Acts 4 … Consider Him, the Chief Cornerstone

He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone, (4:11).

Did you find it humorous? The apostles are on trial for the healing of one who had been lame since birth, one relegated to a life of poverty. On trial because this lame beggar now had new life, hope, and the ability to become productive?

“if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health,” (4:9-10).

Oh, this Jesus…again! That Name! And the religious leaders were certain they had put an end to Him and His far-reaching claims! Certain His disciples would quietly disperse, and they would be rid of this Name forever. They had Him crucified for goodness sake! So they incredulously ask, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” (4:7).

And in Peter’s Spirit-filled reply, he answers their question, leaving no stone unturned.

“He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (4:11-12).

Consider Him, the Chief Cornerstone

This description of the promised Messiah as the Cornerstone, the chief, costly stone laid and rejected, is repeated in God’s Word in several Scripture passages. And we can be sure, when He repeats Himself, it is important; I would daresay, critical!

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed,”
(Isaiah 28:16).

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone, (Psalm 118:22).

Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed
.” (Romans 9:33).

 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit, (Ephesians 2:20-22).

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,” (1 Peter 2:4-8).

A closer examination of the significance of a Cornerstone in construction, coupled with the above passage from 1 Peter 2, along with the accompanying Scriptures above provides clarity on why this word, Cornerstone, so aptly defines Jesus Christ, as the very Substance and Foundation of our faith.

Cornerstone:

  1. the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
    • And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 2:4-5).
    • For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 3:11).
    •  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, (Ephesians 2:20).
  1. A ceremonial stone and often inscribed with the starting and completion dates of construction, the name of the architect and owner, and other details.
    • For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,…” (1 Peter 2:6).
    •  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, (Ephesians 1:4).
    • looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).
  1. A ceremonial stone set at the corner of a building, joining two exterior walls.
    • …and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed,” (1 Peter 2:6).
    • For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, (Romans 1:16).
    • For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (Ephesians 2:14).
  1. Has come to signify basis, base, foundation, fundamental, groundwork; the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained.
    • This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,” (1 Peter 2:7-8).
    • So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans 10:17).
    •  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything, (Colossians 1:17-18).

This Chief Cornerstone, so invaluably precious to all who believe:
For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe… (1 Peter 2:6-7).

This Chief Cornerstone, a cause of stumbling to those who disbelieve:
…but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,” (1 Peter 2:7-8).

How do we respond to Him, the Chief Cornerstone?

The builders were intended to be God’s chosen people, the Jewish nation, called out and set apart, beginning with Abraham. But rather than accept His valuable and treasured provision, they rejected Him and were then left to themselves to stumble through life, offended with the very thought of a Suffering Servant as their Savior.

“He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone, (4:11).

The Scriptures are clear. God’s only provision for all of humanity to enter into right relationship with Him, Holy God, is solely based on faith in One, in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone.

And when we place our faith in Him, the Chief Cornerstone, God then embraces us into His unparalleled building project, in order that we might live for Him, His purposes and His glory.

 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 2:5).

Today, let us intentionally fix our minds on Him, the Chief Cornerstone. He has promised we will not be disappointed.

“…and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed,” (1 Peter 2:6).

But there are so many offended with the narrowness, the exclusivity of His Name; so many stumbling through this life. The Lord is building us up, not so we can merely exist in our holy huddles to enjoy our personal security in Him; but He is building us up so we can proclaim Him, the Chief Cornerstone to a world stumbling through life and desperately in need.

 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3).

Today, let us attune our spiritual eyes and ears to Him, the Chief Cornerstone; that we would be like Peter and John, unable to keep silent.

Use us Father, to speak and teach in the Name of Jesus, the Only Name that saves… all for Your glory we pray.

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (4:12). 

 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard,” (4:18-20). 

Let’s Grow Together!

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