The Church Is A Building
Good morning Immanuel. The Church is a building, and you are a brick in the wall.
“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)
This passage starts by addressing the people as citizens and saints, members of a household. That is the language of human rights, responsibility, relationship, and family. But then Paul changes the imagery and begins describing a structure being built. He is not describing a physical church building, but rather the body of believers who are the structure…This church, with Christ as the cornerstone, is designed and built by God. He is the architect and builder. No one else can take credit for the life of the church, the success of the church, the sustaining of the church, or the growth of the church. It grows “in the Lord.” This is not mechanical growth, but rather the powerful presence of God bringing spiritual life to this body of believers.
When we read “growth” we almost inevitably think of size or numbers. We have an entire industry built around “church growth,” after all. But that is not the way that growth is depicted here. We are “being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” This supernatural structure that God is building us into, and building up through us, is dwelled in by his Spirit. He is making his home with his people in his Church. Growth, then, should be defined as an increase of the reality and presence of God in our midst.
To be part of the church means to be part of this structure, a brick in the wall of the dwelling-place of God. It means we, along with all the other bricks and joists and studs and rafters, rest on the foundation of God’s word fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We belong to the house of God.
Barnabas Piper, Belong: Loving Your Church by Reflecting Christ to One Another (The Good Book Company, 2023). Used with permission by the author.
March 19, 2023 - This Sunday At Immanuel
SERMON - This Sunday, Pastor Barnabas Piper will continue our sermon series in Ephesians 4.
9 am: Studying the Bible Together led by Mark Hodge in the Staff Lounge (ongoing)
9 am: First Word Seminar led by Dr. Russell Moore in the Cafe
9 am: Student Seminar led by Vince Greenwald in the gymnasium (ongoing for grades 5-12)
10:45 am: Next Steps 3, led by Hunter Braden in the Staff Lounge (ongoing)
ONLINE PRAYER MEETINGS - Every week, Jenn Ross, an Immanuel Discipleship Group leader, facilitates two online prayer meetings that everyone is welcome to join. Join her on Sundays morning from 7:30-8 am via Zoom here.
GIVING - Our mission is to make the real Jesus non-ignorable in our city and far beyond. Your generosity makes resources like the Daily Pulse possible. If you would like to give a one-time donation, support the ministry regularly, or give to our Tenth Generation Campaign, you can do so at immanuelnashville.com/give.