Cornerstone or Stumbling Stone?

Chris Gardner

February 28, 2019

Let's go to Romans chapter 9 asked you guys to be praying for this next week. Can I ask you to be we need to be excited about what God is going to do because if Church isn't about a building how many of you have ever said that? It's one thing to say Church it in about a building and I don't know many Christians that say that haven't said in their lifetime churches and about a building, but I know that there are very few Christians who have actually lived as if Church wasn't about a building.
So next week is going to be fun. It's gonna be an experiment for all of us and I asked you to be there with us. Let's go to Roman's 9 verse 32 Romans 9 verse 32. What am I missing? What am I missing? Oh, I forgot see if I didn't have Bill would be in trouble and bills out next week. So that's going to be interesting.
We also have a video of a guy y'all might know do you have both them and you know, which ones which okay, let's do the one with him first and then the second will do with this friend. So here's a guy y'all might know and Seth recorded this for us. So go ahead and hit that their bill. I really wish I could be there.
I'm sorry that I'm
not there.
Well that what this is what we got to do is hopefully that it wasn't a good luck charm that you were in jail watching Ohio State if that's what makes them win and they need to lose everything. Every week they know what's going on. Got lots of people praying for you. Lots of people that miss you looking for ya.
Hey, there's the first one and then he has a friend in jail. By the way. Here's be praying for him. This week's a big week. I've talked to him. He's tried to call me like five times this week and I've talked to him twice every time I answer sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't but this week is really big to know when his trial is or if they just release all the charges and he goes home from there.
So just be praying for that big time if you don't mind and then here's a. There's an ease another video.
I'm not quite sure. I believe sometime this week. Okay, I'll come from or from a probation officer and healed in my Warren of and I can be over here. All right. Yes, I'm in Dallas County. I have this beautiful woman. I'll try to marry when I get out. She's been on my side. I'll tell you a little bit more when I get in I believe so.
I definitely have a little family. I want to be there when I get out. Other families portal do the right thing so I can stay enjoy and be having because they make my world and I got it. It's the craziest church ever. They don't care where you've been the love you. Now, let me just say this. We may not have this building anymore, but you can't replace that.
You can't replace that because that's what church is supposed to be about. We don't care where you've been we're going to love you. We're going to show you the Jesus is Love. We're going to be part of your life. We're going to dive into your life. And so I'm excited about what's going on. Just be asked you guys to be praying for Robbie and pray for John as well.
I texted him last night. And hopefully be able to hook up with him now that he's out because Robbie did confirm with me last night last night that he got out. Let's go to Romans chapter nine got two verses to cover today. But as you know, that doesn't mean much when it says that when I say 3 to 2 versus 2 because Romans 9 is a deep deep deep chapter Romans 9 siddiq chapter.
We started in verse 30 where he says what shall we say, then that the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness have attained to righteousness even the righteousness. Which is a faith like how in the world could it be that Gentiles are saved? There's no way they didn't even care about what God said.
They weren't following the law and they get saved that makes no sense at all. But Israel followed after the law of righteousness hath not attained to the law of righteousness God how in the world is that the people that were looking for you did not but the people that weren't looking for you didn't verse 32 we covered last week this week.
We're going to look at verse 32 wherefore because they sought it not. My faith, how is it that Jews could not be saved when they looked so good on the outside. Like they parted their hair, right? They walked right? They talked right? They had the right everything on the outside. How is it that they were not saved he says because they sought it but the way they sought it was not by faith.
You are not chosen. You have to have faith in Christ. And so he says by faith, but as it were by The Works of the law for they stumbled at that stumbling-stone in so we're talking about a stumbling stone or a Cornerstone. And so Paul says, why is that the Jews could not even fathom the idea of Gentiles being included in this group.
Why is it that the Israel's were Israelites were not in this group. Here's the heart of the problem according to Paul. They didn't seek justification by faith. They didn't seek justification by faith instead. They sought it by The Works of the law. There's only one way that you can be saved one way and only one way and that has nothing to do with the way you live your life.
Now if you're saved that will change the way you live your life, but that's the result of Salvation that is not the way you get saved. And that's the way the Jews were looking for. They could not even fathom how Faith could save them. even though Paul is already stated in Romans chapter 4 that that's exactly the way the man they called Father Abraham was saved their father was saved by.
Faith they didn't follow suit when it came to Abraham's faith and God the interesting thing about this passage is that Paul did not speak of the elect. God did not speak of the elect and the non-elect his emphasis was on the faith that one places in Christ. If you want to know what the emphasis of the passage is, the passage is not emphasizing.
Are you elect or are you not elect the passage is saying do you have faith in Christ? Because that's what it comes down to have you placed your faith in Christ and In Christ Alone the Jews were sure that the Gentiles to be saved. We're going to have to come up to their level user. Like hey, these Gentiles are going to get saved.
