Erasmus Sarcerius (1501-1559) was a Lutheran pastor and teacher. In his exposition of Ephesians 2:21, he emphasizes the necessity of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. The church becomes the temple, the dwelling of God on earth, only through the work and blessing of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies the temple and oversees, guides, and undertakes its construction.

God Chooses to Dwell There

Observe the purpose and end for which the church is being built, which is that it may become a holy temple in the Lord, in which the Lord will choose to dwell. The church grows into a temple holy to the Lord not by its own construction, because it cannot produce a temple holy to the Lord on its own, but because God blesses the construction and in fact builds it himself. John 14:23: “And we shall come to him and make our dwelling with him.” The holy temple is called sanctified in a passive sense. The holy temple is called the temple of the Lord because God chooses to dwell in it and because it is built under the guidance of the Lord or indeed by the Lord.

Annotations on Ephesians 2:21.

Galatians, Ephesians, ed. Gerald L. Bray, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. 10, p. 301.

RCS Series: Doctrine of the Church


William Greenhill | The People of God

John Calvin | The Body of Christ

Erasmus Sarcerius | The Temple of the Holy Spirit

Martin Luther | The Communion of Saints

Heinrich Bullinger | The Church’s Unity

Menno Simons | The Church’s Holiness 

Nikolaus Selnecker | The Church’s Catholicity | July 23

John Calvin | The Church’s Apostolicity | July 30