Every Christian, and every church, need to depend on what is truly strong. Other people might choose to trust in their money or their emotions; they might develop their lives on fashion or tradition. These things are not strong, but weak. We become especially aware of their weakness when our lives are difficult.
So, Christians and churches should depend on Christ, and upon the Bible. We depend on Christ because he is God (John 1:1-18; Hebrews 1:1-4). He never changes (Hebrews 13:8); he cannot disappoint us (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). We depend on the Bible because it is God’s word (2 Timothy 3:15-16). God cannot lie (Psalm 119:160) and his word always achieves its purpose (Isaiah 55:10-11). So, Paul compares the Bible to a foundation, which is the strong base of a building. He compares Christ to a cornerstone, a great and strong stone at the principal corner of the building (1 Peter 2:6). It is from that stone, and that corner, that the builder begins to build.
We have here (2:20) an interesting description of the Bible. Paul calls it simply ‘the apostles and prophets’. By that, he means those things that the apostles and the prophets taught.
The apostles were the first Christian leaders; they wrote the Books of the New Testament, the later part of the Bible. Paul taught Christians not to depend upon the apostles themselves, but upon the things that God had shown them (1 Corinthians 1:10-15 and 2:3-5).
The prophets here means the men who wrote the Old Testament, the earlier part of the Bible (1 Peter 1:10-11). Today, Christians do not usually call all of these men prophets. However, the Bible does call them prophets (Luke 24:27), because they wrote down God’s word. For example, see Deuteronomy 34:10 about Moses, and Acts 2:29-30 about David. A prophet is someone who declares a message from God.
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© 2018, Keith Simons.