"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"
Jesus: Cornerstone, Or Stumbling Stone? (1 Pe 2:4-10)
1. When the infant Jesus was being presented to the Lord at the temple,
an interesting statement was made concerning Him by Simeon:
"Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many
in Israel..." (Lk 2:34)
2. In other words, Jesus was destined to have different effects on
a. To some, He would be the cause of their rising
b. For others, He would be their down fall
3. In 1 Peter 2:4-10, the apostle Peter expands upon this same theme...
a. To some people, Jesus serves as a "cornerstone"
b. To others, He is a "stumbling stone".
[What's the difference? Well...]
I. TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE, JESUS IS A "CORNERSTONE"
A. HE IS A "LIVING STONE" (v 4)
1. Which was rejected by men
a. As stated by John in Jn 1:10-11
b. Instead, they crucified Him
2. And yet, He was chosen by God, considered to be precious
a. As foretold in Ps 118:22 , God has taken that which was
rejected by men and made it the "cornerstone"
b. The cornerstone of what?
B. THE "CORNERSTONE" OF A GREAT SPIRITUAL HOUSE OR TEMPLE (Vs 5-6)
1. Upon which we are being built
2. The same thought or illustration is used by the apostle Paul
- 1 Co 3:9-11; 1 Cor 3:16-17; Ep 2:19-22
3. As this spiritual house built upon Christ, we fulfill certain
a. We serve as a holy priesthood, offering spiritual
sacrifices to God, e.g.:
1) Our bodies - Ro 12:1-2
2) Our praise - He 13:15
3) Our doing good and sharing - He 13:16
4) Even our deaths - 2 Ti 4:6-8
b. We therefore serve as God's special people (Vs 9-10)
1) With a special task of proclaiming the praises of God
2) For by His grace...
a) We have been called out of darkness into His
b) We who were not a people, are now the people of God
c) We have obtained mercy!
C. JESUS IS ALSO THE ROCK UPON WHICH WE AS INDIVIDUALS BUILD OUR
LIVES - MT 7:24-27
1. By following His teachings, we are able to establish our lives
on solid ground
2. This enables us to withstand the "storms" of life
[So in more ways than one, Jesus is truly a "cornerstone" to those who
believe in Him and follow Him.
But what about those who do not believe in Jesus, who do not make Him
the "cornerstone" of their lives?]
II. TO THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE, JESUS IS A "STUMBLING STONE"
A. THERE IS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE (1 Pe 7-8)
1. Either Jesus is the cornerstone...
a. Upon which we are being built as stones in His temple (the
b. Upon which we are building our lives by following His
2. Or He will be the "stumbling stone" over which we will meet our
B. THAT JESUS WOULD BE A STUMBLING STONE TO SOME...
1. Was foretold by Isaiah, who Peter quotes - cf. Isa 8:13-15
2. Was foreseen by Simeon when Jesus was presented in the
temple as a newborn - Lk 2:34
3. Was how Jesus saw Himself - Mt 21:42-44
C. SADLY, JESUS HAS BECOME A STUMBLING STONE TO ISRAEL...
1. Cf. Ro 9:30-33; 1 Co 1:23
2. Jesus was a stumbling block to many of the Jews because...
a. They thought they could attain righteousness by
keeping the Law
b. They could not accept the need for a suffering Messiah to
atone for their sins!
D. IN A SIMILAR WAY, JESUS IS A STUMBLING STONE FOR MANY PEOPLE
1. Pride prevents them from accepting Jesus on His terms!
2. They think that they can please God and go to heaven on the
basis of their good deeds
3. Therefore, they are unwilling...
a. To confess their sinfulness and their need for Jesus
b. To turn their lives over to Jesus, and to do His Will
E. THE SAD PART IS THIS: TO THOSE WHO STUMBLE BY BEING DISOBEDIENT,
1. For such doom has been appointed by God - 1 Pe 2:8
2. Such is logically necessary, for without Christ...
a. We will die in our own sins - cf. Jn 8:24
b. Righteous punishment can only follow - cf. Re 20:11-15
1. We often sing "Jesus, Rock of Ages," for truly Jesus is like a rock.
But what kind of rock is He to us?
2. If we are willing to believe and obey Jesus, He can be the
a. Upon which we can be added as part of His church, the spiritual
b. Upon which we can build our lives so as to have a full and
3. But if we disbelieve and are disobedient. then, by necessity, Jesus
will be our STUMBLING STONE...
a. Over which we will fall
b. Under which we will be broken and ground to powder
There is no middle ground. What will Jesus be for you, a cornerstone
or stumbling stone? Are you obedient to His Word?
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