Living Stones (1 Peter 2:4-6)

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”” (1 Peter 2:4–6, ESV)

Throughout our married life, my wife and I have purchased and sold homes as we have moved from one place to another. I often did my own home inspection. One of the things I was very keen on checking was the quality of the foundation. If I saw cracks or sagging in the foundation, this would send up a red flag for me. Foundations are vital to a structure. If the foundation fails, the entire house will fall. We have seen numerous reports of building failures as the foundations failed. A house needs to be built on a solid foundation.

At one time, we looked at a home that was set on an old stone foundation. The stones were massive and set upon one another. Looking at this home, I imagined that the first stone was set at one of the corners and all the others lined up to it and were set upon it.

Peter referred to Jesus as “a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious.” He went on to state that believers are “like living stones,” that “are being built up as a spiritual house.” This metaphor of the church as a building is a prominent one used in the New Testament to describe the strong structure of the church.

Let us consider this for a second. First, we must consider the foundational stone, the chief cornerstone. This foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the solid rock upon which the church is built. Paul wrote, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11, AV). He is God the Son, omnipotent, immoveable, and unchanging. The church will never crumble and fail because the Almighty Son of God is her foundation.

Second, Christ is the cornerstone. This would have been the first stone laid in a foundation. All other stones would be aligned to it. Paul wrote that believers, “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20, AV). Here he used this metaphor to show that the teaching of the Old Testament and the New Testament were all aligned with and focused upon the Savior Jesus Christ. All sixty-six books of our Bible focus upon the person of Jesus and His great redemption. Jesus is our focus and our solid foundation.

Peter also carries this metaphor to the church stating that we are living stones. As living stones, we are perfectly secure on a foundation that will never crumble. Moreover, we have become part of something that is living and solid. The true church will stand forever to give praise and honor and glory to God.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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