1 Peter 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Spiritual SacrificesAlexander Maclaren1 Peter 2:5
Temple, Priest, SacrificeA. Maclaren 1 Peter 2:5
The Lively Stones. Rev. W. Morley PunshonKnowles King1 Peter 2:5
Newborn Babes and the Higher IsraelR. Finlayson 1 Peter 2:1-10
Christ a Living StoneR. S. MacArthur.1 Peter 2:4-5
Christ DisallowedJohn Rogers.1 Peter 2:4-5
Christians are PriestsR. M. McCheyne.1 Peter 2:4-5
Cohesion in God's Spiritual HouseG. G. Findlay.1 Peter 2:4-5
Coming -- Always ComingC. H. Spurgeon.1 Peter 2:4-5
Living StonesA. Maclaren 1 Peter 2:4, 5
Living StonesW. Skinner.1 Peter 2:4-5
Living StonesJ. Ruskin.1 Peter 2:4-5
Living StonesHours of Exercise on the Alps.1 Peter 2:4-5
Mind the Temple is not Built Without YouA. Maclaren.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Christian PriesthoodAbp. Leighton.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Christian's SacrificesJohn Rogers.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Church the Priesthood of GodD. Thomas, D. D.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Church the Temple of GodD. Thomas, D. D.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Doctrine of SacrificeA. Mursell.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Living StoneJ. C. Jones D. D.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Priesthood of the LaityCanon Body.1 Peter 2:4-5
The True Priesthood, Temple and SacrificeC. H. Spurgeon.1 Peter 2:4-5
The Spiritual Temple, Priesthood, and SacrificesJ.R. Thomson 1 Peter 2:4-6
The Soul-Temple, and Soul-ServiceU.R. Thomas 1 Peter 2:4-8
Christian Life Crowned with Wonderful HonorC. New 1 Peter 2:4-10

Temple, priest, sacrifice - these three are the constituents of worship, as the world knew it before Christ. He is the reality, felt after by heathenism in its rites, shadowed by Judaism in its ceremonies. A universal want is unconsciously confessed by the former; a Divine satisfaction of it is prophesied by the latter. But not only does Christ in his own Person and work supply these three to men; he also makes those who come to him by faith all these in a real though derived and subordinate manner; they, too, become temple, priest, and sacrifice. Christianity lifts the externals of sacrificial religion into a higher sphere, and does away with the symbols, because it brings the realities. Whether the first readers of this letter were Jewish or Gentile Christians, they must have felt the bareness of their new worship as contrasted with the elaborate rituals of their former faiths, and have especially needed the insight into their real dignity which these words supply. Perhaps this age needs the lesson not less, though for different reasons. Let us simply look at these three aspects of the ideal Christian character.

I. CHRIST IS THE TRUE TEMPLE; WE BECOME A TEMPLE THROUGH HIM. The temple is the dwelling-place of Deity. The need for it arises from man's weakness, which cannot grasp the pure spirituality of the Divine nature, but has to aid its conceptions by localizing God, and still more from man's sin, which to his own consciousness has profaned the world, and cannot bear the thought of God's dwelling among the foulness of everyday abodes. Christ is all which temples shadowed. The temple was the dwelling-place of Deity, and in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. It was the place of meeting between God and man, and in him we draw near to the God who in him has drawn near to us. It was the place of sacrifice, and in his flesh the one propitiation has been offered for sin forever. It was the place of Divine manifestation, and in him the whole glory of the Divine nature has been flashed upon the world with a brightness before which the light that shone between the cherubim pales its fires. The burden of the context here is that by coming to Christ we become partakers of his life, and are therefore assimilated to him. So the whole aggregate of the scattered strangers to whom Peter writes, and all the solitary souls who, one by one, draw near to Jesus, are built up into one great temple, the true sanctuary, consisting of all redeemed humanity, in which God dwells. All Churches are but chapels in its side aisles. Its ample roof covers them all, and will shelter new forms of Christian fellowship as yet undreamed of. Through the ages it is being slowly builded, like some great cathedral unfinished for centuries, each of which has added something to the pile. And as the Church as a whole is the temple, so its members in detail are temples of God. By a real though mysterious indwelling, more real if one may say so, and less mysterious than that by which he inhabits eternity or dwells in the material universe, God comes and makes his abode in every believing soul. A Divine Spirit can fill and penetrate the human spirit, as the sunshine drenches and saturates some poor film of mist, till every particle is suffused with the fiery brightness. We are too apt to water down that most solemn and blessed truth of God's indwelling into the mere presence of an influence on our spirits. We need to rise to the height of the wonderful, awful, gladsome thought that God himself dwells in every soul that comes to Christ.

II. CHRIST IS THE TRUE PRIEST; WE ARE PRIESTS THROUGH HIM. The priest, like the temple, has his origin in man's consciousness of unworthiness to draw near to his God. Therefore he takes one of his tribe, and sets him apart to stand between him and his deity. The priest has to represent man to God and God to man. His chief function is sacrifice, and, in addition to it, he has to be intercessor and mediator - to bring the messages of the god to his worshippers, to represent the worshippers before their god. Jesus is all this in himself, by no external appointment, "not by the law of a carnal commandment, but by the power of an endless life." He is all this in solitary incommunicable manner. He, and none but he, brings God to men, and none but God. He alone is, in real essential unity, man's Representative and Intercessor. He alone offers the sacrifice for the world. He stands the sole Priest, his office unique, his Person sole and supreme, having and tolerating no companions in his solemn entrance within the veil, and having neither beginning of days nor end of life. There is but one Priest in the Church. There are no priests in the Church. All are priests in the Church.

