Names of Jesus: Chief Cornerstone

Names of Jesus Chief Cornerstone

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Names of Jesus: Chief Cornerstone

Jesus has many names all over the Bible, and we have explored many of His names identifying Him as the Son of God, and several so far as the Son of Man. This week we will explore His identity as the Chief Cornerstone. This name teaches us important information about who Jesus should be to each of us, and also teaches what happens when He is not in His rightful place in our lives. Both the Old and New Testaments speak of this name for Christ, and we will take some time to explore the meaning of this name and what scripture says in context, as well as how this part of Jesus’ identity should impact our own lives.

Christ the Cornerstone

19 So, then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, 
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 
21 In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 
22 In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22 CSB

In Ephesians 2, we read that believers are no longer “foreigners and strangers”, but that we are now united as members of God’s own family. This family is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Christ Himself is the cornerstone. This whole united structure is being built up in faith as a holy temple for the indwelling of God’s Spirit. To understand this image better, let’s take a leap back to explore some cultures from biblical times.

In these times, buildings were constructed by fitting large stones together. The builders would place the first stone down, the cornerstone, and then every other stone would be lined up with this cornerstone, beginning with the foundation. The foundation would branch off to form a foundation that was ready to have walls built up from it. So, imagine for a moment the first stone laid down, then from there the builders select big rocks suitable for a firm foundation and fit them up against the cornerstone. Each stone had to fit perfectly together in order for the structure to be made strong and solid, and it had to line up with that very first stone, the cornerstone.

In this way, Christ is that first stone, the cornerstone, the apostles and prophets were made into a foundation aligned with Jesus, and then the rest of the believers are additional stones added to the building, being fitted together and built up, growing into a holy temple for the Lord. No stone can be added that does not line up with the cornerstone and fit within the structure. The cornerstone is the strongest stone that holds all the pieces together, and the foundational stones must be solid as well, fitting perfectly together with the cornerstone creating a united foundation.

  • Foundation – G2310 – themelios
    •  laid down as a foundation, belonging to a foundation
      • faith in Christ, which is like a foundation laid in the soul on which is built up the fuller and richer knowledge of saving truth
      • of the apostles as preachers of salvation, upon which foundation the Christian church has been built
      • a solid and stable spiritual possession, on which resting as on a foundation they may strive to lay hold on eternal life
  • Cornerstone – G204 – akrogōniaios
    • placed at the extreme corner; cornerstone
      • For as the cornerstone holds together two walls, so Christ joins together as Christians, into one body dedicated to God, those who were formerly Jews and Gentiles
      • And as a cornerstone contributes to sustain the edifice, but nevertheless some fall in going around the corner carelessly; so some are built up by the aid of Christ, while others stumbling at Christ perish

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

The building is fitted together and aligned with Christ, the chief cornerstone, and will be unshakable. Believers aligned with Christ as the chief cornerstone of their lives are filled with the Holy Spirit and learn from the examples and testimonies of the prophets and apostles found in scripture. Scripture instructs us to filter all things through the Word of God, and also to learn from the examples of godly people. The teachings and testimonies of the prophets and original apostles are given as a foundation for us to learn from and be encouraged by, as they lived and taught from the cornerstone of Jesus.

Build your life on Christ the Cornerstone

We are each a temple for God’s Spirit and are called to be united with the Body of Christ, leaning on the strength and understanding of Christ throughout all areas of life. If we are not trusting Jesus as the cornerstone of our life, we are not aligned with Him and are not building our life on His truth. We were made through, by, and for Jesus, and He calls on us to live aligned with Him in faith, allowing His Spirit to fill us, guide us, and align us to the Way of salvation through Christ.

16 Do you not know that you[a] 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.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

As Jesus is the only way to salvation, no one can lay a firm foundation on anything but Christ. No other foundation will stand – it will be like building your house on the sand. Only a life and hope built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone, will stand.

11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock
25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 
27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27 CSB

When we build our lives and place our hope in Jesus, lining up to Him as our Chief Cornerstone, we are building our lives on the sturdy, unshakable foundation of stone. When the storms, trials, and struggles of life come, and they will, we may get a bit battered, but we will not fall because our hope and faith is in Jesus and all that He provides.

16 Therefore the Lord God said:

“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,

a tested stone,

a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;

the one who believes will be unshakable.[a]

Isaiah 28:16 CSB

When we are not trusting in Jesus as our cornerstone, it is like building our lives on the sand. When struggles, trials, and storms come our foundation of sand washes away and everything goes with it. Life falls apart, and we are left wrecked, trying to keep our heads above water. If we don’t place our hope and build our life on the firm foundation of faith in Jesus Christ, we will be blown about by every storm and wind that blows through our lives and carried away by it.

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Dangers of Rejecting the Cornerstone

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word,[a] so that by it you may grow up into your salvation, 
if you have tasted that the Lord is good.[b
As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by[c] God— 
you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood[d] to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 
For it stands in Scripture:

See, I lay a stone in Zion,

a chosen and honored[ecornerstone,

and the one who believes in him

will never be put to shame.[f]

So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving,

The stone that the builders rejected—

this one has become the cornerstone,[g]


A stone to stumble over,

and a rock to trip over.[h]

They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.

But you are a chosen race,[i][ja royal priesthood,[ka holy nation,[la people for his possession,[mso that you may proclaim the praises[n][o] of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 
10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:1-10 CSB

Those who reject Christ, reject the only true cornerstone and hope we have and build their lives on a foundation that will perish and crumble. Those who have faith in Christ become united as members of the Body of Christ, connected by Christ as the Chief Cornerstone, and sharing in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, being built into a holy temple for the Lord.

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]

1 Peter 2:7 ESV

22 The stone that the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone.[a]

Psalm 118:22 ESV

The cornerstone is a stumbling block to unbelievers who choose to reject Christ as their foundation and fail to align themselves with Christ as the Chief Cornerstone because there is no foundation that will stand without Him. They do not accept Him as Lord and Savior, and instead trip over the only sure foundation there is and fall into the hardness of unbelief which leads to an eternity apart from God and all that is good.

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]

1 Peter 2:7 ESV

17 But he looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture:[a]

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone?[b]

Luke 20:17 CSB

11 This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.[b]

Acts 4:11 ESV

If you have not trusted Jesus as the Cornerstone of your life, what’s stopping you from trusting Him today? He is ready, waiting for you to come to Him. He isn’t waiting for you to clean yourself up, He is not expecting you to be perfect, and He is not surprised at the baggage you bring with you. He knows every hurt, every struggle, every mistake, every sin.

He knows all the questions you have, and He is reaching out to you today asking you to trust Him in faith. He is the only One who can give you the strength and peace you need, and this can only come from a personal relationship with Him as your Lord and Savior when you accept His sacrifice for your sins so you can be made right with God and become a child of God, coheir of the Promise.

Have you accepted the grace of God?

If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.

If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:

  1. Names of Jesus: Savior
  2. Don’t Neglect Your Salvation
  3. Prayer of Salvation
  4. What is grace and why do we need it?
  5. What does it mean to be justified by grace?
  6. Don’t Reject God’s Grace
  7. Don’t Reject Christ
  8. Godly Women – what it means to live a godly life
  9. Redeemed Women – what it means to be redeemed
  10. What is Biblical Love?
  11. What are Spiritual Gifts?
  12. How to live in Spirit and Truth
  13. How to test what is pleasing to God
  14. Names of Jesus as the Son of God
  15. Names of Jesus as the Son of Man
  16. Names of Jesus as the Truth

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Names of Jesus Chief Cornerstone
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