V.1- To be made alive is to be “quickened” by God. To be quickened is to be restored and made whole, to be made alive. We see this stated positively in Romans 8:11. We have new life, the old man is dead, behold, all things are new, renewed, quickened, made whole. Mr. Webster says that the spring earth is quickened by the rains. Lazarus’ body was quickened by Jesus, as were many others. When we are quickened we have new strength, new life, new determination. So, it is us, the born again Christians, who have been quickened. It was God’s sacrifice of His Son on the altar of death and destruction that bought our freedom, our new life. We are now alive in Christ.

Psalm 71 is said to have been written by an anonymous author. But it is one that contains so much wisdom, and knowledge of Scripture. It is written on the subject of salvation. VV.19-21 are what fits our study tonight. but I suggest you read this Psalm carefully. It is a wonderful example of prayer.

The phrase, “...hath He quickened” is not in the original text, but is derived form the explanation in Ephesians 2:5. When we get there, we’ll see better what it means to be made alive.

“Dead in trespasses and sins,” is a bitter condemnation. We were so far off the mark, that we were considered dead to God. He could not look on us. That’s why it’s the Spirit’s job to work on the hearts of man. Just as Jesus bore our transgressions, the Spirit tries to withdraw us from the lifestyle that separates us from God. Let’s read Colossians 1:19-23. When we heed the Spirit’s nudgings and accept Christ, we are reconciled to God. We are now alive, connected to the source of what? Power!

V.2- We have to remember that Paul was talking to the people of his day. He was including the Jews in the sermon when he said, “...among whom also we all once conducted ourselves.” He was addressing their customs, religions, and way of life. (But it works for us too.) That's what “the course of this world” means." They were walking in sin. Another thing we have to remember is they were preaching the coming of the Messiah. Even though Jesus was there with them, they could not see or hear. That’s why the Bible is for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. They were living in yesterday instead of today, and looking for tomorrow. They missed the boat, figuratively speaking.

Our first walk was with evil. It was an agreement with the devils to work in sin. It wasn’t always a conscious decision, it just came with being born. Even the nicest, sweetest people are in covenant with evil until they find the Lord. Let’s read I John 1:8-10. This was written to Christians, but holds the right message for us. If we say we have no sin nature before we are saved, we are calling God a liar. So, we were a slithering member of the Brood of Vipers, a wall of the white-washed tombs, clean on the outside, fermenting evil inside. All of this we did for the prince of the power of the air, satan and his demons (Ephesians 6:12). We were sons of disobedience. So, what did we have to do? Let’s read our instructions in Colossians 3:5-7. We need to put to death! Not just renounce the acts we once did, but kill them, bury them, and never again revisit them. As sons of disobedience, we accomplished nothing. Maybe we made money, I know I did. Maybe we had nice things, but we did nothing of lasting value! We were only building a paper life. As soon as the winds of adversity blew, we lost everything. But with God, we are building on the solid foundation, the Rock, the Cornerstone.

V.3- What was it we were involved in before Christ? Let’s read verse 3 again. We were feeding the flesh whatever it wanted. Mr. Webster says that the flesh is the body, especially as it is distinguished from the soul and spirit. His example, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We were weak in the needs and desires of the flesh. Not just sexually, but with all things. We eat what we should not, we feed our minds on the garbage of violence, death and destruction, and add a little sex, and wowow, are we happy! But those are the things that defile the heart, and that is what proceeds from our hearts (Matthew 15:17-20.)

Now, I Peter 4:3. We spent enough time serving evil, being hateful, hating one another, treating each other badly, counting ourselves first,. Now we must be excited to serve the Lord. How do we succeed in changing our ways? Accept Christ as Savior, yes, but what else? Let’s see what instruction we are given by Paul in Romans 6:12. Do not let sin reign! We can find another answer in Galatians 5:16. Walk in the Spirit! Let’s not hobble around on crutches of past sins! Let’s stand upright and walk with the Spirit of God.

Let’s go to Psalm 103:6-14. We are dust! God knows it, and we know it. Without our soul and spirit, we would return to dust and be forgotten. But God gave us a soul and spirit, and free will to decide what happens to them at our death. He is gracious, and merciful, and has given us a way out of hell, but we need to make that firm decision ourselves. The Spirit calls us, but we must answer.

