You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household. Ephesians 2:19
Downton Abbey was a popular British television drama that followed the fictional Crawley family as they navigated a changing social structure in early 1900s England. One of the key characters, Tom Branson, initially worked as the family’s chauffeur before shocking everyone by marrying the youngest Crawley daughter. Following a period of exile, the young couple returned to Downton Abbey and Tom became part of the family, gaining access to rights and privileges he had been denied as an employee.
We were once considered “foreigners and strangers” (Ephesians 2:19) and excluded from the rights given to those who are part of God’s family. But because of Jesus, all believers, regardless of their background, are reconciled to God and called “members of his household” (v. 19).
Being a member of God’s family brings incredible rights and privileges. We can “approach God with freedom and confidence” (3:12) and enjoy unlimited, unhindered access to God. We become part of a larger family, a community of faith to support and encourage us (2:19–22). Members of God’s family have the privilege of helping each other grasp the enormity of God’s lavish love (3:18).
Fear or doubt could easily make us feel like an outsider, keeping us from fully accessing the benefits of being part of God’s family. But hear and embrace once more the reality of God’s free and generous gifts of love (2:8–10) and bask in the wonder of being His.
What are some other benefits of belonging to the household of God? How might you approach God in confidence today?
Heavenly Father, thank You for welcoming me into Your family as a child of God.
What does it mean to be a dwelling for the Holy Spirit? (Ephesians 2:22). In the Old Testament, God’s glory resided in the tabernacle/temple, which represented His presence with His people, the Israelites. Today, God’s Spirit dwells in every individual believer in Jesus (John 14:17; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19). But according to commentator Harold Hoehner, in Ephesians 2:21–22 Paul refers to the Holy Spirit’s corporate “dwelling,” His temple composed of all Jewish and gentile believers. He writes: “Paul has shown that though the Gentiles were formerly outside God’s household, they are now one ‘new man’ with Jewish believers. This new entity is like a temple . . . structured on the apostles and prophets, with Christ being the chief Cornerstone.” Jesus promised His disciples that the Holy Spirit would “teach [them] all things and . . . remind [them] of everything” (John 14:26). He’s our powerful advocate and guide (John 15:26; Romans 8:14).