Living Stones

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.(4) As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— (5) you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ
1 Peter 2:1-5

The term “living stones” in 1 Peter 2:5 is used as a metaphor to illustrate the secure and intimate relationship believers have with Jesus who, in turn, is described in the previous verse as the “living Stone” (1 Peter 2:4). Together, verse four and five vividly picture how Christ and His followers are a building being built by God Himself:

The foundation of God’s building is His Son, Jesus Christ, the “living Stone.”

The “living stones,” in turn, are believers who come to Jesus and place their lives upon this foundation. One of the striking things we learn in this passage is that God not only chose this Stone who is eternal, but there were men who rejected the Stone because they wanted to build the building of their lives the way they wanted, not God’s way.

The stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22

As a result, these men cast this living Stone aside, not caring that Jesus is the only true foundation upon which man can build his eternal life.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Elsewhere, Jesus is also described as the chief cornerstone upon which is built the Church, a unified body of believers, both Jew and Gentile (non-Jew)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19-22

Peter referenced Jesus as the cornerstone in Acts 4:11-12, stating that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” God accepts no one who refuses to become a part of His building. And God is just like all builders—He has a foundation upon which all workers must lay the stones of their lives

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
Matthew 7:24-27

Believers, then, are the “living stones” of the church. As such, we must remember that God is eternal, which means His building is eternal. The foundation Stone laid by God shall never decay nor waste away. Christ lives forever and ever. In placing our lives upon the living Stone of God, we find that He supports and holds us up eternally. We, in turn, become living stones, stones that will live on forever and ever. A physical house is not permanent; it ages, deteriorates, and wastes away. But being the spiritual house of God, we do not age, deteriorate, or decay. We live on in God’s eternal spiritual house.

Peter goes on to describe the relationship of living stones to the Chief Cornerstone:

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,


“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:7-9

Peter is saying that, as living stones, we have certain functions. As a “royal priesthood,” we are a “kingdom of priests,” a term that was used of Israel in Exodus 19:6.

You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites
Exodus 19:6

Also, in Revelation 1:6, we are called kings and priests, referring to the exalted rank and dignity which we will have in the future kingdom of heaven. Believers, in common with our Savior, will reign triumphantly over all enemies and, having gained a victory over sin and death and hell, we will be reigning together with our King.

In the meantime, the function of the living stones is to “declare the praises” of Him who called us out of the darkness of sin into the light of life and glory. This is the “job description” of a living stone: a declarer of truth and love and light, both by our words and the life we live before others in the world.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ
Ephesians 1:3

Trust JESUS!

Special thanks to


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