Jesus; the Cornerstone and Foundation Of the Church
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:19-22
There are various metaphors within the word of God, and one that we find particularly in the Apostle Paul’s writings is that of a building. For instance, Paul explains that our bodies serve as a temple that God the Holy Spirit dwells within (1 Corinthians 6:19). Another illustration of this metaphor is found in the verse above as Paul speaks of the birth and growth process of the church. Paul says that it is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.” The cornerstone of a building plays a vital role within the construction process. The cornerstone is the central stone of a building of which all other stones takes alignment. Every other stone finds it’s positioning based upon the initial positioning of the cornerstone. The cornerstone serves as the guide and template for all other stones used to construct a building. Thus, Jesus is the cornerstone of the church. All other aspects of the church are to be determined by Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone of the church. He is the template. He is the central focus that determines all other things within the church. Dr. Greg Allison says it best. He says that “The imagery of cornerstone was intended to emphasize the centrality of Jesus Christ to the church: As the principal stone of the building from which the rest of the edifice takes alignment, the cornerstone holds the place of supreme importance.” So with this in mind, what should the church be centered on? Should it be church programs? Should it be church polity? Should it be church policies and procedures? What about the leadership personalities of the church? None of these things should ever be the focus of the church. Rather, the church should be centered on Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. Scripture makes this explicit when Jesus Christ Himself calls what He is building “my church” (Matthew 16:18).
Furthermore, the Apostle Paul used another construction metaphor in relation to Jesus Christ. It is found in I Corinthians 3 when he says, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (Verses 9-11). Within this particular text, Paul articulates principles for Christian living. Our lives are to be constructed and built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. Like a wise architect, we are to construct our lives in such a way that our footing is poured on the rock of Christ Jesus as we construct our “spiritual house” (our lives). All other foundations such as earthly foundations will not hold up. Only Jesus Christ, the true foundation, will stand the test of time (Matthew 7:24-27).
As we consider these two specific construction metaphors, Christ as the cornerstone of the church and the foundation for our lives, we see the vital truth that Jesus is to be the central focal point in everything that we do and say. This applies to the church as well as our personal lives. He serves as the template and standard that all other things are fitted to. With these truths in mind, may God bless your architectural endeavors for Him!
– Pastor Eric