you ever think how every part of your house can remind you of the great truths which Jesus Christ taught about Himself? The cornerstone says, "Christ is the cornerstone"; the door, "I am the door"; the burning candle, "I am the Light of the world"; the corridor, "I am the Way." Look out of the window, and the sight of the starry sky bids you turn your eyes to "the bright and morning Star." The rising sun speaks to you of the "rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing on His wings." The loaf on your table whispers of "the Bread of Life," and the water that quenches your thirst, "I am the Living Water," "I am the Water of Life." When you lie down you think of Him that "had not where to lay His head," and when you get up, you rejoice that He is "the Resurrection and the Life."

(Sunday Teacher's Treasury.)

When I was at Mr. Spurgeon's house he showed me the photographs of his two sons, who were twins, and whose photographs had been taken every year since they were twelve months old until they were seventeen years old. For the first two years they did not seem to have grown much, but when we compared the first with those of the age of seventeen they seemed to have grown amazingly. So it is with the children of God — they grow in grace.

(D. L. Moody.)

"What is the use of thee, thou gnarled sapling?" said a young larch tree to a young oak. "I grow three feet in a year, thou scarcely as many inches; I am straight and taper as a reed, thou straggling and twisted as a loosened withe." "And thy duration," answered the oak, "is some third part of man's life, and I am appointed to flourish for a thousand years. Thou art felled and sawed into palings, where thou rottest and art burnt after a single summer; of me are fashioned battle-ships, and I carry mariners and heroes into unknown seas." The richer a nature, the harder and slower its development.

(T. Carlyle.)

There is no heaven for us, without fitness for heaven. As the official at the Bank of England said to me about some sovereigns I wished to change into notes, "If we take them in here they must be tested."



1. Prophets — the Old Testament. Apostles — the New Testament. Jesus Christ — the Divine Being in whom both dispensations are united.

2. This foundation is stable, sure.

3. It gives dignity to the building.

4. It is the only foundation.


1. It will be a united building.

2. It is a progressive building.

3. It is a sanctified building.


1. Believers in every age and clime.

2. Notice the stones in their natural state.

3. They are derived from different sources.

4. They are in different stages of preparation.

5. They must all be fashioned after the manner of the chief cornerstone.

6. Here is a text by which you may each know whether or not you are in the building.

7. These stones are bought with a price.

(A. F. Barfield.)

Christ builds on through all the ages. For the present, there has to be much destructive as well as constructive work done. Many a wretched hovel, the abode of sorrow and want, many a den of infamy, many a palace of pride, many a temple of idols, will have to be pulled down yet, and men's eyes will be blinded by the dust, and their hearts will ache as they look at the ruins. Be it so. The finished structure will obliterate the remembrance of poor buildings that cumbered its site. This Emperor of ours may indeed say, that He found the city of brick and made it marble.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

1. There is a special wisdom required in those who are to dispense the doctrine of faith; they must proceed by line and order. We do not entrust a piece of work of any importance but to those who are masters of their craft. Much more does the spiritual building require workmen who labour as they need not be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15). And this teaches people how they should submit themselves to be framed and squared according as the ministry requires. Before a rough stone can be conveniently laid, it must be hewed by the mason, polished, and planed, and so brought to the rest of the building. So it is with you: you must be smoothed and planed before you can come to lie in this building. If ye be God's building, ye must be squared to His model.

2. The faithful have a close union with Christ and one another. As in a house the building, all of it, "must be fitted to the foundation, and every part of it suit one with another, so in this building, which we are, there must be a straight coupling with the foundation, and correspondence one with another. In the material temple (the type of the spiritual) the walls or rows of stone that were in it were so squared that one piece did not bulge out above the other, but being laid together a man would have thought them one entire stone. So all the other things were so contrived, that window answered to window, door to door, chamber to chamber; there was a pleasant proportionableness in everything. In like manner must the multitude of believers be all laid on one foundation, and all of them so even that they seem as one living stone, and every one answering most commodiously to another. And thus it is with the faithful in their union with Christ and with one another. Love makes the saints each seek the good of the other, and be serviceable each to other.