V. 4- The “But” in verse 4 makes us stop to think. What is He going to change on us? But God, makes God the subject of this passage of Scripture. We were disobedient children, but God! “But God who is rich in mercy!” What is mercy. Gill says, “Mercy is a perfection of the divine nature, and is essential to God...“ It is not getting what we do deserve. What we deserve is death, period. But because God loved us first (I John 4:10), and wanted to have us with Him eternally, He gave us a way to be saved us from eternal death and damnation.

Let’s go to Psalm 103:6-14. We are dust! God knows it, and we know it. Without our soul and spirit, we would return to dust and be forgotten. But God gave us a soul and spirit, and free will to decide what happens to them at our death. He is gracious, and merciful, and has given us a way out of hell, but we need to make that firm decision ourselves. The Spirit calls us, but we must answer.

Why did God offer His Son-sacrifice? Read verse 4 again. “...His great love with which He loved us!” Romans 10:12 tells us there is no distinction according to nationality, income status, color, size, or male or female. There are no Jews, or Greeks. We are all one in the body. How much did God love us? Let’s read John 3:16-18. And now  I John 4:7-11.

V. 5- Let’s read Romans 5:6-9. As sinners, we were dead in the spirit. No one could have helped us but God through Jesus. A trespasser is someone who transgresses, or sins. We fall short of the perfect mark set up by God.

My husband Larry and I were saved in our 40s. We had some pretty big trespasses behind us. “But God!” made it possible for us to be freed from sin, and He made us alive. We now have a better quality of life.  We are now alive with, and filled with Christ. Let’s read Romans 6:4-6. We died in Christ, were buried in Christ, and now are vibrant, filled with life, alive in Christ. Mr. Webster says that grace is a manifestation of mercy shown by a superior: Mercy: Clemency: Pardon. It’s a free gift to us from our Abba.  And we can receive that gift by saying the simple prayer for salvation.

V. 6- We are raised up together. Together insinuates another party. Who is it? And He made us to sit together. this would be with the same party. Now look at vv 5,6. See there that together is used three times. We are alive together with Christ; we are raised up together; we are made to sit together. So because God had mercy on us, and made His grace to abound toward us, we are placed alongside Jesus. This is an position that is only acquired after salvation. This is one of the mysteries that has been revealed to us. In our new resurrection life, we are powerful people for the Lord. We can say a word, and have things changed before our eyes. The lame walk, the blind see, the people with high potassium have normal levels 2 hours after prayer is said for him. We can make the storms stop, calm angry seas, and do all the things that Jesus did Himself. So, why don’t we? We don’t have the level of faith that makes us able to accomplish these things. We need to believe we can before we can.

Our chairs are in heaven near Christ’s chair. We are no longer citizens of earth, but foreigners passing through. In Ephesians 1:20, we see that Jesus must have died because God raised Him from the dead and sat Him at His own right hand. Let’s read Romans 10:8-10. Confess with your mouth, believe in your heart, and be made righteous.

V.7- The ages to come is our eternal age when there will be no more death of any harmful thing to deal with. In that day, God will show, or display His exceeding riches of His grace. What does that mean? It means that He will demonstrate His forgiveness in His redeemed ones. Us! The riches of His grace brought us salvation in Christ Jesus. It is His forgiveness of our sin that will be shown. It is our eternal life that will be on display. He will not lose the saved souls to hell. His riches for us granted this favor that we could never earn because He first loved us.

To close out tonight, let’s read Titus 3:1-8.

Let’s try to walk in love this week. Not just for God, but for each other as well. “Husbands love your wives. Wives submit unto your husbands.”

God bless you.




V. 8- The salvation spoken of here is spiritual salvation. It’s the salvation provided by the new covenant of grace. This is “The exceeding riches of His grace.” This is the salvation that has saved us for eternity. Wholly, fully, completely saved persons filled by the Spirit of God; that’s what we are! Our physical bodies will not be preserved forever, but our spiritual bodies can never die. We will live for eternity in whatever place we choose. Let’s read Deuteronomy 30:19,20. The land God has given as an inheritance is not only Israel, but also, where? Heaven! When we hear God’s voice by the power of His Spirit, we get to choose. We chose life, and blessings, but many out there are still choosing the death and cursings warned about.

