A LIVING STONE, A LIVING HOUSE, A PLACE WHERE JESUS IS
first peter 1:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
You…living stones – Peter’s readers became living stones by grace through faith which resulted their union with the eternal life of Christ and on the basis of this unbreakable union with Christ, have spiritual resources to meet their every need. In his second epistle Peter further explains their (our) privileged position writing that…
For by these (Christ’s own glory and excellence) He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers (sharers) of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Believers as living stones like their Lord have continual privileged access His presence and power. Are you “taking advantage” of your privileged position as a living stone?
Paul explains to living stones, those who are aliens (in spiritual terms) in their relationship to this evil world system, that they…
are no longer strangers and aliens (in the spiritual sense), but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Eph 2:19-22 2:19; 2:20; 2:21; 2:22)
Each time someone trusts Christ, another “stone” is quarried out of the rock pit of sin and cemented (eternally) by (new covenant) grace into the building, the Church, the Body of Christ. It may look to us that the Church on earth is a pile of rubble and ruins (and too often lacking unity between the component stones), but God sees the total structure as it grows
Ye also, as lively stones – Greek, “living stones.”
The word should have been so rendered. The word lively with us now has a different meaning from living, and denotes “active, quick, sprightly.”
The Greek word is the same as that used in the previous verse, and rendered living.
The meaning is, that the materials of which the temple here referred to was composed, were living materials throughout.
The foundation is a living foundation, and all the superstructure is compassed of living materials.
The purpose of the apostle here is to compare the church to a beautiful temple – such as the temple in Jerusalem, and to show that it is complete in all its parts, as that was. It has within itself what corresponds with everything that was valuable in that. It is a beautiful structure like that; and as in that there was a priesthood, and there were real and acceptable sacrifices offered, so it is in the Christian church.
The Jews prided themselves much on their temple. It was a most costly and splendid edifice.
It was the place where God was worshipped, and where he was supposed to dwell. It had an imposing service, and there was acceptable worship rendered there.
As a new dispensation was introduced; as the tendency of the Christian system was to draw off the worshippers from that temple, and to teach them that God could be worshipped as acceptably elsewhere as at Jerusalem, John 4:21-23
as Christianity did not inculcate the necessity of rearing splendid temples for the worship of God;
and as in fact the temple at Jerusalem was about to be destroyed forever,
it was important to show that in the Christian church there might be found all that was truly beautiful and valuable in the temple at Jerusalem;
that it had what corresponded to what was in fact most precious there, and that there was still a most magnificent and beautiful temple on the earth.
A spiritual house – A spiritual temple, not made of perishable materials, like that at Jerusalem net composed of matter, as that was, but made up of redeemed souls – a temple more appropriate to be the residence of one who is a pure spirit. Compare the Ephesians 2:19-22, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
An holy priesthood – In the temple at Jerusalem, the priesthood appointed to minister there, and to offer sacrifices, constituted an essential part of the arrangement. It was important, therefore, to show that this was not overlooked in the spiritual temple that God was raising. Accordingly, the apostle says that this is amply provided for, by constituting “the whole body of Christians” to be in fact a priesthood. Everyone is engaged in offering acceptable sacrifice to God.
To offer up spiritual sacrifices – Not bloody offerings, the blood of lambs and bullocks, but those which are the offerings of the heart – the sacrifices of prayer and praise. Since there is a priest, there is also involved the notion of a sacrifice; but that which is offered is such as all Christians offer to God, proceeding from the heart, and breathed forth from the lips, and in a holy life. It is called sacrifice, not because it makes an explation for sin, but because it is of the nature of worship. Compare the notes at Hebrews 13:15; Hebrews 10:14.
Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ – Compare the notes at Romans 12:1. Through the merits of the great sacrifice made by the Redeemer on the cross. Our prayers and praises are in themselves so imperfect, and proceed from such polluted lips and hearts, that they can be acceptable only through him as our intercessor before the throne of God. Compare the notes at Hebrews 9:24-25; Hebrews 10:19-22.