Sunday, October 8, 2006

House of Faith - Part 1 - The Cornerstone


With the beginning of a new Church, and more or less a new body of believers, I felt it necessary to start a sermon series which hopefully will help explain why I chose the name “House of Faith” for the new church.

While I was attending Seminary at Dayspring Ministries, I believe it was during my second term there where I took a course entitled “The House of Faith”.

The title alone really inspired me. But it wasn’t until we began the study, when I realized what a wonderful teaching this was, and how it really made sense of Christianity.

The basic teaching in a nutshell is this.

Our faith is like a house built for God.

The foundation of that house is the teachings of the Apostles and Prophets.

This would mean the writings in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Word of God.

The Word of God, we are told in scriptures by Jesus Christ Himself, is to be the very foundation we are to build our house to God on.

But there is a key to that foundation.

As with any structure that is built, the very foundation that holds the entire construction together is built from and around something called a cornerstone.

This cornerstone, as it is known, is the perfect block, as perfect as you can find, so that the entire structure will be square and solid upon the completion of its building.

We are told in the scriptures that Jesus Christ IS this cornerstone.

He IS the key that ties the teachings of the Old Testament to the teaching of the New Testament.

As we’ve discussed before, Jesus Christ is the theme of the Old and New Testaments.

Jesus Himself said, “I did not come to do away with the law” referring to the Old Testament which was known as the Law of Moses, Jesus said, “I came to fulfill it.”

Fulfill what, the teachings of the Prophets, who prophesied the coming and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And what was the teaching of the Apostles?

The Apostles writings are all about Jesus Christ and His ministry.

You see, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, the perfect rock, that all the Holy Scriptures are written on and about.

Therefore the teachings of the Holy Word can hold strong whatever is built upon them because they are Truth.

So we build our House of Faith upon the Truth of the Holy Word, with Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone.

We are told that the actual building of our Spiritual house is done by God Himself.

Psalm 127:1

“Unless God builds the house, those who labor do so in vain.”

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be discussing what the four walls of our hours are, and how they work together to hold up our roof, which is our Spiritual defense against the attacks from the devil in our lives.

We will se how important it is for us to foster and nurture each of the walls in our Spiritual house, and how as you grow in one area, it leads to the construction of the next area of your life.

We will begin our series on the House of Faith with discovering how Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone.


Ephesians 2:20, 21

“…built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”



You’ve likely heard the story about the man who walked past three brick layers at work.

He stopped and asked the first one, “What are you doing?” “Laying bricks,” was the dejected, grumbling reply.

He asked the second one the same question. But he answered with a bit more life: “I’m making a wall.”

He came to the third and repeated the question.

The third bricklayer looked up with a dreamy, excited, far away look in his eye and said “I’m building a temple.”

This story illustrates that although many may be working towards the same goal, that goal, or vision, my not be so clear to those who are working on the foundation.

Whether building a Temple, as in our story, or a grocery store, or gas station, it all looks the same when you first begin.

You first tear up the land to make way for your construction.

You could say, for there to be something built up, there must first be something tore down.

And when the workers first begin, it may be difficult to see what the goal of the work is to be.

This can sometimes lead to discouragement in our walk of Faith.

So we need others to help build us up, and give us reminders of the direction we are going, and what the end result of our labor is to be.

It is the same with building of our Faith.

When we first come to Christ, and He begins His good work in us, He too tears down before He can build.

Old habits and behaviors begin to lose their luster with us.

Things we once found pleasing when we were lost, now are barely imaginable to us.

God clears the land for the construction He is about to begin.

Our long list of so called “friends” becomes shorter and shorter.

Our minds become more focused on God, and our hearts begin to change from stone, to what the scriptures call a heart of flesh.

The Holy Spirit has truly begun His work in us, tearing down before the new construction can begin.

Some people fight the Holy Spirit, and do all in their power to keep the Holy Spirit from preparing the land for the new construction.

In these people, they end up trying to build a House of Faith upon the tainted and loose ground from which they came.

Without the Holy Spirit preparing the ground for the solid foundation, these people build their Spiritual life and Faith relationship with Christ upon the sand.

And when the first storm comes in their life, their House of Faith comes crumbling down.

Because it was built upon the sand.

They lose heart, become discouraged, and a lot of times, give up on the idea of religion and relationship with Christ all together because in their words, “I tried that and it just didn’t work for me.”

It didn’t work for them because they resisted the Holy Spirit’s cleaning the grounds before the true foundation can be set.

They resisted the Holy Spirits work, and tried to build the House themselves on top of all the worldy things they refused to part ways with.

