Built Up a Spiritual House


Elder Mark D. Rowell

1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

The Apostle Peter maintains a theme throughout his first general epistle: how to live, even when life is hard to live. Now what does that mean? Well, it reminds me of how the Apostle Paul told us that he had “…learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phl. 4:11)

Peter begins this second chapter by reaching back to 1:22:  “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”

If we are to live the life, we must obey the truth through the Spirit, purify our souls, and love the brethren with unfeigned love, continually! I submit to you that the only way to obey the truth is through the Spirit. Truth is a spiritual thing that comes through faith to the hearer who applies their faith to such. That leads to purifying the soul: living the life after the will of God. Then, that leads to an unfeigned love of the brethren! Paul tells the church at Ephesus: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.” (Eph. 4:22-25)

So, Peter uses all this as the basis of this “spiritual house.”

He states in 2:2 that we should “…desire the sincere milk of the word…” so that we may grow. I don’t think he's referencing the reader’s maturity in Christ with this statement, but rather the way we ALL should approach, with desire, the word of the Lord! Whether we have heard the word preached all our lives or have only heard it a few times, we should desire it like a baby! Just like when a baby is hungry, we should be crying out for the word of the Lord all the time! In his second epistle, Peter tells us to “… grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ...” (2 Pet. 3:18) When we find ourselves is this condition then it leads to the realization of the graciousness of the Lord! Notice how Peter words that third verse: “If so be ye have tasted the Lord is gracious.” Wow! Peter uses a very personal sense – that of taste. Paul uses this sense (though in a bit of a different light) in Hebrews chapter 6 when he says “…and have tasted of the heavenly gift…” and “…and have tasted the good word of God…” This is personal on an individual level, but as this “spiritual house”, it is a shared experience among those who assemble themselves together to desire the word of the Lord more!

Peter refers to Jesus Christ as a living stone who is precious to God and those who have that desire of the sincere milk of the word. Jesus Himself says “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.” (Mark 12:10)

Now all this foundation Peter lays leads up to verse 5: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

We are lively stones because He is THE Living Stone! We have been giving life through His Son Jesus Christ. What Peter speaks of leading up to this reveals that we are living AND lively! We show our liveliness in laying aside malice and hypocrisy and guile, and then we are bless to purify our souls in obeying the truth which leads to that unfeigned love of the brethren. This is “living the life” dear reader!

In this condition, we are built up a spiritual house and a holy priesthood for the sole reason of offering up spiritual sacrifices to God, made acceptable by Jesus Christ! We are joined together as the building of the House of the Lord, so that, as kings and priests to God, we are able to offer up praises to the One who redeemed us!

If you haven’t noticed, I like to show how Peter and Paul were in lock step on these foundational principles.

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph 2:20-22)

We are built up so we can worship the Lord with acceptable praises to Him! Lord help us to serve Thee more!