What did we say grace is? It is the undeserved favor of God. It is the God of heaven’s way of reconciling us to Himself. How did this come to us? By faith! Is there any other way to be saved? Is there any other person who can cause us to even desire salvation? No, there is no one else. It is the Spirit of God alone who convicts of sin, Christ alone who saves, and God alone who has made this way possible for all humanity. II Peter 3:9 tells us that God is longsuffering toward sinners, not willing that any should perish. He is patient with us to the extreme. Go to Isaiah 30:18. God waits for us until the very last breath of our earthly life before He turns away from us. Once we are dead, the choice has been made, the ticket stamped, and we are on our way to whatever destination we picked. There is no turning back.

Christians have a wonderful promise in James 1:12-18. No shadow of turning. God is unchangeable. He can’t go from the perfect, sinless Father, to a sinful dad who tempts us to sin. He is pure, and cannot participate in evil. That’s why God does not make bad things happen. He may allow temptation to enter our lives, but He will never cause it.

The only way to get this salvation is by faith. We need to believe in Someone we cannot see, but only our spirit can witness to. He is there, and our spirit knows it. He is speaking by His Spirit into each person daily. If we listen, which we need to do in order to be saved, we hear Him. Once we had the faith to believe, we were saved. Now we can never be unsaved. God said that it was once for all. Romans 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."   Let’s read Hebrews 9:23-28.

Isn’t it funny that God set up the Savior, and the redemption for His chosen people, Israel, and it’s the gentiles who grabbed it and ran? The gentiles were not ashamed to admit they were sinners and needed grace and mercy. They accepted the Free Gift of salvation God offered. The Jews, on the other hand, were so stuck in the Law they could not see their Redeemer for who He was. All they saw was someone trying to change their ways of practicing religion. Love? Give to my family? Feed the poor? Are you nuts or something? Some Jews were saved, and still continue to be saved, but the majority of them were the ones who had Jesus crucified. They are the ones who killed the prophets of old, and the prophets of Jesus’ time, or the apostles.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. First let’s see what the word faith means. It is the Greek word Pistis. It means conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. We need to believe and rely on the trustworthiness of God to do all that He said He would. We need to allow the Spirit of God to persuade us of God’s truth and we need to build confidence in all that the Word tells us. If He said it, it’s true.

Let’s read about Israel’s rejection of the Gospel in Romans 10:14-21. Moses and Isaiah made it clear to Israel that the Savior would come. Moses told God’s people they were so hard of heart that it would be “those who are not a nation” who would receive their blessing. Isaiah told them the Savior would be for people who had not even asked for Him. Why? Because God was stretching His hands out to His people, but they would not listen. They kept turning from Him and worshiping the idols of other countries. After God had proven Himself numerous times with His miracles, and with His care given them in the desert, they still chose wooden and metal objects to worship, items which could not speak to them as God had. They chose to sacrifice their children to Baal. They were a, “Disobedient and contrary people.”

Let’s look a little closer at what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance (or realization) of things hoped for. These are the things in our future, resurrection, and in our eternity, everlasting, pain-free existence. We hope we are saved for real and will live with Christ in heaven. Our faith allows us to believe in these things for ourselves.

The evidence of things not seen. Those things are the things that were done in heaven to make real our salvation. We can’t see God’s grace, we can only believe it’s real. We can’t see God’s mercy that grants us forgiveness of all sin, but we believe we receive it at salvation. We have never seen God, but we believe He is real. We believe it so strongly that we give our hearts and lives to it.

There are many names for God, and each one describes another one of His attributes. God is the I Am.  He is Lord, Heavenly Father, Mighty God, Father of Lights, King Eternal, Almighty God, Eternal God, Living God, Holy One of Israel, etc. God is love. God is Good. God is gracious and merciful, and kind. God is the Creator. What other names do you know Him by?  A simple study of your Bible will reveal His names to you.