III. CHRIST OFFERS AND IS THE ONE SACRIFICE; WE BECOME ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICES THROUGH HIM. There are two elements in the idea of sacrifice - surrender and expiation. The great work of Jesus Christ embraces both. "Not my will, but thine," is the inmost meaning of his whole life. He offered himself in the perfect, untrodden, joyful surrender of his will to the Father. That sinless Being, perpetually yielding itself in meek obedience, undisturbed by self-will, and spotless in its purity, attains the highest form of surrender, and stands alone as, in that aspect, the fulfillment of the ideal of sacrifice. All the life, which was thus perfect surrender to the Father's will, was also expiation. Himself bare our sins in his lowliness and sorrows, in the sympathy which wrung his heart. But the consecrating oil flows from him to us, and we too, by derivation from him, become priests to God. His hand laid on us sets us apart for sacred functions which are not all unlike his own, but are their consequence and carrying out. We too have to represent God to men, because Christ has given God to us. We have to move among our fellows, showing to them something of the splendor of the Divine love, the reflection of which in us some weak eyes may bear which would be dazzled by the direct beams. We have to intercede for men with God, and are invested with the solemn privilege carrying with it a heavy responsibility of free access to the secret place of the Most High, and of prayer that prevails with him, as well as in the awful solitude when he experienced the utmost penalty of the sin which he had never committed, in the consciousness of separation from God, which is eternal death, and in the physical death which is but the pictured shadow of that awful reality. His sacrifice, as surrender, stands alone in degree, as being absolute and stainless. His sacrifice, as expiation, stands alone in kind, incapable of repetition or imitation, and, blessed be God, needing none. But if we have come to him and partaken of his life, we shall, in the measure of our participation, become sacrifices too - not indeed expiatory, but eucharistic. For, touched by his love, and possessing his Spirit, we shall joyfully give up ourselves. Our true sacrifice is the surrender of our wills to the Divine will. We have to lay ourselves upon the altar which sanctifies and glorifies giver and gift; so shall we receive back again a better sell, ennobled and purified. Life should be one long sacrifice, being all lived with continual reference to him, and continual suppression of self. By him, too, we should offer the sacrifice of praise continually, and present the "much incense" of prayer. By him, too, we are to bring the sacrifices of doing good and imparting, with which God is well pleased. And by him we may at last offer the libation of pouring out our souls unto death, and complete the sacrifices of a life of faith by a death of submission. The dignities and prerogatives of the Christian life, expressed in the grand truths that we are temples and priests, are granted to us, not for honor, but for service. We are temples and priests that we may be sacrifices. All lofty gifts are ours with a view to this highest end, that we may yield ourselves wholly to God, and, losing ourselves in utter surrender, may have our poor sacrifice accepted through him who alone has offered the one perfect sacrifice for sins for evermore. - A.M.

To whom coming, as unto a living stone.
The Christian life is begun, continued, and perfected altogether in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes when you go a journey, you travel so far under the protection of a certain company, but then you have to change, and the rest of your journey may be performed under very different circumstances, upon quite another kind of line. Now we have not so far to go to heaven in the guardian care of Jesus Christ, and then at a certain point to change, so as to have somebody else to be our leader, or some other method of salvation. No, He is the author and He is the finisher of our faith. We have not to seek a fresh physician, to find a new friend or to discover a novel hope, but we are to look for everything to Jesus Christ, "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." "Ye are complete in Him."

I. HERE IS A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. It is a continuous "coming" to Jesus. Notice that the expression occurs in connection with two figures. There is one which precedes it in the second verse, namely, the figure of a little child fed upon milk. Children come to their parents, and they frequently come rather longer than their parents like; it is the general habit of children to come to their parents for what they need. Just what your children began to do from the first moment you fixed your eyes on them, and what they have continued to do ever since, that is just what you are to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to be always coming to Him — coming to Him for spiritual food, for spiritual garments, for washing, guiding, help, and health: coming, in fact, for everything. You will be wise if, the older you grow, the more you come, and He will be all the better pleased with you. If you will look again at your Bibles, you will get a second illustration from the fourth verse, "To whom coming as unto a living stone," etc. Here we have the figure of a building. A building comprises first a foundation, and then the stones which are brought to the foundation and are built upon it. This furnishes a very beautiful picture of Christian life.


1. The very best way to come to Christ is to come with all your needs about you. If you could get rid of half your needs apart from Christ, you would not come to Jesus half so well, for your need furnishes you with motives for coming, and gives you pleas to urge. Suppose a physician should come into a town with motives of pure benevolence to exercise the healing art. What he wants is not to make money, but to bless the townsmen. He has a love to his fellow men, and he wants to cure them, and therefore he gives notice that the poorest will be welcome, and the most diseased will be best received. Is there a deeply sin-sick soul anywhere? Is there man or woman who is bad altogether? Come along, you are just in a right condition to come to Jesus Christ. Come just as you are, that is the best style of "coming."

2. If you want to know how to come aright the first time, I should answer, Come to find everything you want in Christ. I heard of a shop some time ago in a country town where they sold everything, and the man said that he did not believe that there was anything a human being wanted but what he could rig him out from top to toe. Well, I do not know whether that promise would have been carried out to the letter if it had been tried, but I know it is so with Jesus Christ; He can supply you with all you need, for "Christ is all."

3. The best way to come to Christ is to come meaning to get everything, and to obtain all the plenitude of grace which He has laid up in store and promised freely to give.

III. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COME AFTERWARDS? The answer is — Come just as you used to come. The text does not say that you have come to Christ, though that is true, but that you are coming; and you are to be always coming. The way to continue coming is to come just in the same way as you came at first.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. CHRIST THE SURE FOUNDATION. Without Christ the Bible is meaningless, the world hopeless, heaven charmless. You might as well have a summer without a gleam of light, without the smell of flowers, or the song of a bird, as have a life without Jesus Christ. You might as well have a year without a summer, nothing but barrenness and death, as to have a life without Jesus Christ. You might as well have a night without a morning, as to live in this world, and die, and be buried without Jesus Christ. You might as well speak of the astronomy of the world and leave out the sun, as speak of history, philosophy, and creation, and leave out Jesus Christ. In Christ, and in Him alone, the real and the ideal meet. Christ was the perfect, the symmetrical Man, the true centre of redeemed humanity.

II. CHRIST REJECTED BY MANY. He reveals character; He makes men declare themselves; He is the touch stone that draws worth and develops worthlessness. Come near to Christ, and if you have the elements of nobility you will be drawn toward Him; if you are worth less you will hate Him.

