Built For Eternity: Part 1 With Christ The Cornerstone
On Boxing Day Dec 26 2004, a massive undersea earthquake occurred with its epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The resultant series of massive tsunami waves hit the shorelines of several countries. Some 228,000 people were killed in 14 countries. The force of the wave tested the construction strength of every impacted building. Those that were well built survived while those who were shoddily built were swept away.
Have you ever considered whether what you are building in your life will last? After all, we invest so much time and effort into our studies, our work, our family, our relationships. Will it last? Will it be worthwhile? Will what we have been doing in our lives have significance in our lifetime and beyond?
The Bible likens our lives to a spiritual building, a place where God dwells. How do we know if the we are building our lives in a way that will last for eternity? In a way that will have significance for eternity?
In 1 Pet 2:4-8, Apostle Peter lifts the eyes of the recipients to understand the greater purposes for which God builds them together into His spiritual house, the Church. From this passage we will discover 3 keys on how we may build our lives for eternity. We examine the first key in Part 1 and the remaining in Part 2.
BUILT AROUND CHRIST THE CORNERSTONE (v6-8)
This is a quote from Isa 28:16. A prophecy made about 700 years ago before the birth of Jesus about what the Messiah will become to God's people.
Christ the Chosen and precious Cornerstone (v6a) For in Scripture it says: "I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone…"
Now what is a cornerstone? Today, the foundations are built quite differently from Bible times. Today, a cornerstone is a ceremonial or symbolic stone marking the establishment of a building. But in the Bible times, it has a much more significant role. Eph 2:20-21 tells us that the church is "…20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. "
In those days, a building is usually built by starting with a chief cornerstone. The purpose of this cornerstone is to provide alignment for the whole building. It must be precisely laid, as it locates the whole building. It must be precisely shaped because the angles of the building are usually taken off it. It also has to be strong, because it forms part of the foundation of the building.
God is building His Church and He has specially chosen Jesus as the main cornerstone. Every person has to make a decision in relation to this cornerstone. There are only two possible choices.
Trusting upon the cornerstone (v6b-7a) "…the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. Now to you who believe, this stone is precious."
In Bible times, whenever a builder seeks to build a building, he will carefully inspect the various cut rocks at his disposal. When he finds one that he thinks is appropriate to the task, he then places his trust upon the integrity of that piece of rock. In fact, the builder would often engrave his mark on that stone to indicate his confidence in that cornerstone. From that cornerstone, the builder will begin to measure off the whole building. When the appropriate cornerstone is chosen, the building will be well built. And the builder will not be shamed by his choice.
In the same way, every person has a choice to make in relation to Jesus the Cornerstone. If we choose to accept Him as the cornerstone, if we choose to place our trust upon Him, then the Bible says we will never be put to shame. The critical truth is this: we must build our lives around the cornerstone. It is pointless to have a cornerstone and ignore it. Imagine a building’s cornerstone has been laid, then the foreman comes and tries to build the rest of the building without the cornerstone. The building will not be properly located or aligned.
Jesus the cornerstone is already laid. Every aspect of our lives should be built around this Cornerstone.
In the same way, Jesus the cornerstone is already laid. Every aspect of our lives should be built around this Cornerstone. In effect the house of our lives should be build, with Jesus as the cornerstone of our lives! Every decision we make should have Christ at the very centre. We take our alignment from Christ.
How do we do that? The 2 keys are: our relationship with Jesus and obeying His Word. Every significant decision we make; our choice of career, marriage partner, our studies, our finances, parenting, lifestyle choices, where we live, our dreams, etc. Are we aligning with the principles revealed in Gods Word? Are we going to God, asking for His guidance? Or are we simply making our choices, and then asking for God's blessings?
How certain are we that we have truly built our lives around Jesus Christ as our cornerstone? An indicator of where we have placed our trust is revealed by our fears. Our fears are often revealed when we are in great danger of losing something truly important to us. Perhaps your education or your health. Your spouse, your family, your good reputation, your ministry, your friendship, your possessions or sense of control in your life? When faced with such a situation, will we still trust in Christ?
