We are lively stones for God, living, active, quick, sprightly. “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.” 1 Peter 2:5 KJV
Lively stone are built up as God’s home in the spirit.
Paul contrasts the Old Testament temple made with hands with “the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands” (Heb 9:11), a habitation of God in the Spirit.
13 But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Messiah. 14 For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in his flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility through it. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and of the household of God, 20 being built on the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, Messiah Yeshua himself being the chief cornerstone; 21 in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-22 WMB
Lively stones are a holy priesthood.
We are holy because we God has cleansed by the blood of Jesus (Col 1:9-14; 1Peter 2:24; Heb 2:14-15). Thus we are holy ones, saints. “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:1-2). We are a priesthood, priests in the kingdom. Peter tells us we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9-12).
As priests, we offer up spiritual sacrifices.
Our ministry as the royal priesthood is God being through us. Whatever we do as royal priesthood is motivated by God’s love (1 Cor 13). Anything we do that is motivated by God’s love is ministry of the first order. The kingdom of God is in the Spirit (Ro 14:17-18) and God pours His love into our hearts by the Spirit (Ro 5:1-5). And, the fruit of the Spirit begins with love. “Beloved, let’s love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God” (Galatians 5:22-23). (See 1 John 4:7-14).
Whatever we do as the royal priesthood is by God who is at work in us.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Php 2:12-13 NASB
The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as Savior and King, opens our hearts to the Word, pours God’s love into our hearts and helps us see, walk and work in the kingdom Jesus inaugurated while on earth and rules from the Jerusalem above. Our relations as priests are spiritual sacrifices. They are exemplified in family relationships and motivate us to love one another. God in Christ shares His life with us so we can share it with God, one another, the hurting, and God’s creation. By His power, He will help us do every good thing we decide to do and every work of faith (2 Thess 1:11-12).
1 Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 WMB