III. A STARTLING CONTRAST — God's judgment of Christ as compared with that of men: "Chosen of God, and precious." God knew Him, and He knew God as it is impossible for men to know Him; and this is the judgment which God here gives.

IV. In order to receive the blessing of Christ's life, WE MUST COME TO HIM. God's promise includes God's condition.

(R. S. MacArthur.)


1. Jesus Christ is here set forth as the foundation of the Christian Church.

2. The apostle here seems to violate the rules of rhetoric and elegant composition by attributing life to a stone. God's thoughts were so infinite that the laws of grammar stood in constant need of expansion to receive them.

3. "Disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God." This Divine choice does not refer primarily, if at all, to God's eternal election of His Son to be the foundation of the Church, but to His choice of Him in consequence of His holy life and atoning death. The disallowing by men and the choosing by God were simultaneous processes. God chose Him, not arbitrarily, but on account of fitness after trying Him.


1. What then is the first step you should take to be built into the walls of this spiritual edifice? This — you must come to Jesus Christ. "To whom coming"; or, as the words might be rendered, "To whom coming close up," "to whom coming very near" — so near as to be in personal contact with Him, nothing whatever intervening. You must remove all the earth and brush away every grain of sand, and build your house on the clean face of the rock, with nothing whatsoever between.

2. "To whom coming close up, as unto a living stone," then it follows that "ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house." The word for "stones" here suggests — I do not say it positively means, but it suggests stones dressed, smoothed, and polished, fitted to their place in the walls of the spiritual edifice — the root of the English word lithograph. Young people, and old, you will not do to be built into the walls of this temple in the rough, as you come from the quarry of the world. The Holy Spirit alone can prepare you for this.


1. "A priesthood." So there is a priesthood in the Christian Church. The whole body of believers forms the Christian priesthood.

2. "An holy priesthood." A learned priesthood? No. An educated priesthood? No. No; an holy priesthood.

3. "To offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." "Spiritual sacrifices": what are these? Singing? Yes. Praying? Yes. Preaching? I am glad to believe it. Under the law material sacrifices were required — oxen, sheep, doves; but under the gospel only those sacrifices which proceed from a regenerate heart, and which testify to the gratitude and devotion of an emancipated spirit. God condescends to accept the offering for the sake of the love which inspires it. What else is necessary? That we present all by, or, as in the Welsh, "through" Jesus Christ. Our sacrifices must ascend to the throne through Him; and as they go through Him they are beautifully filtered and refined.

(J. C. Jones D. D.)

Disallowed indeed of men
Disallowed lie was, indeed, of men: they called Him the carpenter's Son, a Samaritan, winebibber, deceiver; they would have no other king but Caesar; with them Barabbas was meeter to live than He. What was the cause? They looked for one that should come as an earthly prince, to deliver them out of the hands of the Romans; but His kingdom was not of this world. They looked also for one that should have upheld their customs, laws, and traditions; but the date of them was out. Again, how came they to this height of disallowing Him? At the first of ignorance and blindness, but after of malice; so men grow (when they desire not to amend and see the truth) from one degree of wickedness to another.

(John Rogers.)

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up
Religious art finds its culmination in the temple of the ancients and the cathedral of the moderns. Higher than this it cannot reach. That the temple made a profound impression upon the minds of the apostles, that its association interpenetrated their religious life and coloured their teaching, we have unmistakable evidence. In his Epistle to the Ephesians Paul seizes hold of the idea to illustrate the stability, the growth, and the grandeur of the Church. It is precisely the same idea which Peter had in his mind. The idea is a grand one, and it has had a fascination for more than one of the great men of the Church. To mention only one instance, it has given to us the immortal work of John Howe, "The Living Temple." Let us look at it. Rising slowly in the midst of the world, noiselessly and unobserved by the majority of men, are the fair proportions of a temple in comparison with which the grandest conceptions of man are but blurred and broken lines of beauty. Century after century has contributed its quota to the pile, and during the unborn ages it will continue to increase in symmetry and perfection, until with the last man the edifice will be complete. The text reminds us that believers are the living stones of this living temple. Let us pay a visit to the temple, and look upon the stones that are being built into it.

I. As soon as we approach our attention is arrested by some HUGE, UNSHAPELY BLOCKS OF STONE, SHARP ANGLED, AND DISFIGURED HERE AND THERE WITH MUD. We glance hastily up at the superb building before us, re-examine the stones, and then in some wonder ask our guide, "What possible use can these be put to?" Touching the stone tenderly with his fingers, the master builder replies that there is no better material built up in the whole fabric than this. Despite their roughness and shapelessness, these stones, he says, possess a nature which yields readily to the tools and skill of the workmen. Do we understand the teaching? Have we not in our Church fellowship met with men and women freshly hewn from the world's quarry, with such angularities of character, with such imperfect knowledge, with such lack of grace, that we have begun to question if such rough material could be used for anything but stumbling blocks in the cause of Christ? It may have been, even, that we have treated them with indifference, if not with contempt, and denied them the assurance of a brother's sympathy. Forgetting "the hole of the pit from whence we have been digged," we have despised these little ones for whom Christ died. Let us be consistent with ourselves. We profess to believe in spiritual capacities and capabilities, and we cry each day out of the depths of our weakness and ignorance, "Lord, help us." In what lies the difference between us and them? Are not their souls endowed with the satire faculties, the same capabilities, spiritually, as ours? But if we have seen anything of the operation of Divine grace upon the heart, we surely have seen enough to lead us to the belief that there is no limit to its power, that it can fashion the roughest into symmetry and grace. The tinker of Elstow is transformed into the immortal dreamer. Ah, surely bitter must be our humiliation if by our spiritual pride we mar the beauty and usefulness of our Christian life, and see those whom we have despised outstripping us in service, and bearing more vividly upon them the imprint of Divine favour. Proceeding in our examination of the stones, we have one pointed out to us as being of great importance.

