Summary: "A living stone" is how Peter refers to Jesus. Peter also calls us "living stones" that are used to build up God’s spiritual house. What kind of building are we doing?
Goshen Christian Church
Timeless Treasurers #4
“(4) And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, (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. (6) For this is contained in Scripture: BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNERSTONE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. (7) This precious value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE, (8) and A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the Word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”
How would you describe Jesus? There are many ways. Let’s look at how Peter (the rock) describes Jesus.
I. JESUS IS A LIVING STONE
Peter is talking about our precious Lord (vs 3). Remember the rock Jesus said He would build His church upon? (Mt. 16:16) Jesus said that He would build His church on the confession of Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
In our text (vs 4), Peter says Jesus is the living stone. He is the choice and precious stone. The Jews rejected Jesus from being the foundational stone upon which their faith would be built. Men and women today still reject Him but not God. He is God’s chosen (favorite). The stone which the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone (vs 7).
In this passage of Scripture Jesus is called a living stone (vs 4), a choice stone (vs 4), a precious stone (vs 4), a cornerstone (vs 6, a rejected stone (vs 7), a stumbling stone (vs 8) and a stone of offense (vs 8).
II. WE ARE TO BE LIVING STONES
God is building a spiritual house (household of God, dwelling place). All of us who are believers are God’s building blocks. We are living stones, the material God uses to build His spiritual house. We are a holy priesthood of believers (ministers) who serve God. We offer spiritual sacrifices of obedience (Rom. 12:1,2). We give sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving (Heb. 13:15). We please God by offering sacrifices of doing good and meeting peoples needs (Heb. 13:16).
Eph. 2:19-22 says that we are no longer strangers and aliens. We are a part of God’s household. We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Himself being the cornerstone. Upon him the whole building is being fit together as a dwelling place for God.
The church is alive and well. It is built out of you and me, living stones- believers.
III. WE WILL ACCEPT OR REJECT JESUS THE LIVING STONE
Peter divides mankind into two classes. To the believers Christ is precious. Like the merchant in Mt. 13:46, we are willing to give up everything in order to obtain the pearl of great price- Jesus, who is a timeless treasure more valuable than anything else. Those who believe in this precious living stone will not be disappointed (vs 6). This living stone of precious value is for the believer (vs 7).
For those who refuse to obey the Word of God Peter says they reject Jesus, the chief cornerstone (vs 8). To the disobedient Christ is like the stone that the builders rejected. To them Christ was imperfect and fit only to be thrown upon the rubbish heap. Not accepting the Bible as the Word of God, your final authority, and obeying it is the same as rejecting Christ. The result of rejecting Christ is doom (vs 8).
Are you a stepping stone or a stumbling block?
ILL> In ancient times the hallways of castles had stumbling blocks placed in them at random places. These stumbling blocks were raised stones put in the hallways so that the invading men in their suits of armor would trip and fall down as they were chasing the king trying to escape from the invaders. The king new where the stumbling blocks were but the invaders didn’t so as they ran after the king they would trip and fall and they were slowed down because it wasn’t easy getting up with armor on. Thus the king’s life was spared and he could escape.
Jesus calls us out of the darkness into His marvelous light. We can accept Him or we can reject Him. It is our choice.
Verse 9 says that we are God’s own possession. We are chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation! Would you be living stones that God can build His spiritual house with?