1 Peter 2:1
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
Peter starts with “wherefore.”
- He is making a conclusion based on all that was just studied in the previous verses.
- The need to be born again of the word of God. The enduring word of God.
We need to lay aside many things. What is it?
- Malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies and evil speaking.
- Malice – it is evil, naughtiness and wickedness.
- Guile – deceit, subtilty.
- Hypocrisy – acting under a feigned part, dissimulation.
- Envy – jealousy.
- Evil speaking – backbiting, defamation.
- Defamation in the dictionary means to damage the good reputation of someone, slander.
- Somehow the word of God will help us to lay aside all these things.
1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Peter tells us to lay aside all these bad things in the previous verse. What should we do then?
- Desire the milk of the word of God.
But how can we desire the word of God if we in our hearts and minds actually desire the world more?
- The word desire means to long for eagerly.
- We need to be born again first in the previous chapter.
- Desire for the word of God will not come if we are not born again.
- And we will not be able to lay aside anything if we have not experienced born again.
- 1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- We won’t desire spiritual things if we don’t have a spiritual mind.
- We must first be born again.
- That is why the preacher, the teacher, the evangelist, the pastor, the prophet – they are so important. They were the gifts (Ephesians 4:11) that God gave.
- Romans 10:14-15
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
- There is the need of the preacher, to help people to be born again!
It’s interesting that the word of God is called “sincere milk.”
- Sincere – undeceitful, unadulterated, guileless.
- This is how we can lay aside all those things that are mentioned in the first verse. It is through the word of God.
- Milk is what babies eat. It is the first food to help them to grow. Yet what is found in milk is full of nourishment. It contains everything that the baby needs to first grow.
- The simple milk of the word of God will be strong enough to help us to lay aside all the wicked things in verse 1.
- This milk is the fundamental principles of the gospel. It is basic, it is elementary.
So first, we must be born of the word of God (this is the end of chapter 1), and then the word of God will begin to work in us to help us lay aside all these worldly and wicked elements (1 Peter 2:1).
1 Peter 2:3
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Why does it talk about tasting?
- It means we have to eat something.
- What were we eating in the previous verse? It was the milk of the word of God.
- But here we are now tasting that the Lord is gracious.
How to taste of God’s graciousness?
- We need to eat the milk of God’s word.
- But what does this have to do with grace?
- The word graciousness means goodness, kindness.
- God’s graciousness is found in how such a simple thing like the word of God can have such a powerful influence in our lives to help us to change.
- From living a vain and useless life, to now having malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking being stripped away from us.
- That is God’s grace! He will do all the work, if we will just abide with Him and allow His word to abide in us.
1 Peter 2:4
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
“To whom coming”
- It sounds confusing. What does this actually mean?
- It is rendered more clearly in some other versions.
- ESV – as you come to Him.
- NASB – and coming to Him.
- NLT – you are coming to Christ.
“as unto a living stone”
- Jesus is now compared to as a stone.
- Where else do we see this in the Bible?
- Matthew 16:18
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
But why LIVING stone?
- Where else do we see this word used in Peter?
- 1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a LIVELY hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
- So a living stone is connected with resurrection.
- 1 Peter 1:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which LIVETH and abideth for ever.
- A living stone is also connected with the word of God which lives and abides forever.
- So how do we connect this with the living stone? It’s in the next verse.
- But note – that this stone was rejected by men, but chosen by God and it was precious as well.
1 Peter 2:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
“Ye also, as lively stones”
- God wants us to be living stones as well! Part of a spiritual house.
- And we are to be built up. That means Jesus as the living stone must be our foundation.
- If we want to be living stones, then we need to be built on the word of God which is living as well. And that is what will give us a hope for a resurrection as well just as we are begotten unto a lively hope.
- So how can we be a living stone? We need to be born of the word of God. None of us are living stones unless we can lay aside all of those things mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. And that can only happen if we are born again!
