God’s Word is absolutely incredible when you see how it all fits perfectly together. In the book of Isaiah there is the following scripture:
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)
We know now that this scripture speaks prophetically of Jesus the Christ [Messiah] who came to this earth at the appointed time, died, and rose again from the dead. Jesus Christ [Messiah] was rejected by His own Jewish people [John 1:11], but to those who believed on Him, they became the sons [children] of God. [John 1:12] We can see the very same scripture used by Peter in the New Testament.
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion (ZION) 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 2:5-8 )
Peter tells that we are now a SPIRITUAL house, which simply means that we as believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, and we recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord. We recognize that Jesus is the chief cornerstone in that SPIRITUAL house.
Peter also tells us that we are a Holy Priesthood, which simply means that any Tom, Dick or Harry who repents of their sin, and turns to the Lord, is now part of that SPIRITUAL priesthood of believers. If you are reading this today, and you do not know the Lord, and you realize that you are a sinner that needs salvation, the GOOD NEWS is that you can be SAVED. The GOOD NEWS is that you can become part of the SPIRITUAL priesthood of believers the moment that you are born again into the Kingdom of God.
Peter tells us that the “builders” disallowed this cornerstone who is Jesus Christ, which simply means that they [the Jewish people] disapproved and rejected Him. Jesus Christ was a “stumbling stone” to the people of Israel, for He was not what they expected. They did not anticipate the Messiah to come as He did in a meek and humble way, even riding upon a donkey into Jerusalem EXACTLY as prophesied by the prophet Zechariah. [Zechariah 9:9] Not only that, but Peter tells us that he [Jesus Christ] became the HEAD of the corner, or cornerstone.
When the foundation for a major building is being laid, you will often witness a very big ceremony when the cornerstone of the building is put in place. The News reporters will be there taking pictures and all of the local politicians will be there with big smiles on their faces, and shovels in their hands, as they announce the beginning of construction.
Almost two thousand years ago, the GREATEST CORNERSTONE was laid in the SPIRITUAL BUILDING of Almighty God. That cornerstone is Jesus Christ and the offer to become part of that SPIRITUAL building has been going on that whole time. The offer is for both Jewish and Gentile, but there is one catch, you must believe that Jesus Christ is the CHIEF CORNERSTONE.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Peter tells us that we are now part of a HOLY NATION, and that we have been called out of darkness into the marvelous light [of Jesus Christ]. We are now the people of God, and that is an awesome thing folks. We have obtained mercy!
I believe that any person who truly knows the Lord, and who has been born again of the Spirit, realizes the awesome and incredible mercy that they have obtained from God. Folks, I also believe that any person who has been truly born again of the Spirit, also realizes that they were doomed to an eternal Hell without that awesome mercy of God, through Jesus Christ!
Once again I tell you that this offer is for any person on planet earth. You may have lived the most wretched life imaginable, and yet you can become part of this HOLY NATION that Peter is telling us about.
By the way this HOLY NATION is a SPIRITUAL NATION that is made up of people from all over the globe. It does not matter one iota where you live, because the moment you repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and receive the GIFT of salvation, you become part of that HOLY NATION of God!
Please make a note also, that there is no such thing as a “Holy Land” [including the State of Israel] because the only one that can make anyone Holy is the Holy Spirit. Any person who is living in the land of the present day State of Israel is confronted with the person of Jesus Christ, just like any other person, from any other other place in the world. It comes down to the individual, and their acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ [Messiah]. If any one tells you otherwise then they are presenting a BOGUS GOSPEL MESSAGE to you!
ISRAEL: Living Under The LAW, Not By FAITH In Jesus Christ
The spiritual waters of this beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ began flowing out from Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago, and they have reached the uttermost parts of the earth. The invitation that Jesus gave 2000 years ago remains the same: “. . . repent ye and believe the Gospel . . .” [Mark 1:15]
The Jewish apostle Paul was a former persecutor and murderer of Christians, until he was converted on the road to Damascus. [Acts 9] He confirms the words of Isaiah as well as Peter in the following passage:
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it NOT by FAITH, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion (ZION) a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ASHAMED. (Romans 9:30-33)
In this passage of scripture this Jewish apostle of Christ tells us that the Gentiles [heathen] have attained the righteousness [before God] because of their simple faith!
Paul then tells us that Israel has NOT attained that same righteousness [before God] because they sought to earn their righteousness with God by their keeping of the Law, and so it is even until this very day! Paul then quotes the very same scripture, [3 time confirmation] that Isaiah and Peter quoted, regarding Christ being the cornerstone.
Listen to the cry from the heart of Paul, a man who was RELIGIOUS but LOST until he was transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, almost two thousand years ago.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for ISRAEL is, that they might be SAVED. For I bear them record that they have a ZEAL of GOD, but NOT according to KNOWLEDGE. For they being IGNORANT of GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, and going about to ESTABLISH their OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, have NOT submitted themselves unto the RIGHTEOUSNESS of GOD. For CHRIST is the END of the LAW for RIGHTEOUSNESS to every one that BELIEVETH. (Romans 10:1-4)
Paul tells us in simple and plain language that the people of ISRAEL [in the FLESH / NATURAL] have a zeal for God, but that zeal is NOT according to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word. Paul declared that they were IGNORANT of God’s righteousness, and so they decided to establish THEIR OWN righteousness. ISRAEL missed the truth about Jesus Christ as being the END of the law for righteousness, for those who believe. In plain language, the unbelieving Jewish people, are INCLUDED in the class with ALL unbelieving Gentiles, and are still LOST and on the road to an eternal HELL.
That same word stands as true today, as it did when Paul wrote those words so many years ago. The only RIGHTEOUSNESS that Almighty God will honor is that RIGHTEOUSNESS that is found in His Son Jesus Christ. To reject Jesus Christ is to reject the true RIGHTEOUSNESS, and obviously the salvation which gains entrance into Heaven.