Sermon #146                                                 Luke Sermons


     Title:          Fall On That Stone

     Text:          Luke 20:17-18

     Subject:      Christ the Stone

     Date:         Sunday Evening — March 20, 2005

     Tape #       Y-64a

     Readings:   Bob Pruitt and Rex Bartley



Christ is the “one thing needful.” Without him, you have nothing. Get him and you get everything your soul needs forever. I want you to know Christ. It is my heart’s desire and prayer to God for you, that you may be found in Christ. Preparing this message, I have been continually crying out to God for the wisdom, grace, and power of his Spirit to speak to your heart by the gospel, and persuade you to be reconciled to him by faith in Christ.


How I fear and tremble for you who are described by those words found in Ephesians 2, — “Without Christ!” To be “without Christ” is to be…

·       Without Life.

·       Without Light.

·       Without Grace.

·       Without Peace.

·       Without God.

·       Without Hope.


Before you leave here tonight, I pray that you may be found in Christ, “who of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption.” May God the Holy Spirit give you faith in him who is the “one thing needful.”


Turn with me to the Gospel of Luke. My text will be Luke 20:17-18.


(Luke 20:17-18)  "And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? (18) Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."


Proposition: Salvation is by a fall. You must fall upon that Stone. — Christ is that Stone upon which you must fall and be broken.


I am calling upon you now to “fall upon that Stone.” If you do not fall upon him, that Stone will fall upon you and grind you to powder.


The Parable


Our Lord Jesus has just given the parable of the vineyard, asserting plainly that he was about to take his vineyard from the Jewish people and give it to his elect scattered throughout the world. When the Pharisees heard the parable, they immediately understood that the Master had spoken it against them (v. 19). We read in verse 16, “And when they heard it, they said, God forbid!


(Luke 20:17)  "And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? "


With those words, the Savior referred these Jewish leaders to a passage with which they were very familiar, but one of which they had no understanding — Psalm 118:22-23.


(Psalms 118:22-23)  "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. (23) This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."


Our Lord Jesus is here declaring that these men who had rejected him had rejected their only hope.


The Stone


I.       Our Lord Jesus Christ is spoken of as “The Stone” throughout the Scriptures.


In Genesis 49:24 our Savior is called “the Stone of Israel.” He is the stone that is laid in Zion, on which the whole spiritual Israel of God is built; the foundation stone on which we are laid and upon which we are safe and secure. It is Christ the Corner Stone who knits us together.


This great Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, is “the Foundation of God that standeth sure” (2 Tim. 2:19). — “His foundation is in the holy mountains” (Ps. 87:1). Christ is the foundation God has laid in Zion, and on which he has built his church. Therefore, the gates of hell can never prevail against it.


(Isaiah 28:14-20)  “Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste (Be Ashamed — Be Confounded — Be Confused). (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (19) From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (20) For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.


A.   Christ is the Foundation Stone Laid by God. — In His Eternal Purpose. — In Everlasting Love. — In the Accomplishment of Redemption. — In the Gospel.

B.   Christ is a Tried Foundation Stone.

C.   Christ is a Sure Foundation Stone.

D.  Christ is The Foundation Stone, the only Foundation Stone.


(1 Corinthians 3:11)  "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."


E.   Christ is the Foundation Stone upon which we build, because Christ is the Foundation Stone upon which we are built.


(Ephesians 2:19-21)  "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord."


F.    Unto you therefore who believe, the Lord Jesus Christ is precious, our precious Corner Stone.


(1 Peter 2:6-7)  "Wherefore also 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. (7) Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner."


G.  Those who are built upon this Sure Foundation Stone shall never fall, make haste, be ashamed, be confused, be put to shame, or be confounded.


When the Lord God lays judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet to measure your refuge of lies, it shall be swept away in the sea of his wrath. Your covenant with death shall be disannulled. Your bed of ease will be too short. And your comfortable covers will be too narrow. You will be left without hope before him. Oh, what trembling of soul will torment you forever!


A Stone of Stumbling


II.    For God’s elect, for every soul built upon Christ, this Foundation is a Sanctuary and Refuge; but to those who believe not, he is a Stone of Stumbling and Rock of Offence.


(Isaiah 8:13-14)  "Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. (14) And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem."


(Romans 9:31-33)  "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (33) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."


(Romans 10:1-4)  "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."


