you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.1 Peter 2:5(HCSB)
In the time of Israel, the First Temple was a physical building, which was constructed out of great blocks of hewn stone, but in this dispensation, Christians are a spiritual house and all believers are living stones that are being assembled together as a fitting dwelling-place for God - with the Lord Jesus Christ being the chief Cornerstone.
But not only are we living stones that are being fashioned into a spiritual house, but we are all ambassadors of God - representatives of the King and a holy priesthood. "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood", Peter writes, "in order to offer up spiritual sacrifices, that are acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ".
Christ's sacrifice on the cross gave every believer access into the presence of God - by faith. Admittance into God's holy presence is nothing to do with who we are or what we have done. It is not because of our merit that we are granted this incredible privileged into the throne room of the Almighty and given the right to come boldly to the throne of grace for mercy to find help in time of need. We do not approach God in our good name but through the saving name of Jesus. We come to God 'in Jesus' name'.
The spiritual sacrifices we offer to God are presented on His authority. We have no righteousness of our own but are declared righteous because of what He did. We are living stones that are being fashioned and honed and built into a spiritual house because of what Jesus did on our account. We are only able to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God because we are identified with JESUS. Jesus identified with our sin through His sacrifice so that we could be identified with His righteousness - by faith.
In the old economy, it was the Levitical priests who were able to represent God to man and who made petitions to God on behalf of man. And during the dispensation of Law, only the High Priest was permitted to enter into the presence of the Lord God, to make atonement for mans' sin - once every year.
But now Christ is our merciful and faithful High Priest, Who redeemed us from sin and slavery, Who has passed into the heavens.. for His death tore down the barrier between man and God, so that all who believe on His name are born from above; adopted into God's family; are living stones - a spiritual house and holy priesthood, and as such, can come fearlessly before the Father to intercede for others and offer up our spiritual sacrifice of prayer and praise.
No unsaved man can approach God for sin separates God from man. Only the saved can fellowship with the Father and enter God’s presence, for not only have our sins been forgiven, but we have been placed IN Christ and must approach the Father THROUGH the Lord Jesus, for we are accepted by Him in the Beloved.
We should never take this sacred privilege lightly, for it is a gift from God and a blessing to us, for we have been endued with heavenly gifts and holy graces so we can offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God, in our service to Him, and in our ministry to others. We should never forget that even our most consecrated praises, sanctified service, and holy prayers can only be accepted by God – THROUGH Christ.
Let us never forget that Christ's sacrificial offering of Himself earned us the right and the authority to enter God's presence so that we may present our bodies as an offering to Him, that is holy, sanctified, honouring, and acceptable to God.
Loving Father, how I thank You that I have been accepted in Christ and that through Him I can come boldly into Your presence, to offer my sacrifice of praise to You and to humbly lay my petitions before Your throne of grace, on behalf of others, I thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.