17 AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR;18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Verse 17 is a reference to one of the prophecies laid out by the prophet Isaiah in chapter 57 when he talks about God rebuking the religious leaders as a way of building up His people and removing the obstacles in their way to enhance their relationships with God.
Verse 18 explains the triune God once again, laying out that through Christ, by the Spirit, we have a relationship with the Father. Because of this, we are part of the family belonging in God’s household. This is very important as we continue to live as Christians. Before we talked about remembering where you came from, but more importantly, we must remember where we are. We are no longer separated from God. We are no longer of this world.
I think verses 20-21 are significant in recognizing the genealogy or the timeline, per se, of the progression of faith in God from a worldly perspective. It has many times been noted to me that the Old Testament points toward the cross (if we are looking at a timeline) and the New Testament points back to the cross. It is with this perspective that I have been able to understand the Old Testament better and why it is even there to begin with, quite honestly. Most churches today focus on the New Testament, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but sometimes we forget to look at where we (humankind) came from in our relationships with God. God has laid out example after example throughout the scriptures with different people how He expects us to live and what life with God looks like. I think it is interesting that we can all identify and we gravitate towards one particular character throughout the bible that we prefer above the rest. What we tend to forget, however, is the opening to the book of John, “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” Oh yes, Christ has been with us since the beginning of time. This is why Paul refers to Him as the cornerstone. This is also another example of Christ being God, because God has been with us since the beginning of time. It is Christ who creates the support for the whole building to be built as a Holy Temple in the Lord. This is also referred to as Him being the Head of the Body of Christ (being that we are the rest of His body).
Similarly, Paul points out, we too have been formed as a holy temple unto the Lord with the Holy Spirit being our cornerstone, our rock, our foundation so that we may build ourselves to be a worthy temple of the Lord. Ironic that this temple is to house…the Holy Spirit. That is an intimate relationship, is it not?
What happens when a cornerstone to a building is removed? It crumbles. Likewise we must continue to ensure that cornerstone remains there as an integral part of our lives or else we too will crumble. We tend to take it out occasionally and then scramble to find it when our building starts to lean to the side. We keep the building secure by staying in constant contact with Him and ingesting Him (reading the Word) every day. Without that, we are just a building waiting to fall over.
Where is your cornerstone today?