Saturday, October 8, 2011

Like Living Stones

I love I Peter 2:4-9. The apostle writes:

"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: 'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.' So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,' and 'A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.' They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

This passage is full of tremendous truths about God the Father, God the Son, and His church. As I ponder these verses, twelve stand out to me:

  • God builds and is still building His church.
  • God has founded His church upon one cornerstone - Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus Christ is precious to God the Father.
  • Jesus Christ is rejected by men.
  • God uses live materials to construct His church.
  • God uses His materials (stones) as opposed to man-made materials (bricks).
  • The church is like Christ, but not Christ. He is the living stone; we are like living stones.
  • God's church is His spiritual house.
  • God's church is a holy priesthood.
  • God's church is able to offer spiritual sacrifices that God will accept.
  • God expects faith and obedience from His church.
  • Like Christ, God's church should expect rejection by men.

Passages like this this one are a reminder to us that, ultimately, the church is all God's doing. He builds His church by Himself and for Himself. It is all about Jesus Christ and is founded completely upon Him. The church is all according to God's terms and desires.

It is exciting to think that we redeemed sinners are part of this amazing plan. We get to be building materials right now in God's house. We are part of His abode here on earth. He has blessed us with complete access to Him. Despite our sin, because of what Jesus has accomplished we can live in ways that are acceptable sacrifices to God. Amazing!

As God builds His church, man does not. This is the somewhat tricky part for us. We are all tempted, in our pride and selfish desires, to try to form the church according to what we want. We are all tempted by this regardless of the form or structure of the local church family we are a part of. We must fight this temptation.

Let me give one simple example: the "one anothers" in scripture. These passages are some of the most challenging in the bible. They show us what God expects from His church in how we treat one another. But how often do we redefine these passages? How often do we basically say, "God couldn't really have meant that!"?

Peter reminds us that the church is all God's idea and doing. God determines the parameters. It is all based in Christ to bring glory to the Head - Christ.

We are infinitely privileged to be construction materials in God's new house. We are His priests (not the High Priest) who offer spiritual sacrifices that He finds acceptable. Because of this, we must enjoy this reality by living as He would have us live.

God is the author, designer, creator, and sustainer of His building project. This new temple is vastly more beautiful than the temple from the O.T. No one in Solomon's time told God what the temple should look like. We would be wise today to not tell God what His new temple should look like.

Let us simply enjoy being the church as God has made it. We are His living stones. He builds us as He desires.


Aussie John said...


Your words identify the problem:"God is the author, designer, creator, and sustainer of His building project", but, men want the glory!

Eric said...


So true. How wonderful the church becomes when we all simply get out of the way!

Tim A said...

"As God builds His church, man does not."

The same word used for build in 1 Peter 2 is also used of believers in 1 Thes. 5:11 often translated edify.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

It seems there is an element in which the living stones also build the other living stones. Maybe that is why we were "living" stones, not dead, merely passive collections of hard dirt. It is true, we cannot build anything in the flesh, but when "filled with the Spirit", we can build - "speaking to one another with psalms, hymns...."

Eric said...


A good word brother. You are right in that we help one another mature in Christ. Maybe I should have said that God is the only foundation builder of the church.

Praise the Lord that He has caused us and allowed us to know Him and be a part of His wonderful fellowship!