II. Examining it we find that WHILE IT BEARS EVIDENT MARKS OF THE WORKMEN'S TOOLS, IT IS ONLY A LARGE PLAIN BLOCK OF STONE, WITH NO PRETENSION TO ORNAMENT WHATEVER. We acknowledge at once its solidity, but have to ask an explanation of its use. We are led to a part of the building where the first stones are being laid in the freshly excavated earth, and there we are told that these plain blocks of stone are used for the wall foundations. "What!" we exclaim, "are they to be hidden out of sight, and their worth never to be appreciated?" "True," replies our guide, "they are hidden, and the thoughtless dream not of them; but the architect knows their value. They serve a grand purpose; upon them depends the strength, aye, and the beauty of the building, too." Unspeakable comfort this to many a lonely, toiling Christian. Look at that mother, the object of her children's lavish affection — their most trusted adviser in times of difficulty and doubt. But she is unknown to the world and fame. Men do not know that the strength and nobility of character which they have been accustomed to admire in her son, has a foundation in her life and heart. Let us take courage, therefore, and labour on in the dark a little while longer. We cannot pass by these pillars without stopping a minute or two to admire their strength and various beauty.

III. In these pillars WE SEE GRACE, STRENGTH, AND UTILITY COMBINED. To be a pillar in the Temple of God is the highest honour to which we can reach. Do we covet their position, their fame, or their worth? Then we must drink of the cup they have drank of, and be baptized with the baptism they were baptized with. That the Church has had such pillars, and will continue to have them, is her strength and hope. "Ah! more ornamental than useful," we exclaim, as we are called to look at some stones covered with filigree work, or highly finished carving. "A judgment somewhat hasty and thoughtless," replies the architect. "See, this stone you have despised because of its ornament is fashioned for a keystone, and its utility will be enhanced by its beauty. This other, with all its marvellous delicacy of carving, has a sound core, and is fashioned for the capital of one of these pillars. It will add grace to the pillar, and will sustain part of its load." Hasty and thoughtless judgments are, alas! too frequent among professing Christians. By some zealous workers the men and women of culture are despised as being necessarily more ornamental than useful. They are not seen to be enthusiastic in the service of the Master, and forthwith, without a moment's calm thought, they are spoken of rather as hindrances than helps in the cause of righteousness. Have we been tempted to think so of anyone? Let us see to it that we have not been doing great injustice to a keystone or a capital in God's Temple — living stones, perchance, not only more beautiful than we, but vastly more useful also. Some of the most zealous and humble Christian workers are to be found among the men and women of culture today. And not only is it so, but they do a work that the less cultured cannot do. Like the carved capital or keystone, they can catch the eye of the careless or sceptical men of culture and compel them, by the force of their intrinsic worth, to investigate the claims of religion. "How beautiful is the polish on this stone! How it reveals the beauty of the granite! How it flashes back the sunlight! Such is our exclamation over a stone which our guide regards with a look of mingled tenderness and delight. "Very beautiful," he replies, "but at what cost!" and then he explains to us the hard pressure, the constant friction, and the other processes to which it had been subjected before it took on this lustrous beauty. Just so. We have a friend in whose Christian life there is a sparkle, a heavenly beauty, as exceptional as it is delightful. Would we know the secret? Then let us look into his past life. Sorrow came to his heart suddenly, overwhelmingly. "Made perfect through suffering!" How difficult the lesson! Instinctively we shrink from pain. Truly, pain is a mystery. "Hold, hold!" cries the stone to the polisher when the cold water and rough sand are thrown upon it, and the heavy polishing plane passes over it for the first time. "Hold, hold! Why this rough treatment? What wrong have I done? Have I not already suffered at the hands of workmen?" "Peace, foolish stone," cries the polisher. "Dost thou not know that there are yet roughnesses in thy nature to be rubbed down, and wilt thou grudge the pain? Dost thou not know that I will bring to light thy hidden beauty by this process? Thou wilt become a mirror to catch the faintest smile of heaven if thou wilt but suffer it to be so now."

IV. "What mean these quantities of SMALL STONES lying here and there? Is it possible that they can be used in the great building?" To which question our instructor replies, "The temple could not be built without them. There is not only a place for them, but there are places which nothing but they can fill. Unseen by the eye, these small stones supplement the deficiencies of the larger ones, and there would be many an interstice through which the wind and rain would penetrate were it not for these insignificant-looking stones." Little children living stones in God's temple! Sweet thought! What parent does not clutch at it with unspeakable joy? The fact may well fire the zeal and intensify the love of every parent and teacher of the young in pouring out their souls labouring for their weal. We would do well to ponder —

1. In the first place, it is quite possible for the living stones to be deceived with regard to their position and importance.

2. In the second place, a true view of our own hearts, as well as of the importance of Christian service, will lead us to cast ourselves at the Master's feet, saying, "Choose my place for me."

(W. Skinner.)


1. This is the leading plan in the world's history.

2. This plan, though unknown by men, is being worked out by them.

II. IT IS COMPACTED TOGETHER INTO A NECESSARY UNITY. Supreme love for a common Father, unbounded confidence in a common Christ, life consecration to a common cause, are the indissoluble bonds of union. This union is —

1. Independent of local distances.

2. Independent of external circumstances.

3. Independent of ecclesiastical systems.

4. Independent of mental idiosyncrasies.

III. IT IS THE SPECIAL RESIDENCE OF THE ETERNAL SPIRIT. There is more of God to be seen in the true Church than anywhere else under heaven. In nature you see His handicraft, in saints you see His soul.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

The only idea which I think can be legitimately connected with purity of matter, is this of vital and energetic connection among its particles; and the idea of foulness is essentially connected with dissolution and death. Thus the purity of the rock contrasted with the foulness of dust or mould is expressed by the epithet "living," very singularly given the rock in almost all languages; singularly I say, because life is almost the last attribute one would ascribe to stone but for this visible energy and connection of its particles; and so of water as opposed to stagnancy.

(J. Ruskin.)

The apostle assumes, as a matter of course, that if one is in Christ, one is also in His Church. Detached stones are mere rubble. There is contact, cohesion, mutual attachment and support in these "living stones" of God's spiritual house. Based on the "living stone," the bedrock of the Church, they grow together into God's glorious human temple.