But not only that, we are also a holy priesthood.
- The key is not so much in the priesthood, but in the word HOLY.
- 1 Peter 1:15
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
- God wants us to be as holy as He is. Holy in what way? In all manner of conversation.
- Remember that word conversation? It doesn’t mean just what we say, but our conduct of life.
Yet being a priest is important, because we need to offer spiritual sacrifices. What does that mean? How can we offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God?
- 1 Peter doesn’t seem to give us any clue. Seems like we can go in many directions.
- The word sacrifice is not mentioned anywhere else in the two epistles of Peter.
- The word spiritual is only mentioned twice in the same verse here:
- Spiritual house.
- Spiritual sacrifice.
- So it seems to indicate that these two are one and the same things.
- To be a spiritual house is to offer up spiritual sacrifice.
- But where could we connect it?
- Romans 12:1-2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- You see in verse 1 it very much mirrors what we read in Peter.
- Living sacrifice, holy, and accepted to God.
- What does it mean to be a living sacrifice that is accepted of God?
- To not be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
- Now that is an easy connection back to Peter. How can we be transformed? We need to be born again of the word of God!
- 1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.
- The word fashioning yourselves means to conform. And in that previous verse the way we do that is to gird up the loins of our minds. This text lines up very much with Romans 12.
- To lay aside of wickedness, we need to be a living and spiritual sacrifice.
- Our good works will fall eternally short of being acceptable to God unless we are born again.
- Not that our good works won’t be accepted, but that it will be impossible to have good works without the born again experience.
“by Jesus Christ”
- Notice that our spiritual sacrifices can only be acceptable to God if Jesus is the One that helps us. Unless He is the One that clothes us with His righteousness. Unless we are born by the living word, which is Jesus Christ.
- Our union with Christ is the key, is the foundation.
1 Peter 2:6
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
So Peter continues to expound on the importance of Jesus as our foundation by quoting from the Old Testament. Where does he quote from?
- Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
- This is that chapter in verse 10 and verse 13 that talks about the word of God being precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little.
- But you see, Jesus is not just A living stone – one of many. He is the CHIEF corner stone. The word chief means “uttermost.”
- Without Him there can be no other stones built up to form this spiritual house.
- The “chief corner” is actually one Greek word. It means the extreme corner or the corner foundation.
- It would be impossible to build up without this stone. This is essential to have in the building of the house.
- Ephesians 2:20-21
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.
- Jesus is that chief corner stone. It’s the same Greek word used here.
- So what is essential to have in our experience? It is born again of the word of God!
1 Peter 2:7
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
There are two groups mentioned here.
- One group believes that He is precious. We know who that group is already. They are those that are spiritual stones as well.
- There is a group that is disobedient. They rejected Christ as the corner stone.
What separates these two groups?
- One believes, and one doesn’t.
- One has faith, and the other doesn’t.
Obviously those that rejected Christ was the Jews. Yet He was made the head of the corner.
To those who believe, Christ is the sure foundation. These are they who fall upon the Rock and are broken. Submission to Christ and faith in Him are here represented. To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation. DA 599.3
- To fall on the Rock is to be born again.
1 Peter 2:8
And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
To those that didn’t believe and rejected Him, He became a stone of stumbling and rock of offence.
- They would stumble at His word and be disobedient.
- The question we must ask ourselves is, how do we view the word of God? Is it an offense to us? Do we stumble at it? Are we continually disobedient to it?
- If so, then we must be born again.
- This is the difference between the true and false Christian.
- Not everyone will accept the word of God. There will always be two groups. But the reality of the situation is, if we are stumbling at it, even though we might claim to read the word, the issue is our heart.
- The problem is not the word of God that God sets too high a standard or that He says things that we cannot accept. We can accept and apply all if we are born again and sanctified by the Spirit.
- Remember the high claim that God has on us?
- 1 Peter 1:15
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
- 1 Peter 1:15
- Being born of the word of God not only gives us instruction but the power to do it.
