2:5living stones. A phrase emphasizing both Christians’ union with and resemblance to Christ, the “living stone” (v. 4).
spiritual house. The background of the symbolism is the Old Testament temple as the house or dwelling place of God. The church, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is the true temple of God (2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19–22; Heb. 3:6).
holy priesthood. Every true believer is a priest (v. 9) in the sense of having equal and immediate access to God and serving Him personally.
spiritual sacrifices. While Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice of propitiation on the cross has fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system and rendered it obsolete (Heb. 8:13; 10:9, 10, 18), the appropriateness of “sacrifice” (understood as the grateful response of a redeemed people) remains. These sacrifices are “spiritual” in contrast to all the material sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament sacrificial system. Such sacrifice is seen both in the Christian’s worship and pattern of living (Rom. 12:1; Phil. 4:18; Heb. 13:5; Rev. 8:3, 4; cf. Ps. 51:16, 17).
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. The priesthood of all believers depends on the eternal high priesthood of Christ, through whose once-for-all sacrifice and continual intercession both Christians personally and their sacrifices are acceptable to God (Heb. 13:15, 16).
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