The Apostle Paul understood that by grace through faith in Christ we are all saved being united as members together of God’s household, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”
(Eph. 2:20). This is the faith given by Jesus; "it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast"
(Eph. 2:8-9). This is the faith established once for all time as the unshakable foundation.
Often foundations are unseen, yet it is what gives shape and stability to a building. Through the centuries much of the foundation of our faith has been hidden from view. Each of us hopes that our faith rests upon this foundation, however, in some unseen way our belief or doctrines have deviated, and in turn the faith of Christian churches today is not exactly the same.
At salvation the Holy Spirit has by faith opened our eyes to see Jesus; we each have received a glimpse of the One who is the Cornerstone. While our perspectives may differ, as followers of Jesus we each have primary or core statements of faith revealed by the Cornerstone. Upon this foundation we have agreement, otherwise the faith we believe is built upon another foundation, and we have no part in Christ Jesus.
In three dimensions a cornerstone has six faces joined at eight corners. You may express the essentials of our faith differently, but because we have by faith seen Jesus, the Cornerstone, let’s describe His faces and in turn the intersecting corners describing what He has done. This is the foundation of our faith, our common salvation for which we contend.
- We see Jesus’ face as the eternal God, Yehovah the LORD.
- We see Jesus’ face as the God-Man, Emmanuel born of a virgin.
- We see Jesus’ face as the Teacher and Miracle Worker, the Prophet like Moses.
- We see Jesus’ face as the Suffering Servant.
- We see Jesus' face as the Resurrected LORD.
- We see Jesus’ face as the Victorious King reigning forever.
How then do these faces intersect showing us what Jesus has accomplished for all who believe?
- As the eternal God, Jesus is the Word who spoke all creation into existence and by His power holds all creation together. Jesus created man, both male and female, in the likeness or image of God. Man was created good enjoying an unbroken relationship with God.
- Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Through sin man broke fellowship with God, but through the incarnation Jesus put on human flesh to make God in the fullness of His power and love known. As the God-Man full of compassion, Jesus heals every sickness and even raises the dead.
- Jesus lived a sinless life fulfilling all righteousness. He was obedient to everything in the Law and the Prophets; He came not to abolish or make these null and void, but that in Him they would overflow with completeness.
- As our Teacher (Master/Rabbi), Jesus came as the prophet like Moses to teach us by the correct interpretation of God’s law (the Torah – instructions). He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; only through Jesus can we know God.
- Jesus offered Himself as the spotless Lamb of God for our sin upon the cross; He is the only acceptable sacrifice made as the atonement for sin. Not only does His death make forgiveness and reconciliation with God possible, but by His wounds we can also receive healing in our bodies.
- Jesus died and was buried, but by the power of the Holy Spirit He was raised to life in glory. Death could not hold Him. Because He lives we by faith receive eternal life. Jesus canceled the power of sin and death. We no longer live with the fear of death; our body may die, but absence from the body brings us into the loving presence of the LORD.
- Jesus after His resurrection ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father in splendor and majesty. Familiar with our weakness He is our great High Priest making intercession for us. Jesus has also given His Holy Spirit to dwell within us empowering us to live a new life. We no longer live according to the desires of the flesh in sin and lawlessness, but by the power of Spirit live in obedience to His commandments (God’s Torah, law or instruction); this is the New Covenant written upon our hearts.
- Jesus will return again as King of kings and LORD of lords to reign forever. The dead will be raised and Jesus will judge everyone according to how they lived; those not found in the Book of Life will be sentenced to hell, the second death. The righteous will receive eternal life to forever be with the LORD within a new heaven and a new earth.
This is the Cornerstone; we have by faith seen Jesus. In knowing Him we come to know the first faith, the foundation upon which we are being built together as God’s household.
Our common salvation in Christ enables us “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Upon these essentials of the faith first given may we never compromise; let us hold fast knowing these have passed the test and are proven true.
For everything else we believe, let us contend for the faith without being contentious. With the help of the Holy Spirit may we hold our faith differences loosely that nothing be added to or taken away from the first faith we seek. With gentleness and humility may we lovingly encourage one another to study “the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things [are] so” (Act. 17:11).