Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 12, 1964

The Rock That Is Christ -- No. I

Jesse M. Kelly

Text: Isa. 28:16

INTRODUCTION: The Son of God is frequently referred to in the Scriptures under the figure presented in the text — that of a stone, a foundation. Cf. Psa. 118:22.

In the New Testament inspired men present him in the same way. (Eph. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4-8)

Observe first, this Rock, Foundation, in . .. .

I. Eternal Purpose Of God

A. The laying of this foundation on which the hope of repenting sinners might rest is the one grand object of God from almost the beginning of time.

1. The first promise. (Gen. 3:15) \Vas also foreshadowed by appointed sacrifices under Moses. Paul teaches that the whole Mosiac economy was the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. (Gal. 3:24)

a. Discuss briefly the Roman schoolmaster, or pedagogue.

2. God's purpose more prominently announced in Psalms and the prophecies.

B. The foundation proclaimed in the text is the great consummation of all God has done and revealed to the human family. Christ, the foundation, is the focal point to which all lines of God prophecies, purposes, and revelations run. He is the "alpha" and "omega."

1. "God's footstool supplies the place, his great purposes the scaffolding, and his revelation the plan, of that mighty spiritual edifice of which this stone is the foundation." (Homiletic Encyclopedia)

II. The Need Of The Foundation

A. That a foundation was needed no one will deny. Multitudes attest to man's consciousness of the need of a foundation by endeavoring to lay their own.

1. Israel and the golden calf. (Ex. 32)

2. The Athenians, many deities, foundations. Paul declared the One. (Acts 17:22,23)

3. Catholicism, denominationalism. All these are futile attempts of men to lay their own foundations.

a. "The ladder that leads to heaven must come from heaven."

B. In the midst of all false foundations, and the baseless fabrics of sinners, God in the text introduces His own. "Behold 'I' lay....a foundation." (1 Cor. 3:10; Psa. 127:1)

III. Characteristics Of The Foundation A. "A Tried Stone."

1. Tried by Satan. (Matt 4:1-11. Cf. Heb. 4:15; 2:17, 18)

2. Tried by man. These trials began even in his infancy. The flight to Egypt. At twelve years of age, by doctors of the Law in Jerusalem.

a. Charged with breaking Sabbath. His power ascribed to Beelzebub. Is questioned concerning paying tribute. Enemies seek to kill him.

b. Finally his betrayal, arrest, trial. Pilate finds him innocent and seeks to release him. (Matt. 27:11-26)

c. Last, the crucifixion itself. Here it seems that God Himself tried him. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

3. Tried by death. Matt. 27:62-66. In spite of the combined power of satan and the Roman government, Jesus broke the bars of death and came forth!

B. "A Cornerstone." Suggestive: A cornerstone unites both sides of an edifice.

1. Unites man with God. (2 Cor. 5:18, 19) Mediator, (I Tim. 2:5) Intercessor. (Heb. 7:24,25)

2. Unites Jew and Gentile. (Eph. 2:14-16. Cf. Gal. 3:2627)

3. A cornerstone, in addition to uniting, also gives direction. Jesus Christ as the cornerstone gives direction to all we do in his service (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 3:10-11)

C. "Precious" Cornerstone. Precious life. No sin found in Him. (1 Pet. 2:21, 24) Precious sacrifice. (1 Pet. 1:18, 19.

D. "A Sure Foundation." In the Hebrew the word is reduplicated for greater emphasis, "A foundation, a foundation!" Not a transitory, but an eternal one. (2 Tim. 2:19)

I. Paul laid this foundation through gospel preaching — "Christ and him crucified." (1 Cor. 2:1-5) "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men..." (Cf. 1 Cor. 3:10, 11)

Conclusion: Upon What Foundation, Sinner Friend, Are You Resting Today? (Acts 4:11,12)

— Box 72, Newbern, Tennessee