“Living Stones & Holy Priests”

Posted: July 7, 2016 in Christian Life, First Peter, Salvation, Spiritual Gifts, Tribulation

1 Peter 2:5

Rocks. Mood stone rings and pet rocks were popular at one time. Did you ever have one yourself? We all know that rocks are inanimate things and can’t do anything by themselves. But in the hands of skilled artisans they can be turned into beautiful rings or magnificent structures (1 Kings 5:17). Small stones can even be used to bring down giants (1 Samuel 17). Rocks have qualities about them which could be used to describe different kinds of people. Peter was described as a chip of a stone; Jesus was/is likened to a large, massive rock (Matthew 16:18). Hewn stones make good foundations and strong buildings that can endure storms (Matthew 7:24, 25). The foundation of the heavenly New Jerusalem is made up of 12 different kinds of stones (Revelation 21). This will be the future home of Christ’s Bride, the Church (John 14:1-3). Have you ever considered its dimensions (Revelation 21:16, 17)?  It’s huge.

Church. Jesus said that He would build His Church upon Himself, not upon Peter. Had the Church been built on Peter it would have crumbled long ago. Peter and the other Apostles to the Church were instrumental in laying down the foundation which is Christ (Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14).

Cornerstone. As such, Jesus was the one selected for this role and was/is very precious to God the Father and to Christians (Hebrews 10:9; John 10:17, 18). But He was also rejected by His own people, the Jews, as a whole (John 1:11; 1 Corinthians 1:23). Because of this, they have been temporarily set aside by God until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25). There is a bright future awaiting the believing, Jewish remnant when Christ/Messiah returns to this earth at the end of the seven years of Tribulation (Romans 9:27; Matthew 23:37-39; 24:29ff; Zechariah 12:10). Seventy five days after the Tribulation is over, the Old Testament Jewish believers will be resurrected in inhabit the “Promised Land” too (Daniel 12:12). The believing Jews will inherit all the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their Jewish descendents. It extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18-21). The Jews are not illegitimate “occupiers” of the land in Israel as some people are saying. The Church has not replaced Israel.

Living Stones. New Testament Christians are likened to living stones who are being cut, shaped, and polished through afflictions and trials. We need these things to help bring us to spiritual maturity (James 1:2-5; 1 Peter 1:7). Are you giving thanks in the adverse circumstances that come into your life? Doing this is part of God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). God places us along side of other believers within the Body of Christ as it pleases Him (1 Corinthians 12:11, 18). Many of the members of His Body, the Church are already in heaven. Christ’s building project began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and will continue on until the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) when all whom the Father has given to the Son will have come to Him for their salvation (John 6:37). Christians are referred to as a spiritual house and a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; See 1 Corinthians 6:19). This house is built on “The Rock, Christ Jesus” which cannot be moved by the storms of life (Matthew 7:24, 25). Our purpose is to glorify God by making Him known to other people with whom we come in contact (Psalm 34:3; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).

The Priests. In the Old Testament economy the Jews had successive High Priests and many priests who came from the line of Levi and Aaron. These priests went between God and men and were the ones who offered daily sacrifices to God (Hebrews 7:27; 10:11). But their sacrifices could never take away sin. All they could do was cover the sins of the people so God could continue to live among the Jews for another year (Leviticus 23:26-32; Hebrews 9:1-10; 10:1). But once Jesus came on the scene, He became the High Priest from the order of Melchizedek, not Levi (Hebrews 7:11-22). He graciously offered His own blood as the payment for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). This satisfied God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). The full benefits of Christ’s death are applied to believers (1 Timothy 4:10; See Matthew 5:45). Could you name some of your blessings (Ephesians 1:3ff)?  Don’t act like a pauper who doesn’t know that he has oil under his land.

Royal Priests. In the Old Testament times the priests weren’t kings and the kings weren’t priests. King Saul learned this lesson the hard way and lost his kingdom because he didn’t wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice to God (1 Samuel 13:8-14). But in the New Testament all Christians are said to be part of a holy, royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). Every Christian can/should offer up spiritual (not bloody) sacrifices to God (1 Peter 2:5). These include our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2), praise and thanksgiving, doing good works, and sharing our material things with others (Hebrews 13:15, 16). If you’re a Christian, are you offering these sacrifices up to God on a regular basis?

Questions. Are you a New Testament priest? You can become one by placing your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. As a living stone, you can/should be useful in the hands of Jesus, the High Priest, who laid down His life so you could be saved. Are you willing to lay down your life, if necessary, so others can be saved (2 Timothy 2:10)? Jesus said that He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18). Why not become a volunteer to assist Him in this building project (Romans 12:1, 2)? Why not use the spiritual gift and skills that he gave you when He saved you (1 Corinthians 12:7, 18; 1 Peter 4:10; Hebrews 10:24, 25)?

Contact. If you have questions/comments we’d like to hear from you. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We hope that this information stimulates you to do those things that would be pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; James 1:22). “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He [exists], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

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Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

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