1 Peter 2:5 – “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” NASU
Frequently, I broach the subject of our being a ‘Spiritual House’ or ‘Stone Pile’. Today, I desire to delve a little deeper into that. I truly believe that this is a Word from the Lord and a matter that is of extreme importance. It is my hope that you will hear what is presented, evaluate it, pray about it, examine it, and then render a decision as to how it applies to you and your local fellowship.
Sometimes there is a ‘new word’ not because it is NEW but new because it has not been heard or considered fully. I believe that there is a spiritually dynamic life to be had in the Body of Christ beyond what has been enjoyed by most Christians and Churches. Sometimes to move into a new area or phase in God there has to be a ‘leap of faith’ and a ‘change in our concept’ of the function of the church and the individual. That being said, I want you to consider a ‘problem’ which prevents this and I believe as you see the problem you will be willing to invest yourselves in finding and implementing the solution.
Here in the text, we find the mention of ‘living stones’ and a ‘spiritual house’ for the purpose of a Holy Priesthood. That is not talking about those who carry the title of ‘minister’ or ‘preacher’ but Christians. Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, offers a ‘natural picture’ to help us understand a ‘spiritual truth’. Natural stones produce natural houses and spiritual stones produce spiritual houses.
- These are LIVING STONES – – [lively zoes].
Stones, building blocks, but building blocks that are alive.
- There is a PROCESS – – Being built up.
Constructing or forming is taking place and it involves time. It is not instantaneous!
- There is an OBJECTIVE – – A Spiritual house.
Fully functioning spiritual house which is a body, a family, and a unit.
Imagine living building blocks! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful reality in today’s church? I do believe that it is becoming a reality in many locals, but sadly in much of the church world, it is more of a whimsical fantasy and a theoretical dream than a reality. A significant portion of organized religion is far from being a SPIRITUAL HOUSE either locally or universally. What we see much of the time is a ‘pile of bricks’. No question they are living stones with incredible potential but not functional because they have never BEEN FORMED into a Spiritual House. There is a vast difference between a SPIRITUAL HOUSE and a STONE PILE.
There are several contributing factors to the dilemma. First, often there is little or no understanding of the Kingdom, biblical church government and function. Second, frequently our new found freedom in Christ encourages us to run everywhere and do everything with no real spiritual submission to authority and without proper training. [Equipping – Ephesians 4]. This equipping, according to the Scripture is done under the oversight of the Wise Master Builders or God’s under-shepherds and the gifts in the Church.
It is possible to have a ‘system of government’ that is biblical in theory but not in practice. It is possible to have ‘elders & deacons’ in name, who do not have the calling, anointing, or function of true elders or deacons. It is possible to have a ‘team concept’ of ministry but not practice it truly. It is possible to have ‘home cell groups’ without having the ‘gift people’ in the right place or function. It all looks good, sounds good, and the desire is good but it doesn’t produce life because it has not been ‘fitly framed’ together so it can be more than a PILE OF STONES!
To be a SPIRITUAL HOUSE, the stones/bricks MUST be ‘fitted together’ with design, foresight, and planning. According to the Bible, each member of a congregation is a ‘living stone’ a building block. Most churches spend an enormous amount of money and energy trying to amass stones and in the view of the world the more stones you have the more successful you are. The number of stones is equated with success so everyone is focusing on gathering stones but not fitting them into a SPIRITUAL HOUSE. It is stones, stones, stones! Let’s get more stones! Well, you might as well ‘get stoned’ if that’s all you have it will do you about as much good.
If we are to impact this world as Jesus commissioned and commanded us it is imperative that we become SPIRITUAL HOUSES not STONE PILES. Make this a commitment of your heart and seek to become ‘fitly framed together’ into a Spiritual House for a Holy Priesthood. The lost need it. The saved need it. God desires it!
May God be with you as you go through your day!