So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2.19-22
In the course of three verses, the apostle Paul carries out the implications of the reconciliation God in Christ has won for his people to nearly unfathomable limits. The apostle announces three consequences of our being reconciled to God, each more wonderful than the previous.
First, we have been fit to live in the place God dwells. We are no longer unfit strangers and aliens—we are fellow citizens and members of God. Because of what God has accomplished in Christ, we can enter into the dwelling place of God. If this were our only inheritance—dwelling with the King immortal whose glory is our life, whose presence is our salvation, whose love is our unending satisfaction—it would be joy sufficient to endure the eternal age. But it is more wonderful still.
Second, we have been fit to be the place God is worshiped. No longer is worship of God restricted to the physical temple or governed by the old covenant’s prescription. In Christ, the true Worshiper, God is worshiped in us. The location of worship is no longer inanimate stone and mortar—it is those people who have been joined with Christ and one another. We do not have to access another means or appoint another mediator of our worship. As we have been joined to Christ, we together are the place God Almighty, perfect and holy, is worshiped. So not only have we been made fit to live in the place God dwells, we have been fit to be the place the worship of God that brings life remains unceasing for all of eternity. Yet another wonder greater still remains.
Third, we have been fit to be the place God dwells. It can scarcely be imagined! In Christ, our inheritance is not only citizenship in God’s kingdom and welcome at his table. Nor is it only that we have become fit with all those belonging to Christ to be the place God is worshiped. We are being built together into a dwelling place for God. His infinite presence will not only be among us. His glory will not only be marveled by us. His presence and glory will be in us. We, weak and feeble and frail as we are, will be by the Spirit the abode of God. The infinite Creator, the eternal Lord will dwell in us. These words bring the mind to the very edge of human comprehension and constrain it look out in humility over the edge into wonders afar, beyond the bounds of finitude. May the mind, unable to circumscribe this truth, willingly yield to a heart ready to worship the God who dwells in us.