A Living Stone and a Holy People
2 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 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.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Submission to Authority
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
I remember a specific conversation with some college friends after we had graduated. I was still student teaching at the time but looking toward moving to Cyprus. They had moved on into the corporate world with one literally jetting every place imaginable in the US. Other friends had settled into their vocation and were working that 9-5 job in some business while a few others had moved onto Grad School.
Gone were the days of being carefree. We had such a great time in college with little to no responsibility and we were solidly in our careers. And as we had gotten together one of us said, “Being a responsible adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Indeed.
I thought of this story as Peter writes to his readers:
Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, 3 since you have tasted that the Lord is good.1 Peter 2:2-3 HCSB
As Believers, maturity and growth are expected. It should be natural even when you think of how a baby goes from milk to solid food. In the course of this they grow physically, emotionally and mentally. From baby to adult, there are many things shaping a person in growth and not just the physical. The hardship that comes, the growing pains, the difficulty and the joys all become benchmarks, shaping us into the adults we become. There is never an intention for a baby to stay a baby.
How sad it is that some come to Christ and never grow up! They stay immature, reflect childish selfish behaviors and never seem to get beyond their infantile stage. I mean think about it, there are those we all know who have not even moved from a baby’s faith even into the adolescent stage. As maturity is expected within a person’s life so it is within our faith walk. Baby’s naturally need and depend on milk for their nourishment which does indeed promote growth.
Peter states we should crave spiritual milk so we will grow up in our salvation. This is found through His Word, through solid Biblical teaching we sit under. These things provide the spiritual nourishment in Christ that will increase our appetite toward deeper things; solid food. But even thinking of this last statement, truly we have to take in the nourishment for it to make an impact and grow. Meaning, we can’t just be hearers of the Word we read or listen to, but doers. It must begin to infiltrate our very souls. This is where the Holy Spirit works so powerfully but also where our growth takes root.
Spiritually maturing or still an infant? Where do you find yourself?
1 Peter 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Peter opens with the process of transformation. The true progression of spiritual growth is measured by a craving to immerse yourself in God’s Word. The Psalms are filled with verses illustrating this. Peter, however, focuses on the practicality of the process. Notice what is required before a longing for the Word…
So rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander.1 Peter 2:1 HCSB
We must put aside ourselves in order to truly see Him. I know this is true. The more I deny myself and the flesh, the more I desire to walk more closely with the Lord in His Word. Notice, also, that the process is not “put aside self” and have a “spiritual experience.” Those will happen, for sure, but Peter knows that the Holy Spirit is always found in the Word of God. It is the source of all truth, wisdom, and knowledge. It is a certain and absolute guide for our lives.
Coming to Him also means remaining with Him. You become part of what He is building. You are woven into the plans of God.
Coming to Him, a living stone—rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God— 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.1 Peter 2:4-5 HCSB
In the ancient world, Gentiles worshipped stone idols and Jews worshiped at the temple. Both the animal sacrifices at the temple as well as the pagan sacrifices of the Gentiles only led to dead, ritualistic religion. Peter is making a strong point. The cornerstone, Jesus Christ, is not dead – He is alive. By following Him, we too become living stones building a living, breathing community of believers called the church. By rejecting Him, we will be destroyed.
“As we touch the Living Stone we live, and we touch others who are touching Him, and so a temple begins to grow up. Then we become a holy priesthood in the temple, and finally the sacrifices which are offered within its precincts. If Christ is not that Living Stone for you, He will be your undoing.”F.B. Meyer