V.9- “Not of works.” When you work, you exert effort, use energy, to accomplish something. It’s doing something to gain something. When you work you get some sort of payoff. Either there’s a paycheck at the end of a time period, or you get veggies from your garden, or your house shines. There’s always some result from your work. Let’s read Romans 4:1-8. That’s exactly why you cannot receive salvation by works. Salvation by works would only lead to a religious spirit. If you could obtain salvation by works, God’s position of Benefactor would be eliminated. Not only that, as it says, we would become prideful and begin to boast about how we got ourselves out of trouble. It’s nothing at all that we do beyond belief in God and His Son that buys our salvation. But is that belief passive? No, it’s work too. But it’s not only the kind of work done by the hands, but especially a work done in the heart. The more belief, the deeper the faith, the closer we become to God.  Then we prove our relationship with Him by our good works.

Let’s look at Acts 16:31. When the earthquake opened the jail doors, and dropped the shackles from all the prisoners, the guard pulled out his sword to kill himself. Paul told him they were all there, and not to hurt himself. This impressed the jailer so much, he fell at Paul’s feet and asked how he could be saved. (This shows that even in the midst of trials, when things are their darkest, God still makes ways for us to witness for Him.)

Paul then said the words that stand true till this day, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” As we believe, and pray diligently for our loved ones, they are also saved. We are not told to make a sacrifice, or to do any sort of works that our families will be saved. It says, “Believe only,” and you and your family are saved. The rest is formality. The sinners prayer, and the things that go with it are ways to make your own heart believe what your spirit already believes. There is no other way to be saved then to believe. Believing comes by faith, and faith by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). satan would have you believe otherwise though. He wants you to think you need works in order to be saved, because he knows there are no works that man can perform that are worthy of salvation. If he can make you feel inadequate to receive salvation, he can keep you from your blessed eternity with the Master. Only God’s love for us that led Him to send Jesus as our propitiation can bring salvation.

V.10- In several places in Isaiah we are called the “Work Of My Hands” by God. You can see this in Isaiah 19:25; 29:23; and 45:11. God’s workmanship is us, the new creation, new creatures. We are saved by grace children of God. We have been quickened by God; given new life. We don’t achieve all the perfection of Christ at once, however, it is something we need to walk out daily. Read Philippians 2:12,13.

We are eternal beings who will never suffer the fires of hell. And we are created to do good works. (Agathos: Strong‘s #18: That is good in a physical and moral sense, and which produces benefits.) These are moral, decent works that will lead others to Christ too. As soon as we become new creatures in Christ, we should begin to act like it. Our thoughts should be on other people, and not ourselves. We should develop the habit of giving to others. We need to learn that good works include worshiping God and praising Him. We are able to perform the actions of praise and worship because we are now righteous in God‘s eyes, and He longs to hear our praises. We are not a re-make of sinful Adam, but a new creature in Christ. We are become brand new (II Corinthians 5:17).

God has prepared His works that He wants done. We don’t have to guess what they are. Let’s look at some of the works God has appointed for Christians to do for Him:

                                   1- Ephesians 5:18,19
                                   2- Matthew 10:7,8
                                   3- James 1:27
                                   4- I Peter 3:15
                                   5- Matthew 7:7
                                   6- Matthew 14:16
                                   7- Matthew 19:18-21

There are so many more works that God has given us to accomplish. We are to love one another, be kind to each other, rebuke, correct, and pray for each other. You can’t run out of things to do for the Lord. Only your own imagination limits you from taking Scripture and translating it into action.




V.11- All non-Jews were considered gentiles, or “the uncircumcision.” This title for them was the Jews’ form of reproach for people whom they considered to be inferior to them. It didn’t matter where they were from. If that little piece of skin had not been removed from their bodies, they were considered unclean. Gentiles had no relationship with God. Do you think this circumcision thing might be one of the reasons women were considered second class citizens? There definitely was a social and spiritual separation between men and women; and one between Jews and Gentiles.

