Chief Cornerstone


Shelby G. Floyd


The apostle Peter graphically describes the great spiritual house that God is building (1 Peter 2:4-8). Christ is pictured as a Living Stone in God’s spiritual building: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious…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” (1 Peter 2:4, 6).


The church of Christ is that spiritual building or house Jesus promised to build about 32 A D. (Mark 9:1; I Timothy 3:15). Reference to the scripture that Peter quotes is found in Isaiah 28:16, “…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” (NKJV). But according to Isaiah both houses of Israel stumbled because of unbelief and rejected the rock of offence who was their spiritual sanctuary (Isaiah 8:14). The church Jesus built on his deity (Matthew 16:13-19) is now God’s temple in which his people worship (I Corinthians 3:16-17).


The fact that the builders rejected the chief cornerstone is quoted in the Psalms: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalms 118:22 ESV). In these readings Christ is like a stone being put into a building. He is the most important stone—the preeminent stone, on which all other stones are dependent (Isaiah 28:16). He is what gives the building stability and strength and permanence. Accordingly Christ is,

*A living stone

*A tested stone

*A precious cornerstone

*A sure foundation stone


Paul also as well as Peter used this imagery in writing to the church at Ephesus: “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21).

Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11; Matthew 7:24-27). The church is built on the deity of Christ that Peter confessed and upon which Christ said he would build his church (Matthew 16:13-19).

Unbelievers have repudiated and rejected this stone: “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:22-24).

Christ is the “Rock of Ages.” Let us trust and obey him in all things.

Copyright © 2015 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana

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