1Pe_2:6. It is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
THE Scriptures universally speak the same language with respect to Christ: in every part he is represented as the only Saviour, and the all-sufficient help of sinful man. In this respect the Old Testament prepares us for what is contained in the New, and the New reflects light upon the Old; and thus they mutually illustrate and confirm each other. This observation naturally arises from the frequent appeals made by the Apostles to the prophetic writings; and particularly from the manner in which St. Peter introduces the passage before us: he seems to intimate not only that the prophet had been inspired to declare the same truth, but that this prophecy had been given of God on purpose to prepare the way for the more direct injunctions of the Gospel. His words declare to us,
The excellency of Christ—
Christ is often spoken of as a foundation, because he supports the spiritual temple of God; but here he is represented as a corner-stone laid by the hands of God himself—
[The excellency of the chief corner-stone, which lies also at the foundation, consists in this, that while it supports the building, it also connects the different parts of it together. Now Christ has united together, not only Jews and Gentiles, but men and angels, in one spiritual building: and while they all derive their strength from him, they all feel, through him, an union with each other [Note: Eph_2:14; Eph_2:20-22.]. For this purpose “God laid” him in Sion from the beginning; he laid him, I say, in types and prophecies, and declarations, and promises; and he requires all hoth in heaven and earth to honour him as the one source of their strength, and the one bond of their union.]
In this view he is “elect and precious” in the eyes of God—
[God has appointed him to execute this office from all eternity, and determined that there shall be “no other name whereby any shall be saved.” And, as qualified for it, as discharging it in every respect, and as saving man in perfect consistency with the honour of the Divine perfections, God esteems him “precious;” He declares that “in this his beloved Son He is well-pleased;” and He acquiesces fully in the salvation of all who shall approve of this appointment.]
Nor will he be less precious in our eyes, if we consider,
The security of those who “believe in him”—
To believe in him, is, to feel an entire dependence on him ourselves, and to have such an union with him as produces a correspondent union with all the other parts of his spiritual temple. They who thus believe in him shall never be confounded,
[Much there is in their experience, which might well confound them, and which nothing but their union with him could enable them to support. How should they endure a sense of guilt, or bear up against their indwelling corruptions? How should they sustain the fiery trial of persecution, or stand composed in the near prospects of death? These are things which disconcert and confound others; and drive them like a ship from its moorings. But they have “an anchor both sure and steadfast.” They are not agitated, and driven to hasty conclusions, or ill-advised methods of deliverance [Note: Compare the text with the passage from whence it is taken, Isa_28:16.]. “Their heart standeth firm, trusting in the Lord.” “Being justified by faith, they have peace with God.” The promise that “sin shall not have dominion over them,” encourages their hope. Their present consolations, and future prospects of reward, soften all their trials, and enable them to “glory in tribulations.” And, knowing in whom they have believed, the sting of death is taken away, and they are “delivered from their bondage to the fear of death.”]
[Terrible indeed must be the apprehensions of an unbeliever, when first dismissed from the body and carried into the presence of a holy God; and at the day of judgment how will he stand appalled! But the believer will go as a child into the presence of his Father, with love, and joy, and confidence. He will not be confounded at the glory of the Divine Majesty, because he is washed in the Redeemer’s blood, and clothed in his righteousness. Even Mary Magdalen, or the dying thief, know no terror in the presence of their God, because they are “complete in Christ:” it is on this account that they shall have confidence before him at his coming, and great boldness in the day of judgment [Note: 1Jn_2:28; 1Jn_4:17.]. Nor is this the privilege of a few only, who are strong in faith, but of “all that believe,” whether their faith be strong or weak.]
How great is the difference between believers and unbelievers!
[The world perhaps may not in some instances discern much difference; but God, who sees the heart, gives this glorious promise to the one, while there is no such promise in all the sacred oracles to the other. Let us then believe on Christ; and make him “all our salvation and all our desire.”]
How unreasonable is the unbelief of sinful men!
[God has laid his Son for a chief corner-stone in Sion, and declared him to be precious to himself in that view: why then should he not be “elect and precious” unto us also? Have we found a better foundation, or a surer bond of union? Or can we produce one instance wherein any person that believed in him was finally confounded? O let us consider what confusion will probably seize us here, and certainly hereafter, if we continue to reject him. And let us without delay “flee for refuge to the hope set before us.”]