DISPLAY A NEW IDENTITY
1 Peter 2:1-12 March 18 2007
The Apostle Peter wrote this letter to
several Christian congregations located in the
Roman province of Asia. these congregations
were made up largely of people who to Christ
out of pagan idolatry. Their former lives had
been distinguished by the grossest immorality.
Now everything in their lives had changed.
Because they people had become Christians,
their neighbors viewed them with suspicion
– as part of a strange new faith – and even deep
hostility. Formerly completely at home in their
pagan environment, these believers had be
come strangers in their own societies.
Previously they had been accepted by their
neighbors, but later as Christians they were
accused of the most degraded barbarities. Their
neighbors accused them of hating humanity, of
being cannibals , of breaking families, and of
advocating rebellion against legal authorities.
In some cases their livelihoods may have been
Peter wrote to instruct these believers on
how to live in such a hostile environment. He
reminded them they had been saved by the blood
of Jesus Christ (1 Pet.1:1-2). The apostle
pointed out their rich heritage in eternity
through the living Lord (1 Pet. 1:3-9). He told
them they had received what God’s prophets had
spoken about centuries earlier (1 Pet 1:10-12).
Peter challenged these friends to abandon their
former, immoral lifestyle to live holy lives
before God (1 Pet. 1:13-21. Sine they had been
redeemed through the gospel of Jesus Christ,
Peter called them to live with love for other
Christians (1 Pet. 1:22-25). This week Peter
calls them to an entirely new lifestyle based
on their new identity.
1. Nurture Your New Identity (1 Pet. 2:1-3)
1Pet. 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and
all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 2:3
now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Therefore. Connects the exhortations that follow
with (1 Pet.1:23-25); compare â€œborn againâ€
(1Pet.1:23) with â€œnewborn babiesâ€ (1 Pet.2:2).
CRAVE. The unrestrained hunger of a healthy
baby provides an example of the kind of eager
desire for spiritual food that ought to mark the
believer. Spiritual Milk. Probably referring to
Godâ€™s word (1Pet.1:23,25). The author is speaking
figuratively. Milk is not to be understood here as
in (1Co 3:2; Heb 5:12-14 )â€”in unfavorable contrast
to solid food â€”but as an appropriate nourishment
for babies. Grow Up. The Greek for this phrase is
the standard term for the desirable growth of
children. Have Tasted. The tense of the Greek verb
used here suggests that an initial act of tasting is
referred to. Since this taste has proved
satisfactory, the believers are urged to long for
additional spiritual food.
2. Understand Your New Identity (1 Pet. 2:4-10)
1Pet. 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone â€”
rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him
â€” 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into
a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus
Christ. 2:6 For in Scripture it says: â€œSee, I lay a
stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and
the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.â€
2:7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.
But to those who do not believe, â€œThe stone the builders
rejected has become the capstone, â€ 2:8 and, â€œA stone
that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them
fall.â€ They stumble because they disobey the message
â€”which is also what they were destined for. 2:9 But
you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God, that you may declare the
praises of him who called you out of darkness into his
wonderful light. 2:10 Once you were not a people, but
now you are the people of God; once you had not received
mercy, but now you have
Living StoneI. Christ (1 Pet.2: 6-8 and Mt 21:42;
Mk 12:10-11; Lk 20:17; Ac 4:11; Ro 9:33). The Stone
is living in that it is personal. Furthermore he is a
life-giving Stone. Christ as the Son of God has life
in himself (Jn 1:4; 5:26). See also â€œliving waterâ€
(Jn 4:10-14; 7:38), â€œliving breadâ€ (Jn 6:51) and
â€œliving wayâ€ (Heb 10:20). Rejected by men but
Chosen by God.. Peter repeatedly makes a contrast
in Acts between the hostility of unbelieving men
toward Jesus and Godâ€™s exaltation of him (Ac 2:22-36;
3:13-15; 4:10-11; 10:39-42).
Living Stones. Believers are not literal pieces of
rock, but are persons. In addition, they derive their
life from Christ, who is the original living Stone to
whom they have come (1 Pet.2: 4), the â€œlife-giving
spiritâ€ (1Co 15:45). These references to stones may
well reflect Jesusâ€™ words to Peter in (Mt 16:18).
