Welcome back as we start the second chapter of 1 Peter. You may remember that chapter 1 ended with the knowledge of redemption that comes through the gospel. Peter moves on to tell us how that gospel ought to change our lives. Let’s get started.
1 So rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. 2 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. 4 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. 6 For it is contained in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame! 7 So honor will come to you who believe, but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected—this One has become the cornerstone, 8 and A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the message; they were destined for this.
Peter primed this section by reminding us about God’s grace and told us that it should have changed our lives. Because of the enormous grace God has given us we must get rid of anger, hate, lies, trickery, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. In its place, we are to desire ‘spiritual milk’ or spiritual nutrients like scripture and discipleship. You should grow by it, knowing the Lord is good. We must come to Jesus. He is the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus was rejected by men but He was chosen by God. Peter continues with an analogy. Jesus is the cornerstone and we are living stones that are being built on Him into His temple. Those who believe in Jesus will never be put to shame. The Old Testament said this long before Jesus came. Those who do not believe, who rejected Jesus, will trip and stumble over Jesus. They will not obey His words.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Those who do not accept Christ will fall, but those who do believe in Christ become part of Jesus body, described as a royal priesthood. Each of us has access to God like the priests in the Old Testament. We are called to this so that we may praise God for His grace, calling us from darkness to light and giving us mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. 13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. 15 For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. 18 Household slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. 19 For it brings favor if, mindful of God’s will, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly.
This life is only a temporary shelter and not our home. We are called to resist the war that is against us fought by fleshly desire. We are called to act honorably among unbelievers that way even when they speak against us they will know our good works and this will bring glory to God. To live honorably among unbelievers, we must obey authority that is over us. We are called to do good and to silence our enemies by doing good. We are allowed to live as free people, but in the context of being slaves to God. We must never use our freedom in Jesus as a way to do evil. Honor all people, love your brothers and sisters, fear God. We are to submit to masters, both good and cruel. In doing all of this it brings favor to God.
20 For what credit is there if you sin and are punished, and you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God. 21 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. 22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; 23 when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly. 24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
If we suffer for our sin then what good is it? But if we suffer for no reason and endure, God sees this and blesses us. We are called to endure suffering as Jesus endured suffering. Jesus did not sin and lived a life that put His enemies to shame. He suffered to the point of bearing our sin to the point of death. We are healed and forgiven by Jesus wounds. We all had gone from God and lived in sin, but He called us back and paid for our sin.
So What Do I Do With This Now?
All the information is great, but what do I do with it now?
1 God’s grace ought to change our lives and push us to let go of malice, deceit, slander and other evils that live in our hearts. We are called to let go of hatred and lies and instead show God’s love.
2 We are called as a royal priesthood so that we will praise God. We all must do a better job praising God.
3 Remember that this world and life are not our homes. Our home is in heaven and we must not lose sight of that.
4 Resist fleshly desires.
5 Obey all human authority unless it directly defies God’s standards for our lives.
6 Never use freedom in Christ to do evil.
7 Endure unjust suffering, knowing Jesus endured even worse for our sake.
Well thank you for pushing though this chapter. I hope you see what Peter is trying to say about the power of the gospel and the change it ought to inspire. Have a blessed day.