Gentiles were not part of the Abrahamic covenant. That’s why Paul brought this up to them. It was a way to make them realize how blessed they were to have been forgiven of their sins, and saved by Jesus. It was not the state they were from that was important, but the state they were now in. Gentiles are circumcised within the heart when we accept our Savior. That’s a far better surgery than a simple snip of excess skin. We are never to forget what a blessing that is to us either. The Bible is one reminder of that, and we need to remind each other often. By the blood of Jesus, Gentiles were brought into covenant with God. That means us. That’s where the Vine and the branches comes into play. Let’s go read John 15:1-8.

So- the Jews who would not accept Christ as their King and Savior were cut from the Vine. The Gentiles who did accept Christ were grafted onto the Vine. Now they were being nourished by the same Source as the saved circumcision: God. Matthew 15:13 tells us, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” Gill explains that this can be a thing as well as people. Doctrines and ordinances that are not from God will be done away with. Gill said that, “The traditions of the elders must be opposed and rejected.” People who are not rooted and grounded in Christ are ultimately revealed, and then uprooted and cast into the fire to be burned.

Let’s read Ephesians 3:14-19. This chapter is about the revelation of the mystery, the purpose of the mystery and the appreciation of the mystery. We will read the appreciation part. And pay close attention to what this says. It makes a huge difference in our lives.

V.12- Although the Old Testament tells us in may places about the desire of God to save them, The Gentiles were not aware of it because they had no access to the holy writings. They had never been allowed in the Temple, therefore had probably never heard the readings that talked about salvation.  We do read the Bible, and we go to church, so we have seen and heard, and know that Jesus came to the Gentiles too. But the Gentiles of that day had no way of knowing about God's grace, or about God’s deliverance to come, until John the Baptist began to proclaim it to them.

Gentiles could not live among the Jews. Jews were not allowed to eat with gentiles, or even enter their homes. Gentiles could have no say in the making the ordinances or laws unless they made themselves like a Jew and accepted all their laws. These gentiles would have to undergo the surgery of bodily circumcision, and do all the rituals that man had made up by then along with keeping the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments. Most of the gentiles had no hope of making it to heaven. Let’s read what Philo had to say about hope.

Philo, the Jew, observes, that
``the Chaldeans call a man Enos, as if he only was truly a man that expects good things, and supports himself with good hopes; and adds, hence it is manifest that one without hope is not reckoned a man, but a beast in an human form; since he is
destitute of hope, which is the property of the human soul;''
In other words, those who didn't know the Lord Jesus was coming to save us had no hope, therefore, they were considered as dogs.

Gills says that without the knowledge of Christ, Gentiles were Atheists. They didn’t know Him, or His mercy in dying for their salvation. But once they met Him, they needed to be reminded to continue in the good fight. That is, unless they worshiped and praised God, and spent time with Him in the Word of God, and grew closer to Him, they were not really saved ones. That holds true to this day. If we are not taking time with God, we are not really saved in our spirits and hearts. We are saved to eternity, but not saved out of the world. We will have no peace, joy or true happiness until we begin to walk daily in Christ.  We are not blessable until we are totally committed to Jesus.

V.13- “But now in Christ Jesus,” is a beautiful phrase that makes it clear to us that now, by God’s grace, we are saved and partakers of the eternal life He has made available. We were once separated from God by sins, and the veil the enemy pulled over our eyes kept us from seeing. Because of His sacrifice, we have hope that is eternal. We never need to doubt what we will do for eternity. We will praise and glorify God! Let’s read I Peter 2:1-10.

Learning to give is essential to the Christian life. “Give and it shall be given to you,” We’ll close with reading Luke




V.14- He is our peace. Peace from what? Peace from the Law, from the controversy over circumcision. Peace that allowed Jews and Gentiles to share in the inheritance of the Kingdom. When Jesus came, He made null and void the laws of the Pharisees. Their desire to steal the honor that was due God was so strong, they made up rules that made them the central figures to honor. Jesus let the people know that their is only One deserving of that honor, God Himself. Jesus brought peace with God into our lives too. By His death, we are reconciled to God. Made whole, and united in the one family. No matter what we do within our own power, we cannot bring peace between us and God. Jesus is our mediator. He is the One who speaks to God on our behalf.

Jesus was able, by His death, to bring Jews and Gentiles into agreement. They agreed that He was Savior, Lord, and Mediator.