3. True believers grow up from day to day. Even as it is in great buildings, which are not at once begun and perfected, So do the stones of the spiritual temple go on growing till they come to perfection. Where we cease to grow, there we decline; he that wins not, loses. Leave off endeavour to be better, and you will soon cease to be good.

4. Believers are a temple for God's habitation.

(1)A great dignity.

(2)Defile not the temple of God. To do so is sacrilege.

(3)Avoid all profanation of it.

5. Believers must be sanctified throughout.

6. Believers grow by the power of Christ. The Church still goes forward, in spite of heresies, persecutions, all scandals of life, all the gates of hell, because God is its builder.

(1)Let us look to Him for spiritual edification.

(2)It should comfort us to know that in due time we shall be finished.God will make up all the breaches and ruins of our sinful nature, and build us up a glorious temple for Himself, wherein He will dwell forever.

(Paul Bayne.)

1. Observe the term "groweth," intimating that the Church is ever enlarging her borders and adding to her members, either by the admission of the children of her members to the waters of baptism, or by the conversion of the heathen, and leading them to the same. And so it will continue, growing and increasing, until the consummation of all things: and God shall have accomplished the number of His elect.

2. Observe the expression, "fitly framed together," showing the order and subordination of the different members. Not a confused mass of building materials, without shape and order; but set in their several stations, by the great Master of the universe.

3. Observe how the whole glory of this is ascribed not to man, but to our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him the building is framed; in Him it groweth and increaseth; the power to do so coming from Him.

(A. P. Perceval, B.C. L.)

The growth of the body, on Christ's part, is spontaneous, and on man's, consentaneous. "In whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord." It grows from Christ, but it grows in unity with our consenting affections. Christ never violates human freedom, but works in it, with it, and by it. "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? Ask, and ye shall receive." "According to your faith be it unto you." He would open and develop in us much more of His purity and truth, goodness and beauty; but He waits for our desire, and by processes of wondrous wisdom and gentleness He seeks to beget in us that desire. If the spirit of the flesh in us be ardent, or the spiritual affections be lukewarm, the growth of the new nature will be retarded, or suspended. If it be necessary to receive Christ, in order to salvation, it is equally necessary to walk in Him, in a spirit of watchfulness and prayer, in order to growth. Inasmuch as "all the building is growing in the Lord," and according to His order, it will, in the end, not only be a glorious temple of humanity, but marvellously adapted for the indwelling and manifestation of God. "I will dwell in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." I will fill them, and they shall represent My fulness. "The whole building," the redeemed of every generation, growing more and more into unity with each other, and with Christ, and through Him with all the hidden powers of the Godhead, is a work which is every way worthy of all Almighty Father. To what glory, to what beauty, will the kingdom grow? to what wisdom will its members attain? what will be their powers? what their fellowship? what their individual freedom of action? what their service and end, as one empire in the Son, and in the Father? At present there is much in human souls, much in the constitution of nature, and very much in the strife of the great spirit world, to hinder the full development of God's purpose in Christ. But all hindrances have their appointed limit. In due time, they will all be overmastered or removed; and God and the redeemed race will come into perfect relationship.

(John Pulsford.)

The structure is in process of growth. It is not finished — the copestone has not been put upon it. The scaffolding occasionally disfigures it; yet even in its immature state, and with so much that is undeveloped, one may admire its beauty of outline, and its graceful form and proportions. Vast augmentations may be certainly anticipated; but its increase does not mutilate its adaptations, for it grows as "being fitly framed together." A structure not firm and compact is in the greater danger of falling the higher it is carried; and "if it topple on our heads, what matter is it whether we are crushed by a Corinthian or a Doric ruin?" But this fabric, with walls of more than Cyclopean or Pelasgian strength and vastness, secures its own continuous and illimitable elevation. Provision is thus made for its increase, and without breach or delapidation it rises in height.

(J. Eadie, D. D.)

All the redeemed are one body — many members, but still one great incorporation. "Ye are builded together for an habitation of God, through the Spirit." The materials of a house form no place of abode, while they lie scattered and separated. In the ancient tabernacle, the glory of the Lord did not appear till it was compacted and set up. The Divine presence rested not upon the stones and timber of the Temple till they were framed into the edifice. We may hence infer, that if we would enjoy the promised blessing, we should avoid strifes and divisions, and follow after peace, and the things whereby one may edify the other.


