1 Peter 2 Bible study

Living Word Magazine

Chapter 2

 

Spiritual Babes

 

2:1  So get rid of all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

 

Since we are a) redeemed by the blood of Christ (ch1 v 19) b) born again of the Spirit, through faith in the word of God (ch1 v 23) and c) purified by that same Word (ch1 v22) - we are to put off the old nature, which was crucified with Christ and put on the new nature which is born of the spirit. We are to lay aside all the misdeeds of our unregenerate nature. These are malice, which Lightfoot defines as a "vicious character generally". Guile I, which is falsehood or deception and includes both telling lies and deliberately misleading people. Hypocrisy, which is pretence or insincerity. We are to be done with all grudges and ill feeling towards others (which is envy and jealousy). We are to put off every kind of evil speaking, which includes speaking evil of others, of God and using bad language.

 

2:2  And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation,

 

These things belong to our old nature. But since we have been born again, like spiritual infants, we are to crave the pure, spiritual milk of the word of God so that by it we may grow to become mature in our salvation.

 

2:3  if you have experienced  the Lord's kindness.

 

Thirsting for more of God should be the natural result of our being born again. Elen is always crying for more of her mother's milk. Why is that? It's because she's already tasted it and knows it is good for her. It makes her grow.  If we have tasted that the Lord is good, then we will want to receive more of Him, and in this way we too will grow.

 

 

A Spiritual Temple, Spiritual Priests and Spiritual Sacrifices

 

A Spiritual Temple

 

2:4  So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God's sight,

 

The Lord Jesus Christ was despised and rejected by men, (Isaiah 53.3) but He is God's chosen One and is precious to Him as His beloved Son. Matt 17.5. Since He is the only way of salvation, we must come to Him to be saved. Then as we must come to him continually, we are built up in the faith.

 

2:5  you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Peter compares the church to a building. Christ is the Living foundation of this building (see v6) and he is also its builder. Matt 16.18. Since we have received life from him, we too are living stones, being joined together as part of a place where God lives by His Spirit - this is the church. Eph 2.22. This is where God shall dwell for all eternity. Rev 21.3. Just as every stone in a wall supports others and is supported by others so it is in the church - we need each other.

 

Spiritual Priests

Not only are we the temple in which God dwells, Jesus Christ has made us a holy priesthood. As such we offer praise, worship and other spiritual sacrifices which are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Spiritual Sacrifices

e.g. Our bodies Rom 12.1, thanksgiving Heb 13.5, help given to others Phil 4.18 and our Christian service. Phil 2.17.

 

 

The Rejected Stone

 

2:6  For it says in scripture, "Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone,  and whoever believes  in him  will never  be put to shame."

 

Peter confirms his statement by quoting Isaiah. The chief cornerstone is the one that holds up the walls of a city. In other words it is the foundation stone. This stone, the Lord Jesus Christ, is chosen by and precious to God. Whoever puts their trust in Him will not be ashamed, or disappointed.

 

2:7-8  So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the  cornerstone, and a stumbling-stone  and a rock to trip over.  They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

 

To us who believe, the Lord Jesus Christ is precious because we know that He loved us and shed His own blood to cleanse us from our sin. He has saved our souls. But those who refuse to believe, and who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, will find Him to be their judge. They will be condemned by their own rejection of Him. John 3.18. Peter said in Acts 2.36 that God has made Jesus, who men rejected, Lord and Christ - the chief cornerstone. Although God has appointed Him as a Saviour for all men, many refuse to believe and so remain in their sin. In this sense they stumble at Him or the message of the gospel. He is the reason for their downfall, but only because they choose to reject Him. God has made it clear in the scriptures what will happen to those who reject His Son. 2 Thess 1.8,9.

 

 

A Chosen People

 

2:9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues  of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 

Those who receive Christ as Lord and Saviour are accepted by Him. They become God's chosen people and are made a royal priesthood by Christ Himself. We are a people set apart to God. We should be different from the world around us, for He has chosen us out of the world. We belong to God in a very special way, since we have been redeemed by the death of His Son. We are his children, born of His Spirit. God has purposed, through us, to make known "the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfection's of Him Who has called you out of the darkness of sin into the most marvellous light of the knowledge of God." AMPNT.

