Living Stone

Tod Kennedy

1 Peter 2:4-6, And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God,5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6 For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.”

Isaiah 28:16, Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

The context: 1 Peter 2:1-6

  1. 1 Peter 2:1: Put aside these mental attitude sins and sins of the tongue; they especially hinder consistent spiritual growth and love for others.
  2. 1 Peter 2:2: Crave for spiritual truth, the Word of God, which is your food for spiritual growth. Take advantage of Bible teaching–listen to it, think about it, use it.
  3. 1 Peter 2:3: You have already tasted or experienced that the Lord is gracious, kind, and helpful. You did this when you believed in Christ, when you understood your position in Christ and the blessings that go with that position, and when you experienced God’s blessings upon you and through you to others.
  4. 1 Peter 2:4: Practice occupation with Christ–loyal love, faith dependence, obedience to him. He is your savior and spiritual hero.
  5. 1 Peter 2:5: You are a priest, now grow spiritually in the understanding and function of your priesthood so that you may fulfill your full time priestly service of honorable production for God.
  6. 1 Peter 2:6: Jesus Christ is the foundation for life, the honored leader, the never failing savior.

Isaiah Outline

  1. Judgment on the nations, 1-35.
  2. The historical transition from Assyria to Babylon, 36-39.
  3. Hope and a future, 40-66.

Isaiah’s Approach

Isaiah sees the course of future history; the near future and the far future are mixed together. He sees the same pattern in the near future and in the far future. The pattern is always suffering mixed with blessing, suffering mixed with blessing, suffering mixed with blessing. The final suffering followed by the final blessing. This applies to all of Israel’s future history. The specific times are unknown to the prophet and to the people. The final suffering is the tribulation period; the final blessing is the millennial kingdom period. Isaiah puts historical markers at certain places in his picture of Israel’s future: Kind Uzziah’s death and Isaiah’s call (Isaiah 6), the virgin conception (Isaiah 7:14), the child born (Isaiah 9:6), Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1), and others.

Isaiah 28

There are at least two historical markers in Isaiah 28: Assyrian control over Israel–rulers who speak a foreign language (Isaiah 28:11) and the stone (Messiah) who will be the deliverer (Isaiah 28:16). The deliverer, of course, is the one who makes Israel’s suffering bearable; he will bring the future prosperity; he ought to be the individual and national leader of the Jewish people. There will be two possible responses to the stone, belief or unbelief. The Jewish believer who trust the stone (Messiah) will have inner contentment and rest. The Jewish believer and unbeliever who reject the stone will, of course, be disturbed, troubled, anxious, and judged by God.


  1. This same stone is the cornerstone for the church, the one upon whom and around whom the church is built up. Jesus is his name, Christ is his title. He is the living stone of 1 Peter. The believer is a living stone being built up for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5).
  2. Just as the Messiah, the tested and costly cornerstone, was the solution for the Jews during the suffering of Isaiah’s time and beyond, so Jesus Christ, the living stone, is the solution to life and service for the church age believer.

Application of Isaiah 28:16 and 1 Peter 2:4-6 for us today

  1. Practice the basics of the Christian life: Occupation with Christ, Faith-Rest, Confession-Fellowship, Spirituality, Prayer, and Ministry.
  2. The applications emphasized in 1 Peter 2 and Isaiah 28 are
    • Occupation with Christ, our living, chosen, and honored stone,
    • Spiritual growth into the understanding and function of your priesthood,
    • Ministry or spiritual service,
    • Christian life faith in Christ which results in soul rest and contentment.