So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, , in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
It seems to me that God is doing something new amongst His people of today. From the evidence of testimony as well as statistical evidence, we can see a heartfelt realisation amongst an enormous number of those claiming to belong to Christ, that the Christianism which has slowly developed since the days of Pentecost, and which we've been practicing for many decades, is a mere, but very dim, shadow of the “building” Scripture reveals, one which is a “temple of the Lord.....a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (see above).
There is a stark realisation amongst this multitude that something is wrong, right across the board. So very many of those beloved of the Father have been disenfranchised of their Family privileges and denied their seat at the Family table where ALL must be recognized as priests unto the King.
The Family members read the Scriptures and their hearts leap with the Spirit's ministry to them; they want to share what they have learned, and bring it under the scrutiny of their Family peers. This is not possible! Why? Because there are many who have delegated to themselves a position in the Family as the magisterium (the official, and only interpreters of Scripture). They exercise the authority of CEO or OIC, the arbiter of what may be believed, who may minister and in what way, and to whom. They often also assume the legal positions of both judge and jury to try Family members as to whether they are fit to belong to the Family.
Many members of the Family are realizing that they are being deprived of the heritage that God, the Family Father, has bestowed upon them and they yearn to be free, under the scrutiny of the Family, to serve one another, and the community amongst whom they live, as, by His Holy Spirit, the Father inspires and leads them.
But, like many of similar historic movements of God there is a tendency, amongst a few, to swing the pendelum too far in the other direction, instead of finding that place of equilibrium.
So, it seems to me, that there are many, who realise that belonging to the Father's Family is about relationships and “one anothering”, but who have overlooked the one fact that decides whether or not they actually belong to the Family, their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can only write about what I read (in books, on blogs, web sites etc.), and listen to (ditto), but there seems to be an excess of stuff which apparently forgets, if ever it was known, that membership in the Family of God, is utterly dependent on what our Sovereign God does, by His Spirit, in which He lavishes sinners with undeserved, unearned righteous merit (grace) through His gift of faith in the life and finished work of Jesus Christ.
It seems to me that there is a dearth of information which declares that, with all the humanly generated will in the world, all the altruism, all the good will, all the effort, all the service, all the warmth, all the hugs and kisses, there is no Family of God apart from a genuine, God wrought, saving relationship through and with Jesus Christ.
As Paul was inspired to write in our opening passage, “... Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone...”, and that it is ONLY IN that relationship “.... the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,...”.
The “building” and “a holy temple” of which Paul writes is the Family of God, and as Paul describes, it has a foundation “...the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,...”
“So what?”, you may ask.
Well! There can be no foundation laid for a building without the cornerstone, or its equivalent. The cornerstone, or its equivalent, is the pivital point about which the building develops.
There is no equivalent regarding the “spiritual building” of which the Lord Jesus Christ, is “the cornerstone” of salvation. He is the only datum point from which this “building” is able to develop. It is only in Him that the relationships, which are essential to being the ekklesia, the Family of God, develop and developing. Without Jesus Christ, and the gift of genuine faith in His life and finished work, there is no relationship with God, and as a result there is no relationship with the Family of God!
Any gathering of people, being built without that relationship, in the spiritual sense, can only be, at best, mutual admiration society, a childish pretense, and at worst, a grave deception, a human centered Platonic exercise in futility, a mere shadow of the true, with spiritual failure and disappointment guaranteed, and like many issues of moral and ethical import in this rationalistic age, which feel good, is enjoyable and has apparent value.
The centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ in the life and function of any group of people, will be markedly different from those in the previous paragraph.
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2:9-12)