Shepherding in the Spirit
This article appears in the March edition of Tabletalk magazine.
An overseer appointed by the Holy Spirit has a uniquely spiritual work (Acts 20:28). How do elders shepherd in the Spirit? First Peter 2:4–5 says:
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
A three-part blueprint of the church as God’s temple emerges that guides its shepherds.
The Costly Cornerstone. Peter calls Jesus a “living stone.” What a mixed metaphor. Obviously, stones are not normally considered living. And in one very true sense, we can say that no one was ever “more dead” than Jesus. He was eternally destined to be “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8, KJV). He came to Israel but was the “stone that the builders rejected” (1 Peter 2:7). At Calvary, with the weight of all His people’s sins on Him, He died and was buried.
Yet no one was ever more alive than Christ now is. For the Spirit raised Him to life from the grave. As the psalmist says, “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation” (Ps. 18:46). Elders must devote themselves to teaching the Spirit’s Word to God’s people so that their lives are built on this cornerstone.