(G. G. Findlay.)

Travellers sometimes find in lonely quarries, long abandoned, or once worked by a vanished race, great blocks squared and dressed, that seem to have been meant for palace or shrine. But there they lie, neglected and forgotten, and the building for which they were hewn has been reared without them. Beware, lest God's grand temple should be built up without you, and you be left to desolation and decay.

(A. Maclaren.)

Tyndall, speaking of the frozen crystals in snowflakes, says: "Surely such an exhibition of power, such an apparent demonstration of a resident intelligence in what we are accustomed to call 'brute matter,' would appear perfectly miraculous. If the Houses of Parliament were built up of forces resident in their own bricks, it would be nothing intrinsically more wonderful."

(Hours of Exercise on the Alps.)

An holy priesthood
Christians are a royal priesthood; they are united together in the Church to be a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ: the joy of priesthood should be the tasted joy of every member of the Church of Christ. True it is that in its fullest sense there is but one priest — Jesus, the anointed of the Father. No other priest can be, since He ever lives and ministers in His priesthood. But He ministers as priest under two conditions — in heaven in His glorified human body: on earth in His mystical body — the Church. When He was on the earth "in the days of His flesh," He ministered to men through His natural body. In it He interceded for them with God, and instituted and offered the holy Eucharistic sacrifice. By it He spake to them God's words, and did among them God's works. But when His body was taken up into heaven, it could not be the instrument of His priesthood on earth. So He created His mystical body — the Church. Thus the Church, as the mystical body of Christ, is the extension of His natural body, and so is the fulness of Christ, As, then before His ascension, Christ ministered on earth in His natural body, since His ascension He ministers on earth in His mystical body. Hence His Church is a sacerdotal society. It is a kingdom of priests, because its members are the ministers of Christ's priest hood. Its priesthood is not one existing side by side with, nor is it supplemental to, the one priesthood of Christ. It is not the delegated representative of an absent Lord fulfilling priestly ministries on His behalf; it is the organism of a present Lord. It is the organism whereby Christ intercedes with God for men in prayer and Eucharist on earth, and by which He teaches men God's faith, and ministers to them God's grace. This sacerdotal vocation and character is not the exclusive possession of any one section of the mystical body of Christ — it is common to all Christian men. Each member of the mystical body of the Great High Priest is himself a priest unto God. But he is a priest called on to minister in the unity and in the order of that mystical body. Each member in it is placed in his position in its structure to fulfil the ministry proper to him as the organ of the whole body. The priestly character is common to all, but all are not called to the same measure of priestly ministries or gifts. The priesthood of the laity is recognised by the Church in confirmation. Christians are born to priesthood in the sacrament of regeneration as sons of the second Aaron, just as Aaron's sons were born to the priesthood of Israel. But as in Israel of old those thus born were at a given age solemnly consecrated and commissioned to execute the priest's office; so in the Church of Christ the regenerate are consecrated, commissioned, and dowered, for the lay priesthood in the sacrament of confirmation. This priesthood of the laity has, as priesthood always has, a two-fold aspect — Godward and manward. The Church, as a sacerdotal society, has primarily to minister to God — to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. The first duty of the lay priesthood is by cooperation with the consecrated ministers of the Church to offer to God continual worship in Christian sanctuaries. Closely allied with the ministry of worship is the ministry of intercession. He whose soul ascends to God and rests in God in adoration will share with God His love to men, and, sharing this love, he will breathe it out in intercession. Moreover, as God's priest, the layman is called to minister to man for God in active service. He has his place in that great mediatorial system by which God wills to give to men the two great gifts of truth and grace. Each Christian Churchman is here in a position of grave responsibility. All wealth is a trust held by each for all. And, in addition to this, as the priest of God, the layman is called on to do what he can to bring his fellow men into the knowledge of the truth as he knows it, and with those gracious conditions of life in which he is privileged to live. He must be an evangelist — the bearer to others of the good tidings in the joy of which he is privileged to live. Let me conclude with two cautions bearing on this question of lay priesthood.

1. Avoid individualism in its exercise. Priesthood is an official status; it exists in the body of Christ, and can only be rightly exercised according to the will of God in the unity of that body. All its ministries must be performed "decently and in order." God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, in all churches of the saints, "and peace is," as St. teaches us, "the harmony of ordered union."

2. The one motive of the layman in his priesthood must always be to reveal to men and to bring them to submit to the One Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, as He ministers in and through His Church. No one can rise to the realisation of his lay priesthood except he be one who, in the unity of the Church, tastes and sees the goodness of the Lord.

(Canon Body.)

I. THE PERSONS OF WHOM THIS PRIESTHOOD IS COMPOSED. The apostle is here writing, not to Church officers, but to individual Christians scattered throughout the world. Why should they be represented as a priesthood?

1. On account of their entire devotedness to Divine service.

2. On account of their free access to the Divine presence (Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 10:19-22).

II. THE CHARACTER BY WHICH THIS PRIESTHOOD IS DISTINGUISHED. "Holy." Moral holiness is resemblance to Christ — the spirit of supreme love to the Father and self-sacrificing love for man.