I. THE CHURCH IS A BUILDING. Not a heap of stones shot together, but a building. Of old her Architect devised her. Methinks I see Him, as I look back into old eternity, making the first outline of His Church. "Here," saith He, in His eternal wisdom, "shall be the cornerstone, and there shall be the pinnacle." I see Him ordaining her length, and her breadth, appointing her gates and her doors with matchless skill, devising every part of her, and leaving no single portion of the structure unmapped. I see Him, that mighty Architect, also choosing to Himself every stone of the building, ordaining its size and its shape; settling upon His mighty plan the position each stone shall occupy, whether it shall glitter in front, or be hidden in the back, or buried in the very centre of the wall. I see Him marking not merely the bare outline, but all the fillings up; all being ordained, decreed, and settled, in the eternal covenant, which was the Divine plan of the mighty Architect upon which the Church is to be built. Looking on, I see the Architect choosing a cornerstone. He looks to heaven, and there are the angels, those glittering stones — He looks at each one of them from Gabriel down; but, saith He, "None of you will suffice. I must have a cornerstone that will support all the weight of the building, for on that stone every other one must lean. O Gabriel, thou wilt not suffice I Raphael, thou must lay by; I cannot build with thee." Yet was it necessary that a stone should be found, and one too that should be taken out of the same quarry as the rest. Where was he to be discovered? Was there a man who would suffice to be the cornerstone of this mighty building? Ah, no! neither apostles, prophets, nor teachers would. Put them all together, and they would be as a foundation of quicksand, and the house would totter to its fall. Mark how the Divine mind solved the difficulty — "God shall become man, very man, and so He shall be of the same substance as the other stones of the temple; yet shall He be God, and therefore strong enough to bear all the weight of this mighty structure, the top whereof shall reach to heaven." I see that foundation stone laid. Is there singing at the laying of it? No. There is weeping there. The angels gathered round at the laying of this first stone; and look, ye men, and wonder, the angels weep; the harps of heaven are clothed in sackcloth, and no song is heard. They sang together and shouted for joy when the world was made; why shout they not now? Look ye here, and see the reason. That stone is imbedded in blood. The first is laid; where are the rest? Shall we go and dig into the sides of Lebanon? Shall we find these precious stones in the marble quarries of kings? No. Whither are ye flying, ye labourers of God? "We go to dig in the quarries of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the depths of sinful Jerusalem, and in the midst of erring Samaria." I see them clear away the rubbish. I mark them as they dig deep into the earth, and at last they come to these stones. But how rough, how hard, how unhewn. Yes, but these are the stones ordained of old in the decree, and these must be the stones, and none other. There must be a change effected. These must be brought in, and shaped and cut and polished, and put into their places. I see the workmen at their labour. The great saw of the law cuts through the stone, and then comes the polishing chisel of the gospel. I see the stones lying in their places, and the Church is rising. The ministers, like wise master builders, are there running along the wall, putting each spiritual stone in its place; each stone is leaning on that massive cornerstone, and every stone depending on the blood, and finding its security and its strength in Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, elect, and precious. Now open wide your eyes, and see what a glorious building this is — the Church of God. Men talk of the splendour of their architecture — this is architecture indeed; neither after Grecian nor Gothic models, but after the model of the sanctuary which Moses saw in the holy mountain. Do you see it? Was there ever a structure so comely as this — instinct with life in every part? There is no house like a heart for one to repose in. There a man may find peace in his fellow man; but here is the house where God delighteth to dwell — built of living hearts, all beating with holy love — built of redeemed souls, chosen of the Father, bought with the blood of Christ. The top of it is in heaven. Part of them are above the clouds. Many of the living stones are now in the pinnacle of paradise. We are here below. The building rises, the sacred masonry is heaving, and, as the cornerstone rises, so all of us must rise, until at last the entire structure, from its foundation to its pinnacle, shall be heaved up to heaven, and there shall it stand forever — the new Jerusalem, the temple of the majesty of God.

