The Bible is full of metaphors that the Holy Spirit uses to make the truths of His Word clear and understandable. Here Paul uses the analogy of construction to help the believers in Ephesus understand another portrait of Christ that is crucial to their direction in life and relationship with other believers in the local church.
Ephesians 2:20-22 (KJV)
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.
The Bible reveals Christ as the chief cornerstone here in Ephesians 2, as it relates to the church which is an assembled group of baptized believers who have been called out from the world to glorify God.
What then are the implications of Christ being the chief cornerstone?
A cornerstone in architecture would control the design of a building. From that point, an architect would put together the balance and how all the parts relate together. The chief cornerstone means He determines the design and direction of what is to be built. This is certainly true for the church, but it is also true for individuals who are believers. Christ as the chief cornerstone, should be the determiner of the direction of the Christian’s life. When Christ is the chief corner stone in your life, all the parts will fit rightly together. He will provide direction for all the other Biblical truths that need built into your life.
A cornerstone is not only necessary to control the design and direction of the building, but a cornerstone is placed to unite walls together. In reference to the church in v. 21, the Bible speaks of how Christ fitly frames the believers together.
What is vital here is that Christ, the chief cornerstone is the one who fitly frames together believers in a local church providing all the necessary ingredients for growth unto holiness. To leave the local church out of your life is to refuse one of the purposes Christ is the chief cornerstone – that is, to fit you together with other believers in a spiritual greenhouse environment so that you can grow with others unto an holy temple. To fitly frame together means to be close-jointed together pointing to being inseparable.
If you can picture it this way, you as a believer are one wall tied into the chief cornerstone, who is Christ, and on the other side of the chief cornerstone are other believers who are also tied into Christ. Christ is the one who brings us together, who gives us a cohesive purpose, and the same mind to become holy unto Him. What a beautiful picture of the church! When you are growing in holiness, and others are growing in holiness, the church becomes more fitly framed together.
In addition to Christ, the Chief Corner Stone, providing direction for the church and the believer, and being the one that brings believers together in a local church setting to grow unto holiness, Christ the Chief Cornerstone deserves our praise and honor.
1 Peter 2:7 (KJV)
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,
The chief cornerstone in architectural history is naturally placed on the outside wall of a structure bearing an inscription that memorializes the date of the establishment of the building or important facts about the structure. The cornerstone held the most honored position in a building. The word “precious” in 1 Peter 2 is tied to honor. “In Whom” is repeated in Ephesians 2:21-22 pointing us to the truth that without Christ, we have no direction in life, we have no unity with the brethren in the local church, we have no possible way to pursue holiness, and we are islands unto ourselves, but with Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, we have a solid foundation and direction for life. We have the wonderful opportunity to be fitly framed together for growth in holiness. To be closely tied to other believers, with Christ’s help, personally pursue holiness.
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Where would you be without the Chief Cornerstone? Would you finish your time in reading this article, by bowing your head and worshipping Christ, Your Chief Cornerstone, and honoring Him with praise for He alone is your Chief Cornerstone!