1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
How can we be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people?
- We must be born again!
- It is only then that we can show forth His praises. Could this be part of the spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God? Quite possibly.
- It takes a lot of sacrifice to outreach. Not everyone does it.
- Most of the time we are following the crowd. But how many of us would actually be content to sit back and not do anything?
- But we must be called out of darkness first. We can’t keep living in sin. We can’t keep living an unholy life.
- This is a high calling.
- But this is probably the reason why we find it so difficult to show forth the praises of God – because we are still living in sin.
1 Peter 2:10
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
There is this clear distinction:
- Before we weren’t God’s people, before we did not have God’s mercy.
- But now we are God’s people, we have obtained His mercy.
There is a clear transition from not God’s people to being His people.
- What helps us to transition? We know the answer already. Born again. Another word for that is conversion.
1 Peter 2:11
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Peter calls us strangers – foreigners, aliens, sojourners.
- He reminds us that this world is not our home. Our citizenship is in heaven.
And if that is the case, then we need to make sure we don’t conform to the world’s standards. Don’t live like that because we are not like them!
- This is describing sanctification – to be set apart.
- Since we are set apart, we need to abstain from fleshly lusts.
- Fleshly means animal or carnal.
- Lusts means desires.
- We need to abstain (refrain) from carnal desires.
But you see, the carnal desire is in each of us. How can we deny ourselves? How can we hold ourselves back from our natural desires?
- You know the answer! We need to be born again. We need a new mind.
- Can you see thar Peter just keeps coming back to it? He keeps pointing us to this one direction?
- Is it any wonder that so many of us struggle with sin? Because our natural desires are still alive. We are fighting against ourselves but we haven’t been transformed yet. The Bible tells us that that things we love are not good but yet at the same time we love it. This is why we hate the word of God. It is an offense to us. It is a stone of stumbling to us.
1 Peter 2:12
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
- Once again, this word conversation means conduct and behaviour.
- Our actions is all that can be seen by the Gentiles, the non-Christian, non-Christian.
But what is the problem?
- They speak against us because they see that our actions are evil.
- But they need to see our good works instead. Our actions need to be transformed. But our minds need to be transformed first!
- Because when they see our good works, they will glorify God!
- That sounds like Matthew:
- Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
- Matthew 5:16
- That means the beatitudes, which is what is mentioned just before this in Matthew, are steps on how to be born again!
1 Peter 2:13-14
13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
What is happening that Peter would tell us to submit to the earthly authorities?
- Submit to king, governor, those that punish evil doers.
- Well, the group is clear. We need to submit to those that are just. They actually punish those that are wicked and praise those that do good.
- But should we submit to every authority, even those that go against God’s word? Of course not.
- But if they are just, and what they are asking you to do is just, then Peter tells us that we should submit ourselves to them. Yes – we should obey them.
1 Peter 2:15
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
What is the benefit of well doing?
- It simply means doing good. When we do good, it puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
- The only other place the word ignorance is used in the New Testament is found in 1 Corinthians.
- 1 Corinthians 15:34
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
- It helps us define who are the foolish men. It is those that keep sinning.
- But at the end of time, people will persecute because they are ignorant. Many don’t have the knowledge of God.
- 1 Corinthians 15:34
- Our righteous acts will help others to see God’s righteousness, His standard, and a different picture to the normality of sin.
- Remember, we are aliens, not citizens of this country. So people will see that we have been called out of darkness. Through our lives God is trying to call them out of darkness as well.
1 Peter 2:16
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
- This is referring to those that are literally free because he is going to talk about servants and slaves in verse 18.
- But as free people we need to live as servants of God and not living in a wicked and evil way.
The word maliciousness means evil or wickedness.
So our freedom’s should not be veiled or covered with wickedness.
- In this times that we are free, we should be servants of God.
- Be born again.
- Our actions should not be wicked.
