By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Throughout the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the cornerstone and foundation of the church. There are multiple reasons for this, with the first being His death and resurrection is the premise the church is built on.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NKJV): Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Another reason to consider is fact that Jehovah relinquished His authority over heaven and earth to Jesus. As such, Jesus is the head designer and architect of the church.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV): And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
We also find the confession that Jesus is the son of God is a foundational piece of the church. As a reference, the same Greek word used here for “rock” is also used in Matthew 21:42 for “stone”. These two verses also share the fact that Jesus is the foundation (cornerstone) and that Jehovah is in control.
Matthew 16:16-18 (ESV): Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 21:42 (NIV): Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord as done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
While the Apostle Peter had a vital role in the growth of the early church, he was not the rock or foundation of the church. He did not have the ability to modify scripture; nor was he provided any additional revelation or insight. The Apostle Peter was an obedient follower of Christ who laid the foundation as it was taught to him.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV): For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.