It’s amazing how much Peter’s life changed after the day of Pentecost. Among other things, he wrote two epistles. In the first one, he told his readers that they were living stones.
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 1 Peter 2:5
Those statements are very important to us but let’s first investigate how he came to write them. He began chapter one with some deep theology and encouraging words.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance. 1 Peter 1:3-4
What is your life like? Are you living with great expectation? Are you looking forward to a priceless inheritance? Look what Peter said about our inheritance.
— an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 1 Peter 1:4
God not only protects our inheritance but He also protects us until we receive our salvation. Which in essence means until He takes us up to heaven.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1 Peter 1:5
Why Trials Come Our Way
He continued by saying that we have a good reason to be glad. And we can look forward to wonderful joy ahead. But then he said, we will endure many trials.
All of us will experience trying times. Some will then say, “This happened for a reason.” Then they try to come up with that reason. Peter, however, told us why these things happen.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. 1 Peter 1:7
When, not if you experience trials, please keep your attitude in check and trust God through them all. Continually exhibit faith in Him. Because in the end, you will be glad you did.
In fact, now would be a good time to ask His forgiveness. You know, for those bad attitudes you had during some of the trials of your past. Again, you will be glad you did.
So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:7
A Life of Holiness for Living Stones
Peter ended the first chapter with a call for us to live a holy life. Holiness simply involves living in obedience to how God wants you to live. He warned about going back to your old ways.
So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14
Peter made it clear that we must continually live in obedience to God. In some circumstances though, people will compromise their Christian stance and willfully disobey the Lord.
Amid these sinful actions, they convince themselves that God will understand. But we must understand, God does not compromise His standards, not even a little bit.
Peter told them they only had one of two choices. If they didn’t live a life of holiness, then they would revert back to their old sinful ways. He tried to show them the bigger picture of eternity.
For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 1 Peter 1:23
How to Become Living Stones
The apostle put a great emphasis on the importance of continually living their lives in view of eternity. Then at the beginning of chapter 2, he told them how to accomplish it.
So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 1 Peter2:1
Peter was writing to Christians in five provinces. Since they had tasted of the Lord’s kindness he didn’t want them to be deceived by false teaching. So he encouraged them to crave God’s truth.
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment. 1 Peter 2:2
Then he painted a picture of what the church looks like. Not a church building but a church made of living stones. Buildings can only serve as places to gather. The real church though is alive.
You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. 1 Peter 2:4
It starts with Christ, the living cornerstone and we are living stones built into His spiritual temple. He said those who reject Him will stumble and meet the fate that was planned for them.
The Apostle Paul didn’t use the term living stones to describe us. But he also used the metaphor of a spiritual building with Christ as the cornerstone.
We are a Holy Temple
Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Ephesians 2:20-21
We can feel good about how Peter and Paul described us; living stones, holy priests, and a holy temple. Yet Peter still felt it important enough to give us one more warning.
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 1 Peter 2:11
Lord, we receive great encouragement with the descriptive words in these portions of scripture. We pray for a hedge of protection around us as we go about doing your work.
Check out these related post about following God’s instructions
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