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Trials From Without - Lesson 9 - Stone Upon the Corner Stone

1 Peter 2:4-6

The power of Spiritual Reality

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God

5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Here is the foundation of everything — Jesus Christ, the choice stone, the precious corner stone. Your standing with God, your praise and worship, your stability in life, the strength of the church, and victory over trials all flow out of the bedrock that is Christ. Jesus told Peter: Matthew 16:18 “I say to you that you are Peter (a small stone), but upon this rock (bedrock) I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” He probably remembered that the day the Holy Spirit gave him this to write. Notice how all of these things add up to strength, endurance, and faithfulness even when being tried by fire. If you are anchored to a solid foundation your building will withstand the storm.

In other Scripture the church is pictured as a set of temples. 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

It starts with individual believers being individual temples of the Holy Spirit. Those temples are called together in local churches which are also temples of God. 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

This is a corporate temple indwelt by the Holy Spirit just like the individual believers who are also temples. Ephesians 2:19 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.

Paul expanded his scope here to speak of a final holy temple within which a constant building process is going on with people being saved, then added to the local church temple which is being built together into a dwelling of God in the

Spirit. The complete, eternal temple is presented in Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.

This amazing 1500 mile cubed city is called the New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb. Read all of Revelation 21 and 22 to get the incredible picture. We know the church is betrothed to Christ the bridegroom and this takes place after the Marriage of the Lamb. So here the church is, an eternal temple made of the most dazzling minerals, jewels, gems, pearls and stones imaginable.

Do you suppose the ingredients of the city come from the firey test of pastors’ work in local churches? 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

So Peter painted a humble picture of Jesus’ rejection by men but exaltation by God through which He was named the Chief Cornerstone. His body is composed of individuals pictured here as living stones being built up into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood that can offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

This is a powerful word picture, one that calls you to faith and commitment. And when you place your faith squarely on Jesus you will never be disappointed. Never . . .

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