1st Peter 2:4-5 says, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (NKJV). Let’s break this passage down by considering THREE precious truths.

1) Christ is a LIVING STONE. In Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The Lord Jesus responded with these words in verse 18, “On this ROCK I will build My church.” Jesus Christ is the ROCK, the “living stone” upon which His church is being built. The apostle Paul taught this same truth in Ephesians 2:20 and 1st Corinthians 3:11, “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the CHIEF CORNER STONE…For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is THE ROCK, for He is the Son of God and was “chosen by God” to be the Savior of the world. Through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to heaven He has become the FOUNDATION upon which believing sinners are saved and become part of His glorious church.

2) Believers are LIVING STONES that make up a SPIRITUAL HOUSE. Christ is building His church, not with physical stones but with “living stones”; that is, with “believers in Christ.” The moment a sinner repents and believes on Christ he is given eternal life (see John 3:16, 36; 5:24). Christ Himself is a “living stone,” and all believers in Christ are “living stones” because of their identification with Christ. Christ is taking these “living stones” and building a “spiritual house.” Why are we called a “spiritual house?” Ah, because we are WHERE GOD LIVES! In the Old Testament God lived in a physical house called the TEMPLE. He had Solomon build this temple and in 1st Kings 6:12-13 He told Solomon, “Concerning this temple which you are building….I will dwell among the children of Israel.” But in this present Church Age God is dwelling, not in a physical, tangible building, but IN BELIEVERS. Ephesians 2:21-22 declare this wonderful truth: “In whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

3) Believers are a HOLY PRIESTHOOD. We are not only a “spiritual house” where God lives, but we are “holy priests” who serve and worship God in this sacred house. In the Old Testament God had a “priesthood” made up of men “from the tribe of Levi” who served Him in the temple by “offering up animal sacrifices.” Today ALL BELIEVERS ARE PRIESTS and we have the privilege of “offering up spiritual sacrifices to God.” What are “spiritual sacrifices?” We have the answer in Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him (Jesus Christ) let us continually offer the SACRIFICE OF PRAISE to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” At any time, we can “enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (see Hebrews 10:19-22) and worship our heavenly Father. We do so by “praising Him with our lips…by giving thanks to His name” for the gift of His Son. We noted that the Levites brought animal sacrifices to God in order to worship Him. All of those sacrifices PICTURED the one Perfect Sacrifice that would be made when Jesus Christ, as the “Lamb of God,” would offer Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for sin. Now that He has “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (see Hebrews 9:26), we come to God and pour out our hearts by praising and thanking God the Father for all that His Son has accomplished by His death on the cross. (293.3) (DO)