Christ: The Stone And Foundation
Isaiah 28:16 prophesies about the future coming of the Messiah, “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; Whoever believes will not act hastily’.” Isaiah here refers to Christ as a stone, as a foundation, a cornerstone. As Christians we understand that Jesus is the rock or the foundation of our faith and upon this foundation the church was built and continues to be built on to this day. Jesus told Peter in Matt. 16:18, “...on this rock I will build my church.” The “rock” here referring to the statement Peter makes in verse 16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus was and is the rock upon which the church or kingdom was built. When an individual obeys the gospel he or she is added to this building. Notice Eph. 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (20) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, (21) in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, (22) in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” As members of this spiritual building our direction is based upon our foundation. Christ is referred to as the cornerstone. The cornerstone of a building is set at the corner of the building and it sets the direction for all other stones that built thereon. Isaiah 28:17 says, “Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet;”. The measuring line and the plummet or plumb line here refer to the measurements builders use to ensure a structure is true and level and built at the proper angle. If the cornerstone is set properly, then the rest of the structure, if it is built according to the cornerstone will be sound. The cornerstone can also refer the part of the structure that holds two walls together. It is a place that two walls join. Christ, as the cornerstone, does these things. He is the foundation and also the measuring line, the plumb line which makes all true and level according to the truth of His word. By His authority, He and He alone, directs the church, His building, in the way it should go and the things it should do. Christ has joined all mankind together in the sense that both Jew and Gentile can become a part of his kingdom by obeying His word. Christ is the stone, the foundation, the cornerstone, the measuring line in all matters pertaining to His church, to His people. He is the foundation and the final authority.
Sadly, today many denominations have built upon the foundation of man’s ideas instead of building on the foundation of Christ. Instead of using the teachings of Christ and His apostles as the authority or measuring line in which the church should function, many now rely on what man thinks best. The result? Division, confusion, and a departure from having book, chapter, and verse as the standard of authority in church function. We know God is not the author of confusion or division. Therefore, when these things occur, the only conclusion is that mankind’s idea has superseded God’s word. Much like many of the Jews in Christ’s time that refused to follow Christ to many today Christ and His teachings have become a stumbling block instead of a foundation and cornerstone. Notice I Peter 2:6-8, “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.’ (7) Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.’ (8) and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word to which they also were appointed.” To those who believe and follow Christ and rely on Him for authority verse 7 says, “He is precious to those who believe.” But sadly to those who are disobedient or do not believe verse 8 says Christ has become a stumbling block. They stumble because of disobedience to the word.
We must take care today to do those things, as individuals in Christ’s kingdom and as a collective body, that Christ has commanded. Not going beyond and never falling short of those things He has commanded us through the written word. If we abide in the doctrine of Christ we will be like the wise man in Luke 6:48 who built upon a firm foundation. But if we use our own authority or the authority of mankind we will be like the man in Luke 6:49 who built his house with no foundation and the house eventually fell to ruin. The Church of Christ is built upon the foundation Christ himself and functions as He says. Period. Ultimately, the so-called churches that are not rooted and founded in Christ, but rather rely on man’s ideas of right and wrong will fail in the end when Christ returns to have the final say.
- Garrett Alsip