1. The sacrifices are spiritual.

2. Mediatory.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

The priesthood of the law was holy, and its holiness was signified by many outward things, by anointings, and washings, and vestments; but in this spiritual priesthood of the gospel, holiness itself is instead of all these, as being the substance of all. The children of God are all anointed and purified, and clothed with holiness. There is here the service of this office, namely, to offer. All sacrifice is not taken away, but it is changed from the offering of those things formerly in use to spiritual sacrifices. Now these are every way preferable; they are easier to us, and yet more acceptable to God. How much more should we abound in spiritual sacrifice, who are eased of the other! But though the spiritual sacrificing is easier in its own nature, yet to the corrupt nature of man it is by far the harder. He would rather choose still all the toil and cost of the former way, if it were in his option. A holy course of life is called the sacrifice of righteousness (Psalm 4:6; and Philippians 4:18; so also Hebrews 13:16), where the apostle shows what sacrifices succeed to those which, as he hath taught at large, are abolished. In a word, that sacrifice of ours which includes all these, and without which none of these can be rightly offered, is ourselves, our whole selves. Now that whereby we offer all spiritual sacrifices and even ourselves, is love. That is the holy fire that burns up all, sends up our prayers, and our hearts, and our whole selves a whole burnt offering to God — and, as the fire of the altar, it is originally from heaven, being kindled by God's own love to us, and the graces of the Spirit received from Christ, but, above all with His own merits. The success of this service; acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. The children of God delight in offering sacrifices to Him; but if they could not know that they were well taken at their hands, this would discourage them much; therefore this is added. He accepts themselves and their ways when offered in sincerity, though never so mean; though they sometimes have no more than a sigh or a groan, it is most properly a spiritual sacrifice. No one needs forbear sacrifice for poverty, for what God desires is the heart, and there is none so poor but hath a heart to give Him. But meanness is not all. There is a guiltiness on ourselves and on all we offer. Our prayers and services are polluted. But this hinders not, for our acceptance is not for ourselves, but for the sake of one who hath no guiltiness at all, "acceptable by Jesus Christ." In Him our persons are clothed with righteousness. How ought our hearts to be knit to Him, by whom we are brought into favour with God and kept in favour with Him, in whom we obtain all the good we receive, and in whom all we offer is accepted! In Him are all our supplies of grace and our hopes of glory.

(Abp. Leighton.)

I. First, all those who are coming to Christ, daily coming nearer and nearer to Him, are as living stones built up into A TEMPLE.

1. They are called a spiritual house in opposition to the old material house in which the emblem of the Divine presence shone forth in the midst of Israel, that temple in which the Jew delighted, counting it to be beautiful for situation and the joy of the whole earth. When we become holy, as we should be, we shall count all places and all hours to be the Lord's, and we shall always dwell in His temple because God is everywhere.

2. We are a spiritual temple, but not the less real. The Lord has a people scattered abroad everywhere, whose lives are hid with Him in God, and these make up the real temple of God in which the Lord dwelleth. Men of every name and clime and age are quickened into life, made living stones, and then laid upon Christ, and these constitute the true temple, which God hath built and not man, for He dwelleth not in temples made with hands; that is to say, of man's building, but He dwelleth in a temple which He Himself hath builded for His habitation forever, saying, "This is My rest forever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it."

3. This temple is spiritual, and therefore it is living. A material temple is dead, a spiritual temple must be alive; and so the text tells us, "Ye also as living stones."

4. We are a spiritual house, and therefore spiritually built up. Peter says, "Ye are built up" — built up by spiritual means. The Spirit of God quarries out of the pit of nature the stones which are as yet dead, separating them from the mass to which they adhered; He gives them life, and then He fashions, squares, polishes them, and they, without sound of axe or hammer, are brought each one to its appointed place, and built up into Christ Jesus.

5. We are a spiritual house, and therefore the more fit for the indwelling of God who is a Spirit. It is in the Church that God reveals Himself. If you would know the Lord's love and power and grace you must get among His people, hear their experiences, learn from them how God dealeth with them, and let them tell you, if ye have grace to understand them, the height, and depth, and length, and breadth of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, for He manifesteth Himself to them as He doth not to the world. Hath He not said, "I will dwell in them and walk in them"?

II. In addition to being a temple, God's people are said to be A PRIESTHOOD. Observe that they are spoken of together, and not merely as individuals: they make up one indivisible priesthood: each one is a priest, but all standing together they are a priesthood, by virtue of their being one with Christ.

1. This stands in opposition to the nominal and worldly priesthood.

2. This priesthood is most real, although it be not of the outward and visible order; for God's priests become priests after a true and notable fashion.

3. We are priests in the aspect of priesthood towards God. You are to speak with God on man's behalf, and bring down, each of you, according to the measure of your faith, the blessing upon the sons of men among whom you dwell.

4. And you are priests towards men also, for the priest was selected from among men to exercise necessary offices for man's good. The priest's lips should keep knowledge, and if ye be as ye should be, ye hold fast the faith once delivered to the saints.

5. This is to be your function and ministry always and in every place. You are a holy priesthood; not alone on the Lord's day when ye come into this house, but at all times.

III. Consider the SACRIFICES which we offer — "spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

1. We offer spiritual sacrifices as opposed to the literal.

2. This sacrificing takes various forms. "I beseech you, brethren, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice." You are to present yourselves, spirit, soul, and body, as a sacrifice unto God. You are also to "do good and to communicate, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." To Him also you are to "offer the sacrifice of praise continually, the fruit of your lips giving glory to God." To the Lord also you must present the incense of holy prayer; but all these are comprehended, I think, in the expression, "I delight to do Thy will, O God."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The theory of sacrifice seems to be intuitively inherent in all religions. The sacrifice of the life and death of Christ is the one essential foundation of every acceptable offering which can be made to God. God never requires what we cannot offer. He never asks a sin or trespass offering from us. You and I could not offer that. But He asks what we can give, a sweet-savour offering, as a testimony of our gratitude and love. Not a sin offering. As far as Christ's work was propitiatory, it stands absolutely alone: "He offered one sacrifice for sin." But though no sufferings, no work, no worship, no service of ours can propitiate, God still requires from us offerings of another character. These are called "spiritual sacrifices," which we are "ordained" to offer. There is no more attractive form in which a devout life can appear than that of a constant oblation to God, of all that we are, have, or do. Let the thought of sacrifice be inwoven into the texture of your life. Study to turn, not your prayers alone, but your whole daily course and conversation, into an offering. Surely the thought that God will accept it if offered in union with the merit of His Son, is enough to give stimulus to the sacrifice; to open purse, and hand, and heart. You can please Him if you give, strive, work in His name. To please God. What a privilege to lie open to us day by day, and hour by hour! What a condescension in our heavenly Father, when we consider the strictness of His justice, the impurity of our hearts, and our manifold falls, to admit of our pleasing Him, or to leave any room for our touching His complacency. We may have this dignity if we offer all in Christ. We need not go far to seek the materials of an acceptable offering; they lie all around us; in our common work; in the little calls of providence; in the trivial crosses we are challenged to take up; nay, in the very recreation of our lives. If work be done (no matter how humble) in the full view of God's assignment of our several tasks and spheres of labour, and under the consciousness of His presence, it is a sacrifice fit to be laid upon His altar. If we study the very perversity of our enemies with a loving hope that we may find something of God and Christ about them yet, which may be the nascent germ of better things; if we try to make the best of men, and not the worst, treating them as Christ treated them, we may thus redeem an hour from being wasted, and sanctify it by turning it into a sacrifice to God. If you should obey an impulse to divert some trifle meant for self and luxury to Christ's poor and charity, here, again, is a sacrifice, sweet smelling before God, which will buy the better luxury of His smile and love. And if you regard time as, next to Christ and the Holy Spirit, the most precious gift of God; if you gather up its fragments and put them into God's basket by using them for holy things and thoughts — this, too, grows into a tribute which God will accept. It is the altar which sanctifieth the gift. Apart from Christ and Christ's sacrifice, no offering of ours is redolent of the sweet savour, For our best gifts are flecked and flawed by duplicity and evil.

