A Temple and Priesthood
From his current study in 1 Peter, morning devotional by David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher, Evansville, IN. David uses the S.O.A.P. method for his morning study time. (study, observe, apply pray)
1 Peter 2:4-8
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 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. 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.” 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, and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. ESV
This passage is very similar to what Paul said in Ephesians 2:18-22. Jesus is not only the cornerstone, but He is living, and the rest of the temple built on Him is also living. People have always venerated their temples and made them as grand as possible. This temple surpasses them all – it is living, and we are that temple.
But we are not only the temple, we also have the honor of being a holy priesthood – people who help connect sinful people with our Holy God in His Holy Temple. We do not have to be Levites, but we do have to have a special birth position – we must be born again. And as recipients of grace and this new identity, we can usher others into the same blessings we know. If we have understood the gospel enough to be born again, we understand it enough to share it with others.
Not everyone who heard Jesus believed in Him, and not all who hear us will believe. Jesus said “No one can come to Me unless the Father draws him.” (John 6:44) The same thing is still true. Some have not been chosen or called, and will not believe. This is the one verse in the NT that seems most clearly to teach that some are destined not to believe. That grieves me, especially when I think of loved ones that did not believe in Him. But our job is to preach the good news of Jesus wherever we go, and trust that He will call some to Himself. (Acts 13:48)
Lord God, more than ever this makes me so grateful that You chose me before the foundation of the world to belong to You. (Eph 1:3) It is ALL GRACE! And thank You for making me alive, and a holy temple where You live, and a special priest – with the privilege of telling others of Your sacrifice and offering them the same life You have given me. Help me be a faithful and zealous priest to bring others who have failed to You, who took their failure and gives Your victory. Amen