The Value of Our Foundation

“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,
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
1 Peter 2:7-8a

Jesus Christ is our Chief Cornerstone. He is the foundation upon which we have built our lives, our hope and our future.

That is why He is referred to as the ‘chief cornerstone’, because traditionally this was the rock upon which the weight of the entire structure would rest, or, in relation to architecture, it was the first stone laid with all other stones laid in reference to it.

The Cornerstone would be used to mark a geographical location that would orient that building in a specific direction. Nowadays, however, foundations are not laid as in olden times. Foundation stones are now mere ornaments.[1] But, for the purpose of this study we use the term as a symbol of the foundation of our faith.

How interesting also that cornerstones were used ceremonially at the corner of a building to join together two exterior walls and often inscribed the starting and completion dates of construction, the name of the architect and owner and other important details.

This is so symbolic of Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that joined the old covenant and the new covenant into one, who joined both Jew and Gentile into one new man and who is the architect, the owner, the author and finisher of our faith!

There were various references used in the Old Testament for ‘cornerstone’ which was derived from two words:

1) the Hebrew word pinnah, "corner," taken from a root signifying "to turn," "turning," and therefore "edge" or "corner," and

2) the word 'ebhen, meaning "stone" ( see Ps 118:22).

While all the passages in the OT indicate the stone at the corner, there appear to be two conceptions of what this represented:

(a) the foundation-stone upon which the structure rested (as seen in Job 38:6; Isa 28:16; Jer 51:26); or

(b) the topmost or cap-stone, which linked the last tier together (Ps 118:22; Zec 4:7).

In either case, they are both very significant and both important key-stones. Symbolically, they also represent the Messiah, who is both "the First and the Last.[2]" In Zechariah 10:4 the leader or ruler in the Messianic age is represented by the ‘corner-stone’.[3]

It is for this reason, that the Apostle Peter referred to the OT scriptures on ‘cornerstone’ to reinforce Jesus’ identity as the promised Messiah and the “chief cornerstone” upon which our faith is built. Jesus provides both the direction and the stability of the entire system of our salvation, and ultimately the foundation for our belief, our hope and our future. But, the emphasis I want to make here as part of our study today is not just Christ’s identity and key attributes as the foundation of our faith, but rather the ‘value’ we place in Him as an individual believers.

I believe that is why the Holy Spirit led me to 1 Peter 2: 7, especially the first part of the verse which reads, “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious…” However, at this juncture it then makes a distinction; one between those that believe in Him and those that are disobedient, i.e., those that refuse to receive Him as their Messiah, Saviour and Lord. But, why make the distinction at this segment of the passage?

The reason is pivotal to the sharing today because His attribute as the ‘chief cornerstone’ of our faith has two implications –

1) It can either be precious or of significant value to us; or

2) It can be reason for stumbling (falling away) and offence.

How we choose to perceive Him in relation to our life and our faith will determine the strength of our foundation and whether we will continue to stand and persevere in our faith or whether we will fall away, especially in these end times.

Within the context of this scripture from vs. 4 – 8, it repeats the word ‘precious’ twice. (And normally when something is repeated in the scriptures, there’s an important spiritual significance attached to it.)

According to Strong’s Concordance, the word for precious in the Greek is timḕ (pronounced tee-may) and has two specific meanings:

i) “a valuing by which the price is fixed, of the price itself, of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold, or

ii) “honour which belongs or is shown to one, of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds, deference or reverence. This word comes from the root word ‘tiō’ which means to accord honor or pay respect.”

The fact that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our salvation, our faith and our hope, is not in question here. He is who He says He is. The question here is what is He to you? Which one is He? Is He precious to you or is He a stumbling block or rock of offence to you? That’s the question we as believers need to keep asking ourselves each and every single day, especially as we draw closer to His second coming.

The days will get darker and more and more difficult. We have sufficient proof of this everyday in the media, political and economic sphere, professional and social networks and even at home, but the value or emphasis we place in Christ Jesus will be the determining factor between our ultimate victory or our defeat.

When He becomes our foundation, the value we place in Him determines how strong that foundation will be when the storm hits and the waves of life’s pressures, problems and concerns beat against the boat of our life, our comfort, security and convenience. We need to be sure of what our faith is grounded in? Is He the chief cornerstone of our life? How is that demonstrated in our life everyday?

If we continue to be moved by the world and every challenge or issue that comes our way, it reveals just how much value we have ultimately placed in Him. Once you realize the value or price that was paid for you and that this was paid in full, i.e., all sin debts standing against you were cancelled once and for all, you would place a far greater significance in that redemptive act than anything else going on in your life right now.

This is the reason why it also says in the same paragraph earlier in verse 6, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

Those that choose to place their life, their hope, their future or whatever questions, doubts and fears they have, in Christ Jesus, the chief cornerstone, they will never be put to shame. Why? Because He promises us redemption, salvation, healing, deliverance, hope and eternity. He promises something this world can never destroy and something that is far more precious than what this world tries to offer.

Shame is not from the Lord. It’s synonymous with fear, condemnation, guilt and insecurity, lack of faith, unbelief and self-torment, and we know where that comes from! Replace that with this revelation and this truth of who Christ Jesus is to you and those lies will have no basis or foundation in your life.

We all know that the value of something can either be fixed based on its physical properties, e.g., gold or precious gems, stocks and bonds, etc. Or it can change based on the significance and importance you place in it, e.g., something of sentimental value. It’s a perceived significance, meaning its based on your personal system of valuation, not one that is external and impersonal or separate from you, but one that is personal to you, that you hold dear and precious to your heart and to your life.

That is why the love or value we place in Jesus as our Lord has to be personal and one of a personal significance.

In the Body of Christ today we all have different experiences, different perceptions and different motives when it comes to our faith and our own personal relationship with Jesus, and as a result, we all have different levels of faith, experiences and ministries. But the one thing that does not change is who He is. He will always be the cornerstone of our foundation, but the value you place in that foundation as the cornerstone of your life is the one thing that will determine how long you will stand and whether you will persevere to the end.

[1] [2] Revelations 1:8 [3]

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