What does 1 Peter 2:5 mean?
ESV: you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
NIV: 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.
NASB: you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
CSB: 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.
NLT: And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Verse Commentary:
In the previous verse, Peter identified Jesus, the Lord, as the living stone. He is living because He was dead and now is alive. We will see in the next few verses that He is called the stone because He is the cornerstone of the house of God. Now Peter includes believers in the metaphor. Like Jesus, Christians are living. We once were dead spiritually, but have been made alive by God's grace through our faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:5). We may die physically, but our resurrection is already secured by God's promise (1 Peter 1:3–5).

Christians are stones, as well, set aside for a specific project. God is currently building us into a spiritual house, a dwelling place for Himself. In this new temple—made out of the people of God—each of us also serve as priests.

Under the Old Testament Law, of course, the people would come to the temple where the priests would represent them to God. Now, Peter writes, God's people in Christ are the temple. We are also the priests. All of the barriers between God and us have been removed. We come to our loving Father boldly, needing no other mediator but Jesus Himself (Hebrews 4:16).

Also under the Law, the people would have brought sacrifices to the temple where the priests would have killed the animals and offered them to God on behalf of the people. Now, in Christ, the people are the temple; we are the priests; and we are also the sacrifices offered to God.

However, as Paul writes in Romans 12:1, we are living sacrifices. With our sin already forgiven through Jesus' death, no more death or blood is required. Instead, we offer our living bodies—every part of ourselves—as acceptable spiritual sacrifices to be used by God for His purposes.
Verse Context:
1 Peter 2:1–12 describes the spiritual house God is building. Jesus is the perfect foundation stone God has chosen for the house. Those who trust in Him are also living stones used to build the house. In addition, we individually serve as both the priests and the spiritual sacrifices, our lives offered to the builder. Thus we must live good lives, as strangers in the world preparing to go home to be with our Father, engaged in battle against our desire to sin.
Chapter Summary:
Peter gets specific about what it means to live as God’s set-apart people. Christ is the foundation stone of the spiritual house God is building. We must engage in battle with our selfishness and desire to sin. This includes submitting to human authorities, no matter how evil or harsh. It means enduring suffering, as Christ did for our sake when He died on the cross. Our role is not to fight a physical war for justice here; we will be going home soon.
Chapter Context:
First Peter 1 described the glorious reality of our present and future as God’s children, by His grace and through our faith in Jesus. He called us a holy people redeemed by God for new purposes. That means believers must live differently than those in the world around us. In this chapter, Peter narrows down exactly what it means to lead a holy life, including doing battle with our own desire to sin. This also means suffering under human authorities, even unjust ones.
Book Summary:
Some 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Christians are facing greater persecution for their faith. How should they respond? How should we respond to suffering today? The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering. Christ suffered greatly; now the Christ-followers have the opportunity to follow Him even in this, showing His grace and power in their hopefulness, obedience, and faith.
Accessed 4/24/2024 7:03:32 PM
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