The Chief Corner Stone
Jesus Christ is the “chief living Stone or corner Stone” (1 Peter 2:4,6; Isaiah 28:16). But the Jewish religious leaders didn’t accept Him as the living Stone, and therefore rejected Him as Savior (Acts 4:11). “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed” (1 Peter 2:7-8). Although the majority of the Jews repudiated Christ, the Father sent Him to fulfill all the requirements of the plan of salvation and die to redeem mankind from eternal death (John 3:16).
A Living Stone
The apostle Peter applies the same term “living stone(s)” to Christians that he has applied to Christ (1 Peter 2: 4). Each believer is a living stone because of his relationship with Christ. Without this important unity with the Savior, no man can live a holy life , nor can he expect eternal life (John 14:19). Christ said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51; 15:1–6).
As the Master architect, Christ sets each sincere believer into his proper place in the church. The duty of the believer is to submit to God’s will as the Master Workman. “In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21, 22). Only he who dedicates his life to the honor of God will be part of His temple or the corporate body of believers (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20–22).
A Living Sacrifice
A Christians should be “a living sacrifice,” which means he will live a devoted life to the service of God. This life is always “acceptable unto God” (Psalm 51:16, 17; Romans 12:1). The sacrifices that Christians offer are characterized by a spirit of love and dedication to God in contrast with the animal sacrifices of the ceremonial system that had come to reflect little more than external obedience. Only those who worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24) can offer such sacrifices.
Other sacrifices that are pleasing to God are: praise (Hebrews 13:15), righteous deeds, and sharing with others (Hebrews 13:16). Material gifts to the needy are pleasing to God because it shows our love and appreciation to what He had done for us (Acts 10:4; Philippians 4:18). Thus, heart motives and actions are the true test of a person’s faithfulness (Matthew 20:15).
In His service,