- Peter has just encouraged his readers to crave the life sustaining growth of the Lord’s goodness (2:1-3).
- Now he shows how that occurs in the context of the Church, specifically in “relationship to God, to redemptive history, and to those outside the community” (Jobes).
Read 1 Peter 2:4-10
- Where do you go to quench that life sustaining thirst? You go to the living stone who became the cornerstone upon which a spiritual house is being built. You go to Jesus!
- Big Idea: Jesus Christ builds his Church by centering the hearts of believers upon his saving grace.
- This is directly related to the fact that Peter calls his readers “Elect Exiles” who were “sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (1:1). Once again, we’ll see the importance of Redemptive History.
- A House of Worship (4-5)
- A House of the Word (6-8)
- A House of Witness (9-10)
A House of Worship (4-5)
- The “him” to whom we come is the “Lord” (v.3). Jesus is the living stone (v.4) who uses us to build a spiritual house (v.5; cf, 1:20, 1:19).
- Mixed metaphor: Spiritual house > Holy priesthood.
- If Peter can call the believers spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, we must conclude that any sacrifice made to God through another name would be unacceptable.
- Peter calls Jesus and believers “living stones”. Why “living”? Isn’t it enough to just speak of stones being built up in “a spiritual house”?
- Peter began with a reference to Jesus, who had been rejected by men – exemplified by his crucifixion. By suggesting he is a living stone, Peter is emphasizing his resurrection.
- As we partake in that resurrection life, we become part of the spiritual house. We who were spiritually dead, have been made spiritually alive.
- Living stones are resting upon the cornerstone and surrounded by a spiritual house made up of living stones.
- We must come to Jesus. When he bids us to come to him, we must go. And when we come we are immediately put to use. We become contributing members offering “spiritual sacrifices.”
- Removing yourself from that house will create an uncomfortable draft through the hole that is left (whistling, rodents, birds).
A House of Worship will inevitably be…
A House of the Word (6-8)
- v.6 To reject Jesus is to be “put to shame.”
- v.7 The religious leaders were building a temple without the cornerstone. They built their house of worship on works, self effort, moral goodness.
- v.8 They who reject Christ stumble and consider him an offense. They “disobey the word.” They don’t accept the whole counsel of God’s Word. They trip over the exclusivity of Christ – literally.
- And if they remain there, it will be because God destined them to remain there.
- Election = God’s freedom to choose. It might be difficult to accept, but it isn’t difficult to see in Scripture. Those who stumble over the stone, rejecting Christ, disobeying his word – “were destined to do” so.
- God is free to elect some to eternal life, just as he is free to pass over others. He has predetermined those who are his own. The number of the elect – even their names and the hairs on their head – is known to God.
- The builders might try to place the cornerstone at a later point in the building plan, but it will never fit that way. The whole structure must come down. Everything must begin from that one cornerstone. Then each new stone that is laid can be properly aligned. This is why our conversion is devastating to our old lifestyle. Because everything must come down and be rebuilt according to the new blueprint. And, in fact, we relinquish the title of “builder” becoming a living stone instead. We become part of a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.
- We must come to Jesus surrendering our own blueprint and allowing Christ to reshape us and place us wherever he sees fit. We trust him to break us and use whatever is left for kingdom purposes. We will never be the same again, but we will be precisely where we were destined to be.
A spiritual house committed to worship and the word will also be…
A House of Witness (9-10)
- v.9 In the same way this stone was chosen to become the cornerstone, so Peter’s readers were chosen.
- Peter details the benefits of our election:
- Royal Priesthood: We have privileged access to God through the only mediator Jesus Christ.
- Holy Nation: We have been set apart by God, chosen by him that we might find his Son precious.
- A People For His Own Possession: This designation is not indentured servitude, but it conveys joyful ownership (Exod. 19:5), like that of a proud parent – “That’s my child!” (v.10).
- “So that…” > Proclamation takes place as we live lives devoted to worship and the word!
- What is the point of your proclamation of Christ’s excellencies, if hearts are not changed? Why evangelize if you are continually rejected? Because God is pleased by your faithfulness.
- Does the “My parent is better than your parent” argument ever win people over? Not typically, but it can put a smile on the faces of each parent.
- Prior to coming to Christ, our presence was unnecessary and our offerings were unacceptable. We had unwittingly rejected the cornerstone which would have ensured our life was in proper alignment. Our unbelief left us in shame. We stumbled over God’s stone and routinely took offense at his voice. We rebelled against God. We lived in darkness and were insignificant people who had not received mercy.
- But God chose us – while we were dead in our trespasses and sins. God called us – when we were deaf and revealed himself while we were blind. He enabled us to come to him by faith and to receive his commission.
- After calling us to himself, he calls us to proclaim his excellencies. We are to preach Christ and tell others of the benefits we’ve received.
A House of Worship > A House of the Word > A House of Witness
- Who would you talk to today if you knew they would listen? If you knew they would respond in faith – who would you share the gospel with? Isn’t the risk of offending that person nothing in comparison to the reward of seeing God convert them? Once you were “not a people…Once you had not received mercy.” You once were what they are, and they might become what you are now. May today be the day of their salvation! Let’s pray for that even now!