LIVING STONES IN A SPIRITUAL HOUSE


PHBC September 14 & 21, 1997

Series: First Peter, Ser. #29

TEXT: I Pet. 2:5

INTRO: I have had a really difficult time in trying to determine for certain if this verse is speaking of a local church or if it speaks of the household of God. There are things in it that would allow it to be used either way. The church is the house of God and it is composed of living stones. It is built on the foundation of Christ and the apostles. True believers are to be its only members.

On the other hand, there is the household of faith spoken of in Scripture which definitely would reach beyond the membership of the Lordís local New Testament churches. Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. And there is the family of God which would certainly be a part of his household. Also, Paul spoke of the work of preachers specifically and used similar language. 1 Corinthians 3:9-11 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

It appears in this passage in I Peter 2, Peter is encouraging these Jewish Christians much in the same vein that Paul does in the Epistle to the Hebrews. He is showing that a spiritual house made of spiritual stones built on the foundation of Jesus Christ is better than the temple made of material things. He is showing them that the priesthood of every believer is a better priesthood with Christ as the great High Priest than the Aaronic priesthood. And he is revealing to them that spiritual sacrifices are better than the bloody sacrifices they had offered in the past since Christ, the one sacrifice for sins forever, had been offered.

In the light of the context, as I will show in a moment, I am interpreting this to refer to the entire household of faith; the whole family of God, and immediately to those saints who were scattered abroad throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

Let me hasten to say that I have no doubt that there were churches among them even if they were small. There were elders among them who were instructed to feed the flock of God. 1 Peter 5:1-2 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

 

THE CONTEXT SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT HE HAS IN MIND SAVED FOLKS AS MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OF GOD AND HOUSE HOLD OF FAITH

Everything that he has written to this point can be applied to all the saved living on this earth at any given time.

All true believers are the elect of God. 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

All true believers have been sanctified by the Spirit.

All true believers have been begotten to a living hope. 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

All true believers have an incorruptible, unfading inheritance. 1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.

All true believers are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

All true believers have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

All true believers have purified their souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

All true believers have been born again by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

All true believers have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

All true believers have come to Christ the living stone. 1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.

To all true believers Christ is precious. 1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.

It is in such a context as this that Peter discusses the spiritual house into which these living stones were built.

This spiritual house includes all those pilgrims who were scattered abroad in the five provinces named above.

It appears from the book of Hebrews that there is a house that Jesus is building that includes Moses. Hebrews 3:1-6 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

On the other hand, a church of the Lord Jesus Christ is supposed to be composed of born again true believers in Jesus Christ so what is said of all the saved in these things that I have covered could surely be said of the members of a New Testament church.

THIS HOUSE IS COMPOSED OF LIVING STONES

These stones are living stones.

We are living stones because we have come to the one who is the living stone and he is our life. 1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.

We are living stones because we have come to him that we might have life. John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

We are living stones because we have Christ. 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

We are living stones because we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

We are living stones because we have passed from death unto life. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

We live because Christ lives in us. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We live because he lives. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

We live because he is our life. Colossians 3:3-4 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

We live because he is our resurrection and our life. John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

We live because we have been made free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

These living stones are stones.

This speaks of their similarity as well as their diversity.

Stones suggest durabilityówe have everlasting live and can never perish. John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

We are living stones grounded on the foundation stone, the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

We are living and elect stones grounded on the living stone, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is elect and precious. 1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.

We are living stones who have come to Christ and will never be cast out. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

We are living stones built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and shall never be utterly cast down. Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

These living stones are built on Christ the living stone; we are on Christ, in Christ and Christ is in us.

We are in Christ and can never be condemned. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

We are in Christ and he is in us. John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

We are in God and God is in us. 1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

There is a triply union that assures that these living stones will never be destroyed. John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

What better mortar could you find to hold these living stones together and on the foundation of Jesus Christ than this relationship that is described here in these verses.

THESE LIVING STONES BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST ARE A SPIRITUAL HOUSE

We are built upon a spiritual foundation, the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

We are living and spiritual stones in this spiritual house.

Each individual believer is a temple Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Paul further clarifies this matter by reminding the Saints at Corinth that each of their bodies was a temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Again, in his second letter to the church at Corinth he reminded them that they were temples of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Yes, even Old Testament saints were indwelt by the Spirit. 1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Any who are not indwelt by the Spirit are not a part of this spiritual house. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The world cannot receive the Spirit but he dwells in each and every child of God. John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Holy Spirit in us is evidence that we are Godís children and are of the household of faith. Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

THESE LIVING STONES IN THIS SPIRITUAL HOUSE ARE A HOLY PRIESTHOOD

Jesus Christ has made us priests. Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ are his holy priesthood. Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

THIS HOLY PRIESTHOOD IS TO OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES

We can offer up the spiritual sacrifice of praise. Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually. Jeremiah 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

We can offer up the spiritual sacrifice of thanksgiving. Psalm 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Again the Psalmist admonishes us to offer up this sacrifice of thanksgiving. Psalm 50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.

This sacrifice was much on the mind of the Psalmist. Psalm 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

We are admonished to offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The offerings which the church at Philipi sent to Paul were spiritual sacrifices. Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

Paul also writes of a sacrifice and service of faith. Philippians 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

It appears from the words of Jesus that worship is also a spiritual sacrifice which we may offer. John 4:22-24 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The lips of a Christ used in the worship, praise, and service of God may be considered a spiritual sacrifice. Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

These spiritual sacrifices to God are much more pleasing than the sacrifice of an ox or bullock. Psalm 69:30-31 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

THESE SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES ARE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST.

Once again we see the mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

There is a drive on in the Roman Catholic Church to declare Mary as Co-Redeemer with Christ. Let me quote to you from a Newsweek Magazine article again. "If the drive succeeds, Catholics would be obliged as a matter of faith to accept three extraordinary doctrines: that Mary participates in the redemption achieved by her son, that all graces that flow from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ are granted only through Mary's intercession with her son, and that all prayers and petitions from the faithful on earth must likewise flow through Mary, who then brings them to the attention of Jesus. This is what theologians call high Mariology, and it seems to contradict the basic New Testament belief that Ďthere is one God and one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesusí (1 Timothy 2:5). In place of the Holy Trinity, it would appear, there would be a kind of Holy Quartet, with Mary playing multiple roles of daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit." Some believe that by the year 2000 this will be declared infallible Catholic dogma.

At the risk of being declared offensive, I am telling you that such doctrine is blasphemy against the Lord Jesus Christ.

It has pleased the Father that Christ be preeminent in all things and this move, if successful, will give have the affect of declaring that Mary is preeminent in all things. Colossians 1:18-19 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.

All that we receive from God comes to us through Jesus Christ and not through Mary or any one or any thing else. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

All our service, all our spiritual sacrifices, all our prayers, must flow through Jesus Christ. They are only acceptable to God when the are rendered through him. 1 Peter 2:5 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.

If what we do glorifies God it will do so through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

I am reminded of what Jesus said in the 15th chapter of John. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

No one needs Mary to do whatever God would have them do.

Everyone needs Jesus Christ if we are to do anything that is acceptable to God.

 

CONC: Are you a living stone built upon the living stone the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only foundation. He is the chief cornerstone. He is the elect stone. He is the precious stone. He is the stone that God has made the head of the corner. Donít disallow him. Donít stumble over him. Donít reject him. Donít see him as a rock of offence.

Come to him for he is the living stone who gives everlasting life to every one who believes on him.

Let us who are saved render unto God all the glory, all the praise, all the service we can. But, let us be sure that we do it in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only acceptable when rendered through him. Is his preeminence important to you?

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