And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;…
1. There is a special wisdom required in those who are to dispense the doctrine of faith; they must proceed by line and order. We do not entrust a piece of work of any importance but to those who are masters of their craft. Much more does the spiritual building require workmen who labour as they need not be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15). And this teaches people how they should submit themselves to be framed and squared according as the ministry requires. Before a rough stone can be conveniently laid, it must be hewed by the mason, polished, and planed, and so brought to the rest of the building. So it is with you: you must be smoothed and planed before you can come to lie in this building. If ye be God's building, ye must be squared to His model.
2. The faithful have a close union with Christ and one another. As in a house the building, all of it, "must be fitted to the foundation, and every part of it suit one with another, so in this building, which we are, there must be a straight coupling with the foundation, and correspondence one with another. In the material temple (the type of the spiritual) the walls or rows of stone that were in it were so squared that one piece did not bulge out above the other, but being laid together a man would have thought them one entire stone. So all the other things were so contrived, that window answered to window, door to door, chamber to chamber; there was a pleasant proportionableness in everything. In like manner must the multitude of believers be all laid on one foundation, and all of them so even that they seem as one living stone, and every one answering most commodiously to another. And thus it is with the faithful in their union with Christ and with one another. Love makes the saints each seek the good of the other, and be serviceable each to other.
3. True believers grow up from day to day. Even as it is in great buildings, which are not at once begun and perfected, So do the stones of the spiritual temple go on growing till they come to perfection. Where we cease to grow, there we decline; he that wins not, loses. Leave off endeavour to be better, and you will soon cease to be good.
4. Believers are a temple for God's habitation.
(1) A great dignity.
(2) Defile not the temple of God. To do so is sacrilege.
(3) Avoid all profanation of it.
5. Believers must be sanctified throughout.
6. Believers grow by the power of Christ. The Church still goes forward, in spite of heresies, persecutions, all scandals of life, all the gates of hell, because God is its builder.
(1) Let us look to Him for spiritual edification.
(2) It should comfort us to know that in due time we shall be finished.God will make up all the breaches and ruins of our sinful nature, and build us up a glorious temple for Himself, wherein He will dwell forever.
Parallel VersesKJV: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;