Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Chief Cornerstone

 Scripture: Ephesians 2 v 18 - 22:  "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

1 Peter 2 v 5 - 7: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 
6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner."

A cornerstone in a building is the rock upon which the entire structure rests, it also means the fundamental part of a movement, the part that gives meaning to the whole.  Jesus Christ is spoken of as the chief cornerstone of our faith, without Whom our faith in God would be meaningless.

We were once very far from God but He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to make peace by removing the barrier of sin by His own Blood. He abolished the law of commandments that were written against each of us to reconcile us to the Father and destroy our enmity against Him.

Somewhere in Heaven there exists documentation that convicts us of very deadly sins called "the law of commandments" containing written charges for which we must pay the death penalty.  Because we are born sinners with no memory of what we did before this world was formed, we are in big trouble and have no human way of getting out of it.

I recently read a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Childs about a man in custody who was suffering from amnesia but confessed to multiple murders as it could only be him that committed them.  Reacher did his homework and found out that all evidence against this man was false.  He had been framed and was able to be set free and all charges dropped.

We are like this prisoner in many ways because we have no memory of the sins before we were born.  Satan, the accuser of the brethren, a total liar, seems to know them all.  Jesus Christ came here to Earth to save us from these lies, and even if there was truth in our past sins, He declared Himself guilty and took the death penalty for everyone who ever lived on Earth.

No matter how awful the sins, Jesus cleared them all, and gave us amnesty.  This does not mean we can go out and sin some more, no way is that acceptable, but if we do lapse we can take it to God for confession and forgiveness.  Jesus' last words before dying were, It is finished!  A loud cry that announced to Satan that his day was done.  

1 John 2 v 1 - 3: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."

An Advocate is one who takes the accused person's place in court before the judge.  He speaks in the first person indicating that he is guilty of whatever crimes, sins, offenses or whatever are under indictment. Jesus is our Advocate in Heaven, and if our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life, the Father declares Him forgiven after He became Sin for us on the Cross.  As members of His Body, that means we were forgiven back then too!

The price of sin has been paid and every person we know has already been forgiven.  They just do not know unless we tell them.  They are still deluded by amnesia and continue in sin because they know no other way.  They cannot believe in a Saviour because nobody would do that for them.  

The only evidence is the change in our lives.   The way we treat others, the way we speak without curse words, the way we consistently behave and refuse to compromise with sin, paints a strong picture on the subconscious minds of those who secretly observe us.

A lady who was a live-in nanny, a lovely African Christian, worked and prayed with me daily for many years.  She went to her rural home for a holiday every year.  One day an elderly male relative of hers arrived at my door wanting to speak to me.  He had travelled hundreds of miles to do this.  He had observed her changing for the better year by year.  He had made enquiry and knew she had been with one employer all that time.  So he came to ask me how does a person change for the good.  

She was a witness for Jesus Christ to this man over many years, and he got gloriously saved that day.  She was truly amazed that he knew so much about her as he had never enquired from her directly.  The Holy Spirit had convicted him of sin, and her righteousness was such a contrast.  Thereby he escaped the judgment.

Our arguments against Him; our hatred of God; our blaspheming His name as a curse; our friendship with the world - was overturned in one moment by the Blood of the Lamb. We were forgiven by the Father and our slate of offences wiped clean. 

We are no longer strangers or aliens but fellow citizens of the Household of God. As soon as we are born again our heavenly citizenship is restored.  We are cleansed by the Blood of Jesus, and our righteousness is of Him.

We are spiritually built up on the foundations laid by the prophets and apostles, and Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone of the holy temple made up of our spirits for a dwelling place of God. This is a building not of bricks and cement but a spiritual dwelling in Heaven. We worship Him for saving us from satan's clutches and cleansing us of all the evil he tempted us do.

Jesus says in Epesians 2 that we are seated in Him in heavenly places on the right hand of the Father. Seated means our work is finished. We have achieved salvation. Our work now is to be witnesses to the world of what Jesus can make of a broken, messed up sinner, when we let Him have His way with us.  Not part way, or half way but all the way, because He went beyond all the way for us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father,  how deep is Your love for us that You made this great plan to save us?  You sent Your Son to be our Saviour and the Chief Cornerstone that we can safely rest upon.  Fill us with love, gratitude and reverence for You that we always make You glad You saved us. In Jesus' name. Amen.