Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 2:19-22

Ἄρα οὖν οὐκέτι ἐστὲ ξένοι καὶ πάροικοι ἀλλὰ ἐστὲ συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων καὶ οἰκεῖοι τοῦ θεοῦ ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελἰῳ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ προφητῶν ὄντος ἀκρογωνιαίου αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν ᾧ πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ συναρμολογουμένη αὔξει εἰς ωαὸν ἅγιον ἐν κυρίῳ ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε εἰς κατοικητήριον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν πνεύματι. As a result, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow-citizens of the saints and members of the house of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, being the cornerstone himself Christ Jesus, in whom all the building is joined together increasing into a holy temple in the Lord, also in whom you are built up together into the dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Paul is here concluding his conclusion, which he started back in verse 11. God’s grace means that the readers are no longer the foreigners, those that were far away, but are now fellow-citizens of the saints and are members of God’s household. They have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. Christ himself is the cornerstone of the foundation. As the cornerstone, the whole building is constructed by becoming aligned with Christ. The apostles and prophets form the foundation for the whole building, but the foundation was not formed without being aligned perfectly with Christ, so that the whole building depended upon Christ. Christ was laid first, the apostles and prophets came next in alignment with Christ, and the uncircumcised and the circumcised came last, being laid upon what Christ and the apostles and prophets laid down. It is in Christ that the whole building is joined together and is constructed into a holy temple in the Lord. It is also in Christ that the readers are built up together into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. The dative ἐν κυρίῳ marks controlling influence; since there is a parallel structure in verses 21 and 22 (ἐν ᾧ . . . εἰς . . . ἐν . . .), the other dative, ἐν πνεύματι, should likewise be understood as a marker of controlling influence, that is, as a dative of association. The Lord is associated with the building, influencing it to grow or increase, becoming a holy temple. Similarly, the Spirit is associated with the control of the building up of God’s dwelling place.

Therefore, as a result, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow-citizens of the saints and members of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building being joined together grows into a holy temple in the Lord, and in whom you were built up together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

As a result of God’s grace through Christ we are no longer aliens but are citizens among the saints, and we belong to God’s house. We are part of the building that was built upon the apostles and the prophets, who were laid down as a foundation for us in alignment with Christ. The Lord brought us together to form a holy temple; the Spirit built us up to be God’s dwelling place. We are therefore part of the building that relies on Christ, and we are under the control of God.

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