When a business is called 'Incorporated' or 'Inc.' for short, it means that the organisation is bigger than any individual; it has an identity and legal structure of its own; as if it has its own body and all the people become part of that body. Employees and even directors may come and go, but the 'corporation/body' will continue as long as it is solvent. When people believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, it is as if they are incorporated into the body of Christ. In business terms, they gladly accept a 'take over' by Jesus. They choose to invest their life in the Company/Kingdom of Heaven.
This verse comes in the middle of a passage where Jesus is described as the corner/cap/key/foundation stone of a building (1 Peter 2:4-10). Here, Christians are likened to all the other stones which form the building - a temple where God is worshipped. God is in the midst of His people (Numbers 2:17). As individuals put their trust in Jesus, they become part of the ‘place’ where God is worshipped.
We, God’s people, are the temple, and we are also the priests! In the Old Testament, only the descendants of Aaron from the tribe of Levi had the right to become priests. They were to mediate between human beings and God by interceding, offering sacrifices and leading praise. But since Jesus became our great High Priest sacrificing Himself for our sins (Hebrews 4:14-16), every believer has the right to come to God directly through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:19-20). Indeed, the church is a kingdom in which every member is a priest (1 Peter 2:9). What sacrifices can we offer? We who have direct access to God through Jesus offer our prayers as we intercede on behalf of others, offering a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15), and ourselves as we offer our bodies to serve Him (Romans 12:2), and the sacrifice of money and gifts (Philippians 4:18).
Please note that we are 'built together'. We are not intended to be isolated worshippers, but those who delight in the corporate identity of Christ rather than ourselves. That is why Hebrews 10:25 urges us not to be solo-Christians; "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." That is why worship, prayer and Bible study in workplace Christian groups is so important - either physically present or by interactive technology. We are not designed to operate alone, but in company with others who love the Lord. His Temple building will not be completed until Jesus comes again. So, perhaps some of your friends and colleagues will also respond to the call to be 'incorporated into Christ' - and you can issue an invitation (www.crosscheck.org.uk).
© Dr Paul Adams