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1 Peter 2:4-10 (Part 1)



As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (verses 4-5)

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“Living Stone” and “living stones.” These are the twin foci of this passage.


The “living Stone” is, of course, Jesus himself. Peter will shortly quote several Old Testament passages that speak of him as “a chosen and precious cornerstone” (verse 6), “the stone the builders rejected” (verse 7), and “a stone that causes people to stumble”(verse 8 ). All of these are prophecies about the Messiah – prophecies which are now fulfilled in Jesus himself. Indeed, Peter specifically tells us that he was “rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him,” exactly fulfilling the words of those ancient prophecies. So, “Stone” is a high designation.


But Peter wants to emphasize further that this is no ordinary stone – not at all. So, he adds the word “living.” In sharp contrast to the lifelessness of any stone used for construction, or those carved into idols, this specific Stone is fully alive – full of vitality, energy, and power – divine Life. Indeed, this Stone is life-giving, being the source of life to others.


This latter point becomes clear as Peter speaks of the other “living stones” – which, of course, refers to all those who “come to him” to receive salvation and cleansing and adoption into the family of God and new life. This is a phrase that includes me. Does it include you? But it’s not primarily about us – it’s about him. He is the one who has life and who gives it. And so, all of us who have received him become like him. Beyond what could possibly be true otherwise, we, like him, become “living stones.”


We need to nail this first point home. Without him, we’d be nowhere. “Apart from me, you can do nothing,” Jesus said, using another image that clearly speaks of life-giving capacity, the life of the vine flowing into its branches (John 15:5). Or, in the words of an old Gospel-song my Dad loved to sing to me as a kid: “Without him, I can do nothing; without him, I can but fail; without him, I’m just a-drifting, like a ship without a sail.” So, revel in the fact that, in Jesus, you are not a cold, lifeless chunk of granite – no! Amazingly, you are a “living stone.”


But there’s more to the story. This image is not in the singular, but in the plural – “living stones.” It’s not just an individual, one-on-one, isolated relationship with our Saviour. No. We step into life and find ourselves part of a community. Not loosely knit, like some haphazard rock-pile in a celestial quarry. Rather, we “are being built into a spiritual house,” a phrase which makes clear that there is a hand, beyond ourselves, that is shaping us together, just as a skilled architect and builder would do. The architect and craftsman is, of course, the Sovereign Lord. The building, when complete, will be breath-taking.


In the meantime, we, as “living stones,” are called to submit to the process. Which makes clear that followers of Jesus can’t live as Lone Rangers. So, if you are not part of a church community, don’t hold back. Allow the hand of the Master Builder to place you as he sees fit.


But the story doesn’t end there, either. The image continues to shift and morph, displaying further purpose and wonder. This “spiritual house,” as it turns out, is also “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This is what the Lord has in mind for us – together. These “sacrifices”will include prayer and intercession. They will include worship and praise. They will include acts of devotion, as we step into the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).


So, come to the Living Stone, again and again. Lean into him for more of his life. Submit to his hand as he builds you together with sisters and brothers in his Body. And serve, alongside one another, to bring him glory. What joy.

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Lord Jesus, I honour you as the Living Stone, the one who has ransomed me, cleansed me, purchased me for your kingdom, and given me life. O Lord, build me into your church. Use me for your purposes, joyfully serving alongside my fellow “living stones.” May we all be to your glory. Amen.

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Reflect: (1) Give thanks for the Life he has given. (2) Pray for the “spiritual house” he is building. (3) What is your part and place in that “house”? Ask the Lord to use you.

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