1 Peter 2:4-10
4 As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God— 5 you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. 7 So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected—this one has become the cornerstone, 8 and A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. — 1 Peter 2:4-10
A New Identity and Ministry in Christ
by David Hannah
Lockeland Springs Campus
In ancient times buildings were constructed on and around a cornerstone. This stone was firmly placed so it would not budge, as the sturdiness of the building was dependent upon it. It was the first of 26 steps in building a large structure, the starting place for construction, and the source of strength for all other stones.
Ancient architects obviously did not have access to modern-day survey equipment. They didn’t have the pin-point accuracy of GPS or laser levels and measurements. All of this made the placement of the cornerstone even more important, as every stone laid after that would not only derive its strength from this stone, but would be specifically placed in direct reference to it. Therefore, the precision and structural integrity of the entire building would depend upon the cornerstone around which it was built. If the cornerstone was weak or not set in the right place, everything else in the building would be off, and the building could not stand the tests of time.
The Bible uses countless images to describe Jesus Christ. He is described as “the Prince of Life,” “the Good Shepherd,” and “the Lamb of God,” among many other things. In the second chapter of 1 Peter Jesus is described as a “living stone,” and “the cornerstone” upon which a spiritual house is built. Peter was declaring in the clearest terms the pivotal, crucial, central nature of Jesus Christ using this image of the cornerstone. He is solid, strong, unmoving and perfectly placed, the living stone from which every brick of the house of God finds its strength and proper placement.
Peter also tells us that those bricks—the very stones used to construct this spiritual house—are those of us who are followers of Christ. We are the materials with which God has chosen to build His house. We are a part of a whole, and we find our strength and proper placement, our perfect fit, in accordance with Jesus Christ. It is vital to remember that what makes us as “living stones” fit together as a cohesive unit is making sure we are all in line with the cornerstone.
This is where we so often lose ourselves. As we are finding our right “fit,” we can become more concerned with our alignment (or misalignment) with the other bricks than with our alignment with the only thing that matters: the cornerstone. We as believers find our identity, our strength, our place, and our purpose only in relation to Jesus. As you are seeking where and how to serve, always keep your eye on the living cornerstone upon whom this spiritual house is built.
- Take a few moments to reflect on what you are using as the cornerstone of your life. What (or whom) do you use to as the reference to find your alignment and strength?
- Ask the Lord to help you find your place of service, your perfect fit into the spiritual house He is building upon the living, eternal cornerstone that is Jesus Christ.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.