(A. Mursell.)

Christians, you are priests. Be like Christ in this,

1. Wherever you go carry a savour of Christ. Let men take knowledge of you, that you have been with Jesus; let it be plain that you come from within the veil, let the smell of your garments be as a field which the Lord hath blessed.

2. Carry a sound of Christ wherever you go. Not a stop, Christians, without the sound of the gospel bell! Even in smallest things, be spreading the glad sound, Edwards says, wherever a godly person enters, he is a greater blessing than if the greatest monarch were entering. So be it with you.

(R. M. McCheyne.)

To offer up spiritual sacrifices
1. The offering up of our bodies and souls, and all that is in us to serve God; having neither wit, will, memory, nor anything else, but for the Lord's use. It is meet we should offer this sacrifice, for it is His by right of creation, redemption, and continual preservation.

2. The sacrifice of a contrite and broken heart.

3. Prayer and praise.

4. Alms, mercy to all in hunger, thirst, sickness, prison, especially to the household of faith.

(John Rogers.)

Asia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Pontus, Zion
Acceptable, Built, Christ, Holy, Lively, Making, Offer, Offering, Offerings, Order, Pleasing, Priesthood, Priests, Sacrifices, Spirit, Spiritual, Stones, Yourselves
1. He exhorts to put away wickedness;
4. showing that Christ is the foundation whereupon they are built.
11. He beseeches them also to abstain from sinful desires;
13. to be obedient to authorities;
18. and teaches servants how to obey their masters;
20. patiently suffering for well doing, after the example of Christ.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Peter 2:5

     1680   types
     5489   rank
     6603   acceptance, divine
     6606   access to God
     6745   sanctification, nature and basis
     7027   church, purpose
     7142   people of God, NT
     7414   priesthood, NT
     7434   sacrifice
     7438   sanctuary
     7470   temple, significance
     7769   priests, NT types
     7770   priests, NT tasks
     7942   ministry

1 Peter 2:4-5

     2030   Christ, holiness
     5240   building
     5317   foundation
     7382   house of God

1 Peter 2:4-6

     2212   Christ, head of church
     6641   election, responsibilities

1 Peter 2:4-7

     5207   architecture
     5403   masons

1 Peter 2:4-8

     1240   God, the Rock
     4366   stones
     5269   cornerstone
     6512   salvation, necessity and basis

1 Peter 2:5-7

     7024   church, nature of

Under the Shepherd's Care.
A NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS. "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."--1 Peter ii. 25. "Ye were as sheep going astray." This is evidently addressed to believers. We were like sheep, blindly, willfully following an unwise leader. Not only were we following ourselves, but we in our turn have led others astray. This is true of all of us: "All we like sheep have gone astray;" all equally foolish, "we have turned every one to his own way." Our first
J. Hudson Taylor—A Ribband of Blue

The Jewish Rebellions
1 PETER ii. 11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. I think that you will understand the text, and indeed the whole of St. Peter's first Epistle, better, if I explain to you somewhat the state of the Eastern countries of the world in St. Peter's time. The Romans, a short time before St. Peter was born, had conquered all the nations round them, and brought them under law and regular government. St. Peter now tells those
Charles Kingsley—Discipline and Other Sermons

Christ the Exemplar
'For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.'--1 Peter ii. 21. These words are a very striking illustration of the way in which the Gospel brings Christ's principles to bear upon morals and duty. The Apostle is doing nothing more than exhorting a handful of slaves to the full and complete and patient acceptance of their hard lot, and in order to teach a very homely and lowly lesson to the squalid minds of a few captives,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Transcriber's Note:
List of corrections and amendments made: Ephesians: Page 36: added closing quote after "the event of our inheritance" (line 3) 102: "gentle words ot" to "to" 154: "it" added in "what it is to hear" 263: [Preached on Whitsunday] was a footnote. 286: (R.V.) to (R.V.). for consistency with other references. 286: "please to understand" to "do" 287: "we shoud be entitled" to "should" 391: added -- and changed Ephes. to Eph. for consistency with other headings 391: added colon after "Mark its
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Spiritual Sacrifices
'... Spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.'--1 Peter ii. 5. In this verse Peter piles up his metaphors in a fine profusion, perfectly careless of oratorical elegance or propriety. He gathers together three symbols, drawn from ancient sacrificial worship, and applies them all to Christian people. In the one breath they are 'temples,' in the next 'priests,' in the third 'sacrifices.' All the three are needed to body out the whole truth of the relationship of the perfect universal
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Mirrors of God
... That ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness ...'--1 Peter ii. 9. The Revised Version, instead of 'praises,' reads excellencies--and even that is but a feeble translation of the remarkable word here employed. For it is that usually rendered 'virtues'; and by the word, of course, when applied to God, we mean the radiant excellencies and glories of His character, of which our earthly qualities, designated by the same name, are but as shadows. It is, indeed,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Living Stones on the Living Foundation Stone
'To Whom coming, as unto a living stone ... ye also, as living stones, are built up.'--1 Peter ii. 4, 5. I wonder whether Peter, when he wrote these words, was thinking about what Jesus Christ said to him long ago, up there at Caesarea Philippi. He had heard from Christ's lips, 'Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church.' He had understood very little of what it meant then. He is an old man now, years of experience and sorrow and work have taught him the meaning of the words, and he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Christ Precious to Believers
This remark is uttered by way of introduction, it may seem egotistical, but that I cannot help. I must give glory to God in the midst of the great congregation, and pay my vows to the Lord now in the midst of all his saints, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. My text states a positive fact, namely, that Christ is precious to believers. This shall be the first part of our discourse; then in the second we will try to answer the question, why is Jesus Christ so precious to his believing people? And
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Coming to Christ
"To whom coming."--1 Peter 2:4. IN THESE three words you have, first of all, a blessed person mentioned, under the pronoun "whom"--"To whom coming." In the way of salvation we come alone to Jesus Christ. All comings to baptism, comings to confirmation, comings to sacrament are all null and void unless we come to Jesus Christ. That which saves the soul is not coming to a human priest, nor even attending the assemblies of God's saints; it is coming to Jesus Christ, the great exalted Saviour, once slain,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

