5. Christ as the Stone-Savior Producing Living Stones for God’s Building
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Scripture Reading: Acts 4:10-12; Psa. 118:22, 24; 1 Pet. 2:4-8

I.     In Acts 4:10-12 we see that as the cornerstone Christ was despised and crucified by the Jewish leaders, the builders, but raised from the dead by God, becoming the cornerstone of God’s building with God’s salvation being uniquely in Him.

 

II.   Psalm 118 speaks of Christ as the cornerstone for God’s building:

A.     “The stone which the builders rejected / Has become the head of the corner”—v. 22:

1. The Lord Jesus quoted this verse in Matthew 21:42, where He was indicating that He is the stone for God’s building.

2. Christ is the cornerstone for the building up of the church in the New Testament age—16:18.

3. From the Lord’s word in Matthew 21:42, Peter came to know the Lord as the precious stone held in honor by God—1 Pet. 2:4, 6.

B.     On the day of His resurrection the Lord Jesus was made the cornerstone by God—Psa. 118:24:

1. Christ was chosen by God in eternity past to be the cornerstone for God’s spiritual building—1 Pet. 1:20; 2:4.

2. The Jewish leaders as the builders rejected Him to the uttermost, to such an extent that they put Him on the cross—Matt. 21:38-42.

3. God chose Christ as the cornerstone a second time in Christ’s resurrection, thereby confirming His initial choosing of Christ in eternity past—Acts 4:10-11.

4. After God resurrected Christ, He uplifted Him to the heavens—Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9:

a. Christ’s ascension to Zion in the heavens is a further confirmation that God had chosen Him to be the cornerstone—Rev. 14:1; Isa. 28:16; 1 Pet. 2:6.

b. Both Christ’s resurrection and His ascension prove and confirm that He is the One whom God has chosen to be the head of the corner for God’s building—Psa. 118:22; Acts 4:11.

C.     As the all-inclusive stone, Christ is the centrality of God’s move for the building up of His eternal habitation—Matt. 21:42, 44; Zech. 3:9; Eph. 2:19-22:

1. Everything Christ is, everything He has done, and everything He is doing are due to the fact that He is the cornerstone.

2.      It is by His being the cornerstone that He could die for us, that we could be crucified with Him, made alive with Him, resurrected with Him, and seated with Him in the heavenlies, and that He could save us, transform us into precious stones, and build us together to be God’s habitation, God’s unique temple in the universe—Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:5-6, 20-22.

III.  In Acts 4:10-12 Peter proclaimed Christ as the Stone-Savior:

A.     Peter’s quoting Psalm 118 indicates that he preached Christ not only as the Savior for the salvation of sinners but also as the stone for God’s building—Acts 4:11-12:

1. It is such a Christ who is the unique salvation to sinners.

2. It is in His unique name under heaven, a name despised and rejected by the Jewish leaders but honored by God, that sinners must be saved not only from sin but also to participate in God’s building—v. 12; Phil. 2:9-10; Matt. 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:5.

B.     Christ is not only the holy One, the righteous One, the Author of life, and the Servant; He is also the stone for God’s building:

1. This stone is the unique One in whom we can be saved—Acts 4:11-12.

2. Christ is the Stone-Savior; as the Stone-Savior, He is solid, strong, and reliable.

3. We can be saved only in the name of Jesus, and Jesus is the stone; this means that we have a Stone-Savior.

C.     In Christ God came in incarnation to be a stone for the building of God’s universal habitation—John 1:1, 14; Matt. 21:42:

1. At first, Christ was a common stone, and the Jewish leaders rejected Him by killing Him.

2. God honored Him by raising Him from the dead and making Him a cornerstone, the prominent stone, that joins the walls of a building.

3. As the cornerstone of God’s habitation, Christ joins the wall of the Jewish believers and the wall of the Gentile believers—Eph. 2:22.

IV. Christ as the Stone-Savior is producing living stones for God’s building, God’s spiritual house—1 Pet. 2:4-8:

A.     For us as believers, the resurrected Christ is the propagating stone and the building stone—vv. 4-5:

1. First, we became His propagation, and now He is building us up together into God’s dwelling place—v. 5.

2. As the Stone-Savior in God’s economy, Christ is both the Builder and the material for God’s building—Matt. 16:18; 1 Pet. 2:4-5.

B.     Through the Lord’s speaking in John 1:42 and Matthew 16:18, Peter received the revelation that both Christ and the believers are living stones for God’s building and eventually realized that God’s goal is to have a spiritual house built up with living stones—1 Pet. 2:4-8:

1. First Peter 2:4 speaks of Christ as a living stone:

a. A living stone is one that not only possesses life but also grows in life; this is Christ for God’s building.

b. As life to us, Christ is the seed; for God’s building, He is the stone.

c. After receiving Him as the seed of life, we need to grow so that we may experience Him as the stone living in us—1:23; 2:2, 4.

d. In this way He makes us living stones, transformed with His divine nature, so that we may be built up together with others as a spiritual house upon Him as both the foundation and the cornerstone—1 Cor. 3:10; Eph. 2:20.

2. In Christ and through Christ we, as believers, become living stones to be built up as a spiritual house—1 Pet. 2:5:

a. We are living stones through regeneration and transformation—John 3:6; 2 Cor. 3:18.

b. We were created of clay (Rom. 9:21), but at regeneration we received the seed of life, which by its growth in us transforms us into living stones—1 Pet. 2:2, 5.

3. The spiritual house into which we are being built up is God’s building—Eph. 2:21-22:

a. Eventually, this building will consummate in the New Jerusalem, the stone city—Rev. 21:2.

b. We are becoming the precious stones that will be built up into the New Jerusalem.

c. This process takes place as we daily contact Christ, the living stone for God’s building, and are transformed—1 Pet. 2:4-5; Rom. 12:2.

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