Monday, October 27, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lively Stones

“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.”
1 Peter 2:5

“A lively stone is one that holds to principle and doctrine and yet is moveable,” said Pastor Seals. The paradox really struck me— a lively stone. A few days later I was listening to Stephen respond to the Sanhedrin in Acts 8.

“36 He brought them out, after that he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A PROPHET SHALL THE LORD YOUR GOD RAISE UP UNTO YOU OF YOUR BRETHEREN, LIKE UNTO ME; HIM SHALL YE HEAR. 38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers; who received the lively oracles to give unto us. ”
Acts 8:36-38

Lively oracles! The lively oracles or ten commandments given to Moses were written on stone. What made the stone lively/living was the Word of God written on the stone.

We are like stones. Isaiah 51:1 states, “…look unto the rock whence ye are hewn…” When God first made man, we were soft and pliable like clay. We were easily molded into the image of God (Genesis 2). After the fall and generations of evildoers, man became hardened with sin. Jeremiah 17:1 states, “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond; it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of you altars;.” Notice phrase table of the heart, which is like the Ten Commandments that had two tables of stone. For six thousand years, Satan has been turning clay into rock with an iron pen. He has been corrupting the image of God in man, into the image of Satan. We are now rocks. Isaiah put it this way, “thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass” (Isaiah 48:4).

Rocks can live! Again, the rocks given to Moses were lively. What enlivened the Ten Commandment rock was the word of God. Jeremiah states, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts,” (Jeremiah 31:33). And Ezekiel states, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh;” (Ezekiel 11:19). With God’s word written on our hearts, we thus are fitted to “walk in my statues, and keep mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:20).

Humanly speaking our condition was hopeless. Satan thought to permanently seal his image in man by turning our hearts to stone. Through Christ our greatest weakness becomes our greatest strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). Christ's greatest miracle is transforming stony hearts. Through Christ we stones give praise to Him (Luke 19:40), become bread (Matthew 4:3, 1 Cor 10:17 (read this)), and live! In Christ, we become lively stones, holy stones, and priestly stones. As living stones we are connected to God. Our lives are not our own, but Christ's (Rom 12:1, I Peter 2:5). Apart from Christ, we stones are dead. In Christ, we stones have life. "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:12)