The Lively Stones. Rev. W. Morley Punshon.
"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 ii. 5. There is a manifest reference in the fourth verse to the personage alluded to in Psalm cxviii. 22, 23: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." And this passage is applied by Christ to himself in Matthew xxi. 42: "Jesus saith unto them, Did
Knowles King—The Wesleyan Methodist Pulpit in Malvern

The Sin-Bearer.
A COMMUNION MEDITATION AT MENTONE. "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."--1 Peter ii. 24, 25. THE SIN-BEARER. THIS wonderful passage is a part of Peter's address to servants; and in his day nearly all servants were slaves. Peter begins at the eighteenth verse: "Servants, be subject
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

That the Grace of God Doth not Join Itself to those who Mind Earthly Things
"My Son, precious is My grace, it suffereth not itself to be joined with outward things, nor with earthly consolations. Therefore thou oughtest to cast away all things which hinder grace, if thou longest to receive the inpouring thereof. Seek a secret place for thyself, love to dwell alone with thyself, desire the conversation of no one; but rather pour out thy devout prayer to God, that thou mayest possess a contrite mind and a pure conscience. Count the whole world as nought; seek to be alone
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

"For Hereunto were Ye Called; Because Christ Also Suffered for You...
"For hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow in his steps." It was Friday morning and the Rev. Henry Maxwell was trying to finish his Sunday morning sermon. He had been interrupted several times and was growing nervous as the morning wore away, and the sermon grew very slowly toward a satisfactory finish. "Mary," he called to his wife, as he went upstairs after the last interruption, "if any one comes after this, I wish you would
Charles M. Sheldon—In His Steps

Defective Learning.
"He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded."--1 Peter ii. 6. St. Paul declares that faith is the gift of God (Ephes. ii. 8). His words, "And that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God," refer to the word "faith." A new generation of youthful expositors confidently assert that these words refer to "by grace are ye saved." The majority of them are evidently ignorant of the history of the exegesis of the text. They only know that the pronoun "that" in the clause "and that not of yourselves"
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

From Gallienus to the End of the Last Persecution (Ad 261-313)
Valerian, who had treated the Christians so cruelly, came to a miserable end. He led his army into Persia, where he was defeated and taken prisoner. He was kept for some time in captivity; and we are told that he used to be led forth, loaded with chains, but with the purple robes of an emperor thrown over him, that the Persians might mock at his misfortunes. And when he had died from the effects of shame and grief, it is said that his skin was stuffed with straw, and was kept in a temple, as a remembrance
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification, by Faith in Jesus Christ;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Justification by an Imputed Righteousness;
OR, NO WAY TO HEAVEN BUT BY JESUS CHRIST. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of those ten excellent manuscripts which were found among Bunyan's papers after his decease in 1688. It had been prepared by him for publication, but still wanted a few touches of his masterly hand, and a preface in his characteristic style. He had, while a prisoner for nonconformity, in 1672, published a treatise upon this subject, in reply to Mr. Fowler, who was soon after created Bishop of Gloucester; but that was
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

God's Peace Obtained in Answer to Prayer
GOD'S PEACE OBTAINED IN ANSWER TO PRAYER ". . . Let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." -- Phil. 4:6, 7. When we make our requests known unto God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we are assured of receiving His peace through Christ Jesus. When we enter into the sacred Presence of the Prince of Peace, we enter into the place of perfect peace. The house of prayer is the sanctuary
T. M. Anderson—Prayer Availeth Much

The First Wall.
Let us, in the first place, attack the first wall. It has been devised, that the Pope, bishops, priests and monks are called the Spiritual Estate; Princes, lords, artificers and peasants, are the Temporal Estate; which is a very fine, hypocritical device. But let no one be made afraid by it; and that for this reason: That all Christians are truly of the Spiritual Estate, and there is no difference among them, save of office alone. As St. Paul says (1 Cor. xii.), we are all one body, though each member
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

Some Other Writers of the New Testament
[Illustration: (drop cap L) Ancient engraving of man reading scroll] Let us now look at the rest of the books which make up the New Testament. In the days when Paul preached at Athens, the old capital of Greece, much of the ancient splendour and power of the Greek people had passed away, for the Romans had conquered their country, and they were no longer a free nation. Yet, although the Greeks had been forced to yield to Rome, their conquerors knew that the Grecian scholars and artists were far
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

Of the Primacy of the Romish See.
1. Brief recapitulation. Why the subject of primacy not yet mentioned. Represented by Papists as the bond of ecclesiastical unity. Setting out with this axiom, they begin to debate about their hierarchy. 2. Question stated. An attempted proof from the office of High Priest among the Jews. Two answers. 3. Arguments for primacy from the New Testament. Two answers. 4. Another answer. The keys given to the other apostles as well as to Peter. Other two arguments answered by passages of Cyprian and Augustine.
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

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