2:20 foundation of the apostles. The “foundation of the apostles and prophets,” upon which the great house must be built, clearly refers to the Scriptures which they wrote under divine inspiration. Note Ephesians 3:3-5. The New Testament was given “by revelation” (Ephesians 3:3), “revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:5). This revelation was first preached verbally to the early churches, but then amplified, expounded and codified in writing—writings which soon came to be recognized as the “canon”—that is the measuring rule—of New Testament Scripture. Once this “foundation” was laid, when the Scriptures were finally completed through the last living apostle and prophet, then the superstructure of this “holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21) could be erected, stone by stone, as we all are being “builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). It is especially important to remember that the foundation is already complete. Nothing further can be added to the inspired Scriptures. The last apostle, John, strongly emphasized this in his final words (Revelation 22:18,19). Thus any later “prophet,” professing to have some new revelation from God, is thereby branded a “false prophet” (note Matthew 24:24).
2:20 chief corner stone. The Lord Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone around and upon which the foundation itself has been built. He as Son of God is also the “Rock” upon which the church is built (Matthew 16:18). Furthermore, “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11); He must be the foundation of each redeemed life. Note also such related Scriptures as Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 7:24-25; I Peter 2:3-8; and finally Revelation 21:14-21.