Christ is the sure, firm, and everlasting foundation, God has laid in Zion. He is the only Foundation Stone there is. All who build on him are safe and secure forever. Yes, Christ is the foundation, on which the church is built. Being built on him, the salvation of our immortal souls is certain. — The faith and hope of God’s saints fail. — The house not made with hands, which is in heaven, is an eternal one. — The City, which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, is an everlasting one, because that City is built upon this Foundation Stone.




III. In Luke20:17 our Savior declares that, though he is the only Foundation Stone, he is a Foundation Stone rejected by the builders.


(Luke 20:17)  "And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?"


In our text, it is obvious that the Jewish leaders, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees understood that he was talking about them, and they were enraged. They chose for their souls’ foundation their own works and rejected his, and their own righteousness and rejected his. They chose their traditions, their ceremonies, and their heritage, and rejected the Foundation Stone God has laid.


God’s Foundation they disallowed, disavowed, and disapproved as base and contemptible, setting his at nought with utter scorn.


And these Jews have countless multitudes who follow their example of contempt for the Christ of God, setting him at nought and refusing to build upon him. Among the preachers and religious leaders of our own day, the Son of God, our Savior, is still “the Stone which the builders reject.” How is he rejected? He is rejected when…


·       His blood sacrifice, satisfaction and atonement are made of no effect, when men imagine that redemption depends upon their will.

·       His righteousness is made of no effect, and men imagine that it must be supplemented by their own.

·       His grace is made of no effect, and men imagine that it cannot save without the will and work of man.

·       And the Foundation Stone laid by God is rejected, wherever and whenever preachers leave off preaching Christ crucified and seek to build the Church of God by some other message or means (1 Cor. 2:2; 3:11-17; Gal. 6:14).


Head Stone


IV.           But, thanks be unto God forever, man’s rejection of Christ can never disannul the purpose and work of God! — The next line of our text declares, “The Stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner!


Though men reject him, God has accepted him and made him the Head of all things and the Head Stone of the Corner!


He is described in Daniel 2 as a Stone cut out of the mountain without hands, by which antichrist shall be destroyed (Dan. 2:34-35, 45).


(Daniel 2:34-35)  "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. (35) Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."


(Daniel 2:45)  "Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."


Zechariah describes our Savior’s exaltation as the Chief Corner Stone with exultation (Zech. 4:6-10).


(Zechariah 4:6-10)  "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (7) Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (8) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (9) The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. (10) For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."


Like the corner stone in a building, Christ knits and cements it together his building, his church together.

·       Angels and Men

·       Jews and Gentiles

·       Old and New Testament Saints

·       Saints Above, and Saints Below

He strengthens and supports the building, and holds it together.


He is the chief corner stone; he is higher than the kings of the earth. He is infinitely superior to angels, and the chief among ten thousands of his saints. He is exalted above all creatures, angels, and men.


The Lord’s Doing


V.  Though Luke does not record David’s words, Psalm 118 tells us, “This is the Lord’s doing.”


(Philippians 2:9-11)  "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Marvellous in Our Eyes


VI.           And it is marvellous in our eyes.”


It is marvellous in he eyes of all who believe, for the exaltation of Christ as our Mediator and Redeemer is a marvellous and wonderful display of the wisdom, goodness, just, grace, mercy, truth, power, and faithfulness of God (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25-5:1; 1 John 1:9; 2:1-2).


Christ is Head of the corner. Christ is the Heir of all things, Ruler of all things, and Disposer of all things. And in him we have all things


Fall Upon That Stone


VII.        Now, look at Luke 20:18. The Lord Jesus declares, “Whosoever shall fall upon that Stone shall be broken.


I call upon you to fall upon that Stone. Fall down upon him, and you shall be broken. Our Lord did not say, “Be broken and fall,” but “Fall and be broken.” Faith is falling on him. It is a long, hard fall. You must fall from your loftiness and self-righteousness upon Christ alone as your hope before God.


·       His Blood.

·       His Righteousness.

·       His Grace.

·       His Promise.

·       His Ability.

·       Him!


And when you fall hard on a huge rock, you will be broken. And to the broken God’s Word gives this assurance. — “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).


Grind to Power


VIII.     If you refuse to trust Christ, if you will not fall on him for mercy, he will fall on you in wrath. And “on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.


Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,” I pray that God the Holy Spirit will persuade you to fall, fall flat down on the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone is able to save your soul.


(2 Corinthians 5:10-21)  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (12) For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. (13) For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. (14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (16) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


(2 Corinthians 6:1-2)  "We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"


O Spirit of God, cause sinners to fall on Christ! Give us grace that we may ever fall on him, and falling on him that we may be built upon the Rock of God!