“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 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. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture (in Isaiah 28:16), ‘Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes in Him will by no means be put to shame.’
1 Peter 2:4-9)
These words present such a beautiful visual for the Body of Christ. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, His Tabernacle, built of living stones! We are a holy priesthood, set apart to minister to our Lord.
No longer are daily blood sacrifices needed for the atonement of sin. Jesus’ death on the cross, His shed blood, offers us atonement once and for all – we need only to believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Because of Jesus we can approach the throne of God boldly. He is our Righteousness.
So what are the acceptable spiritual sacrifices Peter is referring to that we, as the priesthood, are to offer up to God through Jesus? There are many aspects of our lives that we can offer to God as a sacrifice, but let’s consider two.
The first one that comes to mind is praise. We are taught to offer up the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). Have you ever thanked the Lord and worshiped Him even though your heart was breaking or your world was falling apart? THAT was a sacrifice of praise.
What about an offering of faith? Have you ever prayed and believed and believed and prayed about something with fervency only to have a totally different outcome than what you expected? Afterward, did you humbly say, “Not my will, but Yours be done, Lord”? THAT is a sacrificial offering of faith.
Such offerings are holy and acceptable to the Lord.
We glorify Him with our sacrifices.
Picture yourself as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Understand the honor you have of ministering to the Lord, serving Him with your whole heart.
I love the description found in Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
A dwelling place of God. Just imagine…
Lord, this concept is so far beyond our comprehension. Please open our eyes that we might see the wonder of this Truth…You, the Creator of the Universe, the Lord Most High dwell in us!! The same power that raised Christ from the dead, that same power -the Spirit of God – dwells in us!! Unbelievable. I think if we took hold of this Truth in the way You intend, we would be set free from the chains that still try to hold us back. We would understand the completeness we find in You. Make us aware of the things in our lives that you desire as an offering – a sacrifice – holy and acceptable to You. Thank You, Lord.