What is the, “middle wall?” It was the wall made up of the Laws the Pharisees made up. It is the wall of division between those who knew Jesus and those who didn’t. The Law had many rules that were impossible to follow to the letter, so they were always falling short. But the Pharisees, in their pride, thought they were the essence of the Law, and that they were above reproach. Jesus pointed out their pride, and their failures. Let’s look at some of the things Jesus said to them. Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 12:39. He called them snakes. He was not impressed with any of their rules, or the way they treated people, especially their own families.

V.15- Jesus abolished the Law of the Commandments that the Jews had written in. He never did away with the Ten Commandments as some would tell you. But He did abolish, cast out, put an end to the strict rituals that imprisoned man’s soul. The one thing that was needed to stop all this religious foolishness was a sacrifice that would do away with the need for further sacrifices. Jesus’ body was that offering.

One of the reasons the Pharisees hated Jesus is that He was taking away the need for priests! That was the lifestyle of the Levites, their way of support, their prominence in the community. Taking away their function would make a need for them to seek active employment. It would mean they could no longer set aside their wealth from their families. It would mean a complete lifestyle transformation. There’s no way they would give up without a fight.

What Jesus hoped to achieve by His death was a union of the two cultures, Jew and Greek. When they were saved, and made new, they were brought into the family of God. They were united in their love of God. Let's go to Galatians 6:15. Whether or not you have had that little nip and tuck, you are one with the Lord if you have Jesus in your heart. You are a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). We now have the same Spirit whether we are Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. Jesus is our head, we are the members of the body.

V.16- The reconciliation spoken of here is the act of Jesus reuniting us with God by His death. He hung on the cross to be sin for us. To take our place, and to suffer, die, and go to hell for us so that we will never have to. Our body will die, but our souls are everlasting in Christ. Let’s go back to II Corinthians 5:12-21. Paul can explain this better than I can. Jesus was made sin for us so we could have this relationship with our Father.

The body mentioned is the body of Jesus. The blood He shed, and the torment He endured, and the fact that the Father turned His back to Him was all done to bring us into union with God. Jesus was the only totally flawless sacrifice ever made. The only One that could have brought salvation. He was sin-free, and came as our atonement. He paid the price we owed for our sins. He carried our burden of guilt to the cross. He built the bridge that we can now cross to be with God for eternity. He put to death our enmity with God, our ill will toward Him. When Jesus gave us a way out of sin, He pulled down the “middle wall” that divided us from God and from each other. We can now all enter the righteousness of  God through Jesus Christ.

V.17- Jesus preached to the Jews when He was walking the earth in human form. So what does this mean “preached to you who were far off?” And who is it that was far off? It’s the preaching of the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit that spoke to the Gentiles. Peter was the main one to speak to them, which is funny since he was really into Jewish traditions before the sheet came down before him. God has a sense of humor. What you feel you can never do, He does through you. For Peter to learn to love the Gentiles whom he would not associate with at first, whom he had persecuted to death, was the love of God growing in him.

Those who were near were the Jews. Jesus preached to them while He was here, as did the apostles. And the apostles and disciples carried on with the preaching after Jesus ascended to heaven.

V.18- It is truth, We have Jesus to stand in for us, the Spirit to stand up for us, and each other to stand with us. By His stripes we were healed and made whole. We don’t ever have to worry about losing our soul or spirit to hell once we accept the gift Jesus gave us. Let’s read Romans 6:23.

God bless you all as you reach out in His name this week.




I want to begin with word definitions. It’s true that words can get boring, but we need to understand the meaning of these words in order to understand the content of this portion of Scripture. Please bear with me.

A. Strangers: Mr. Webster describes a stranger as 1. one who has had no personal relationship with another; 2. a newcomer to a place; a stranger in town; 3. a person who does not belong to the family, group, or community; an outsider.

The Gentiles were strangers. They didn’t belong to the family, they were outsiders. But the blood of Jesus paid their way into the family. They are no longer strangers.

B. Foreigner: Of this word, he says, 1. a person not native to, or naturalized in the country or jurisdiction under consideration; 2. a person from outside ones community.

As Gentiles, the people were foreigners to the Jews. They had no standing in the community, and no voice. Many Gentiles were bought and sold as slaves. They had no honor. It’s the same thing now for those who are alien to the Kingdom of God.

