In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.—This verse seems primarily intended simply to emphasise the truth already enunciated (in Ephesians 2:20), that the Ephesians themselves are now being made part of the Church of Christ, “being built up together in Christ.” But it may also illustrate to us the character of the unity of the Church, as, primarily, a direct individual unity with Christ—each stone being itself a complete and living stone—and, secondarily and indirectly, an unity with others and with the whole. The Ephesians are said to be, not a part of the habitation of God, but themselves built into Christ for an habitation of God—“Christ dwelling in their hearts by faith,” and they “therefore being filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19). The addition of this clause, therefore, links the teaching of this Epistle with the earlier and more individual forms of teaching, noted on Ephesians 2:20.
This verse contains, again, the declaration (as in Ephesians 2:18) of the union of Christians with each Person of THE HOLY TRINITY. The soul made one with THE SON becomes a temple for the indwelling of THE FATHER in the gift of THE HOLY SPIRIT. (See John 14:23.)
Ye also are builded together - You are built into that, or constitute a part of it. You are not merely "added" to it, but you constitute a part of the building.
For an habitation of God - For the indwelling, or the dwelling-place, of God. Formerly he dwelt in the temple. Now he dwells in the church, and in the hearts of his people; see the notes at 2 Corinthians 6:16.
Remarks On Ephesians 2
1. We were by nature dead in sin; Ephesians 2:1. We had no spiritual life. We were insensible to the calls of God, to the beauty of religion, to the claims of the Creator. We were like corpses in the tomb in reference to the frivolous and busy and happy world around them. There we should have remained, had not the grace of God given us life, just as the dead will remain in their graves forever, unless God shall raise them up. How humble should we be at the remembrance of this fact! how grateful that God bas not left us to sleep that sleep of death forever!
2. Parents should feel deep solicitude for their children; Ephesians 2:3. They, in common with all others, are "children of wrath." They have a nature prone to evil; and that nature will develope itself in evil for ever, unless it is changed - just as the young thornbush will be a thorn-bush, and will put forth thorns and not roses; and the Bohon Upas will be a Bohon Upas, and not an olive or an orange; and as the lion will be a lion, and the panther a panther, and not a lamb, a kid, or a gazelle. They will act out their nature, unless they are changed: and they will not be changed, but by the grace of God. I do not mean that their nature is in every sense like that of the lion or the asp; but I mean that they will be as certainly "wicked," if unrenewed, as the lion will be ferocious, and the asp poisonous. And if so, what deep anxiety should parents feel for the salvation of their children! How solicitous should they be that, by the grace of God. the evil propensities of their nature may be eradicated, and that they become the adopted children of God!
3. The salvation of sinners involves all the exercise of power that is put forth in the resurrection of the dead; Ephesians 2:5. It is not a work to be performed by man; it is not a work of angelic might. None can impart spiritual life to the soul but he who gave it life at first. On that great Source of life we are dependent for our resurrection from spiritual death; and to God we must look for the grace by which we are to live. It is true that though we are by nature "dead in sins," we are not in all respects like the dead. Let not this doctrine be abused to make us secure in sin, or to prevent effort. The dead in the grave are dead in all respects. We by nature are dead only in sin. We are active in other things; and indeed the powers of man are not less active than they would be if he were holy. But it is a tremendous activity for evil, and for evil only. The dead in their graves hear nothing, see nothing, and feel nothing.
Sinners hear, and see, and feel; but they hear not God, and they see not his glory, anymore than if they were dead. To the dead in the grave, no command could with propriety be addressed; on them, no entreaty could be urged to rise to life. But the sinner may be commanded and entreated; for he has power, though it is misdirected; and what is needful is, that he should put forth his power in a proper manner. While, therefore, we admit, with deep humiliation, that we, our children, and friends, are by nature dead in sin, let us not abuse this doctrine as though we could be required to do nothing. It is with us willful death. It is death because we do not choose to live. It is a voluntary closing our eyes, and stopping our ears, as if we were dead; and it is a voluntary remaining in this state, when we have all the requisite power to put forth the energies of life. Let a sinner be as active in the service of God as he is in the service of the devil and the world, and he would be an eminent Christian. Indeed, all that is required is, that the misdirected and abused energy of this world should be employed in the service of the Creator. Then all would be well.
(See the supplementary notes, Romans 8:7; Galatians 5:17, note. Whenever it is said the sinner has power, the kind of power should be defined. Certainly he has not moral power. This, indeed, the author allows, but for want of distinct definition of what he understands by "power," both here and elsewhere, the reader is apt to misapprehend him.)
