The Stones

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1 Peter 2:4-5 says, “As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God—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” (CSB).

At the very front of the verse, we see an important word—you. Now, this is a second person plural in Greek and should be translated as “y’all.” It isn’t talking about individual activity. Everything that follows is a corporate activity. It is something we do together. We aren’t isolated. We are incorporated into the body of Christ.

This is also the way that our Triune God works. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate equally divine persons. They do everything together. Theologians call this “inseparable operations.” One member of the Trinity may be emphasized in an activity, but everything that they do is done together. The same principle is taught by God for his church. We are supposed to do church work together.

We are y’all. We do not sit back and critique the leaders we have chosen. We do not sit on the sidelines while the work is being done. We do not allow others to work hard while we take it easy. We are y’all.

This principle is highlighted again when we see what y’all are supposed to do. The Bible says, y’all come as a living stone. It didn’t say we come as living stones here. It says that all of us come together as one stone. This same thing happens in Romans 12:1 where Paul said, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” The “you” should be “y’all.” The sacrifice is one sacrifice. In other words “y’all come together and present your bodies as one sacrifice to God.”

It’s nice to remember that we are a stone. We aren’t a complicated mechanism like a flux capacitor on Doc Brown’s Delorean time machine. We are just a stone. The only reason we have value and potential is because we are in God’s hands. We don’t have to be amazing, we just have to be in God’s hand. We don’t have to be able to do great things, we just have to let God do great things with us. We don’t have to know it all. God is omniscient. We don’t have to be everywhere. God is omnipresent. We don’t have to be the best speaker. God works through the message. We just have to be a stone in the Master’s hand. He knows exactly what stone needs to be where. He knows exactly what stones need to be together. He knows exactly how to use each stone. Be a stone. Be His stone. That’s enough to be amazing.

This is why Peter said that when we come to God in his congregation this way that, we “are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We together are being built so that we may together worship God. Notice the first thing that happens when we come together as a living stone is that we “are being built.” This is a passive verb. This is something that God is doing to us as a group. In verse five God does use the plural “stones” instead of the singular, but still, even these stones are a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. All of y’all come together as one for God.

When we are together, God makes us a royal priesthood—all of us. The paid staff, elders, deacons, and all the members are all priests. No one is excluded from God’s service. Just as the Father, Son, and Spirit operate inseparably, Christians are to operate inseparably.

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