Heavenly Father, we pray that You will speak to each one of us individually according to our unique situation and circumstances. Thank You for the ministry of Your word. We give You the permission to teach, convict, correct, train, and transform us into Your image, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Peter 2: 1-25, pure milk, cornerstone, living stones, from darkness to light,
VV 1-2, 1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Paul encouraged his audience to set aside malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speech. Having tasted the grace of God, they should crave, desire, and feed on the pure milk of God’s word for spiritual maturity, growth, and nourishment. God’s word is pure milk for the soul.
VV 4-6, 4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion, a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Jesus Christ is the chosen and precious chief cornerstone of God’s spiritual temple that is unbelievers rejected. Believers are the living stones and priests of God’s spiritual temple who offer living sacrifices of their lives to God, Romans 12:1. Peter quoted Isaiah 28:16.
Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service”.
Isaiah 28:16, Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed”.
VV 7-8, 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
Christ is a precious stone to believers but a stumbling and offensive stone to non-believers. The word of God is offensive to non-believers and they stumble over Christ in disobedience. Peter quoted psalm 118:22.
Psalm 118:22, “The stone which the builders rejected, had become the chief cornerstone”.
VV 9-10, 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Christians are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, God’s special people, whom He called out of darkness into light. Peter quoted Hosea 2:23. In the past, they were not God’s chosen people but now they were God’s people. In the past, they did not receive God’s mercy but now, they had received God’s mercy.
Hosea 2: 23, Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy. Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘’You are My people!’’ And they shall say, ‘’You are my God!’’
VV 11-12, 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Peter addressed his audience as his beloved. As temporary residents and pilgrims, they should abstain from lusts and dishonorable conduct to be a good testimony to unbelievers.
VV 13-17, 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
They submit to government authorities and kings for the Lord’s sake. They should fear God, honor people, and honor the King. God’s will was for them to do good works, honor people, love Christians, honor God, and King.
VV 18-21, 18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps
Today we do not have slaves and masters but we have employees and employers. Employees should submit to their employers with respect even when their employers treated them harshly. They should endure suffering as this was commendable to God. They should follow Christ as an example and share in His suffering.
VV 22-25, 22 “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Christ did not retaliate against the Jewish leaders who put Him to death but prayed for their forgiveness on the cross. He committed Himself to God, the ultimate righteous judge. He died to sins on the cross for us to make us righteous before God, 2 Corinthians 5:21. We were like sheep who had gone astray and returned to Christ the Shepherd and Captain of our souls. Peter quoted Isaiah 53: 5-6.
2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.
Isaiah 53:5-6, “But He was wounded for our transgressions He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.
We should crave, desire, and feed on the pure milk of God’s word to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Saviour. God’s word is pure milk, Living bread, living manna, and living water. Without God’s word, our souls will be weak, stunted, unhealthy, and die.
We are the living stones and priests in God’s spiritual temple. We are God’s chosen generation, God’s royal priesthood, holy and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. We offer our bodies as living sacrifices to serve God. We offer our sacrifices of praise and spiritual gifts in kingdom service.
We should not hold too tightly to the things of this world because our real home is in heaven.
We should submit to government authorities and kings.
Employees should submit to employers with respect and employers should treat employees with fairness and respect.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the epistle of apostle 1 Peter that transcended time, culture, geography, and history. Even though Peter wrote this epistle 2000 years ago, it is still very relevant and fresh to us in the 21st century. We pray for obedience, submission, and wisdom, in Jesus’ name, Amen.