4. Let us remember our former course of life; Ephesians 2:11-12. Nothing is more profitable for a Christian than to sit down and reflect on his former life - on his childhood, with its numerous follies and vanities; on his youth, with its errors, and passions, and sins: and on the ingratitude and faults of riper years. Had God left us in that state, what would be now our condition? Had he cut us off, where had been our abode? Should he now treat us as we deserve, what would be our doom? When the Christian is in danger of becoming proud and self-confident, let him remember what he was. Let him take some period of his life - some year, some month, or even some one day - and think it all over, and he will find enough to humble him. These are the uses which should be made of the past:
(1) It should make us humble. If a man had before his mind a vivid sense of all the past in his own life, he would never be lifted up with pride.
(2) it should make us grateful. God cut off the companions of my childhood - why did he spare me? He cut down many of the associates of my youth in their sins - why did he preserve me? He has suffered many to live on in their sins, and they are in the "broad road" - why am I not with them, treading the path to death and hell?
(3) the recollection of the past should lead us to devote ourselves to God. Professing Christian, "remember" how much of thy life is gone to waste. "Remember" thy days of folly and vanity. "Remember" the injury thou hast done by an evil example. "Remember" how many have been corrupted by thy conversation; perverted by thy opinions; led into sin by thy example; perhaps ruined in body and soul forever by the errors and follies of thy past life. And then remember how much thou dost owe to God, and how solemnly thou art bound to endeavor to repair the evils of thy life, and to save "at least as many as" thou hast ruined.
5. Sinners are by nature without any well-founded hope of salvation; Ephesians 2:12, They are living without Christ, having no belief in him, and no hope of salvation through him. They are "aliens" from all the privileges of the friends of God. They have no "hope." They have no wellfounded expectation of happiness beyond the grave. They have a dim and shadowy expectation that "possibly" they may be happy; but it is founded on no evidence of the divine favor, and no promise of God. "They could not tell on what it is founded, if they were asked;" and what is such a hope worth? These false and delusive hopes do not sustain the soul in trial; they flee away in death. And what a description is this! In a world like this, to be without hope! Subject to trial; exposed to death; and yet destitute of any well-founded prospect of happiness beyond the tomb! They are "without God" also. They worship no God: they confide in none.
through—Greek, "in the Spirit." God, by His Spirit in believers, has them for His habitation (1Co 3:16, 17; 6:19; 2Co 6:16).An habitation of God; a temple where God may dwell. Not only the whole collection of believers is called the temple of God, but particular churches and particular saints are so called, because of God’s dwelling in them by his Spirit: see 1 Corinthians 3:16,17 6:19.
Through the Spirit: this may relate either to the words immediately going before,
an habitation of God, and then the meaning is, an habitation or temple in which God dwells by his Spirit; or to the verb
builded, and then they import the building of them into a temple to be the operation of the Spirit, working that faith and love in them whereby they are united to Christ the foundation, and to the several parts of the building. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Ephesians 2:22. Ἐν ᾧ] applies to ἐν κυρίῳ, and is to be explained quite like ἐν ᾧ in Ephesians 2:21. The reference to ναόν (Calixtus, Rosenmüller, Matthies) appears on account of the immediately preceding ἐν κυρίῳ arbitrary, and, according to the correct apprehension of πᾶσα οἰκοδ., as well as with regard to the following εἰς κατοικητήριον κ.τ.λ., impossible.
συνοικοδομεῖσθε] is indicative, not imperative (Calvin, Meier), against which Ephesians 2:19-20 are decisive, according to which Paul says not what the readers ought to be, but what they are; hence he, at Ephesians 2:22, attaches in symmetrical relative construction the relation of the readers to that which subsists in the case of every Christian community, Ephesians 2:21. The compound, however, may mean either: ye are built along with (the others), comp. 3 Esdr. 5:68 (συνοικοδομήσωμεν ὑμῖν), so that the church of the readers would be placed in the same category with the other churches (so it is ordinarily understood); or: ye are builded together, so that σύν relates to the putting together of the single parts of the building (comp. Philo, de praem. et poen. p. 928 E: οἰκίαν εὖ συνωκοδομημένην κ. συνηρμοσμένην, comp. Thuc. i. 93. 3; Dio Cass. xxxix. 61). The latter is to be preferred, because the parallelism of Ephesians 2:21-22 makes the attaching of different senses to the two compounds ΣΥΝΑΡΜΟΛΟΓ. and ΣΥΝΟΙΚΟΔ. appear groundless.