C. Household: This one’s easy. It means, literally, members of a family. Now let’s put this all together.

V.19- First, we have to read verse 18 again. We now have access. We are no longer strangers in a foreign land. We are now a household member. We are no longer strangers to God, but members of His family. Branches on the Vine of Life. We now share in the grace and love of God. He has become our Source, our Strength, our Provider. We now have access to the throne. We can participate in the mercy of God, and we can come boldly before the throne with our petitions. We have now seen the deception played on us by satan, and what he almost made us miss out on. To God is the Glory.

We are no longer foreigners, but citizens in the Kingdom. We are family members in good standing before the Lord. We have joy, and peace, and rest because of our connection to the Source. We  have gained equality with the Jews. They are no longer better than us. A saved Jew and a saved Gentile are one in the Lord. We are all free from condemnation, and share in the blessings of the kingdom. We should never want for anything again if we completely receive what was granted to us at the moment of our salvation. We are partakers of the inheritance.

But wait! Aren’t we still foreigners?  Yes, but we are now foreigners to the world. We now live in this world, and participate in it, but we no longer belong to it. We are  no longer citizens of this world. We are now citizens of the heavenly realm. The role has been reversed. Where once we participated gladly in the sin and greed of this world, we now take part in the love and selflessness that comes from having a relationship with the loving, living Savior.

V.20- Let’s follow the suggested verses to see this one. Go to I Peter 2:4-10. Jesus was the chosen Cornerstone upon which God was to build His church. We are also living stones. We make up the walls of the church, the pews in the church, the rest of the foundation of the church, and we are the words of the church that tell others about Jesus so they can also be cemented into the building. By this, they can become a member of the family.

Matthew 16:18. Peter is not the rock upon which the church is built, which is what many teach. Rather, he is the first living stone placed on the foundation by Jesus Himself.  Jesus told Peter that He Himself is the Rock, and that Peter would be set on top of Him to begin building the church of God. Nothing, not even satan and his hell can pull down that which Jesus is building. The proof of this is found in I Corinthians 3:10,11. No other foundation but Jesus Christ. Halleluiah!

The apostles and prophets who are in the building process are those who lay the truth before the people. God has assigned some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors, and some teachers. It’s a layering effect. Each gift applies a new material to the stones to strengthen the building. Without each of these ministries, something would be missing. If this were not truth, it would not be listed in God’s Word for us to see. It should give us great pleasure to bring a lost soul to Christ, and cement him into the building.

V.21- As we are laid out, one stone at a time, we begin to take on shape. We are raised up into the shape of a building. We are a temple where many people will find Jesus and be saved, but only when we act as living stones. The temple of God is not a dead cold stone building. It is made up of the Living Jesus, and His living followers. The temple needs to have warmth, charity, love, to reach out to the lost. A temple that does not provide safety and protection is useless. We need to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, take care of orphans and widows, and meet the needs of the unsaved.

V. 22- God is the Builder. Jesus is the Foundation, believers are the building material God uses to erect His church.  Jesus is not only the Cornerstone, but also the doorway that people use to enter in.  He is also the windows that let in the Light.

Several years ago, the Spirit told me that Jesus is the Cornerstone of God’s church, Peter is a rock added to it, and we are bricks that come together to form the building. He also told me that the cement that holds the stones together is prayer. If we are not praying, the strength of the church is compromised. Each single brick is responsible for his part. Prayer is one of the most important functions of a saved person. Without prayer, satan can come against the church, and even the elect are deceived. 

Solomon built the first house that God dwelled in. It was made of literal wood and stone and minerals.  The house that Jesus is building is the real house God wants to live in. It is a living house that breathes and teaches His Word. It is the temple that the Holy Spirit lives in, and works through. Anyone who denies the power of the Spirit denies God. For God sent the Spirit at Jesus’ request to indwell the members of His family.

We are no longer strangers, although we still live in a foreign land. We are now, and forever, members of the family of God. We have all the rights afforded to a blood born son.  Praise God for His gift of salvation.
ever be ashamed of the Gospel, or your place in the temple.