(James Smith, "Gleams of Grace" 1860)
Peter having spoken of Christ as a living, precious stone, adds, "You also as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5
WHAT ARE BELIEVERS? "Stones," for every Christian has that in him which is solid, durable, and ornamental.
The grace of God gives a man solidity — he cannot be as light, trifling, and vain as he used to be. He has solid and settled thoughts upon high and holy subjects; he has solid hopes and joys. He is not carried about with every wind of doctrine — but becomes established and settled in the faith.
He is durable too. Others fall away — but he endures to the end. Once fixed on the foundation, once really united to Christ, he remains built on Christ forever.
He is ornamental too. Some stones are capable of taking a very high polish, and so is the Christian. The polished stones in God's temple will catch the rays of His glory and reflect them; and in every stone, the great Builder will see His own lovely likeness reflected.
They are living stones. They are living, each one being quickened by divine grace, and made new creatures. They are lively, made so by divine communications, and kept so by fellowship with Jesus, the life-giving stone.
These living stones are not thrown together in confusion — but each one is fitted for his place before he is put into it. Every separate stone is laid on the foundation, which bears the entire weighs of the whole building. All the stones are united to the foundation, by a cement so strong, that nothing can ever separate them. The Holy Spirit acts as the cement in this spiritual building. He . . .
brings us to Christ,
lays us on Christ,
unites us to Christ, and
keeps us in eternal union with Christ!
These living stones are a holy priesthood.
Being stripped of their natural and carnal coverings,
being washed in the laver of regeneration,
being clothed with the garments of salvation,
and covered with the robe of righteousness,
and being consecrated by the application of the blood of atonement, and the holy anointing oil, the unction from the Holy One — they are prepared and qualified to officiate in this living temple.
These living stones are to offer up spiritual sacrifices. This they are to do continually, the sacrifices of prayer and praise, which like holy incense, ascends as a precious perfume to God.