‘To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 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.’ —i Pet. ii. 4.
“TO whom coming.’ Here is the secret of advance in the narrow way, after we have entered by the Strait Gate.1 It is not the having come once and to begin with, but the coming continually to Jesus. When we have once really come to Him, it is not only our privilege, but our constant joy, to come to Him about everything—to go on drinking at the fountain. It is a beautiful paradox which is realized and reconciled in the experience of those who come, that we may be continually coming afresh without ever going away, —always at the fountain-head, and yet always coming to it.
As the first coming to Jesus gives us the true and only foundation,* so by the very same coming, continued with ever fresh peace and joy, we shall be built up in Him.*
1 Matt. vii. 14. 2 I Cor. iii. n. » Col. ii. 6, 7.
It is as we have received Christ Jesus the Lord that we are to walk in Him, and then we shall be rooted and built up in Him.1 Think what this building up implies! Coming to Him, you individually, as well as all who come collectively, shall be builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit,2 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith,5 that your bodies may be the temple of the Holy Ghost.4 Coming to Him, you shall no longer be a loose stone, lying about and getting weatherworn, but you ‘shall be built in the midst of My people,’ saith the Lord.5
Coming to Him, you shall also be built up as a holy and royal priesthood.6 For He that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, hath made us kings and priests unto God.7 What does this priesthood involve, which the Lord has ‘given unto you as a service of gift’ ?8 Does it not involve the very point on which you had a misgiving, namely, ‘if 1 do come to-day, what about tomorrow?’ for the priests had everything provided for them.3 When they were set apart to the priest’s office, they did not need to have a thought or a care about their maintenance in it all the rest of their lives.10 When once this ‘service of gift’ was theirs, they were joined unto the high priest himself, and shared his privileges and his provision; they were given to him, and he was given to them.11
1 1 Pet. ii. 5. 2 Eph. ii. 22. 3 Eph. iii. 17.
4 I Cor. vi. 19 5 Jer. xii. 16. 6 i Pet. ii. 5, 9.
7 Rev. i. 5, 6; ib. v. 10. 8 Num. xviii. 7.
9 Num. xviii. 9, 14. 10 Ezek. xliv. 28-30; 2 Cor. vi. 10. 11 Num. xviii. 2, 4.
This provision for them was * all the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, and the first-fruits,’ besides ‘all the best thereof of other things ;1 ‘for it is your reward for your service.” And the Lord says, ‘I will satiate the soul of my priests with fatness.’3 They shall be abundantly ‘satisfied with the plenteousness of Thy house.” For ‘ His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.’5
Coming to Him, you shall ‘offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.’6 You will offer by Him the sacrifice of praise continually and what can the angels do more? Continual praise must be continual gladness.8 And when you are able to say, ‘O Lord, I will praise Thee; though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me; behold, God is my salvation;’ then, and ‘therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.’*
This is what is before you, as soon as you come to Jesus. Thenceforth it shall be continual coming, and that will be continual rest, continual peace, continual joy.10
1 Num. xviii. 12. 2 Num. xviii. 29, 31. 3 Jer. xxxi. 14.
4 Ps. xxxvi. 8, p.B.v. 5 2 Pet. i. 3.
6 I Pet. ii. 5 ; Rom. xii. i. “> Heb. xiii. 15.
8 Ps. Ixxi. 6, 14 ; ib. xxxiv. i. 9 Isa. xii. 1-3.
10 Phil. iv. 4, 6, 7.