Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
We Are Fellow Citizens
There is no greater need in the church today than for everyone to learn how dependent we are upon one another. When God said it was not good for Adam to be alone and created a helpmeet in woman, He established the nature of man in a world of relationships reaching farther than the home. The family element has been the core of every society. Including the family component in worship, the Lord expressed the desire that all men share in a common bond. This binding of hearts is brought together by singing together, prayer, communion of remembrance and feasting on the manna of God’s word. Worship creates a gathering of hearts mingled with the spirits of those who seek a common cause and purpose. A brother dwelling together in unity is a lovely chord to the ear of the Lord God. There is harmony of spirits that pleases Him.
The unique character of the kingdom of God is all men are one in the body. In the New Testament church joining the Jew and Gentile together in harmony was an incredible feat. Slaves and free sat together singing praises to God and both partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Preachers came from poor people and rich alike. Outsiders must have gawked at how the early church assimilated the diversity of society in a single family of worshippers. Through the centuries, the church has enjoyed the diverse nature of nationalities, cultures, backgrounds and wealth bringing all men under the cross of Jesus for the same purpose. There is no difference in the body of Christ from one man and another. Jesus died for all men and all men share in the blood of the Son of God for redemption.
Paul’s plea for the Christian is to realize we are not to be strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens in the household of God. By the grace of God, all the saved have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. There was a time we all were separated from the love of God because of sin. All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – no matter who they are or what station in life they possess. In the blood of Christ, all men have been redeemed into the family of God and share in the same blessings. No longer estranged from God, all men are citizens of the same kingdom sharing in the same blessings of Christ. As saints, we share in the same grace. The joy of salvation is that we are members of the same household with the same Father.
The illustration of a building shows how dependent every Christian is upon another. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone; everything is measured by where He is. The whole building (the church) is fitted together for a purpose. As living stones, each member grows into a holy temple in the Lord being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. God designed the church to be a family of saints sharing together in their lives for the edification of itself in love – showing the world the glory of the Father. As fellow citizens, we are bonded to one another in our love for one another. We need each other. We need everyone. A family depends on brothers and sisters to bring unity in the church of the Lord.
When we gather for worship, it should be a full body of saints gathered as one. It is sad when other saints do not see the need to join with their brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Some will do as little as required because being with their brethren is not a fellowship of communion. Ironically, the goal of each Christian is to dwell together in Heaven and yet so many see no need to spend ‘earth time’ in worship. The greatest joy a child of God can have is when he or she is spending time with fellow citizens. Saints live to dwell with one another. Members of the household of God have a deep desire to know one another in the love of God. We are one. We are no longer to be strangers and foreigners. Build your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ by sharing your life with fellow Christians.