That's awesome. They're gonna be part of us. They're going to have to live like we live there want to do like we do. They're not two but it begins to meticulously try and follow the same rules where they didn't really grasp. It all was the fact that they would actually the Jews would actually have to stoop to the level of the Gentiles.
The Gentiles are sitting the Jews are sitting there thinking man these Gentiles for them to get saved. They're going to have to do this and they're going to hey, have you seen our list of to do's and the don'ts. It's a long one. Have you seen it? Because that's what you're gonna have to do now because you're part of our religion and God goes.
Oh, no, that's not what's going to happen Jews. If you want to know what salvation is all about. You're going to have to take that list of to dues and to don't send your right to light fire to it and make it disappear because that's not the way you get saved. You're going to have to stoop and be at the same level that a gentile is.
And you're going to place your faith in Christ. And in Christ alone. That's the only way to Salvation don't have to forget their religious privileges that Paul spoke of when he started Romans chapter 9. He talked about all these Privileges and verse 1 through 5, and they're going to have to forget all about that.
They use these privileges as a substitute for Christ the use these privileges as a substitute for Christ instead of something that would lead them to Christ can see here's the deal. God wanted all the things in the law to lead them to the fact that they needed something else. Here's the law. If you obey it perfectly you can be saved.
But only perfectly. I'm sad to say but mr. Nelson reminded me of three reasons. I couldn't be saved by perfection in the law. And I told him I said I can add another 300 to that. I'm sure and that was back in first to fifth grade that I don't remember extremely well, but I'm sure I could add even more to that list of things that he told me about.
You know, why because I'm human and no matter how hard I try. I will never be perfect. There's only one way to be found perfect in the eyes of the Savior and that is through faith and faith. Not church membership not how much you give not and how where you go not in the friends that you have not in your habits.
It's only found in Christ when it came down to it. Jesus was one of two things to them. He was either going to be a Cornerstone. Or stumbling Stone he was going to be either the Cornerstone or the summoning sound. He was the rock of offense for the Jews. In other words, they were offended by this idea of what was going on with Jesus.
The people of Israel were students of the word. There's nothing they enjoyed more than talking about the word then that we got to be careful sometimes because you can be a student of the word and you can fall in love with the word of God, but forget to fall in love with the god of the word because he the word of God is not just about the letters on the piece of paper.
The word of God is about the God of the word. It is the way that we come to know. Our savior is through the word you don't fall in love with the word so much that this becomes an idol you to filter everything through the word you love the word, but you must understand that the word has one purpose and one purpose alone.
And that is that we might know Christ even better. There are living these new rules because of everything that they saw in the Bible. They love sitting down and talking about what God was doing but they actually missed the biggest Point ever made in scriptures. And God sent the Messiah when God put on flesh according to the book of Philippians he put on flesh and he came to this world.
They miss that you know why they missed it because they were too obsessed with their rules and they weren't looking for the one that they had to place our faith in crazy to think of that for sure. Sinners even religious Ones Still reject the righteousness of God and the reason they rejected is this because they cannot earn it.
Their problem they reject the righteousness of God because they cannot earn it because see we as Americans we don't like the idea of receiving something. I don't want to get a handout. Have you ever heard anybody say that? I don't need a handout. I don't need a handout me. No, nobody helping me.
That's our attitude. But what you have to understand is this what we are given by God is absolutely free. They stumble over the offer because it deprives them of any involvement and their own salvation. You understand that it deprives them of any involvement in their own salvation. It's Pride that moves people away from the truth of the Gospel.
The problem is that it that it deprives people of their rebellious self-esteem. It seems almost when you read about the Jews. It seems like they would be great Americans doesn't like they would make great Americans out to be flying the red white and blue outside of their house because they sound so much like us we love staying some like this.
Yes. He's a self-made millionaire. How do you make yourself a millionaire? In case you're wondering you can't well, I started the business. So did you have customers or do you make yourself a millionaire? Look like exactly how did you pull it off that you created all the wealth by yourself with no help but we love As Americans going I'm a self-made man.
I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps. And because of that it's hard for us to understand salvation because salvation is going to the Savior saying I receive that which is free. And that I don't deserve. In case you're wondering those millionaires don't exist. Nobody pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps, if you don't believe it ask their mother.
Let it pull themselves up from their own bootstraps because of Mom. I didn't take care of him when he was born. He'd be nowhere to be found. What bootstraps was he pulling up he went pulling up no bootstraps. All he was doing this sitting there wine and screaming and kicking and hating life and doing stuff in his diaper right and left and Mama and Daddy had to take care of it.