1. The Divine Architect makes no mistakes. When our eyes shall have been enlightened, and our hearts instructed, each part of the building will command our admiration. The top stone is not the foundation, nor does the foundation stand at the top. Every stone is of the right shape; the whole material is as it should be, and the structure is adapted for the great end, the glory of God, the temple of the Most High.

2. Another thing may be noticed — her impregnable strength. This habitation of God, this house not made with hands, but of God's building, has often been attacked, but never taken. What multitudes of enemies have battered against her old ramparts! but they have battered in vain.

3. And we may add, it is glorious for beauty. There was never structure like this. One might feast his eyes upon it from dawn to eve, and then begin again. Jesus Himself takes delight in it. God joys over it with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

II. But the true glory of the Church of God consists in the fact that she is not only a building, but that she is A HABITATION. There may be great beauty in an uninhabited structure, but there is always a melancholy thought connected with it. Who loves to see desolate palaces? Who desireth that the land should cast out her sons, and that her houses should fail of tenants? But there is joy in a house lit up and furnished, where there is the sound of men. Beloved, the Church of God hath this for her peculiar glory, that she is a tenanted house, that she is a habitation of God through the Spirit. How many Churches there are that are houses, yet not habitations! I might picture to you a professed Church of God; it is built according to square and compass, but its model has been formed in some ancient creed, and not in the Word of God. There are too many churches that are nothing but a mass of dull, dead formality; there is no life of God there. A house is a place where a man solaces and comforts himself. Our home is the place of our solace, our comfort, and our rest. Now, God calls the Church His habitation — His home. Oh, how beautiful is the picture of the Church as God's house, the place in which He takes His solace! "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is my rest forever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it."

2. Furthermore, a man's home is the place where he shows his inner self. There are sweet revelations which God makes in His Church, which He never makes anywhere else.

3. A man's home is the centre of all he does. Yonder is a large farm. Well, there are outhouses, and hay ricks, and barns, and the like; but just in the middle of these there is the house, the centre of all husbandry. No matter how much wheat there may be, it is to the house the produce goes. It is for the maintenance of the household that the husband carries on his husbandry. Now, God's Church is God's centre. Why doth God clothe the hills with plenty? For the feeding of His people. Why is providence revolving? Why those wars and tempests, and then again this stillness and calm? It is for His Church. Not an angel divides the ether who hath not a mission for the Church. It may be indirectly, but nevertheless truly so. All things must minister and work together for good for the chosen Church of God, which is His house — His daily habitation.

4. We love our homes, and we must and will defend them. Ay, and now lift up your thoughts — the Church is God's home; will He not defend it?

III. The Church is, by and by, to be GOD'S GLORIOUS TEMPLE. It doth not yet appear what she shall be.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. Believers have the Lord to dwell with them.

(1)Grieve not, but please this guest.

(2)See the blessedness of all the faithful.

2. By being built on Christ, we come to be a dwelling for God.

3. The Spirit of sanctification makes us a fit habitation for God.

(Paul Bayne.)


1. Their nature.

2. Their diversity.

3. Their number.

4. Their circumstances.

5. Their value.


1. The foundation is Christ.

2. The chief cornerstone is Christ.

3. The whole building is constructed by Christ.

4. The excellencies of Christ will be the beauty of the building.

III. THE INSTRUMENTS AND AGENCY by which this building is constructed and carried on. The Holy Spirit.

1. The vastness of the work requires a universal presence.

2. The difficulty of the work demands infinite resources.

3. The time needed to carry on the work requires a perpetual agency.

IV. THE DESIGN to be accomplished in this work. "For an habitation of God."

(Isaiah Birt.)

