1 Peter 2:4-5
Peter gives us the beautiful picture of the “spiritual house” of God being built “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Jesus is the living corner stone on which the house of God is being built. He is tried, true and precious in the eyes of God. He is the perfect corner stone and foundation for this holy edifice. Each person who comes to Christ Jesus for salvation and service is laid as a “living stone” in God’s holy temple. They are being built together on the sure foundation of Christ.
But be sure to note this: each one comes individually to Christ for cleansing and then is laid up as a living stone in this royal house. One at a time. One by one. Even when we read on Pentecost how three thousand were baptized into Christ (Acts 2:41), we must understand that they came and were added one at a time. Each person believed Peter’s message, personally repented and was baptized into Christ as an individual. One at a time God continued to add to His holy building (Acts 2:47). This is the way in which Christ’s church is built. This is the way a congregation is built. One soul at a time.
This is a truth which must never be forgotten. People are saved as individuals. Each person comes to Jesus with certain beliefs, some true but some not. Each person has fears, concerns, doubts and problems. Each person has plans, hopes and dreams. Each person has ideas about what it means to be a Christian and how they should fit into the congregation’s service and fellowship. Some of these can be addressed thru pulpit preaching and Bible classes, but many cannot. They must be handled person by person.
Congregation leadership must be particularly aware of the situation and needs of each new “stone” which is being built into the Lord’s temple. Individual instruction and encouragement are a must. Counseling may be needed. Each person must be cemented in with the mortar of love (lots of it) and purposefully brought into the fellowship. This is how a congregation is built: one stone at a time.