4Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“ Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Jesus as a living stone is superior to the OT temple. This is also a subtle attack on the idols that were made of wood and stone that were worshiped by gentiles before coming to Christ. Jesus is greater than the traditions handed from the early fathers, Jesus is greater than the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus is greater than any of the idols that were worshipped by the Gentiles. Jesus is the cornerstone of this new building of God, which is the church. The English word church is derived from a Greek word -kuriakos, which means, belonging to the Lord. But it stands of another Greek word ekklesia which denotes an assembly. Church in modern usage is applied to local congregations as well as the individual believer. Also the church is all believers. The church is not a political,social, or economic entity. It is a called out assembly of believers. Jesus is the foundation or the cornerstone of the church. The church is the body of Christ. The church is the spiritual house referred to in verse 5. The church receives its life from Christ through the Holy Spirit. The church is nourished through the reading of God’s Word through which that life is manifested.
7Therefore, to you who believe,He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“ The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
“ A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[e]
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9But you area chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10who oncewere not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
A little more about Peter, Peter knew first hand the effects of persecution, he had himself been beaten often and jailed , and seen had seen fellow Christians die and the church scattered. It is because Peter knew Christ and nothing could shake his confidence in that he knew no matter what his salvation was secure. Peter wrote these letters to the scattered church that was suffering for there faith, to give comfort, guidance, and hope, and urged them to remain loyal to the Lord. Peter commands those that were suffering under Nero’s persecution, to continue to live holy lives, to reverently fear and trust God, to be honest and loving. And to become like Christ. Jesus is the cornerstone on which the church is built, and as such the those who have come to Christ are a part of God’s Holy Priesthood. Jesus was rejected by men and as Christians( Christ-Ones) we will be rejected too. Those who reject Christ , their rejection iof Him will cause them to stumble and fall.
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Also if you want to know more about Peter and his life, Brother Michael has an excellent article in the ULC Newsletter about just that!
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