Summary: A spiritual temple requires a very specific kind of building material. It is to be built of living stones—the very lives of those who have become spiritually alive through faith in Jesus Christ. Such building must begin with Jesus for He alone is the foun
1 PETER 2: 4-6 [Renewing Hope Series]
JESUS CHRIST--THE CORNERSTONE
God has called us to the life of building, not destroying. After Peter has instructed us to rid ourselves of evil and to grow up in our salvation, he proceeds to tell us how to do that. After using the analogy of a baby who craves for milk, he now uses an analogy which is used frequently in the New Testament to illustrate growth in one's spiritual life, or the building up of the body of Christ--the church. It is the comparison of building a house.
Peter's analogy is more specific than merely building a house, it is the building of God's house, a spiritual temple. [The original temple was built by King Solomon under the first covenant of God with His chosen people. Under the New Covenant, the spiritual house or temple is being built by the Lord Himself.] A spiritual temple requires a very specific kind of building material. It is to be built of living stones--the very lives of those who have become spiritually alive through faith in Jesus Christ. And such building must begin with Jesus Christ for He alone is the foundation and cornerstone and each born-again believer who is a living stone in Christ's church. [Cedar, Paul. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol. 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 1984, S. 136]
I. THE LIVING FOUNDATION STONE, 4.
II. THE LIVING TEMPLE STONES, 5.
III. THE CHOICE CORNER-STONE, 6.
Verse 4 begins teaching on the important subject of God's living temple by referring to Jesus Christ as a "living stone." "And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,"
Peter says not only are we children in the same family, but we are stones in the same building. A physical building isn't the church--the body of believers is the church! We are the living stones.
People like to be on the church grounds at FBC. They enjoy the parking lot, fellowship hall, and the sanctuary. Why? It's not because the grounds are anything special. It's because the fragrance of the church is left behind. These buildings are nothing more than buildings. But because the church worships, prays, studies and fellowships with the Lord here, this place is filled with the fragrance of Jesus.
The church of Jesus is made up of believers who have come to Christ and founded their life upon Him. The participle's tense and voice indicate that this coming is to be a personal and continual approach. It is an intimate association of communion and fellowship between believers and their Lord. The church is made up of those who have come to Christ and who are continually coming to Christ.
This continual coming indicates they continually fellowship [abide in] with Jesus Christ, the living Stone. In 1:3 Peter referred to a "living hope" and in 1:23 to the "living . . . Word,"now he referred to Christ as "the living Stone." Peter developed and explained the metaphor of the stone in the following verses. Here he said this Stone is living. It has life in itself and gives life to others. People may enter into personal, vital relationships with this "living Stone." He is the living stone because He conquered that which kills, steals and destroys --sin, death, and the grave.
Although Christ was rejected by men [a theme of these verses]... God had chosen Him (1:20) and sees Him as precious (1:19; 2:4, 7; Isa. 28:16). God regards Jesus as the most precious of all yet the world still rejects him, because the world has rejected God. Christians rejected by the world may take heart in the knowledge that they are the chosen (1:1) and valued (1:18) by God.
II. THE LIVING TEMPLE STONES, 5
Because of our connection to the Living Stone we have become living stones who are being built together into a spiritual house which is for the service and glory of God as we read in verse 5. "you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Because of the life giving power that has flown into our life we have become alive in Christ. All spiritual life comes from Christ. Since Christ is the living Stone those who have established a relationship with become living stones also. Each time someone trust Christ as Lord and Savior another stone is quarried out of the pit of sin by the Holy Spirit. These living stones are not scattered uselessly about but are gathered together so that they can be built into God's church, God's spiritual house (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21) or residence. The church is a dwelling place (Eph. 2:22) which is inhabited by the Living God.