If there be anything common to us by nature, it is the members of our corporeal frame; yet the apostle taught that these, guided by the Spirit as its instruments, and obeying a holy will, become transfigured; so that, in his language, the body becomes a temple of the Holy Ghost, and the meanest faculties, the lowest appetites, the humblest organs, are ennobled by the Spirit mind which guides them. Thus he bids the Romans yield themselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and their members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

I am sitting, on a summer's day, in the shadow of a great New England elm. Its long branches hang motionless; there is not breeze enough to move them. All at once there comes a faint murmur; around my head the leaves are moved by a gentle current of air; then the branches begin to sway to and fro, the leaves are all in motion, and a soft, rushing sound fills my ear. So with every one that is born of the Spirit. I am in a state of spiritual lethargy, and scarcely know how to think any good thought. I am heart empty, and there comes, I know not where or whence, a sound of the Divine presence. I am inwardly moved with new comfort and hope; the day seems to dawn in my heart, sunshine comes around my path, and I am able to go to my duties with patience. I am walking in the Spirit, I am helped by the help of God, and comforted with the comfort of God. And yet this is all in accordance with law. There is no violation of law when the breezes come, stirring the tops of the trees; and there is no violation of law when God moves in the depths of our souls, and rouses us to the love and desire of holiness.

(James Freeman Clarke.)

Clerical Anecdotes.
The story of Rowland Hill preaching against the first Surrey Theatre is very characteristic. The building of Surrey Chapel was going on simultaneously with that of the theatre. In his sermon he addressed his audience as follows: — "You have a race to run now between God and the devil; the children of the last are making all possible haste in building him a temple, where he may receive the donations and worship of the children of vanity and sin! Now is your time, therefore, to bestir yourselves in the cause of righteousness, and never let it be said but what God can outrun the devil!"

(Clerical Anecdotes.).

Ephesians, Paul
Building, Closely, Fabric, Fitly, Fitted, Form, Framed, Groweth, Growing, Grows, Holy, Increase, Increases, Joined, Rightly, Rises, Sanctuary, Several, Structure, Temple, Union
1. By comparing what we were by nature, with what we are by grace,
10. he declares that we are made for good works: and being brought near by Christ,
19. should not live as Gentiles and foreigners, but as citizens with the saints, and the family of God.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ephesians 2:21

     7438   sanctuary
     7470   temple, significance

Ephesians 2:13-22

     5005   human race, and redemption

Ephesians 2:14-22

     6718   reconciliation, believers

Ephesians 2:16-22

     7923   fellowship, in gospel

Ephesians 2:18-22

     6710   privileges

Ephesians 2:19-22

     5207   architecture
     5269   cornerstone
     7024   church, nature of
     7142   people of God, NT
     8271   holiness, purpose

Ephesians 2:20-21

     2203   Christ, titles of

Ephesians 2:20-22

     2212   Christ, head of church

Ephesians 2:21-22

     1065   God, holiness of
     1680   types
     3275   Holy Spirit, in the church
     6214   participation, in Christ
     7027   church, purpose
     7028   church, life of
     7470   temple, significance

March 14. "We are his Workmanship" (Eph. Ii. 10).
"We are His workmanship" (Eph. ii. 10). Christ sends us to serve Him, not in our own strength, but in His resources and might. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them." We do not have to prepare them; but to wear them as garments, made to order for every occasion of our life. We must receive them by faith and go forth in His work, believing that He is with us, and in us, as our all sufficiency for wisdom, faith, love, prayer,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

July 2. "And Hath Raised us up Together" (Eph. Ii. 6).
"And hath raised us up together" (Eph. ii. 6). Ascension is more than resurrection. Much is said of it in the New Testament. Christ riseth above all things. We see Him in the very act of ascending as we do not in the actual resurrection, as, with hands and lips engaged in blessing, He gently parts from their side, so simply, so unostentatiously, with so little imposing ceremony as to make heaven so near to our common life that we can just whisper through. And we, too, must ascend, even here. "If
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

October 1. "That in the Ages to Come He Might Show the Exceeding Riches of his Grace" (Eph. Ii. 7).
"That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace" (Eph. ii. 7). Christ's great purpose for His people is to train them up to know the hope of their calling, and the riches of the glory of their inheritance and what the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. Let us prove, in all our varied walks of life, and scenes of conflict, the fulness of His power and grace and thus shall we know "In the ages to come the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

God's Workmanship and Our Works
'We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.'--Eph. ii. 10. The metal is molten as it runs out of the blast furnace, but it soon cools and hardens. Paul's teaching about salvation by grace and by faith came in a hot stream from his heart, but to this generation his words are apt to sound coldly, and hardly theological. But they only need to be reflected upon in connection with our own experience, to become vivid and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