 

2:10  You once were not a people, but now you are God's people. You were shown no mercy,  but now you have received mercy.

 

Before we came to know Christ we were not a people. Yes, we may have been part of a nation. Perhaps we are Welsh. Perhaps we are Jews. But we were not all joined together as one people. But now, we are the people of God, taken from every nation under heaven. Rev 5.9. As sinners we had not previously obtained mercy from God, till we came to Jesus Christ and found His mercy and forgiveness.

 

 

Instructions for Living as God's Chosen People.

 

2:11  Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul,

 

As God's people we are only temporary residents on earth. Our true home is in heaven. Peter begs us, as heaven's citizens, to steer clear of the lusts of the flesh that constantly war with our redeemed souls. Since we were bought for Christ, we are not to give ourselves to sin. Peter is perhaps especially referring to sexual immorality which was as common in his day as it is today.

 

2:12  and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.

 

We must live honourably and honestly in this pagan world, so that although men in ignorance speak evil of us as if we were criminals, they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.

 

2:13  Be subject to every human institution for the Lord's sake, whether to a king as supreme

 

2:14  or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good.

 

Since we are Christ's representatives, like ambassadors in a foreign country, we are, for his sake, to submit to every rule or regulation of the country we live in. Submitting both to the supreme power of government and to those who receive their power from the government in order to maintain law and order.

 

2:15  For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good.

 

It is God's will that by doing so we will give His enemies no reason to say anything evil about us. This is the way to stop the mouths of those who ignorantly oppose God.

 

2:16  Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God's slaves.

 

We have been set free by Christ and are to live in this glorious liberty. Yet we are not to use our freedom as an excuse to do evil. We cannot break the law and get away with it. Instead, we are to put our freed lives to use in the service of God.

 

2:17  Honor all people, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the king.

 

We are to honour and esteem all people, whatever their standing in life, giving them the respect that they deserve as human beings - created in God's image. We are to love those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ and have an awesome fear and reverence for God. We are to honour the king, or those in authority, especially by paying our taxes.

 

Peter goes on at the end of this chapter an the beginning of the next to give instructions to different groups of people so that each might know how to live his/her life as a pilgrim for God on the earth.

 

2:18  Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse.

 

Servants are to be obedient to their masters in all things. They are to give them reverence, not just giving their best service to those who are good and kind but even to those who are mean and cruel.

 

2:19  For this finds God's favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly.

 

It is praiseworthy if a person continues to please the Lord in spite of unjust suffering.

 

2:20  For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God.

 

It is obviously not to our credit if we take our punishment patiently when we deserve it - but if we have not done wrong but still suffer for it and take this patiently, this is acceptable to God.

 

2:21  For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps.

 

This is exactly what Christ did, and since we are called to follow his steps, we have been appointed suffering and trouble. Christ never did anything wrong. He was without sin and never 2:23  When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly.

 

spoke an untrue word. Yet they beat him, spat on him and nailed Him to a cross. When they

 

spoke all kinds of evil against him he did not retaliate. When he was abused he made no threats of vengeance. Instead, He entrusted Himself and His rights to His Father, Whom He knew would render justice in due time. In all this he has set us an example that we might react to unjust suffering in the way that He did.1

 

2:24  He himself bore our sins  in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed.

 

Jesus Christ took our sins in his own body and was nailed to a cross. Our sinful nature died with him there. But now he lives again so that we might live to God and for righteousness. The sufferings that Christ bore for us are sufficient for he healing of our whole being - body, soul and spirit - for all eternity.

 

2:25  For you were going astray like sheep  but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

 

We had wandered in sin far away from God like sheep who were lost, but now through His cross, He has brought us back to Himself and we have returned to the Shepherd and guardian of our souls.

Further Reading Resources for you - Peter

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