Truly trusting God means trusting Him with the outcomes in any situation.
Truly trusting God means trusting Him with the outcomes in any situation. All too often we find it easy to trust someone when we can clearly see an outcome that we agree with. But will we trust God even for an outcome that we may not want? Psa 112:6-8 (NIV)6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
Some years ago, a young lady in our church lost both her parents suddenly in a car accident. It was devastating for her. Yet through her grief she did not blame God nor lose her trust in God. It blessed my heart to see her faith remain solid through the tragedy.
So how are we building our lives today? Are we building around Christ as our Cornerstone? Are we making decisions in life that helps draw us into a greater intimacy with Christ and into alignment with His purposes? Or are they taking us further away from Christ? The question is how much will we build off this cornerstone? V7a helps us to understand that the more we value Christ, the more we will rely on Him and build our lives around Him.
The church must also be built around Jesus the cornerstone.
The church must also be built around Jesus the cornerstone. That is why a key core value of Hope Church is "Christ-centered". We believe Christ must be central to who we are and what we do. We are passionate about our relationship with Christ and submit to His Lordship.
That is also why in Hope Church we honour God's Word greatly. God's Word contain the blueprint for His Church and we will do all we can to build it according to God's principles. That is why one of our core values is "Bible-based". We are a Bible-believing, Bible-based and Bible-teaching church. We emphasize expository preaching and sound practical teaching from the Bible. This is a particular uniqueness and strength of our Hope churches.
Our dream should be to build a glorious Church that the Bible speaks about. That our churches will be full of quality people that know God, walk with God and fulfils the purposes of God. A church that will impact lives, impact our community, our city and beyond. It will come to pass if we continue to put Christ as the cornerstone of our lives and of our church!
Rejecting the stumbling block (v7b-8) "But to those who believe, The stones the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall."
A builder must make choices about each rock. Will he choose to use it as the chief cornerstone? In this passage is highlighted the unusual qualities of this cornerstone. For men shall stand or fall according to their choices in relation to this cornerstone. The analogy is intended to emphasize the importance of the right choice in relation to Christ. Those who choose wisely, will be receive rewards both here on this earth and in the age to come.
Those who reject Christ, will suffer the consequences. Rom 2:8 (NIV) But for those who are self–seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Christ is not only the cornerstone, but also the capstone, the crowning glory and authority.
For the very stone they reject, Psa 118:22 as quoted in v7, reveals it has now become the capstone, the pinnacle stone, the final top stone. Christ is not only the cornerstone, but also the capstone, the crowning glory and authority. He will sit in authority and glory over the Church and all of creation! It is important to note the key quality required to build upon the cornerstone. Faith to believe in Christ. For those who do not believe, they reject the cornerstone.
Why do some reject the cornerstone? One of the reasons is because the message is too radical, too confronting. That is why v8 says that it "causes men to stumble". Some people look at the Gospel and see it as a stumbling block. Because they are not comfortable with the truth. It is inconvenient to them. The truth is inconvenient because it reveals the true condition of their hearts. Because it would mean a change in their priorities and lifestyle. It is far too inconvenient, uncomfortable.
Convenient Christianity is a compromised Christianity. How many Christians pay lip service to Christ the Cornerstone but align their lives according to convenience rather than the Cornerstone?
That is why I am uneasy with too much comfort, too much convenience. It often leads to compromise. Convenient Christianity is a compromised Christianity. How many Christians pay lip service to Christ the Cornerstone but align their lives according to convenience rather than the Cornerstone? The Bible warns us in 2 Tim 4:3-4 (NIV) 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Let us choose today to align ourselves with Christ and His Word. Let’s build our lives and our churches upon Christ the Cornerstone. That is when we build for eternity.
Copyright©️2022 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.