“Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)
Peter did just what this verse of Scripture describes.
Simon, as he was known, came to Jesus at the behest of Andrew his brother. At once, he was rechristened with a new name. Jesus saw him and called him “Peter” – a stone – before this man had done one thing for the Lord.
Through the years, Peter grew into a disciple and leader who was moved and directed by the Holy Spirit. He became a “living stone” rightly related to Christ the Solid Rock and the Chief Cornerstone.
So it is with all who come to the Savior. “This is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25). Salvation begins with a taste, the flavor of grace whets our appetite. We come to Him as those who have swallowed much that has, in turn, swallowed us. Sin and death and the fear of death possessed and dominated us.
And then we meet the Son. All along He was seeking another to save, just as he sought Adam in the garden, after his terrific and terrible fall. The original man was ashamed and in hiding, wrapped in clothes he scrambled to stitch together to achieve a presentable appearance before the One who called out, “Where are you?” (See Genesis 3:8-9.)
Where were we? Right where Adam was – we were shackled and confused, fearful to be seen in our nakedness. We were lost in darkness, dull and deadened in sin.
But the salt of the Word awakened us to life. The Light pierced our night.
Peter was once there, too. He met Jesus as a bedraggled waterman struggling to catch enough fish to keep his business afloat. Caught by the Master, he was made a living stone fitted into Heaven’s purpose.
Made to Fit
To help our understanding, Peter presents the case of his experience to tell us how he became established, strengthened, and settled in Christ. The Church of Jesus comes together one by one, soul by soul, a person at a time, one here, and one there.
Peter’s message hearkens back to the days of Solomon and the construction of the first Jerusalem Temple. The massive and glorious project that originated in the heart of King David was completed by his son.
One fact I have always found fascinating in Solomon’s building of the Temple was this one: “When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built” (1 Kings 6:7).
That Temple and its making served as an object lesson to what God purposed to do with His people. Every stone came to the site ready to be fitted into place. And each stone was arranged according to the placement of the Cornerstone.
Once completed, the dedication of Solomon’s Temple featured singing, offerings, and prayers. The Lord manifested His presence with a cloud that brought such a sense of awe that all in attendance bowed their faces to the ground. “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:10-11).
All that led to this climactic moment of celebration began with the setting of the first stone, the Cornerstone.
The Temple of His Body
Jesus, another Son of David, began another manner of construction. His House was founded through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
In John 2, the Savior entered the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem. It was quite a demonstrative edifice; the size and splendor of the structure has remained renown among students of ancient architecture.
This Temple’s glory was only skin deep, however, as Jesus made obvious when He arrived there. Appalled at what He saw with money-changing and animal trafficking in its courts, He made a whip of cords and cleansed the scene.
Confronted concerning His authority to command such a thing, Jesus declared Himself to be the ultimate Temple of God: “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking about the Temple of His Body” (John 2:19-21).
This Body of Christ, this living Temple, is the spiritual house of which Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:5. This House is coming together one salvation at a time.
Peter tells us that we come together in Christ the way that he came to be joined to the Savior. He was one of the first stones set in place, but the building of God was and is far from complete.
More and more lost ones are being found and fitted into the House. Each of them tastes the message of grace and sees that God is good.Those who allow their eyes to be opened to see His goodness become one with Him. All who believe become members of a righteous community of saints – a holy House, the living Temple of the Living God. Click To Tweet
Once we become living stones in His Church, we enter into the process of walking with the Lord. The milk of doctrine feeds us. We take our first steps. We discover what is good and acceptable as we learn from the Scriptures, and we are shown how to discern and separate ourselves from “all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander” (1 Peter 2:1).
It is sad to say, but Jesus and the Gospel of His grace remain a stumbling block for some and a rock of offense. There’s a strong measure of self-will in all human natures. The natural heart of man wants to create an identity on its own.
Some who taste the goodness of God turn from Him and go on hammering and sawing away and so reject the Cornerstone and His gift of grace. “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).
Those who allow their eyes to be opened to see His goodness become one with Him. All who believe become members of a righteous community of saints – a holy House, the living Temple of the Living God.
People of Mercy
Peter provides some significant words to define those who come to form the House of Christ: “… You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Chosen. Royal. Holy. Peculiar.
These are the words we should be using when thinking about ourselves. Learn to define yourself by them. Think on these words often. Meditate with these thoughts, especially when situations seem dark and discouraging.
Chosen, we are. Be comforted with the knowledge that the Lord elected you to be born again and experience His regeneration. He saw us in our weakness and sent His Spirit to give us new life.
Royal, we are, but not to sit on our own thrones, but rather to serve – our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and enemies – in our priesthood. We minister life in this world and come before the King of kings and Lord of lords with prayers and praises and thanksgivings.
Holy, we are. Citizens of the nation of Heaven, we live as strangers and pilgrims awaiting the coming of the city whose builder and maker is God.
Peculiar, we are. This term has come to be used to represent one who’s odd or off in some way or another. The Greek word indicates something very different. It speaks of us as protected private possessions of the Builder of the House.
“Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10).
Living, chosen, royal, holy, and peculiar stones are what we are. The mercy of the Lord did all of it. Since we are set free from our darkness, let us shine forth the Light.