Jesus is our rock, our fortress, and our cornerstone – for us individually and for the Church.

In this expositional sermon on Ephesians 2:19-22, Nathan Johnson looks at the concept that we are all being built up into a holy temple unto the Lord – with Christ as the chief cornerstone.

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Key Passage: Ephesians 2:19-22

Ephesians 2:19-22 – “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

A Simple Bible Study Resource

Being Joined/Fitted Together

  • Word is not part of Greek vocabulary – Paul made it up (emphasis)
  • Only used 2x – both in Ephesians (also in E4.16)
  • Three words put together:
    • Syn – prefix meaning together (same ideas as in symphony)
    • Harmos – joint or binding (suggests coming together)
    • Lego – to say, to tell, to collect, pick out
    • Illustration: the process of picking (choosing) words for a sentence – pick one, reject another . . . put together form a sentence
    • Together – Joint – Choose (pick out) = fitly framed together
  • Picture: master builder choosing rocks for a wall
    • different than a brick builder with all the same sized bricks
    • all the stones are NOT identical: different sizes, shapes, colors
      • – While different, they are all harmoniously fitted together to form a part of the wall/building
    • Each rock/stone has a particular place it needs to go with a particular job to fulfill
  • Emphasized in Ephesians 4:16 – for whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

The Precious Cornerstone – Jesus

  • Christ Jesus HIMSELF being the cornerstone,
  • Cornerstones
    • First stone that is laid – all other stones get their alignment and position from the cornerstone
    • Focal point of the entire building
    • Usually laid at the corner to bind two walls together and strengthen them
    • Determines the structural integrity of the building
    • Symbolically used in Scripture as a symbol for strength and prominence
  • Psalm 118:22 – The stone [which] the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.
  • Isaiah 28:16 – Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation . . .
  • Zechariah 4:6-7 – So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ‘ “
    • Capstone: finishes off a building … makes sense since Christ is the head of the Church
  • Acts 4:10-11 – Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.
  • Matthew 16:18 – [Jesus speaking] And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
    • Peter (petros)
    • Rock (petra)
  • 1 Peter 2:4-6 – Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”


  1. How fitly framed together are you?
    • Is there anything that needs to be dealt with and “chipped off” of your life?
    • The fitting is done to the perfection of the cornerstone
  2. What is your foundation?
    • Don’t be quick to answer . . . really, what is your foundation, your surety, what you put your trust in?
    • Luke 6:47–49 – Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

» The strength of a building is determined by its foundation – our foundation is Jesus!

Christ the Solid Rock I Stand
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

In Our Next Study Together …

I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life. 

  • The focus of our next study: Ephesians 2:19-22
  • We will examine the truth that we are being built up as a dwelling place for God – found in Ephesians 2:19-22.
  • I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on Ephesians 2:11-22.

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About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series

The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.

Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.

About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps Christians discover and experience a passionate love for God and His Word so that they can grow in their faith, live victorious lives, share the Gospel boldly, grow in their intimacy with Jesus, and transform the world through the indwelling life of Christ.
Read more about him here.

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