Summary: God uses people as building materials. We see why this is surprising. We also see how God does it.
Ephesians 2:13-22 “BECOMING A BRICK IN THE HOUSE OF GOD”
There are people who build houses out of garbage. Did you know that? It is the oddest thing, really. If you go to the internet and type “houses constructed out of garbage,” you will find numerous examples of people who build houses out of the most unusual things. I read about one man whose main building materials were 2000 tires and 20,000 aluminum cans – that’s why he built his house out of. He covered the tires and cans with an adobe finish, and apparently, that house is still standing today, and still being lived in.
Today, I want to talk to you about the most unusual home builder there ever was, someone who has built his house out of something even stranger than cans and tires. And after putting these strange building materials together, he is still living in this house to this very day. The person I am talking about is Jesus Christ. He is the master home builder. He has built for himself a home to live in, and that home is called the Holy Christian Church. And he has chosen the most unusual building material there is to build his house – he has chosen you. You are his building material According to the Bible, you are a brick in the house of God.
Today we are going to see why this is so surprising, that Christ would do such a thing. Why would Jesus want to make his house out of people? Today we are going to see how he does it, how you become a brick in the house of God.
Are you surprised that God has chosen you to be a brick in his house? You should be – according to the Bible, you aren’t the best of building materials. First of all, you, and other people, don’t fit well together. People clash with each other. Our section of Scripture mentions that in verse 14 where it says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Here the Apostle Paul is talking about the hostility that existed between the Jews and the Gentiles. During the days of the Bible, there was a barrier between Jews and Gentiles. These two groups of people were very different, religiously and culturally, so different that there was a hostility between them – the Jews were hostile toward the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were hostile toward the Jews. For example, if you were a Jew, instead of walking 20 miles through Gentile territory to visit a friend, you would walk 80 miles, all the way around Gentile territory, to visit a friend. These two groups of people didn’t like each other. And yet, God has took Jews and Gentiles and placed them together as bricks in his house.
Still to this day, it is true that people don’t get along. There is a hostility that exists between people, even of the same nationality. Have you ever felt that hostility? Have you ever wondered why? Why is it that people have such a hard time getting along? The most simple, the most basic answer, is sin. We all have our differences, that is true. But the basic, core reason why people don’t get along is sin. Every human being, including you, struggles with pride. And every human being, including you, struggles with selfishness. These two basic sins that all of us are born with – pride and selfishness - cause more trouble in this world than anything else.
This is why it is so surprising that God would use people as building materials for his church. Putting all of these proud and selfish people together – why would God do that? Why would God want to live in a house built out of people? Remember that God is perfect. God is pure. You would think that our sin would drive God away.
When I first moved into the house that I’m living in now, I noticed a bad smell coming from the basement. Now it is true that most basements have some sort of a smell, but this was pretty bad. It was supposed to be a finished basement, but you could hardly stand being down there, because of the smell. It’s funny how you don’t notice these things until after you buy the house and move in. Well, it didn’t take long to realize that the smell was coming from the carpet. The carpet was 27 years old, and for all those 27 years it had been absorbing basement moisture and pet odor. Let me tell you, that is one powerful smell – I still have flashbacks when I think about it. I didn’t want to live in a house that had that smell, so I went to war with that carpet. I tore it out of there, piece by piece. I tore out all the rotten wooden strips out that held the carpet in place. I applied every chemical known to man on that floor. There was no peace in that house until that smell was gone, and now it is.