"Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ"(IPet.2:5).  What a metaphor by the Apostle! Stones with the life of God within! This goes way beyond biological life with all it's infirmities and limitations. This is "God Life" actually resurrection life that will stand up in the face of weakness and death! This is the sum total of the writer of Hebrews: "....See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount"(Heb.8:5).  Peter gives to us the unveiling of this pattern! It is now a "spiritual house" filled by a "spiritual priesthood" to offer "spiritual sacrifices".  Even though this is a revelation of "milk" it remains a mystery to most "church structures".

     While many claim to be God's spiritual house, most are just one more failed attempt. The true "spiritual house" must be anchored on the foundation of Apostles, Prophets and of course Jesus. To say it another way, all of our customs, traditions and doctrines must be based on something an Apostle or Prophet or Jesus Himself taught through scripture! That is the only way we can ever be "apostolic" using the term loosely! This is why we have "epistles" of instruction" in order to establish us on True Foundation!  Spirit and Truth are the framework of a Holy Temple! Then we are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph.2:22). When you leave out the anointing of the Holy Ghost, it becomes an empty school house without a teacher! When you ignore the "anointing" you have a building full of "peoples problems"  and a building full of difficulties but no Comforter, no Mediator , and no Advocate with the Father! Solomon said except the Lord build the house, the labor is in vain (Psalms 127:1).

     As lively stones we are empowered to be part of a "holy priesthood"! I shutter to think of all the "unholy counterfeits" who attempt this sacred duty. As "holy priests" we are a go between, we must have a priestly heart with compassion for all kinds of people, and Jesus said: "the poor are with you always". Who wants the "poor" on their mailing list? We must feel what they feel, and their needs can only be impacted to any degree except by the "anointing". "and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing"! (Isa. 10). This requires more than just a letter kept on file for all occasions. Likewise we must have a pure priestly heart, to commune with God in prayer that is effective! You see priesthood ministers both to People and also to God! The Scripture says we are in fact created for His pleasure! I promise you, if our relationship with Jesus is real, we'll have no problem ministering to His people.

     Peter's metaphor of perfect worship is completed by offering "spiritual sacrifices"! This must come from the "inner man", who has been regenerated. That means changed from "natural" into "spiritual". One who is totally surrendered and understands submission to the Spirit! As the song says: "when my will becomes enthroned in His Love"! "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name"(Heb.13:15). It is called "fruit" because fruit takes time to grow and mature! I like Ripe Fruit, I have an idea our God likes Ripe Praise!      
In-Christ Always, Elmer Hart


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