What does Ephesians 2:22 mean?
ESV: In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
NIV: And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
NASB: in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
CSB: In him you are also being built together for God's dwelling in the Spirit.
NLT: Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
KJV: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
NKJV: in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Verse Commentary:
Previously, Paul described the collective church of Jesus, the apostles, prophets, and all other believers as a temple. Here, Paul also includes his readers as an important part of the building process. Notice that this work takes place "by the Spirit." We worship by the Spirit (Philippians 3:3), live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), are led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18), walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), are taught by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13), and are washed, sanctified, and justified by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11). Just as salvation is something owed purely to the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8–9), success in the Christian life is owed entirely to the power of God through the Holy Spirit.

This segment, which began in verse 11, is summarized here in verse 22. Paul once again highlights the reality of Christian unity. God is the emphasis of the church, and that church—God's people—is made up of all of the individual parts which work together to worship Him. Regardless of background, Jew or Gentile, and regardless or past sins, God can forgive. He creates a new family among believers, joining us together both in this life and in eternity (John 17:20–26).
Verse Context:
Ephesians 2:11–22 explains how those who are saved, by grace through faith in Christ, have become part of a single family. Prior to the coming of Jesus, the Jewish people considered Gentiles to be unclean and inferior. Here, Paul explains how the gospel extends hope, promise, and a relationship with God to Jews and Gentiles alike. Most of the Ephesian church would have been Gentiles, and Paul frequently found himself countering anti-Gentile sentiment among various churches.
Chapter Summary:
Paul repeatedly emphasizes that salvation is accomplished on the basis of grace, through faith. Good works, human effort, and our best intentions will never be enough to earn salvation. Every person is marked with sin, both deliberate and accidental, and for this reason we deserve to be separated from God. Only through His mercy and grace can we be saved, leaving no room for bragging. This also means that all who are saved, Jew and Gentile alike, are part of the same spiritual family. There is no cause for hostility between believers; we are all unworthy, and all saved by the same kindness of God.
Chapter Context:
The first three chapters of Ephesians focus on doctrinal issues; the last three show how those principles should be applied in real life. Chapter 2 makes a pair of related points about our status as saved believers. First, salvation is entirely dependent on the grace of God, not human efforts. Second, this means all Christians are part of the same family, Jew and Gentile alike. This bridges chapter 1's explanation of God's awesome glory to chapter 3's discussion of God bringing His long-awaited plan into action.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
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