“Since Christ has full atonement made and brought to us salvation,
Each Christian therefore may be glad and build on this foundation.
Your grace alone, dear Lord, I plead, Your death is now my life indeed,
For You have paid my ransom.
Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone and rests in Him unceasing;
And by its fruits true faith is known, with love and hope increasing.
For faith alone can justify;
works serve our neighbor and supply the proof that faith is living.” (“Salvation Unto Us Has Come,” which is number 555 in the Lutheran Service Book.)
The foundation of a building is, for the most part, unseen. What draws our attention is the construction built on that foundation, perhaps an office building, a home, or a church. People build their lives on a variety of foundations, on work or family or wealth, things that are important to them. Others may build on less substantial but highly regarded things such as prestige, power, or popularity. These foundations are unseen, but become visible in the lives of those who have built on them. Thoughts, words, and actions reveal the supporting foundation. Foundations are important, but even the most critical could collapse at any time. A job might be lost, family relationships can be shattered, and popularity may fade.
Our hymn declares that Christ Jesus has atoned for our sins and now we “build on this foundation.” Jesus is the Foundation, the Cornerstone of our lives, a foundation that can never crumble or collapse. When Jesus was born among us, He was considered inadequate or unworthy as a foundation by many of the people He came to save. Like a useless piece of stone thrown on a rubbish heap, Jesus was condemned to death and crucified. He took onto Himself the penalty of death for our sins. He was raised up from death and exalted in glory. The rejected stone had become the Cornerstone as the Scriptures foretold: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22 ESV).
By faith we cling “to Jesus’ cross alone” and build our lives on Jesus our Cornerstone. Our faith is something unseen, but “by its fruits true faith is known.” The Foundation on whom we build our lives is made visible through what we say and do. Our works of love and service reveal the love of Jesus to others and our Foundation becomes known to the world. Jesus is the only Foundation that endures: “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV). Our lives are not built on wealth or power or prestige, but on Jesus. His love flows through our lives to others in works of kindness as we help and care for others just as He did. These works “serve our neighbor and supply the proof that faith is living.”
Prayer: Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, help me to live as a witness to You, my true Foundation and one Cornerstone. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn “Salvation Unto Us Has Come,” which is number 555 in the Lutheran Service Book.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on October 30, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Do you have a favorite building? What is it and what do you like about it?
2. How is Christ the Cornerstone of our lives? What does that say about Him?
3. Do you know people who live like Jesus is the Cornerstone on which their lives are built? What makes you say that about them?