'The Chief Corner-Stone'
'Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner-stone.'--Eph. ii. 20 (R.V.). The Roman Empire had in Paul's time gathered into a great unity the Asiatics of Ephesus, the Greeks of Corinth, the Jews of Palestine, and men of many another race, but grand and imposing as that great unity was, it was to Paul a poor thing compared with the oneness of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Asiatics of Ephesus, Greeks of Corinth, Jews of Palestine and members of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

'The Riches of Grace'
'That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.'--Eph. ii. 7. One very striking characteristic of this epistle is its frequent reference to God's purposes, and what, for want of a better word, we must call His motives, in giving us Jesus Christ. The Apostle seems to rise even higher than his ordinary height, while he gazes up to the inaccessible light, and with calm certainty proclaims not only what God has done, but why He has done
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Salvation: Grace: Faith
'By grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.'--Eph. ii. 8 (R.V.). Here are three of the key-words of the New Testament--'grace,' 'saved,' 'faith.' Once these terms were strange and new; now they are old and threadbare. Once they were like lava, glowing and cast up from the central depths; but it is a long while since the eruption, and the blocks have got cold, and the corners have been rubbed off them. I am afraid that some people, when they read
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Resurrection of Dead Souls
'God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.'--Eph. ii. 4, 5. Scripture paints man as he is, in darker tints, and man as he may become, in brighter ones, than are elsewhere found. The range of this portrait painter's palette is from pitchiest black to most dazzling white, as of snow smitten by sunlight. Nowhere else are there such sad, stern words about the actualities of human nature; nowhere else such
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Scripture Way of Salvation
"Ye are saved through faith." Ephesians 2:8. 1. Nothing can be more intricate, complex, and hard to be understood, than religion, as it has been often described. And this is not only true concerning the religion of the Heathens, even many of the wisest of them, but concerning the religion of those also who were, in some sense, Christians; yea, and men of great name in the Christian world; men who seemed to be pillars thereof. Yet how easy to be understood, how plain and simple a thing, is the genuine
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Spiritual Resurrection
The apostle is here speaking, you will observe, of the church at Ephesus, and, indeed, of all those who were chosen in Christ Jesus, accepted in him, and redeemed with his blood; and he says of them, "You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." What a solemn sight is presented to us by a dead body! When last evening trying to realize the thought, it utterly overcame me. The thought is overwhelming, that soon this body of mine must be a carnival for worms; that in and out of these
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

The Agreement of Salvation by Grace with Walking in Good Works
I shall call your attention to the near neighborhood of these two phrases, "Not of works," and "Created in Christ Jesus unto good works." The text reads with a singular sound; for it seems strange to the ear that good works should be negatived as the cause of salvation, and then should be spoken of as the great end of it. You may put it down among what the Puritans called "Orthodox Paradoxes," if you please; though it is hardly so difficult a matter as to deserve the name. Not long ago, I tried
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Life from the Dead
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins."--Ephesians 2:1. OUR TRANSLATORS, as you observe, have put in the words "hath he quickened", because Paul had thrown the sense a little farther on, and it was possible for the reader not to catch it. The have but anticipated the statement of the fourth and fifth verses: "God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ." Here is the point. God
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

The Tabernacle of the Most High
When men talk of holy places they seem to be ignorant of the use of language. Can holiness dwell in bricks and mortar? Can there be such a thing as a sanctified steeple? Can it possibly happen that there can be such a thing in the world as a moral window or a godly door post? I am lost in amazement, utterly lost, when I think how addled men's brains must be when they impute moral virtues to bricks and mortar, and stones, and stained glass. Pray how deep Doth this consecration go, and how high? Is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

A Solemn Deprival
WE SHALL have two things to consider this evening--the misery of our past estate, and the great deliverance which God has wrought for us. As for:-- I. THE MISERY OF OUR PAST ESTATE, be it known unto you that, in common with the rest of mankind, believers were once without Christ. No tongue can tell the depth of wretchedness that lies in those two words. There is no poverty like it, no want like it, and for those who die so, there is no ruin like that it will bring. Without Christ! If this be the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 61: 1915

