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Rooted in Christ

Living Stones

We are reminded that the church is not a building but a people.

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious” (1 Peter 2:4, NKJV) 

As Paul uses the analogy of believers being the material of which the temple is built and in which God dwells (Eph. 2:19-22), so Peter describes us as living stones being built into a spiritual house. 

We are reminded that the church is not a building but a people, a people united to the Living Stone, Jesus Christ. He was rejected by men, a Man of Sorrows, but precious in the sight of God. This Stone was prophesied of old. “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame” (1 Pet, 2:6; cf. Isa. 28:16). 

In Him we are precious, valued, chosen not because we are choice but because of His grace. We are enfolded into Christ’s church not to be admired as we might admire the beauty of the great cathedrals of Europe, but to serve. Peter identifies us as a holy priesthood, tasked with the responsibility and joy of offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. 

What might those spiritual sacrifices be? They involve lives devoted to Jesus Christ and dedicated to His service, which Peter fleshes out in his letter. That means our lives are to be governed by Kingdom conduct as we serve a Kingdom agenda in this world. Who we are dictates how we live. 

In Christ is life, and by virtue of union with Him we have life and a living hope by faith. But for those who reject Christ, who refuse God’s provision, that Stone becomes a stone of stumbling, a rock of offense. Why do they stumble? Because of unbelief, disobedience to the truth, which Peter explains according to God’s election, as he did to open his letter (1:1-2). 

REFLECTION: God’s election promotes in us humility not hubris. 

Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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