ΕἸς ΚΑΤΟΙΚΗΤΉΡΙΟΝ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ] unto the dwelling of God, quite the same, only with a variation of expression, as before εἰς ναὸν ἅγιον was (comp. Matthew 23:21), and pertaining to ΣΥΝΟΙΚΟΔ. The supposition of Griesbach and Knapp, that ἘΝ ᾯ Κ. ὙΜ. ΣΥΝΟΙΚΟΔ. is an interpolation, and ΕἸς ΚΑΤΟΙΚ. Κ.Τ.Λ. still belongs to ΑὔΞΕΙ; as, again, the expedient of Koppe and Rückert, that ΕἸς ΚΑΤΟΙΚ. ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ means, in order that a dwelling of God may arise; and finally, the assertion of Harless, that κατοικ. τοῦ Θεοῦ is not identical with the ΝΑῸς ἍΓΙΟς, but that the individual Christians were so termed because God dwells in them and the whole forms a ναὸς ἅγιος,—are only different forced interpretations, resulting from the linguistically unwarranted explanation of the above ΠᾶΣΑ ΟἸΚΟΔΟΜΉ as the whole building.
ἐν πνεύματι] receives from most expositors an adjectival turn: “a spiritual temple, in opposition to the stone one of the Jews,” Rückert. How arbitrary generally in itself! how arbitrary, in particular, not to refer ἐν πνεύματι to the Holy Spirit! since we have here, exactly as in Ephesians 2:18, the juxtaposition of the Divine Trias, while the context presents nothing whatever to suggest the contrast with a temple of stone. Harless (comp. Meier and Matthies): “a dwelling, which is in the indwelling of the Spirit;” and this, forsooth! is held to mean: “inasmuch as the Spirit dwells in them, they are a dwelling of God and of Christ.” But, apart from the fact that of this “and of Christ” there is nothing whatever in the text, in this way ἐν πνεύματι, which according to the literal sense could only be the continens, would in fact be made the contentum! From this the very analogies, in themselves inappropriate (because they are abstracta), which Harless employs: χαρὰ ἐν πνεύματι, ἈΓΆΠΗ ἘΝ ΠΝ., ought to have precluded him. The true view is to connect it not merely with ΚΑΤΟΙΚ. ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ, but with ΣΥΝΟΊΚΟΔΟΜΕῖΣΘΕ ΕἸς ΚΑΤΟΙΚ. ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ, and ἘΝ is instrumental. Ye are being builded together unto the dwelling-place of God by virtue of the Holy Spirit; in so far, namely, as the latter dwells in your Christian community (see on 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16 f.; comp. Jam 4:5), and thereby the relation of being the temple of God is brought about—a relation, which without this indwelling of the Spirit would not occur, and would not be possible. For the Spirit of God is related to the ideal temple as the Shechinah to the actual temple, and is the conditio sine qua non of the same. Comp. also Hofmann, who, however, likewise connects ἐν πν. only with ΚΑΤΟΙΚ. Τ. Θ. The objections of Harless to the instrumental rendering of ἘΝ are not valid; for (a) the circumstance that ἐν πνεύματι was placed only at the end not only very naturally resulted from the parallelism with Ephesians 2:21, seeing that in Ephesians 2:21 there is not contained an element corresponding to the ἐν πνεύματι, and consequently this new element is most naturally appended at the end, but the position at the close imparts also to the ἐν πνεύμ. an unusual emphasis (Kühner, II. p. 625), comp. also Ephesians 3:5; and (b) the suggestion that πνεῦμα, as the objective medium, must have the article, is incorrect, seeing that ΠΝΕῦΜΑ, with or without an article (in accordance with the nature of a proper noun), is the objective Holy Spirit.
