In the next few weeks, we will continue our discussion of Unity and Diversity.  Each week we will first look at our pyramid of Unity and Diversity.

In this pyramid, unity should be found in the bottom three layers first with the foundation of the Person of Jesus.  Last week we started to lay the foundation of Jesus.  If you make your own copy of the pyramid, please note the following passages as a reference.

This idea of Jesus as a foundation is not something we came up with, but something we are abiding by.  We are not putting Jesus at the foundation because we want to, but God has given Jesus to be our foundation.  When we get to the area of principles we will find that the application of Jesus as the foundation will be played out in our lives.

speaks of God placing a cornerstone for a sure foundation.  But sometimes this cornerstone can be a stumbling block for unbelievers. Do you know where you stand? Are you on firm ground or are you stumbling?

This whole argument for Paul is that salvation is available for anyone.  There is a restoration in Jesus, and it is the embodiment of God’s love.  In Ephesus, there were groups saying that salvation was only available for that group of people.  Paul was telling them that all the apostles and prophets built the on the cornerstone, the foundation, of Jesus.  When the prophets talked about the Messiah, they were building their faith on the person of Jesus.

When Jesus came into history, the synagogue was a very important physical building to the people.  It was a place to experience God.  But Jesus changed that.  The building is built on the people who have Jesus as the foundation.  The synagogue presented a shadow of God, but in us, held together by Jesus, is God’s church.  And the message is exclusive, Jesus is exclusive.  He didn’t say there were many ways to the Father, but he said he was the only way.  But the ultimate inclusivity is that no one is turned away from God who chooses faith in Jesus as savior, foundation, and strong binding of the church.

Peter is writing to people who are asking questions about the foundation of the church.  Peter is affirming that God started the church.  You now have this relationship where you are the building where God dwells.   Your faith in Christ puts you to be a holy priesthood.  Where Jesus started, we are now partaking in.  And as holy priests, we deliver spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.  God is telling us that he won’t be looking into our past and taking that into account for salvation.  But it is only through our faith in Jesus that God pours grace and mercy over us.

As believers, we hold this stone as precious.  Jesus is precious.  But if we do not believe, Jesus becomes a stone that we stumbling over.  We start hearing things like “Jesus was a good man,” “Jesus was a good teacher,” or “Jesus was a wise man.”  And while there is truth in these statements, they are not the foundation.  Jesus as the Messiah, the savior for all of us, and we accept that truth is the true relationship between God and us.

Peter will then follow up by showing that what we do is reflected in this truth.

It’s almost too simple.  Too good to be true.  That is why we have people like Paul and Peter reminding us that God said that this is the truth.  Jesus is our foundation, and we are each a living stone in the church and dwelling place for God.

22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (ESV)

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (ESV)

16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ (ESV)

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, (ESV)

21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (ESV)

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”


“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (ESV)