Spiritual House. The house is spiritual in a
metaphorical sense, but also in that it is formed
and indwelt by the Spirit of God. Every stone in the
house has been made alive by the Holy Spirit, sent by
the exalted living Stone, Jesus Christ (Ac 2:33). The
OT temple provides the background of this passage
( Jn 2:19; 1Co 3:16; Eph 2:19-22). Holy Priethood. The
whole body of believers. As priests, believers are to
(1) reflect the holiness of God and that of their high
priest (see 1:15; Heb 7:26; 10:10), (2) offer spiritual
sacrifices (here), (3) intercede for man before God
and (4) represent God before man. Spiritual Sacrifices.
The NT refers to a variety of offerings: bodies offered
to God (Ro 12:1), offerings of money or material goods
(Php 4:18; Heb 13:16), sacrifices of praise to God (Heb
13:15) and sacrifices of doing good (Heb 13:16). Accept
Able To God. Through the work of our Mediator, Jesus
Christ (cf. Jn 14:6). Believers are living stones that
make up a spiritual temple in which, as a holy priesthood,
they offer up spiritual sacrifices.
Precious Cornerstone. (Ps 118:22; Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10;
Lk 20:17; Ac 4:11). This is an obvious reference to Christ,
as (1Pet,2: 6 b-8) make clear. The cornerstone, which
determined the design and orientation of the building,
was the most significant stone in the structure. The
picture that Peter creates is of a structure made up of
believers (living stones, 1 Pet.2:5), the design and
orientation of which are all in keeping with Christ, the
cornerstone. The one who trustsin Him. Two attitudes
toward the cornerstone are evident: (1) Some trust in
him; (2) others reject him (1 Pet.2:7) and, as a result,
stumble and fall (1 Pet.2:8). What they were destied for.
Some see here an indication that some people are
destined to fall and be lost. Others say that unbelievers
are destined to be lost because God in his foreknowledge
(1 Pet.1:2) saw them as unbelievers. Still others hold
that Peter means that unbelief is destined to result in
Chosen People. (Eph 1:4 and note; Isa 43:10,20; 44:1-2).
As Israel was called Godâ€™s chosen people in the OT, so
in the NT believers are designated as chosen, or elect.
Royal Priesthood. (1 Pet.2:5; Isa 61:6). Holy Nation.
(Dt 28:9). People belonging to God. (Dt 4:20; 7:6; 14:2;
Isa 43:21; Mal 3:17). Though once not the people of God,
they are now the recipients of Godâ€™s mercy ( Hos 1:6-10;
Ro 9:25-26; 10:19). Declare the Praises of Him.
( Isa 43:20; Ac 2:11).
(Hos 1:6,9; 2:1,22; Ro 9:25-26). In Hosea it is Israel who
is not Godâ€™s people; in Romans it is the Gentiles to whom
Paul applies Hoseaâ€™s words; in 1 Peter the words are
applied to both.
3. Demonstrate Your New Identity (1 Oet. 2:11-12)
1Pet. 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers
in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war
against your soul. 2:12 Live such good lives among the
pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they
may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he
Aliens and Strangers. (1 Pet.1:1). As aliens and strangers
on earth, whose citizenship is in heaven, they are to be
separated from the corruption of the world, not yielding
to its destructive sinful desires. Your Good Deeds. Deeds
that can be seen to be good (Mt 5:16). The Greek word
translated â€œseeâ€ refers to a careful watching, over a
period of time. The pagansâ€™ evaluation is not a â€œsnap
judgment.â€ The day He visits us. Perhaps the day of
judgment and ensuing punishment, or possibly the day
when God visits a person with salvation. The believerâ€™s
good life may then influence the unbeliever to repent
Just as a baby has an appetite for the mother’s
milk, sothe child of God has an appetite for the
Father’s word. If you lose that appetite and stop
growing, check to see if any of the sins listed in
verse 1 are infecting your life.
God is building a temple out of living stones
(Eph. 2:19-22). and we are privileged to be part of it.
We are built on Jesus Christ, so there is noway the
temle can be destroyed.
Each believer is a priest before God and can
bring sacrifices to the Lord through Jesus Christ.
As we worship the Lord,we proclaim His virturs to
a lost world. That is what God called Israel to do
(Exod.19:1-9),and they failed. Are we also Failing?