 In and of itself the relative clause would not exclude the imperative (in opposition to Hofmann). See, e.g., Soph. Oed. Col. 735 (al. 731): ὃν μήτʼ ὀκνεῖτε, Herod, i. 89. Comp. the familiar οἶσθʼ ὃ δρᾶσον, and the imperative often standing after ὥστε.Ephesians 2:22. ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε εἰς κατοικητήριον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν πνεύματι: in whom ye also are being built together into a habitation of God in the Spirit. The relative refers again, as in Ephesians 2:21, to Christ, the Κυρίῳ just named, not to the ναόν. The καί (= also, not even) points to the dignity of the present position—“the exalted nature of the association in which the Ephesians shared” (Ell.). The συνοικοδομεῖσθε is not imper. (Calv.), but indic., the burden of the whole section being what was done for the readers and what was made of them. The συν- in the comp. verb might convey the idea of being built together with others; but, in view of the force of the συναρμολογουμένη it is rather to be understood as denoting the compact connection of one part with another, the orderly conjunction and co-ordination of all the various parts of the οἰκοδομή (Mey., Ell.); cf. the συνέκλεισεν in Galatians 3:2. κατοικητήριον is best translated “habitation”. Some draw a distinction between the ναόν as the whole Church and the κατοικητήριον as the individual Christians (Harl.). But the latter phrase simply expresses in another form the same idea as the former. The κατοικητήριον being that of God (τοῦ Θεοῦ), belonging to Him, inhabited by Him, is the same as the ναός. The ἐν πνεύματι is not to be taken as = “in a spiritual manner,” as if in contrast with ἐν σαρκί; nor as making with the noun the idea of “a spiritual house”; but as = in the Holy Spirit, the anarthrous πνεῦμα having often that sense and the similar ἐν Κυρίῳ suggesting it. Nor should the ἐν be rendered “through” (AV) or “by” (Mey.). It is true that the instrumental use of ἐν gives a thoroughly good sense, viz., that we are built together in Christ by the agency of the Holy Spirit—in respect of His dwelling and operating in us. But the idea is rather that of in the Spirit as the element of the life or the condition of the process. The phrase may be connected immediately with the κατοικητήριον as if = “a habitation of God realised in the Spirit,” or it may be construed as a tertiary predication (Ell.) = “and it is in the Spirit”. But it is best taken to qualify the whole statement of the συνοικοδομεῖσθε, = “in Christ as the ground and principle of all ye too are being built together into a habitation of God, and it is by your being in the Spirit that this is taking effect”. Union with Christ, life in the Spirit—this explained what they were; this meant that they, as well as other Christian bodies, were being built up so as to be a habitation of God.22. you also] He reminds them of the joyful fact that they are special examples of the general truth that “the Gentiles are fellow-heirs.”
are builded] A present tense in the Greek; are building, being builded. It is a process; carried on in new accessions of regenerate souls, and new and deeper “framing together” of the already regenerate.
for a habitation] For the significance of “for,” see remarks on “unto” in Ephesians 2:21.—The word rendered “habitation” (elsewhere Revelation 18:2 only) means, by its form, emphatically a permanent abode. The true idea is of the eternal Indwelling of God in the glorified Church. But this is reached through the lasting, though partial, Indwelling now. See notes above; and below, on Ephesians 3:17.
God] Not here specially Christ. The prospect is of the world where “God shall be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), words which foretell no removal (God forbid) of “the Lamb” from “the Throne,” but a manifestation of the Father supreme and unimaginable. Meanwhile, again, the present is the germ of that Future; “My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23); and “ye are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16).
 The one passage where the coming of the Father is spoken of. What awful grandeur is bestowed by this ‘We’ on the believer! (Note by the Dean of Peterborough).
through the Spirit] Lit. and better, in (the) Spirit. The living Temple, in its every stone, is what it is by the immediate action of the Holy Spirit, “Who sanctifieth the elect people of God.” They are thus “in the Spirit”(Romans 8:9), surrounded, as it were, by His presence and power. And so it will be, as this passage indicates, in the final state where the “pure River” will still “proceed from the Throne of” the Father and the Son. Will not the Holy Spirit’s work, far from ceasing, be supremely effectual, in the world of “spiritual bodies” (1 Corinthians 15:44)?
We undoubtingly explain “in spirit” here to mean “in the Spirit” (with A.V. and R.V.), remembering the prominence in the whole Epistle, and not least in this part, of the subject of the Holy Spirit’s work.
Thus closes the special revelation of the plan and nature of the great Living Sanctuary, built on the Son, by the Spirit, for the Father, to be the scene of the manifestation of His Glory to whatsoever spectators Eternity shall bring to see it.Verse 22. - In whom ye also are builded together. Once more the vitalizing element - "in whom;" for this is better than "in which," inasmuch as this verse is substantially a reduplication of the preceding one, making special application of the same subject to the Ephesians. The person changes from the third to the second, to make emphatic that the Ephesians shared this great privilege. Their relations towards believing Jews and other believers in the Church were not accidental; they were "builded together," compacted into each other, and ought to work together towards God's great ends. For a habitation of God in the Spirit. Not many habitations, but one. The Church as a temple is the dwelling-place of God. Here he bestows his fullness, so that when the temple is completed it will exhibit, as fully as a created thing can, the manifold glory of God. "In the Spirit" in this verse corresponds to "in the Lord" in the previous one. The actual communication of Divine properties to finite beings is the work of the Third Person. In this verse, again, we find the three Persons of the Trinity: the temple is the habitation of the First Person; the source of its life and growth and symmetry is the Son; the actual up-building and glorifying of it is by the Spirit. This is the climax of privilege, and no contrast could be greater than that between the death in trespasses and sins with which the chapter begins, and this sublime temple, where God dwells and bestows his fullness, with which it ends.
As component parts of the one building. The reference is to individual Christians, not to communities.
Through the Spirit (ἐν)
Better, as Rev., in. In the fellowship of the indwelling Spirit.
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