What are Living Stones?
The term "living stones" comes from 1 Peter 2:4-5, wherein the Apostle writes:
4 "And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For this is contained in Scripture: 'BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.'
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,'
8 and, 'A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE'; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY." (NASB)
As we look at the context of the passage in 1 Peter, we see that Peter is combining many facets of the nature of a believer in a description related to the Chief Corner Stone, Messiah Yeshua. At the foundation of Peter's picture is the fact that, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Paul said it specifically in 1Corinthians 3:16,
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
Peter explains this even farther, noting that the holy temple was built with stones, one upon another, and that we are not only, individually, the temple of God, but more so that together, the Lord is building THE temple of God, a spiritual house, living stone by living stone, believer by believer, with the Lord Yeshua being the Chief Cornerstone on which the whole temple rests and depends. In that spiritual house, that living temple, a holy priesthood will offer spiritual sacrifices.
So all believers of Messiah Yeshua, Jewish and Gentile, are living stones.
Living Stones of Israel
If you have ever been to Israel, you know firsthand that stones not only play an important part in the buildings and historical sites, but they are also a prominent feature throughout the landscape. As a visitor to Israel, you will notice that stones are everywhere. Unfortunately, most visitors only notice the dead stones in Israel. The living stones, our brothers and sisters in Yeshua, are often overlooked or even purposely ignored. For some, the local body of believers are even a nuisance, as they present a constant reminder that Jews not only need Yeshua, they are being restored to Him more and more every day. Praise the Lord, these are not the majority though. The majority is simply unaware of the existence of believers in Israel because of a lack of exposure, whether on their tours, from the pulpits, or in the press.
Therefore, we, as well as others, often use the term living stones to contrast those with the spirit of life to the dead stones, the stones we find forming the walls of cities, buildings, ruins, and the walls which separate many people. The term is used to help draw the attention of the body outside Israel to the fact that there are believers in Israel and that they are part of the living temple being built up by the Lord which we are all a part of. We invite you to learn more about your brothers and sisters, Jews and Gentiles, living and serving the Lord in the Land of Israel, and get to know them personally. We produced The Living Stones - Connecting with believers in Israel DVD to help those who want to know more do just that. You can order a free copy here. In fact, you can order more than one to pass along to others who would be blessed to receive it.