Ephesians 2 verses 19-22
As with many of Paul’s writings people distort or misunderstand the meanings of his letters. (See 2nd Peter Ch. 3 Verses 15 & 16) Like with any letter you must take it all in context of what the letter is concerning. Commonly misrepresented is Ephesians chapter 2 verses 19-22.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
This is often quoted to defend or promote the idea of building upon religious leaders or “saints” before you. This is not what was being taught here by Paul!
Let me explain.
The Temple that is being built is of no effort or part of your own. This Temple spoken of here is being built by God.
In Matthew chapter 16 verse 18 we see that God is building this Temple or Church.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.
Christ who is God says “I will build my Church”
Keep in mind the Church and Temple in this context are interchangeable as they are referencing the same spiritual building.
We are to only build our lives, doctrines, and faith upon Christ! Building upon anyone else leads to misunderstandings, false doctrines, and weak faith. It leads to weak faith because it is partly built upon men. If any of your faith and trust is in your Pastor, Religion, or some other “leader” then you have built upon sinking sand.
Think about it. Have you ever played the pass along telephone game? Building upon the “saints” before you is how false religions grow. Have you ever wondered where all the varying doctrines come from in all the different religions and how religions evolve over time? It is because they build upon men and don’t stick strictly to the source which is Christ himself!
Those who build upon The Rock, who is Christ, are of one understanding, because their understanding comes from The Father by His Holy Spirit!
1st John 2 26-27
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.
27 As for you, the Spirit you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his Spirit teaches you about all things and as his Spirit is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
If you build your life upon Christ then you will be found in the Temple built by Christ spoken of in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 19-22. These verses do not teach that you are to build your beliefs upon others! That belief or interpretation is contrary to the words and teachings of Christ. Do not be led astray! Like John, I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. They want you to build upon them or others in antiquity because this is how they gain power over you.
Many unknowingly fall into this trap. Remember you are free in Christ! Do not return to the bondages of false teachers and false religions! No matter how well intended they may be it is still false and should not be accepted as truth.
Build upon Christ only! You personally are a Holy Temple or Tabernacle of God once born again! Do not defile your sanctuary with the teachings and ideas of men. Let God dwell within and teach you all things!
If you do this you will be firmly anchored to The Rock and no matter how strong of a storm comes, you will stand strong!
With love and the good new of Christ I desire nothing more than God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.
Truly, Joseph R. Stansel