People of Jesus

Joined to Jesus and joined to his people, that is the great blessing for Christians.

Eph. 2:20-22

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.

Yesterday we saw that Jesus is the cornerstone of the structure with the prophets and apostles as the foundation.  The structure is the church, we who are the people of God.  The continuing picture is that of the church joined together, a holy and growing people who are the dwelling place of God.  The church is a very significant group of people, if we are focused on Jesus who has lived died and risen again for us so that we can know forgiveness and acceptance with our God.  If we lose that focus on the gospel of the Lord Jesus and follow our ways, not listening to his word to us, we become irrelevant.  This description of the church provides four very help perspectives on who we are as the people of God. 

Firstly, the people of God are an interdependent group.  A building, like a body, has many different parts and each is important.  Some hold it all together, others are weight bearing.  Some parts are very visible, and others entirely concealed. No part of the building could claim pre-eminence over the others and few of the parts are interchangeable. So, in the church, we all have a place and are dependent on one another.  Like a lone door in an empty field, we have little relevance apart from the rest. 

Secondly, the people of God are a growing group.  The picture provided is of a building under construction.  It is always expanding.  For that reason, there is something very wrong when it sits idle and no progress is made.  We should acknowledge this both for the church and for us as individuals.

Thirdly, the people of God are a holy group.  We are set apart for God.  We belong to him.  He is the architect of the building so any endeavours to conform to the world create a weird structure that is not connected to the cornerstone and foundation.  Collapse will always be imminent.

Fourthly, the people of God are the dwelling place of God.  It is hard to place all of this into a coherent picture and that is not intended.  We nonetheless can understand the clear meaning.  If we the people of God are the dwelling place of God, then we are his presentation to the world.  Unless God chooses to do something very unusual, it will be from his people that others will hear about their cornerstone, as explained in their foundation.  The rest of the world will not present the gospel and will not teach the message of the Bible in general. 

It is a reminder to us of our responsibility not only to delight in our saviour and enjoy his blessings together but to ensure that others hear about him as well.  We do this best when we remember our dependence on one another and remember we are set apart for and belong to God.  We then see the church, this building growing.  It is equally important that we don’t read here of many buildings, just one.  The church of our Lord is not the local group but people throughout the world who believe in Jesus the cornerstone and live on the foundation of the apostles and prophets

Prayer: Father, please help us to live wholly dependent on Jesus and with great love and unity as a people.  Forgive us when we lose sight of the gospel and try to build your church our way.  Help us to always be faithful to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A song to listen to: O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer

David Johnston

Living Church – Creek Road