We saw reference to the church as God’s living temple in Ephesians 2:21. The first ten verses of 1 Peter elaborate a little more on this imagery.
1 Peter 2:1-10
Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation -- 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and 5 like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in scripture:
"See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
7 To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,"
"A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall."
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Once you were not a people,
but now you are God's people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy. (NRSV)
In one sense, this passage is not directly about fictive family or the social institution of the household. Yet there is the idea of individual members of the household of God connected together as “living stones” forming a spiritual house. Central to this imagery is the idea of the people as priests making sacrifices and intercession for the world as members of God’s house. As we will see in coming posts, 1 Peter uses this passage as preface to his presentation of the household codes.