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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : The Precious Foundation Stone

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"Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." (Isaiah 28:16).
"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 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, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." (1 Peter 2:6-8).

God lays the True and Precious, Foundation Stone. He who believes will not be disappointed. To us who believe He is precious, but the unbelievers stumble at this Stone. To some this Stone brings life and to others death.

These days we are no longer so familiar with the function of a corner stone. It used to be the point of reference of the builder, but also the most important point of stability and strength of the building.

So God has laid this Corner Stone firmly on which the whole building rests, His Church, built not with brick and cement, but with living stones of human beings, cleansed and washed by the Precious Blood of Jesus.

From God's Word we see many characteristics of this Corner Stone - Tried and Precious, a firm Foundation, and the Strength of the building. We know that this Stone is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The pharisees and scribes rejected Him, but God took Him and made Him to be the Chief Corner Stone.

So the foundation is firm and solid, which God Himself has laid. No man can move it. The Word teaches us that you can be saved by no other name than the Name of the Lord Jesus.

"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19).

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39).

It is wonderful to read these verses, and to know how sure and trustworthy this Stone is, that no persecution, or death or peril etc. can separate us from the love of Christ.

It is noteworthy that sin is not mentioned in this list. Why? Because sin can separate us from the love of Christ, even as the seal of the Corner Stone reads, "let everyone that names the Name of Christ depart from iniquity".

There is no other rock as firm as this Rock anywhere to be found. Even if the whole world should move and be shaken, this Rock will not shake. The one who builds on this foundation will never be disappointed.

Daniel's three friends trusted in Him when they stood before the king saying, "we will not bow down to your gods. Our God is able to deliver us from your hands, and even if He doesn't we still won't bow down". And God did deliver them from the burning fiery furnace, for when they were thrown into the furnace, those that threw them in were killed by the fire, but they landed in the furnace, bound. However, the fire did not touch them, and when the king looked he saw four walking unbound in the fire, the fourth being like the Son of God. In fact, the fourth was the Son of God, Jesus Himself, the Rock of all rocks, descending from heaven and rescuing them from the fire.

Daniel too was thrown into the den of lions, because he faithfully prayed to the God of gods. But God also there sent His angel to close the lions' mouths and they did not touch him.

The story is told of Christians that were arrested for their faith in a communist country. The first one was told to deny the Lord Jesus but he refused. They gave him a spade and ordered him to dig his own grave. When is was the right depth, they ordered him to get inside and again asked him whether he would deny the Lord. Again he refused. So they filled the grave with sand up to his knees and again told him that if he would not deny the Lord he would be killed and never see his wife and children again. Again he refused. They filled the grave with sand up to his waist and eventually up to his neck. They gave him his last chance to be free and go back to his wife and children, if only he would deny the Lord Jesus. He succumbed to their pressure and denied the Lord. As he uttered the words that he denied the Lord, they shot and killed him and then buried him, saying, "He is worthless if he cannot stand for what he believes even in the face of death". He died the most terrible death, having denied the Lord and then being killed.

Then they brought out another Christian and took him through the whole ordeal, also pointing to the grave and telling him that his end would be the same if he would not deny the Lord Jesus. Eventually he was also buried till his neck in sand. As they pressured him to deny the Lord and told him too that he would never see his wife and children again, he replied, "The Lord Jesus died for me and my family and gave us new life. We are also willing to give our lives for him". When they saw that they could not persuade him, they ordered that he be dug up and freed him, to return to his family.

Those that do not know Christ cannot even be trusted to keep their word, and are cruel even as their lord, the devil is.

Everyone will be disappointed that builds on anything else than the Rock of all ages, but the one trusting the Rock of ages will never be disappointed.

That's why Paul said that because of the greatness of knowing Christ, he turned his back even on his traditions and all his qualifications. He counted them as dung.

Is the Lord Jesus precious to you? Do you love Him more than anything else?

There are also those that are stubborn and stiff-necked and continue in their own way. Woe to you if you reject the Rock of ages, the Lord Jesus Christ.

To some this Rock brings life and to others death. What effect does He have on you?

What or who is the corner stone of your life? If you are married, is Jesus Christ the corner stone of your marriage. If not, your marriage will fall apart and you will end up in adultery.

If your church isn't built on this Corner stone, it will fall apart.

Even governments, where Jesus is not the corner stone, will come to nothing.

There is no person that will prosper and succeed if he doesn't build on this Foundation and Corner Stone.





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