“… to whom having drawn near, a living Stone, indeed having been rejected by men, but chosen by God, precious; you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Because of this, it is also contained in the Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion an elect, precious Stone, a Corner-foundation; and the [one] believing in Him shall not be ashamed, never! Then to you who believe [belongs] the preciousness. But to disobeying ones, [He is the] Stone which those building rejected; this One became [the] Head of the Corner, and a Stone-of-stumbling, and a Rock-of-offense to the [ones] stumbling, being disobedient to the Word, to which they were also appointed. But you [are] an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you may openly speak of the virtues of the [One] who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; [you] who then were not a people, but now [are] the people of God; the one not pitied [then] but now pitied” (1 Peter 2:4-10).
Peter sets forth a striking contrast between what Christians think of Jesus Christ and what unbelievers think of Jesus Christ. Peter says that Jesus Christ is chosen by God and precious. Christians agree with God about the preciousness of this Stone while unbelievers disagree with God about it. Some unbelievers dispense with Christ altogether, while other unbelievers esteem Him “important” or “wonderful,” but still something LESS THAN precious. In other words, some unbelievers (e.g., hostile atheists) reject Christ absolutely while others (e.g., tolerant Calvinists) place Him in any part of the building that they do not deem essential to its structure.
“… to whom having drawn near, a living Stone, indeed having been rejected by men, but chosen by God, precious” (1 Peter 2:4).
Some types of false religionists SAY they have NOT rejected Christ as a precious living Stone fit for no worthy use, but have only relegated Him to a more realistic, practical, pastorally-sensitive, and therefore optional and non-essential place in their theologically-mature and balanced building.
“Then to you who believe [belongs] the preciousness. But to disobeying ones, [He is the] Stone which those building rejected; this One became [the] Head of the Corner” (1 Peter 2:7).
To confidently affirm that this precious Corner-Stone is believed in by every Christian without exception as an immediate and inevitable fruit of God’s effectual call “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (i.e., regeneration) is to many Calvinist builders, a confident affirmation of a radical “Perfection of Knowledge Required for Salvation” heresy. These tolerant Calvinist builders who spit this slander at Christians must begin their pernicious building project with a foundation. In light of 1 Peter 2:9 and 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 they, too, must affirm some doctrinal knowledge that is the fruit or result of the marvelous regenerating light. So what is it? Since they esteem God’s precious Corner-Stone as an optional, dispensable, and inconsequential pebble that can be stepped over or kicked down the Adiaphoran Road, they must needs put a different “stone” in its place as foundationally precious.
So what is the foundationally precious stone for those who identify as Calvinist or Reformed? For most it is the self-righteous stone of the false christ who died for everyone without exception. A “christ” who died for everyone without exception is a “christ” who cannot save; this is a “christ” whom the apostles did not preach.
“Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, escaped ones of the nations; the ones who set up the wood of their carved image, and the ones who pray to a god who cannot save; they know nothing” (Isaiah 45:20).
“For if, indeed, the [one] coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed” (2 Corinthians 11:4).
What most self-righteous religionists who call themselves Calvinist or Reformed do is confess belief in a carved image or common pebble as an immediate and inevitable fruit of what they think is marvelous regenerating light. In short, the Precious Corner-Stone is the Stone which these Common Pebble Calvinists have rejected.
“Jehovah [is] my strength and my song; and He is my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation [is] in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of Jehovah works mightily. The right hand of Jehovah is exalted; the right hand of Jehovah acts mightily. I shall not die, but I shall live and declare the works of Jehovah. Chastening, Jehovah has chastened me, but He has not given me to death. Open the gates of righteousness to me, I will enter into them; I will thank Jehovah. This [is] the gate of Jehovah, the righteous shall enter into it. I will thank You, for You answered me, and [You] are my salvation. The Stone [which] the builders rejected has become the Head of the Corner. This is from Jehovah, it [is] marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:14-23).
“And he who falls on this Stone will be broken; but on whomever It falls, It will pulverize him” (Matthew 21:44).
“So hear the Word of Jehovah, scornful men, rulers of this people in Jerusalem. Because you have said, We have cut a covenant with death; and, We have made a vision with Sheol, when the overwhelming rod passes through it will not come to us for we have made the lie our refuge, and we have hidden in falsehood. So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hasten” (Isaiah 28:14-16).
“… as it has been written, Behold, I place in Zion a Stone-of-stumbling, and a Rock-of-offense, and everyone believing on Him will not be shamed” (Romans 9:33).