GOD’S REDEMPTION BEING FOR HIS BUILDING
Of all the gospel messages delivered today, hardly one is concerned with God’s building. The preaching of the gospel in Christianity certainly misses the mark. Because we are still under the influence of Christianity, we simply do not have the impression that God’s redemption in Christ is for the building. In the concept of many Christians, salvation is everything. A great many hymns praise the Lord as the Lamb, saying, "Worthy is the Lamb." But there is hardly a hymn that says, "Worthy is the stone." If you stood up in a meeting of Christians and praised Christ by saying, "Worthy is the stone," they would think that you were crazy, or that you had taken in a peculiar concept. This is the situation today. However, in the Lord’s recovery the Lord has brought us on farther. We not only see, as Martin Luther saw, that the Christ is the Lamb for our redemption for us to be justified by faith in Him. We also see that this Lamb has seven eyes, which are also the seven eyes of the building stone. God’s economy is not for redemption; it is for His dwelling with man through redemption. Because man fell, there was the need for redemption. Redemption is the process by which fallen man is brought back to God for the fulfillment of God’s economy to build His dwelling place. But pitiful Christianity remains attached to the procedure, forgetting and neglecting God’s goal. Due to this, we must trumpet loudly the words, "Worthy is the stone."
Let us now consider some verses in Matthew 21. Verse 9 says, "And the crowds who went before Him and those who followed cried out, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!" This verse, which was uttered in the warm welcome rendered to the Lord Jesus, is a quotation of Psalm 118:26. Psalm 118:26 says, "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Who is the "he" mentioned in this verse? The answer is in verse 22 of the same psalm: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner." Verses 22 and 23 of Psalm 118 are quoted by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 21:42. Psalm 118:23 and 24 say, "This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." The "day which the Lord hath made" is the day of resurrection. On the day of resurrection the Lord God made Jesus of Nazareth the cornerstone. This is the day the Lord has made and we should rejoice and be glad in it. Every Lord’s Day we should rejoice and be glad.
When the Jewish builders were troubled by the welcome given to the Lord Jesus and were jealous of Him, the Lord said to them in Matthew 21:42, "Have you never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the cornerstone; this was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes?" The Lord Jesus seemed to be saying, "Didn’t you hear the people praising Me, saying, `Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord’? Their praising was a quotation of Psalm 118. In this Psalm there is another verse. Have you never read it? It says that the stone the builders rejected has become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes." By quoting this verse from Psalm 118, the Lord indicated that the Jewish people, as the builders of God’s building, would not only reject the Savior but also the building stone. As a result of their rejection, they would have no part in God’s building. We must be deeply impressed that we were not saved merely to be saved. We were saved that we might be a part of God’s building. When we preach the gospel, we should not only preach salvation and redemption, but also God’s building, telling the people that if they do not receive the Lord Jesus, they will not have the leading building stone and will have no share in God’s building. God’s goal in His salvation is His dwelling place, the New Jerusalem. In our preaching of the gospel, we, like Peter, must tell people that God’s redemption in Christ is for them to become a part of God’s dwelling place.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 77, by Witness Lee)