1 Peter 2:4-12

There is only one Savior and one spiritual building to build upon, “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Eph 2:18-22


This stone is what puts the Christian in a

special class of eternal spiritual favours.


According to Peter in his letter……  

We are children in the same family (1:22-2:3)

We have experienced the same birth. (1:23-25)

We express the same love. (1:22)

We enjoy the same nourishment. (2:1-3)

We are stones in the same building. (2:4-8)


This is the one stone this world isn’t seeking after because they have another stone to build upon; and that is self. This is the stone that society despises; but we come to a Living Stone while others suppress, or flee from Him. The gospel offends those who are not His; meaning lost men and women. The world in which we live today is full of people who are easily offended. From “wokeness, safe spaces, CRT, to the use of proper pronouns” at school, the work place, Government, universities and so on. This cancel culture attempts to tear down free speech because of what is being said, the world wants us to know something: They’re offended. John MacArthur said, “If the truth offends, then let it offend. People have been living their whole lives in offense to God; let them be offended for a while.” John is not saying this gives us the right to be insensitive and arrogant. This doesn’t give us the right to be jerks about it and make things worse. We need not be surprised that the gospel offends, and this should be natural to us; so don’t recoil in fear because they are offended by the gospel.


They’re offended because the message we preach in the gospel of Christ, is inherently offensive. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 

1 Cor 1:18-25


The thing is….the gospel isn’t just offensive to the lost. It’s offensive to human nature, something that still haunts us even after we’re saved.Peter wants us to understand there are a comfort and a new identity in this gospel that offends mankind…… About what it means to be a living stone attached to The Living Stone this world at large rejects? Why? Because they love their sin more than to repent of it. They prefer to have their conscience darkened, so they have no guilt-feelings or accountability towards a holy God. Here is the danger for us as well as one theologian wrote, “When we no longer find the gospel offensive, it’s because there are areas in our lives we consider off limits for gospel change. The gospel exposes our heart to the truth of God and His perfect judgments against sinners. We as His children need to be sensitive to our own sin as the gospel exposes and draws our hearts to Christ towards gospel change. The gospel is beautiful. But before it is beautiful, it is offensive. The Biblical worldview says “Before the gospel can be beautiful, its offense must do its work.” 

And when the gospel does it work; it produces a community of believers; the universal church with a new identity living as God’s elect. Peter is dependent on Old Testament imagery…the bride, the temple, a people. The grafting in of the church age, the suffering of the righteous, vindication of the righteous, Israel and the church as God’s community. This is why Peter gives us a full description of Jesus Christ as the “Living Stone” and what that means for you and me. (v4-v5) A Living Stone that terrified Nebuchadnezzar to the point that he would kill all his counsellors if they could not make known to him this dream that scared him so much. Daniel, the exile believer enters and says, "You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening”…… The stone, however, is the coming kingdom of God. And it shall stand forever, and of its increase there shall be no end.” Daniel 2:32-45. Daniel was not the only one in Israel’s history who spoke of God’s kingdom as a stone.


Peter in (v6) quotes Isaiah, “therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'Whoever believes will not be in haste.'” Isaiah 28:16.. A living stone the Pharisees rejected after His disciples were rebuked by them for praising Christ. “He answered, I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." Luke 19:40. A living stone that according to Peter is a stumbling block and rock of offence” (v7-v8). For the Jews a… “stone of stumbling” was any stone that people could trip over as they moved down the road. “A rock of offence” was the rock bed they could be crushed against after they fell over the stone of stumbling. What Peter is saying here is this, “The Jews threw away the true cornerstone, then wound up falling over it to be finally crushed in judgment by the same rock.


We see this in the parable of the Master who plants a vineyard. “And he began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.' But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.' And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this, they said, "Surely not!" But he looked directly at them and said, "What then is this that is written: "'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." Luke 20:9-18


(v8b) is very clear about those who reject Christ, will stumble and suffer divine judgment because they are disobedient to the WordUnbeliever will receive the exact judgment their sinful choices demands. According to Peter they are “destined to do” because they do not believe and obey the gospel. God does not actively destine people to unbelief; but He does appoint judgment on every unbeliever.


The unbeliever is destined, appointed to doom

because of their disobedience and unbelief.

This is due to their lack of love for Him, their disobedience to the Word and their refusal to believe, to believe in Him. (v8) Paul said this to make it even clearer at the end of his first letter to the Corinthian church, “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!” 1 Cor 16:22

This is no different today, this culture at large

rejects the gospel and the Biblical account of Jesus.


John Bunyan wrote about this in 1676,  They see not their state by nature, how polluted they are with original sin. (Eph 2:2). They see not the justice of God against sin. (Heb 10:30).

