…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. – 1 Peter 2:5
Scripture reading: Psalm 40
Because Jesus is called the Living Stone, His covenant people are also called living stones being built up as a spiritual house through faith in Him. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). As Jesus continues to build His church, believers are the bricks that make up His building, the church. In fact, every time someone comes to faith in Christ another stone is taken from the pit of destruction and is placed on the rock that cannot be moved (Psalm 40:1-3).
This text also teaches the doctrine of the priesthood of every believer. In the Old Testament, only the priests could come near to God by offering sacrifices and incense on His altar. Only the High Priest, and only once a year, could enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the people. But now, Christ our High Priest has offered Himself once for all as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. All believers now have direct access to God’s presence through Christ, our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). We don’t need a human priest or a bloody sacrifice since Christ is all-sufficient for us. But we offer up to God other spiritual sacrifices as priests. We offer ourselves (Romans 12:1-2), to share the gospel (Romans 15:16), and to praise our God (Hebrews 13:15-16). What a privilege we have to be a part of His church, a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)!
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord He has taken us from the pit of destruction and placed us on the rock which is Christ. Thank Him that Jesus is still building His church and that we are living stones built up in Him and that as priests, it is our privilege to offer ourselves to Him in service and praise.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.