1 Peter 2:4-8
To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
The critic may read these verses and simply complain that he finds here a confusion of metaphors - that Christian souls are here described as builders and a building. But in truth these figures illustrate two sides of one great fact, namely, that the worth of life, whether it be life in its progress or in its result, depends upon its relationship to Christ.
I. THE BUILDER A TYPE OF MAN. Paul in detail uses the same figure as Peter, and doubtless Peter learned its use as he listened to his Lord's parable of the mere hearer and doer. These verses remind us:
1. That every man is incessantly building. He is placing stone on stone, layer on layer, in the structure of his character.
2. That character (the thing he is building) has at once an outward aspect and an inward relation. In the first, i.e. his reputation, it is a monument; in the second, i.e. actual character, it is a habitation.
3. Man builds well or ill as he regards or disregards the Divine Architect. "Coming to," i.e. having close, constant contact with "a living Stone," i.e. Christ, who is a Foundation that is more than the stone on which all rests; he is the Foundation out of which life proceeds, and the Corner-stone by which that life is held together and manifested.
II. THE TEMPLE A TYPE OF THE CHRISTIAN MAN. He is a structure as well as a builder. And what a structure! All characters are structures - some are markets, some but pigsties; the Christly are temples. He is a temple:
(1) on the right Foundation;
(2) with glory of completeness;
(3) destined to permanence;
(4) and this strength and beauty not according to man's standard, but God's.
III. THE PRIESTHOOD IS ALSO A TYPE OF CHRISTIAN MEN. Here is further change of figure; but the truth taught is the same. Is he builder? he must build according to God's plan. Is he temple? he must be dedicated by God's presence. Is he worshipper? he must be utterly consecrated to God's service. All Christians are part of the temple; all Christians are part of the priesthood. For all we turn to Christ for Model, Motive, and Merit. - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,