They cannot see the beauty of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4). Unbelief being mighty in them, they dare not venture their souls with Jesus Christ. They dare not trust to His righteousness, and to that only. (Rev 21:8). Their carnal reason also sets itself against the word of faith, and cannot stoop to the grace of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 2:14). They love to have honour one of another, they love to be commended for their own vain-glorious righteousness. (John 5:44).


Christ is either a means of salvation or judgment.  Man’s rejection of the gospel is traceable to certain sinful weaknesses. People reject Christ because they are caught up in the cares of the world. They see the gospel, as they see stones on the ground. Lifeless and just there! Stones do not speak; because they are not alive, but according to Peter, when we come to Christ, we come to a Stone that is Alive. (v4) And this Living Stone produces living stones in those who believe the beauty of the gospel and the offence it brings. (v4) Peter also says, “As you come to Him” this originates with the idea of “remaining. This conveys more than a mere drawing close to Christ for salvation. It’s with intensity; this denotes a drawing near to Christ in intimate, abiding, personal fellowship.

John 15:5-15 speak of this intimate, intense and assuring relationship we have with Christ as living stones. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”


This offensive gospel to the world….. is our pearl of great prize, our greatest treasureThe once troubled soul is now at peace with God. Christ alone is where all the spiritual blessings  are found. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” Eph 1:3. Peter reminds how precious Jesus is to the Father here in the text “But in the sight of God chosen and precious.” (v4b) Peter reminds the reader about this Stone and that the Father measured Him by the standard of His divine perfection and declared, “and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Matt 3:17. Peter uses the word “precious” this means “costly, highly prized, rare, the perfect, living stone. This is what offends mankind, the culture as Peter said, “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:10-12

Though this gospel offends many; we have been brought near in union with The Christ through the gospel! (v5) “you also, as living stones” this means when someone believes in Christ he, or she, shares His life. A prime example of what Peter means is what Paul wrote. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20. This means the believers have eternal life in Christ, and we are united with Him as stones in a spiritual building of which He is the Cornerstone.


This spiritual building supersedes any material building. Paul called it the “household of God, which is the church of the Living God1 Tim 3:15. Believers, in their union with Christ have spiritual resources to meet their every need through the fellowship of the church. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3:20-21. The gospel of Christ, the Word of God, the indwelling of the Spirit; is what builds up our lives now and for eternity as “Spiritual buildings.” But we are not only a spiritual house but also “a holy priesthood” . Do not associate this with the unbiblical model found in the Roman Catholic Church. This also doesn’t refer to the old covenant priesthood in which only a single tribe of priests could officially serve God in sacred ceremonies, and the high priest only, could actually go into the Holy of Holies once a year. Lev 16:2,29-34; Heb 9:1-10, 25

In the Old Testament the main task of the priests was the offering of material, animal sacrifices to which all pointed to Christ’s greatest sacrifice to come. These are no longer needed since Christ offered once and for all…. His all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself. Now all that remains for God’s holy priesthood are sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. What Peter is saying is that every Christian is the ultimate insider of sacrificial worship. The Christian is the ultimate insider because of this truth, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:14-16


Our sacrificial act of worship….. Begins when we offer God all our human faculties, all our mind, every part of our body. Rom 12:1 . When we continually offer up praise which is the fruit of our lips. Heb 13:15. Is being ministers of the gospel. Rom 15:15-16. When we are a praying people. Phil 4:6. All this sacrificial acts of praise and thanksgiving begins the moment the Holy Spirit draws us to the saving grace in Jesus Christ. We are not merely representatives of God’s place in the world. We serve as God’s priests before the world and it’s no wonder Peter says what he says in (v10).


We are to be about our Father’s business, which is the gospel that offends a culture but brings life to those who respond by faith in Christ alone. We have a new and honorable identity, and calling, as God’s children, as God’s elect. Living stones, living their lives for the gospel amoung the lost. (v11-v12). We live to exemplify the Living Stone, so that this world may see our good works.


What does that look like?


Eph 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Holy living is a demonstration of gospel witness and transformation. Titus 2:7-8 we read, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Be an example for others to follow; we are to be a model of Christ to a lost and sinful culture. Peter reminds us these good works in Christ as we abstain from human passions. (v11) As Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 5:16. We do this for the sake of the lost, and the building of this spiritual building, the church; by reminding ourselves of who we are in Christ. As the Hebrew writer wrote, “Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” Heb 3:5-6. We as believers have access to God “as living stones” and we commune with Him as His spiritual dwelling. And knowing this reality and assuring grace, we are to be a witness to this lost world through… Word and deed. Our love relationship to Jesus Christ ought to be motivation enough for us to live godly lives in a godless world

One primary function of the church’s mission is to advance God’s Kingdom is by simulating its members to fulfill their priestly duties. An external representation of the grace given to sinners through the gospel is the divine measure of the church’s health. This is what our spiritual sacrifice looks like before a broken and lost world system. (v5) Remember as we close once you were lost,

but know you are found in the offence of the gospel. Now we have a union and access to God through the Living Son.


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