1 Peter 2:4-5
To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,…
I. THE CHURCH OR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE IN ITS FOUNDATION.
1. Jesus Christ is here set forth as the foundation of the Christian Church.
2. The apostle here seems to violate the rules of rhetoric and elegant composition by attributing life to a stone. God's thoughts were so infinite that the laws of grammar stood in constant need of expansion to receive them.
3. "Disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God." This Divine choice does not refer primarily, if at all, to God's eternal election of His Son to be the foundation of the Church, but to His choice of Him in consequence of His holy life and atoning death. The disallowing by men and the choosing by God were simultaneous processes. God chose Him, not arbitrarily, but on account of fitness after trying Him.
II. THE CHURCH OR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE IN ITS SUPERSTRUCTURE.
1. What then is the first step you should take to be built into the walls of this spiritual edifice? This — you must come to Jesus Christ. "To whom coming"; or, as the words might be rendered, "To whom coming close up," "to whom coming very near" — so near as to be in personal contact with Him, nothing whatever intervening. You must remove all the earth and brush away every grain of sand, and build your house on the clean face of the rock, with nothing whatsoever between.
2. "To whom coming close up, as unto a living stone," then it follows that "ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house." The word for "stones" here suggests — I do not say it positively means, but it suggests stones dressed, smoothed, and polished, fitted to their place in the walls of the spiritual edifice — the root of the English word lithograph. Young people, and old, you will not do to be built into the walls of this temple in the rough, as you come from the quarry of the world. The Holy Spirit alone can prepare you for this.
III. THE CHURCH OR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE IN ITS SERVICE.
1. "A priesthood." So there is a priesthood in the Christian Church. The whole body of believers forms the Christian priesthood.
2. "An holy priesthood." A learned priesthood? No. An educated priesthood? No. No; an holy priesthood.
3. "To offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." "Spiritual sacrifices": what are these? Singing? Yes. Praying? Yes. Preaching? I am glad to believe it. Under the law material sacrifices were required — oxen, sheep, doves; but under the gospel only those sacrifices which proceed from a regenerate heart, and which testify to the gratitude and devotion of an emancipated spirit. God condescends to accept the offering for the sake of the love which inspires it. What else is necessary? That we present all by, or, as in the Welsh, "through" Jesus Christ. Our sacrifices must ascend to the throne through Him; and as they go through Him they are beautifully filtered and refined.
(J. C. Jones D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,