THE ROCK OF OFFENSE
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
—1 Peter 2:6–8
Today the meaning of the word believe has been weakened. In the eyes of most it has become a mere acknowledgment of a certain fact. To many it has nothing to do with obedience. But in the passage above, the words believe and disobedient are represented as opposites.
The Scriptures exhort “that whoever believes in Him [Jesus Christ] should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). As a result of the way we view the word believe, many think that all they are required to do is believe that Jesus existed and died on Calvary, and they are in good standing with God. If this were the only requirement, the demons would be in good standing with Him. The Scriptures also say, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble” (James 2:19, emphasis added). Yet, there is no salvation for them.
The word believe has more meaning in the Scriptures than acknowledging existence of or just mentally assenting to a fact. Remaining true to the context of the verse above, we can say that the main element of believing is obedience. We could read it this way: “Therefore, to you who obey, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ ”
It is not difficult to obey when you know the character and love of the one to whom you are submitting. Love is the bottom line in our relationship with the Lord—not love of principles or teachings but love for the Person of Jesus Christ. If that love is not firmly in place, we are susceptible to offense and stumbling.
From the book " The Bait Of Satan ", Written by John Bevere
Reverend Patrick Vossen,