All of Grace
OF THE THINGS which I have spoken unto you these many years, this is the sum. Within the circle of these words my theology is contained, so far as it refers to the salvation of men. I rejoice also to remember that those of my family who were ministers of Christ before me preached this doctrine, and none other. My father, who is still able to bear his personal testimony for his Lord, knows no other doctrine, neither did his father before him. I am led to remember this by the fact that a somewhat singular
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 61: 1915

Our Glorious Transforming
"But now in Christ Jesus, ye, who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ."--Ephesians 2:13. I DO not want you to feel at this time as if you were listening to a sermon, or to any sort of set discourse, but rather I should like, if it were possible, that you should feel as if you were alone with the Saviour, and were engaged in calm and quiet meditation; and I will try to be the prompter, standing at the elbow of your contemplation, suggesting one thought and then another; and
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

"There is Therefore Now no Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
Rom. viii. 1.--"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, &c." All the promises are yea and amen in Christ Jesus; they meet all in him and from him are derived unto us. When man was in integrity, he was with God, and in God, and that immediately, without the intervention of a Mediator. But our falling from God hath made us without God, and the distance is so great, as Abraham speaks to the rich man, that neither can those above go down to him, nor he come up to them.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Who Walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit. "
Rom. viii. 1.--"Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." It is no wonder that we cannot speak any thing to purpose of this subject, and that you do not bear with fruit, because it is indeed a mystery to our judgments, and a great stranger to our practice. There is so little of the Spirit, both in teachers and those that come to be taught, that we can but speak of it as an unknown thing, and cannot make you to conceive it, in the living notion of it as it is. Only we may say in general,--it
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus Hath Made Me Free from the Law of Sin and Death. "
Rom. viii. 2.--"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." That whereabout the thoughts and discourses of men now run, is freedom and liberty, or bondage and slavery. All men are afraid to lose their liberties, and be made servants to strangers. And indeed liberty, whether national or personal, even in civil respects, is a great mercy and privilege. But alas! men know not, neither do they consider, what is the ground and reason of such changes,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Scriptures Reveal Eternal Life through Jesus Christ
John v. 39--"Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me." Eph. ii. 20--"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets." As in darkness there is need of a lantern without and the light of the eyes within--for neither can we see in darkness without some lamp though we have never so good eyes, nor yet see without eyes, though in never so clear a sunshine--so there is absolute need for the guiding of our feet in the dangerous
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"For what the Law could not Do, in that it was Weak through the Flesh, God Sending his Own Son in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh,
Rom. viii. 3.--"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh." For what purpose do we meet thus together? I would we knew it,--then it might be to some better purpose. In all other things we are rational, and do nothing of moment without some end and purpose. But, alas! in this matter of greatest moment, our going about divine ordinances, we have scarce any distinct or deliberate
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners Or, a Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to his Poor Servant, John Bunyan
In this my relation of the merciful working of God upon my soul, it will not be amiss, if in the first place, I do in a few words give you a hint of my pedigree, and manner of bringing up; that thereby the goodness and bounty of God towards me, may be the more advanced and magnified before the sons of men. 2. For my descent then, it was, as is well known by many, of a low and inconsiderable generation; my father's house being of that rank that is meanest, and most despised of all the families in
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Sovereign Grace
Sovereign Grace Its Source, Its Nature and Its Effects By D. L. Moody "By Grace are ye saved."--Ephesians ii. 8 With Three Gospel Dialogues Chicago New York Toronto FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY London and Edinburgh Copyrighted 1891 by Fleming H. Revell Company.
Dwight L. Moody—Sovereign Grace

Our Death.
"You who were dead in trespasses and sin."--Ephes. ii. 1. Next in order comes the discussion of death. There is sin, which is deviation from and resistance against the law. There is guilt, which is withholding from God that which, as the Giver and Upholder of that law, is due to Him. But there is also punishment, which is the Lawgiver's act of upholding His law against the lawbreaker. The Sacred Scripture calls this punishment "death." To understand what death is, we must first ask: "What is life?"
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

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