The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”
1 Peter 2:6
+ He is Precious +
The Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as the Chief Cornerstone throughout the whole of Scripture. The concept of a cornerstone is derived from the first stone set or placed in the foundation of a building. This principal stone is not only the first stone in the construction, but is the most important stone, for all other stones are lined upon it and bind together the walls of the building. It determines the position of the entire structure. In many cases, the cornerstone is laid with ceremonies. Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone of the church, a great spiritual temple unto the Lord. Amen.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”
This article will consider three thoughts concerning Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone: 1. He is the fulfillment of prophecy, 2. He is the foundation of the Church, 3. He is the fullness of glory.
This Cornerstone is the fulfillment of Prophecy
Christ is the Chief Cornerstone throughout the whole of Scripture. God the Father is referred to as a Rock about forty times (Genesis 49:24; Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 32:2), and God the Son is also called a Rock (Matthew 16:18; I Corinthians 10:4). In I Peter 2:6-8, the text begins with, “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture,” showing that the Chief Cornerstone is not a new concept, but seen throughout the pages of the Bible: the Apostle refers to Isaiah 28:16 (in vs. 6), Psalm 118:22 (in vs. 7), and Isaiah 8:14 (in vs. 8). These are all messianic prophecies in reference to the cornerstone.
In Isaiah 28:16, God reveals something very important and beautiful in the midst of pronouncing judgment on Israel's sin, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” In other words, God would build a spiritual temple upon this Stone (Christ) in Zion or Jerusalem which would spread throughout the entire world. This refers to the church of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18-19). In Psalms 118:22, the Lord is again referred to as the Cornerstone, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” This is a joyful Psalm speaking of the blessed coming Savior that will begin a new day and a new era. Also, in Isaiah 8:14, Jesus Christ is seen as the cornerstone, “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
Also, in Daniel 2:31-45, the Stone will crush the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God shall be established and fill the whole earth. This is clearly a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 21:42-46, the Stone was rejected by the religious leaders of Israel and the kingdom was given to the believers, that is, a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Then shortly after Pentecost, the apostle declared Jesus to be the Stone in Acts 4:11-12 which they rejected, and only through Him is salvation. There is no other name under Heaven whereby men must be saved, so Christ must be received as Lord and Savior.
This Cornerstone is the Foundation of the Church
According to Ephesians 2:19-22, we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone, and we are a Holy temple in the Lord. In Ephesians 1:20-23, Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, which is His body. According to I Corinthians 3:9-11, there is no other foundation but the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 16:18-19, that He would build His church, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The Scriptures in Matthew 7:24-29 speak of the importance of a foundation in which to build upon and we can be assured that Jesus is our Solid Rock upon which we stand, Amen. The church which is the Bride of Christ will be put on display for all to see according to Ephesians 2:4-10.
This Cornerstone is the Fullness of Glory
Christ Jesus alone is our hope, salvation, and glorification in the Kingdom of God. He is the Lord of Glory (James 2:1), and when He shall appear, we shall appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4).
In I Peter 2:6-8, there are two groups of people, to the one Christ is precious and to the other he is despised, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” To the believer, Christ is precious, that is, greatly loved and cherished. His faith is firmly established in the Lord and He shall not be confounded according to vs. 6. The word confounded means that He shall not be ashamed, disappointed, or afraid. When the storms of life come, the believer is on a Solid Rock.
On the other hand, the unbeliever is offended at Christ and stumble at His word (vv. 7-8). Their unbelief is manifested in their disobedience. Jesus Christ is a stone of stumbling and a Rock of offence to them. The unbeliever’s end is judgment in which they shall not escape because they have rejected the Chief Cornerstone. As the Jewish leaders in the first century said, “We will not have this man to reign over us”, many today are saying the same thing in their refusal to be obedient to the gospel of Christ (I Peter 4:17).
According to Revelation 22:11, whatever condition anyone dies in they stay in throughout eternity, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” The saints shall enter into glory with their Lord and Savior (Romans 8:30; Colossians 3:4). The sinner who dies in his sins shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, (Revelation 21:8; 22:10-15). The word precious is the acid test to reveal the vast difference between the saved and lost. It reveals what is in the heart of man and what he loves, honors, and values. One’s response to Christ and His Word determines where they spend eternity. What is your response today? Is He precious, elect, chosen of God? Even though multitudes have rejected Him, many count Him to be the Savior and Precious, Amen.
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523