Preparing The Temple of God - 1 Peter 2:4-10

Preparing The Temple of God

My youngest gets upset when her friends say “I’m not going to be your friend anymore”...But a few minutes later they are best friends again. Oh, the days when things were simple. My wife’s great-grandpa used to say, “Little people, little problems. Big people, big problems.” We face many problems every day. But some don’t leave us with the sting that rejection does.

Are there times when we have been tossed aside, neglected, or rejected? When we feel as if everyone is looking down on us with judgemental eyes? 

So, continuing in 1 Peter, he says that we aren’t the only one who was rejected, but he further provides us with how we are supposed to be built up and what we need to do with that newly built structure. 

1 Peter 2:4-10 (ESV)

4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and  whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
“As you come in”...Peter is speaking in the active tense, telling us that coming to Jesus should be a constant occurrence. It is our daily relationship with Him. Our daily relationship with a ‘living stone’. Christ is that stone that was cast aside and rejected, but now he is THE living stone that was picked out by God and determined to be precious. So are we in the eyes of God. Hand-picked and precious in His sight. God has a purpose for us, to be built up for Him.

Peter then says that we are also living stones. Christ is the first living stone, but now we can be like Christ as living stones. In John 1, Jesus tells Simon that his name is to now be called Cephas (translated to Peter). Cephas (Peter) means “rock” or “stone”. Jesus called him out to be a rock or stone as well. Now, Peter is imploring that we become the same for Christ. We are to be used to build up the spiritual temple and prepare it for the Lord. But, who manages this temple? Who is the priest of this newly built temple? We are. We have to maintain it so that is it always ready and usable for Him. Since we are living stones, we are not dead or immobile. The spiritual temple we are building is us, ever-growing through Him. Within this temple, we are to offer up our sacrifice of praise. Heb 13:15 says that through Him we are to “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” However, with all buildings, big and small, maintenance is always required. The same is true for us Christians. Our spiritual temple requires constant work and upkeep because we are fallen, sinners.

Peter proceeds by stating that Jesus was rejected by men; however, he was the stone that holds everything together. Jesus is THE cornerstone (Psalm 118:22), the very foundation, and the key to our hope in eternal life. It doesn’t matter if we are rejected by the world, because we believe in Him, we are never going to be put to shame in the end. However, those that don’t believe, will stumble on that very same stone, Jesus, because they had the opportunity but rejected Him.

We then see that we are set apart and chosen by God. The promise of God’s grace is no longer for Israel alone, but for everyone. All are welcome to come before the Lord and receive his free gift. There is no longer a veil separating us and keeping us in the dark. Jesus is the light that provides the way. We are His possession. No one can toss us out because we belong to Him. His mercy is overly abundant to all and no one can take that from us.

Rejection hurts, but God used rejection to build His kingdom through the only gift that matters, His grace toward all mankind. The undeserving free gift. We are to be living stones, continually building our spiritual temples for the praise and edification of our Lord. We belong to Him and are His possession. How comforting is knowing that we are in His hands forever and that we are identified as precious in His eyes?

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