I PETER 2:4-8

OUTLINE:

  1. Scene One:  Christ is the Living Stone:  He was rejected by men, but chosen by God
  2. Scene Two:  Believers are “living stones”

a.  Believers are built into a spiritual house.

b.  Believers are holy priesthood.

c.  Believers are a fulfillment of prophecy.

       3.  Scene Three:  Unbelievers are disobedient builders.

a.  The unbeliever disallows the stone.

b.  The unbeliever is overridden by God and Christ is made the Head of the corner.

c.  The unbeliever stumbles over and are offended by the stone.

d.  The unbeliever stumbles because they disobey the cornerstone, the Word [the Lord Jesus Christ].

Today’s message is a picture of the great house that God is building in spite of the enemy and his opposition, not only to Christ but to also the obedient Christian.  (see Ephesians 6:12)  First we see:

I.  (2:4) Jesus Christ, Chief CornerstoneLIVING Stone

The first scene pictures Jesus Christ as the Living Stone.  Good question, “How can a stone be living?’  Answer, it cannot.  This is a picture of how God looks at Christ and His followers:  They are “like” a building that is being built by God Himself.

Every building needs a solid foundation and so God starts the picture of His building with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as the foundation.  This is a key that you must not miss.  The Father [God] is saying that everyone who wants to be a part of the building must build upon the foundation Stone by placing his belief, his life, upon that stone.

The unbeliever rejected God’s Son because they wanted and still want to build their lives as they want.  As men look at Christ [the living Stone] they:

  • Do not want it.
  • What God wants does not fit their plans for their life.
  • God’s Living Stone was useless and unsuitable for what they were building [their own life with different requirements].
  • God’s price for building upon His building was too high [the price of discipleship].

Men today are looking at God’s foundation stone [as they have done down through the ages] and still want to do their own thing, apart from God, believing that they do not need Him and His Son.  Therefore like a builder who rejects a stone for his building they reject Christ and throw Him aside.  However, for the building God is building the stone chosen by Him is a living stone and the “only” one that supports the structure of His building.

Because God chose a living stone for the foundation, His building will last forever because Jesus Christ, His Son is eternal and eternal life is found only in Him.  This symbolism says several things:

  • Christ is the captain of salvation.  He is the only way to the Father (John 14:1-6).  Because He is the captain, all crew members must follow Him. “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”  (Hebrews 2:10)
  • Christ is the author of eternal salvation, of our faith.  All others are still in the dark.  “And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.  (Hebrews 5:9)  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;  who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
  • Christ is the beginning and the ending.  All others come after Him are under Him.  “I am Alpha and  Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”  (Revelation 1:8 cp. 21:6; 22:13)
  • Christ is the forerunner into the presence of God.  All others enter God’s presence after Him.  “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”  (Hebrews 6:19-20)

THE CORNERSTONE IS THE ONE WHICH SUPPORTS AND GIVES DIRECTION TO THE REST OF THE BUILDING.  All stones placed on the foundation are supported by that foundation.

  • Christ is the HEAD CORNERSTONE, the only true foundation upon which man can build.  All other foundations are not suitable for eternity and will crumble and disappear over time.

Inasmuch as Christ is eternal then the stones placed upon Him are eternal also [ie. the true believer has received by God’s Grace, through Faith eternal life, which includes eternal security].  “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  (I Corinthians 3:11)

  • As the chief cornerstone upon which all other stones are fitly formed together upon Him.  All which to be part of the building God is building have to be laid upon Him,  “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ, Himself being the chief corner stone; in who all the building fitly framed together growth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.”  (Ephesians 2:20-22)
  • Christ is the living stone upon which all others have to be built if they wish to live and be a part of God’s spiritual house.  All others have to be built upon Him if they wish to live and have their spiritual sacrifice accepted by God.

“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  (I Peter 2:4-5)

No one can be a part of God’s building unless he places himself upon the foundation stone laid by God.  God accepts no one who refuses to become a part of His spiritual building.  And God is just like all builders:  He has a foundation upon which all workers must lay the stones of their lives.