He couldn't even feed himself. He's not a self-made nothing. But don't we love talking like we are? Don't we love talking as if we do these things ourselves and that is the antithesis of the Gospel. We had the same problem. The people of Israel had people are too proud to accept God's willingness to forgive and because of that they head into eternity as a good church member.
That was a sinner. That attended every week. But didn't know Christ. I go to church every week. Congratulations. You're going to look like the church you're going to sound like the church. You're going to smell like the church, but you're going to spend eternity in hell if you've not placed your faith in Christ and In Christ Alone.
Faith in Christ and Christ Alone a free salvation becomes an offense to Men on account of their pride. They cannot bear the idea of being indebted to God because of his grace. The Bible talks in the book of Acts and we don't have time to go there right now because I got a cut off button and ask for 10 through 11.
He talks about how Jesus is the Cornerstone because c those are the two choices of the Cornerstone. The biggest tragedy of all is that when the Messiah came the one who the law and the prophets all spake the Jews stumbled over him. instead of embracing him. It was almost like Jesus was a Lego on the floor of the world.
And you are shoeless. You ever done that if not, you're probably not a parent. But when you become a parent, you're going to know what it's like Legos are I'm telling you they are not created in any other country. I believe that they are created in the depths of this Earth and they're brought to the improve patients in you or something.
That's her horrible. I've got Legos all over the house. I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and. Where you where you check your sainthood whether you're living for Christ or not? Because you're getting up to go to the bathroom. And you go when you step on a Lego that's what Jesus was for the Jews.
They stumbled over. They didn't accept him. They stumbled over him. We're they were so absorbed and absorbed in their God projects that they didn't notice that God was right in front of them. They're trying to serve God. He was right in front of them, but they totally missed it Paula saying guys you pursued a worthy goal.
You just pursued it in the wrong way because Jesus is the Cornerstone. Jesus is the Cornerstone number three, you see the intention look at Romans 9 and verse 33 and I'm skipping over a lot of material because we don't have time to go over it. But the verse 33 says this edited as it is written behold.
I lay in Zion, by the way, I want you to notice what he says as it is written by the way. How important is the word of God? Paul says what have I done I've done as it is written. Where is he talking about that it was written? Oh and the Old Testament is some people say doesn't matter anymore. He says he says in his it is written.
I love these next words. What are these next words? I lay in Zion a stumbling Stone. He put that there on purpose to say you stumbled over me instead of making me the Cornerstone. My stomach's on a rock of offense and whosoever believeth on him. I love this in this chapter that a lot of people love saying is all about the elect and the non-elect look at how he closes the chapter.
and percent next word. Not again, and who whosoever are you good enough? No, you're not good enough. I don't care who you are. I don't care if your name is Mother Teresa, but here's what I can promise you is you are allowed the Salvation that God gives as long as you fit in that word whosoever and let me just tell you I'm thankful that I'm one of the one of the whosoever.
Whosoever. He didn't put any regulations on it. He didn't put anything that you had to be that you had to do or not. Do he said and whosoever. You should never what what is the point of demarcation what separates one polarizes one group of people from the other group of people is just whosoever.
What aren't you glad he didn't say whosoever is good enough.
Because let me just tell you I come to church and I preach and I study the word and I talked about the word of God and I loved it. But let me just tell you if you had to be good enough. I know one preacher that would split hell wide open. Thank God he didn't say whoever is good enough. He didn't say whosoever gives enough.
He didn't say whosoever does enough. He didn't say whosoever is at church enough. He didn't say whosoever helps the orphans. That's not what he said. What he said was this whosoever believeth on him. He shall not be ashamed. He shall not be ashamed in this verse Paul explains what's happened is something intentional that God does he knows how people make fun?
Here's Paul knows how people make fun of Christians because they Place their faith in Jesus because see in the Roman Empire the Roman Empire they prided their self in the. They prided themselves on their strength. They prided themselves in their roads. They prided themselves in all these things they've done they trust in their strength.
They're proud of their armies. They're proud of their roads. They're proud of what they've made of themselves. It would be laughable that a person would come with a with the gospel. And have any confidence in his power. Can you imagine this pipsqueak of a man? Paul says I'm not ashamed to stand up to the strongest Soldier you have because I have something that he does not have I have the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that changes everything.
He says you will not be ashamed by the way. I love how Romans 1 says I. And not ashamed of the gospel and what Paul is saying is this you can bring hundreds of soldiers against me and you go. Yeah, that's easy to say but no Paul didn't just say it Paul was left stoned and left for dead outside of a city and he says I am still not a shame.
They locked Paul up in a dark dungeon, and he still looked and he said I am not ashamed. They locked him up in his house chained him to a guard and Paul's like guess what this guards about to get saved. You know, why because I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is going to be a change because there's a power in the gospel for who so ever believes.