1 Peter 2:17
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
It’s interesting that the word “fear” and “honour” are closely related.
- Both refer to reverence.
- They are different Greek words but have very similar meaning.
- However, the word “fear” is a much stronger word. It means to be alarmed, to be afraid.
- The word “honour” means to value, to fix a value upon. It means that we determine its value. How important is that person, then we will honour them to that amount, we will value their position or their advice.
So we should fear God first and foremost!
- Then we ought to love and honour everyone.
- And then we honour kings by determining how valuable their judgment or law is in relation to God.
1 Peter 2:18
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
Servants are to be subject to their masters with all fear.
- The word fear here is different to fearing God in the previous verse.
- The fear here is just absolute fear or alarm or fright. There is no reverence. It is used in context of just being afraid.
But notice, we should not subject ourselves only to those that are good and gentle.
- We should also subject ourselves to those that are froward (crooked, perverse).
- The following verses talks about this situation.
1 Peter 2:19-20
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
Why would a person have to endure grief or suffering wrongfully?
- Because of the froward master in the previous verse.
- That is what will happen in the future in the time of the Mark of the Beast.
- Yes, we will flee as much as possible to avoid persecution. But we will submit ourselves to these people instead of fighting back. We won’t kill them because they are trying to kill us.
- But it is thankworthy. This word thankworthy is actually rendered grace majority of the time.
- What is it about grace? Treating them the way that they DON’T deserve. They are wicked but we still take it patiently.
We are not being persecuted because we did something wrong, we are being persecuted because we did right.
- God accepts this!
- But we need to take it patiently.
- Revelation 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
- This is really how our faith will be tried. And that is why it is important to have the faith of Jesus.
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Christ also went through the same suffering and left us an example. What suffering was that?
- Doing well, yet being persecuted.
1 Peter 2:22-23
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
“did no sin”
- His actions were perfect. He did well.
“neither was guile found in his mouth”
- Revelation 14:5
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
- The 144,000 will be just like Jesus. They will go through the same experience as Jesus.
The word revile means “to heap abuse upon.”
- People certainly reviled Him in the last moments of His life.
- Matthew 26:67-68
67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
- During the trial they spit on Him and hit Him. And when He couldn’t see they asked Him to prophesy and predict who was hitting Him.
- Matthew 27:29-31
29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
- They mocked Him called Him king of the Jews.
- They even put that crown of thorns on His head.
- Matthew 27:39-44
39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 — Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44 — The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
- Even on the cross many mocked Him.
- Those that walked by, the chief priests, even the thieves on the crosses next to Him.
But Christ “committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”
- He didn’t have to retaliate or be afraid because He knew that God saw from heaven and would judge one day.
- Instead, what did Christ do?
- Luke 23:34
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
- Christ prayed for them instead.
1 Peter 2:24
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Christ bore our sins on the cross. For what reason?
- So that we could be dead to sin and live righteously.
- It is through the cross of Christ that we are enabled to do this. This was His whole mission and goal on earth. To save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)
- This is the same standard that God has set forth for us already in the book of Peter – be holy for I am holy.
- We have no excuse to live any less. The cross nullifies any argument we can throw back.
“by whose stripes ye were healed”
- Peter is quoting from Isaiah.
- Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
- Christ didn’t come to just heal physically but especially spiritually. Heal us from sin. Especially the cross of Christ.
1 Peter 2:25
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Peter refers to what we were once, but now we have returned.
- This is conversion.
- This is born again.
Christ is given two names:
- The word shepherd can also be translated pastor.
- It implies the tender care that Christ has for us. How He will protect His sheep. How He will carry the wounded and lost sheep on His shoulders.
- A superintendent, an overseer.
- Christ must be the overseer of our lives. But that means we must be willing to submit to Him.
So when we commit our lives to Him, He will take care of us. If we walk outside of His grace, it will be impossible for Christ to watch over us. We must learn to submit.