(see Matthew 7:24-27; I Corinthians 2:11; 2 Timothy 2:19)

II.  BELIEVERS ARE LIVING STONES

  • Christ is eternal therefore His building is eternal
  • Christ lives forever.  Therefore when a person places their life upon the living stone of God [the Lord Jesus Christ – Ephesians 2:8-9], the living stone [Jesus Christ] He supports and holds the believer up for all of eternity [eternal security – one who does so cannot lose his/her salvation].
  • Included in God’s House are believers from all ages.
  • It is a picture of what is called the universal church or universal temple of God.
  • God’s house is a spiritual house.  (Ephesians 1:3)
  • All living stones are needed in God’s house.  The house cannot be completed unless there are enough stones to build it.  There is enough room for all believers who will exist together for all eternity.

Believers are a holy priesthood.  (v. 5)

  • The chief function of the priest is to stand between God and man, to represent men before God and to present men to God.  (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)  But beyond that responsibility and as a priest, the believer can stand before Holy God, coming into His presence to offer their own sacrifices to God.

NOTE:  The believer priest must remember that their sacrifices are made acceptable only by the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • To act as a priest a person must have his life lying on the foundations of Christ.
  • He must be trusting and believing in the support and the power of Christ to make him part of God’s house.
  • The only sacrifices God accepts are the sacrifices made within His house.

Sacrifices that Scripture says that the believer is to make:

**He is to sacrifice his body as a living sacrifice to God.  HE IS NOT TO BE CONFORMED TO THE WORLD.

“And He said to them all, if any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  (Luke 9:23)

“And whosoever doth not bear his cross [sacrifice himself], and come after Me, cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:27)

“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.  And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  (Romans 12:1-2)

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Galatians 5:24)  [see also Philippians 2:27; 2 Timothy 4:6]

**HE IS TO SACRIFICE HIS LIFE TO GOD AS HE WALKS DAY BY DAY.  HE IS TO FOLLOW GOD IN LOVE, EVEN AS CHRIST LOVED US AND GAVE HIMSELF AS AN OFFERING AND A SACRIFICE TO GOD.

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.”  (Ephesians 5:1-2)

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us:  and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  (I John 3:16)

**He is to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually.

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.”  (Hebrews 13:15)

“And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.”  (Psalm 107:22)

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.”  (Psalm 116:17)  [see also Jeremiah 33:11 and Jonah 2:9]

** He is to offer the sacrifices of good works and gifts and money.

“But to do good and communicate [give] forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”  (Hebrews 13:16)

“Sell that ye have and give alms; provide yourselves bags which was not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”  (Luke 12:33)  [see also Acts 20:35; Romans 12:13; Galatians 6:6-10; I Timothy 6:18]

**He is to offer spiritual sacrifices, that is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

Ye also, a lively [living] stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  (I Peter 2:5)

“Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.”  (Psalm 4:5)

**He  is to sacrifice his life in order to lead people to faith in Christ.

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith [in Christ], I joy, and rejoice with you all.”  (Philippians 2:16-17)

“And he saith unto them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew 4:19)

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?  Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”  (John 4:35) 

[see also I Corinthians 9:19-23; Psalm 126:6]

Scripture also tell us that believers are a fulfillment of prophecy.  (V.6; cp. Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16)

Further, 2:7-8 tells that unbelievers are Lost, They are the unsaved.

  • They do not want the Stone (Christ).
  • They do not think that the Stone (Christ) will fit in with their plans.
  • They do not believe the Stone (Christ) will suit what they are building.
  • They do not believe the Stone (Christ) is worth the price of Discipleship.
  • They do not believe the Stone (Christ) is worth giving up all they have.

Unbelievers stumble over the Stone (Christ).

  • He is a rock of offense to them.
  • They do not understand:
  •       +How He could be anything other than a man.
  •       +How He could be born of a virgin.  God incarnate in human form.
  •       +How He could live a sinless life, without committing a single sin.
  •       +How His death could be any  more than the death of a martyr who died for a great cause.
  •       +How His resurrection is anything but a tall tale make up by His followers to secure more and more followers.

The fact is the unbeliever does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He was sent by the Father into the world on a mission of mercy to save men. Further, they do not believe that He could live a sinless life as a human being. 

APPLICATION:

  1. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Living Son of God [living Stone]?
  2. Have you come to the Living Stone [Christ] for salvation?
  3. If you are saved, do you understand your position in God’s building?
  4. If you have not accepted Christ as your personal Savior have you thought through what is hindering your acceptance of Him and His free gift of eternal life?
  5. If you have not accepted God’s free gift, I would direct your attention to our web site,  Open Bible Ministries of TN and on it you will find Bible studies that explain salvation and how to accept Christ.