The longer I live the more I realize the infinite wisdom and precision upon which our belief system stands. Christianity is built on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who came to earth to redeem fallen humankind from their sins and take back God’s kingdom from Satan. Muhammad (Islam) cannot save a fallen world; Brahman (Hinduism) cannot save people from their sins; and Buddha and Buddhism will not deliver anyone from eternal hellfire.
Salvation and restoration to God is through Jesus and Jesus alone. Jesus tells his disciples in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The account of Jesus’ life is borne out historically. No other religion can make that claim.
Jesus is the chief cornerstone , the first building block of our faith. Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16:13, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They mused about it and said that some thought he was John the Baptist; some thought he was Elijah and others thought he was Jeremiah or other prophets. Jesus then asked them, “But what about you?”
Then, Simon Peter said, “. . .Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (v. 16) Jesus told Peter that flesh and blood did not show him this—that it was revealed to him by Father God.
Jesus then goes on to tell Peter, “. . . thou art Peter (petros, small stone) and upon this rock (the rock of Jesus, not Peter), I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (v. 18) It’s like Jesus is saying to Peter, “Ok, Peter, you are petros, the small stone and now my Father has sovereignly revealed to you that I am the Eternal Living Rock (the large stone) upon which all things stand. He goes on to tell Peter that not even the gates of hell can withstand this eternal foundation stone.
Peter later in 1 Peter 2:4 goes on to reinforce the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation and faith. He states that by faith, believers were:
Coming to Him (meaning Jesus) 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, . . . .
It is clear that Peter understood that Jesus is that living stone, that Rock, chosen by God. But, I believe, he also understood that by faith, believers, also, become stones in that that spiritual house, the Church, Christ’s Body. So, each believer in the Church has to be built up, step-by-step, to secure its foundation. Believers build themselves up by becoming grounded in the foundation tenets of the Church: repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
These tenets are the basic teachings of Christianity that prepare believers for the deeper teachings of the Bible. Once a Christian has grasped the foundational beliefs, their structure is strong enough to move on to deeper things in the Word; deeper things in the spirit; and deeper things in prayer. (Hebrew 6:1-2)
Some believers have trouble grasping with clarity these basic foundations of the Body of Christ, Jesus’ Church. They miss the mark because of faulty foundational beliefs. Paul addresses this lack of foundational doctrine in the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 1:12. The Corinthians were arguing about who to follow —Paul, Peter, Apollos or Jesus. (Interestingly , Jesus was placed in the mix, along with the disciples.) In verse 13, Paul asks several questions to point out this error in the Corinthians’ belief system. He posed these questions: “Is Christ divided. (My answer is no.) Was Paul crucified for you. ( My answer is no.) Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (My answer is no.) The answer to Paul’s questions would be: Jesus and only Jesus was crucified for our sins. Believers are baptized, in the Name of Jesus. Neither Paul, Peter or Apollos are the Rock upon which the Church is built. The foundation for the Church and our faith can be predicated on none other than Jesus Christ and Him alone! He is the chief cornerstone, the Head of the Church!
Every building, structure and establishment must have a cornerstone for a strong foundation. The chief cornerstone is the solid construct that is placed in the primary position upon which every measurement and alignment must fit. Placing any building block before that chief cornerstone will create an unstable structure that will not withstand the test of time; it will crumble! Christians who have a faulty foundation without the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ, can be lead into error and heresy. Ephesians 2:19-22 states that,
“…therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
Jesus, as the Rock, is even referred to throughout the Old Testament.
Isaiah 28:16 states: “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.’”
Psalm 118:22-23 speaks of Jesus this way: The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
In the New Testament, Jewish leaders (the Pharisees and Sadducees) stumbled into heresy. They were trying to establish their own foundation and rejected the chief cornerstone—Jesus Christ, the Son of God! (Matthew 21:42) In fact, they crucified, Jesus, the Rock and Son of glory!
Everything hinges upon Jesus Christ and we can get a personal, in-depth study of the Savior, his time on earth, his crucifixion and his resurrection in the gospels. The Old Testament even revealed and prophesied of Jesus. The epistles and Revelation are essential to the manifestation of the ultimate Christ, but without a revelation of the true and living, Chief Cornerstone, some Christians stumble just as the church in Corinth did. The gospels provide that depth, clarity and foundation of the basic structure of the Church and the belief system of Christianity. The gospels reveal and provide a true picture of Jesus’ life, his teachings, his crucifixion and his resurrection with clarity and insight and this revelation is built upon in the rest of the New Testament, including the epistles and Revelation. The whole of the New Testament (and the Old Testament) points to Jesus Christ!
Is your Christian faith built on the sound foundation of Jesus Christ? If it is not, read the Bible and get into a Bible-believing church, my friends. It is so important that we get it right.
Meditate on these scripture verses that point to our Messiah, Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone.
Luke 29:17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “‘Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.?’”
Mark 12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.
1 Corinthians 10:4 . . . and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13 For one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.