They chose the ways of the world over the way of God.

And in doing so, not fully committing their heart to the Lord, their foundation was weak.

The Foundation is the Apostles & Prophets

We see in the scripture here that the foundation is the Apostles and Prophets.

The Prophets refer to the Old Testament teachings and Prophecies which where based on the Messiah, His coming, and all to do with Him.

The Law of Moses was designed for the children of Israel, and also for us Gentiles, so that we could see our ultimate need for a savior.

Anyone who reads the 10 commandments knows that it would be impossible to meet up to God’s standards.

God was showing man through the 10 commandments, His Character.

We therefore recognize the need for a messiah who can mend our broken relationship with God from the fall of man, and make us in a right position to commune once more with our Creator.

James 2:9 – 11

9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”

We see here in James that even breaking one of the Laws makes you a lawbreaker.

Jesus clarified the points of God’s character and just how impossible it is to meet God’s requirements and match His Character by tightening the definition of the commandments.

Matthew 5:27 - 28

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.” 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

There is no escape from the Truth, that we are sinners and need to be reconciled to God for our sin.

This is why the Old Testament taught about sacrifices.

This is another example of a picture of Christ in the Old Testament.

The Prophets and writers were given instruction by God for there to be sacrifices for their sins against God.

But they were also told that these sacrifices could only cover their sins, not remove them.

The examples of sacrifice in the Old Testament was a picture, although just a mere shadow, it was a foundation, a beginning of understanding of what was to come.

The Messiah. The Christ.

Who would die for the sins of man, not to cover them, but remove them so that they would be reconciled to God once again.

This point of Jesus, why He came and what His death would accomplish, has been illustrated all through the Old and New Testaments.

Christ is the Key to the Old & New Testament (The Cornerstone)

Christ therefore becomes the key, the Cornerstone on which everything in the Holy Word of God is built.

Deuteronomy 32:4

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”

Deuteronomy 32:18

“Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.”

2 Samuel 22:2

“And he said: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;”

Ps 118:22

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”

Matthew 21:42

“Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?”

Luke 6:47-48

"Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.”

CONLUSION – The Need of Christ to be the Cornerstone

The scriptures are very clear.

He is the cornerstone which holds the building together, which rises to become the Holy Temple to the Lord!

2 Timothy 2:19

“…God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Proverbs 22:28

“Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.”

So what is our foundation supposed to be?

Jesus tells us what the foundation of His church is supposed to be.

Matthew 16:16 – 18

“Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered him and said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

What foundation does Jesus build His Church upon?

The fact that He is the Christ, and the Son of the Living God.

The Church is to be built on Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone.

Do you know what else Jesus is?


John 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:3

“Through him all things were made…”

John 1:4 – 5

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:14

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

The Word became flesh…

Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh.

Jesus is to be the cornerstone of His Church, and this is done by the Word of God.

Jesus tells us how important the Word of God is in Matthew;

Matthew 22:29

“Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

God warns us in Hosea how important it is to have the Scriptures in our hearts.

Hosea 4:6

“my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for letting go of the Word of God.

Mark 7:5 – 9 Jesus answers the Pharisees

“So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"

6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

9 And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”

Jesus also says what happens because of this;

Mark 7:13 Jesus Speaking

“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.”

For there to be unity in the Body of Christ, we must work towards the same goal.

For God to build His Body of believers through the Holy Spirit, our goal must be the Heart and Mind of God.

The Word of God tells us in Jesus’ own words, He is to be the foundation of His Church.

Jesus is the Word made flesh.

For there to be unity in this place, we must make the Word our foundation.

Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

"and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

"Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."


Luke 14:28-29

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-- "lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,”

If God has spoken to you today, if you feel that there is an area of your life that the Holy Spirit has tried to clear the land so that God can build there, but you find that you have been resisting the Holy Spirits Work within you, stand or come forward and let me pray for you today.

If you feel that you have the foundation that Christ speaks of in His Holy Word, but you feel like you have lost sight of the goal, like the first builder in our story, you feel like your “just laying bricks”, let me pray for you so that God will restore His vision for you in your life.

Perhaps you have the foundation, and you have the vision, and you just want prayer for strength and God’s quickening in your life to reach that Goal, come forward and I’ll pray for you.

And if God is calling you today because you have never really made the decision to accept Him as your Lord and Savior, perhaps you’ve never confessed it with your mouth or before others, do that now, and we will pray for God’s Holy Spirit to fill you in your life.

Let’s do this now as we quietly listen to our closing song.

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