You said Chris? Well, this guy has a lot of money. I don't know how to talk to him. You know how you talk to him? You talk to him the same way you would talk to anybody because you have nothing to be ashamed of you of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Well Chris, they don't believe in Jesus. How do I talk to him?
You talk to him the same way you would talk to anybody because there's one thing that we are not ashamed of Jesus is not a stumbling stone for those who have believed Jesus is their Cornerstone Jesus. Is there Cornerstone? You have nothing to be ashamed of. It would be laughable to a person that he would come but he said nothing to be ashamed of and you know, who we have believed and know that he is able to keep us don't you love that?
He is able to keep us. Wicked. So when we're teaching every one of my kids to walk always hold him and they hated it when they were really young because when I walked through it took him a while to start hating it, but when I hold her hand, I went just hold it like this. I had my my pink in my pink was wrapped around the other side of their arm and it made my grip so much stronger because when my kids thought they could walk there were the most pathetic walkers in the world.
Like Daddy, I want to walk I'm like, okay and what you know, I want to walk means I can walk Three parking spaces before I'm asking you to pick me up again, you know sitting there walking with them and hold their hands this way and you know what they never depended upon their strength. They thought they were holding onto my hand, but they weren't holding onto my hand.
We know better than that. You know what? God says. You don't have to be ashamed. I'm the one I'm the one we can stand tall because we know the power of the Gospel. And now the power of the Gospel the law was given to send us to the feet of Jesus. That's what the purpose of the law was. Did you stumbled over a crucified Messiah?
They wanted a messiah that would lead the nation to political freedom to in glory. They could not believe in a crucified Christ believing in Christ. Is it something to be ashamed of it all? If you're not if you want to have Jesus. Then what you need to understand is this he will become a stumbling Stone to you that will cause you to fall.
But if you trust him, here's the promise you have nothing nothing to be ashamed of. You have nothing to be ashamed of now. Can I just say this? I believe that many adults think that Jesus is the Cornerstone of their life and of their family because they attend church. But that's not what a Cornerstone does.
I'll go to church every Sunday. Congratulations. I think you ought to be at church every Sunday. I believe it ought to be a priority in your life. I really believe that but that's not what it means to be a Cornerstone. Here's what you have to understand. See Jacob. It's now that you have to decide whether Jesus is going to be the Cornerstone of your life or he's going to be a stumbling Stone because see what a Cornerstone is you put that Cornerstone down in and everything is built upon that Cornerstone and since everything is built upon that Cornerstone it fixes.
Everything else in life is built around that corner stone. That is the key part. But you know what you get to the teenage years and you have to decide what are you going to do is you're going to be a it's going to be a Cornerstone as you're going to be something something. I'm going to go to church dad.
That's not what I asked. Is she gonna be your Cornerstone? Is she going to be the Cornerstone of your relationships pain? Is he going to be the Cornerstone of what you truly believe and and I can talk to my kids and I can talk to hopefully I can talk to your kids Brendan. You're sitting there in the back and you've got to decide is he going to be your Cornerstone?
Or is she going to be a stumbling Stone? Hey, is that what's going to happen to see Andrew? It's your decision. You have to decide whether Jesus is going to be your Cornerstone. He's going to your stomach. So is he going to be something that you just put on the schedule every week or is he the Cornerstone of your life?
Are you going to build around the truth of the Gospel the gospel matters and you do not have to be ashamed. And man, I hope parents in the room are going man. I'm glad my son's listening to this. I'm glad my daughter's listening to this.
The sad part about it is this most of our children build their lives the same way we did.
In a lot of cases that ought to scare you to death.
Because we give lip service to God we pretend. I don't pretend I know in your heart of hearts, you know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that. Is she going to be your Cornerstone or she going to be a stumbling Stone? And as I prepared this message and I was thinking about it. The question for me was exactly the same because my children need to watch that their family.
It's built their relationship is built around the corner Stone of Christ. Their spending habits are built around the corner Stone of Jesus Christ their time and their value of people is built around the corner Stone of Jesus Christ every single thing about their schedule screams. Jeez. Christ.
Cathy it's easy to live a life where you come to church. But living a life where he truly is your Cornerstone. Changes absolutely everything. So what's he going to be today? And can I tell you that I pray every single day that my kids are growing up with him being the Cornerstone. I really do I hope and I pray and I begged God that my kids will make him more than the service that they do to him and they would rate their every part of their life be built around something that matters because here's the deal your friends can make you think that it's something to be ashamed of but the promise that you have from the.
Creator of the universe the King of Kings and the Lord of lords is this you don't have to worry about being a shame. There's nothing to be ashamed about if you placed your faith in Jesus Christ, dear Lord, we come to you.

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