Focal Passage: Ephesians 2:17-22
A cornerstone is not just any part of a building. It is the stone that holds the whole structure together. The apostle Paul makes this point in relation to Christ in Ephesians 2. Christ is not just a facet of the church. He is not just one block that is next to another stone of worship music or a brick of preschool ministry. He is the “chief cornerstone” on which the church was built (v. 20).
Many of us tend to view church like we do other organizations or clubs. We approach it with a “me-centered” mentality. What can the church do for me? What can my church give me? If I tithe regularly (or more than the person who sits in the pew next to me), doesn’t that mean that I have more of a say in the color of the carpet or the lights on the stage? Since I volunteer my time with the student ministry, should I not be given a gold-level status as a church member?
Our passage in Ephesians 2:17-22 brings us back to the beautiful simplicity of the gospel. Just like the church in Ephesus, we have to be reminded that it is nothing that we have done – and nothing that we can ever do, pay for, serve, make – that will earn us an entry or advantage in the body of Christ. Membership in the church is a privilege that is only made possible through Jesus Christ. It is centered around Him and what He has done.
In the verse preceding our passage (v. 16), Paul describes how we have reconciliation with God the Father – through the cross of Christ. It is only through Jesus that we have access to God (v. 18). Jesus made peace with God through the cross so that all who place their faith in Christ are no longer estranged, but instead are welcomed into the family of God (v. 19).
According to John MacArthur, the cornerstone is vital because it sets the foundation and squares the building. Just as a capstone unites two intersecting walls, Christ connects and joins us together in Him. Have you set your foundation and squared your building on something other than the chief cornerstone?