1 Peter 2:4 contains the interesting element of a continual “coming” to Christ (coming to him as a living stone). Flavel draws out the implication of this participle in the seventh proposition:
Prop. 7. The application of Christ to the soul effectually,though it be so far wrought in the first saving work of the Spirit, as truly to unite the soul to Christ, and save it from the danger of perishing; yet it is a work gradually advancing in the believer’s soul, whilst it abides on this side heaven and glory.
And thought we are truly said to be come to Christ when we first believe, John 6: 35. yet the soul after that is still coming to him by farther acts of faith, 1 Pet. 2: 4. “To whom [coming] as unto a living stone;” the participle notes a continued motion, by which the soul gains ground, and still gets nearer and nearer to Christ; growing still more inwardly acquainted with him. The knowledge of Christ grows upon the soul as the morning light, from its first spring to the perfect day, Prov. 4: 18. Every grace of the Spirit grows, if not sensibly, yet really: for it is in discerning the growth of sanctification, as it is in discerning the growth of plants, which we perceive rather … to have grown, rather than grow. And as it thrives in the soul, by deeper radications of the habits, and more promptitude and spirituality in the acting; so Christ, and the soul proportionally, close more and more inwardly and efficaciously, till at last it is wholly swallowed up in Christ’s full and perfect enjoyment.
The sanctification of the Christian life, the mortification of sin is the necessary and continual action of coming to Christ. As we see him, we become like him (2 Cor. 3:18).