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1 Peter Chapter Two


1 Peter 2

Thus cleansed therefore and born of the word, they were to put off all fraud, hypocrisy, envy, slander; and, as new-born babes, to seek for this milk of the understanding, in order to grow thereby (for the word is the milk of the child, as it was the seed of its life); and we are to receive it as babes in all simplicity, if in truth we have felt that the Lord is good and full of grace. It is not Sinai (where the Lord God declared His law from the midst of the fire, so that they entreated not to hear His voice any more), to which I am come, or from which the Lord is speaking. If I have tasted and understood that the Lord acts in grace, that He is love towards me, and that His word is the expression of that grace, even as it communicates life, I shall desire to feed on this milk of the understanding, which the believer enjoys in proportion to his simplicity; that good word which announces to me nothing but grace, and the God whom I need as all grace, full of grace, acting in grace, as revealing Himself to me in this character-a character which He can never cease to maintain towards me, making me a partaker of His holiness.

I now know the Lord Himself: I have tasted that which He is. Moreover this is still in contrast with the legal condition of the Jew, although it is the fulfillment of that which the Psalms and the prophets had declared (the resurrection having plainly revealed in addition a heavenly hope). It was they themselves who were now the spiritual house, the holy priesthood. They came to the Living Stone, rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, and they were built up on Him as living stones. The apostle delights in this word " living." It was to him the Father had revealed that Jesus was the Son of the living God. No one else had then confessed Him as such, and the Lord told him that on this rock (that is, on the Person of the Son of God in power of life, manifested in the resurrection, which declared Him to be such) He would build His assembly. Peter, by his faith, participated in the nature of this living rock. Here then (chap. 2:5) he extends this character to all believers, and exhibits the holy house built on the Living Stone, which God Himself had laid as the chief corner-stone elect and precious. Whosoever believed in Him should not be confounded. [1] Now, it was not only in the eyes of God that this stone was precious, but in the eyes of faith which--feeble as the possessors of it may be-sees as God sees. To unbelievers this stone was a stone of stumbling and of offence. They stumbled at the word, being disobedient, to which also they were appointed. It does not say that they were appointed to sin nor to condemnation, but these unbelieving and disobedient sinners, the Jewish race-long rebellious, and continually exalting themselves against God-were destined to find in the Lord of grace Himself a rock of offence; and to stumble and fall upon that which was to faith the precious stone of salvation. It was to this particular fall that their unbelief was destined.

Believers, on the contrary, entered into the enjoyment of the promises made to Israel, and that in the most excellent way. Grace-and the very faithfulness of God-had brought the fulfillment of the promise in the Person of Jesus, the minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to fulfill the promises made to the fathers. And, although the nation had rejected Him, God would not deprive of the blessings those who-in spite of all this difficulty to faith and to the heart-had submitted to the obedience of faith and attached themselves to Him who was the despised of the nation. They could not have the blessing of Israel with the nation on earth, because the nation had rejected Him; but they were brought fully into the relationship with God of a people accepted of Him. The heavenly character which the blessing now assumed did not destroy their acceptance according to the promise; only they entered into it according to grace. For the nation, as a nation, had lost it; not only long ago by disobedience, but now by rejecting Him who came in grace to impart to them the effect, of the promise.

The apostle, therefore, applies the character of " holy nation" to the elect remnant, investing them in the main with the titles bestowed in Exodus 19, on condition of obedience, but here in connection with the Messiah, their enjoyment of these titles being founded on His obedience and rights acquired by their faith in Him.

But, the privileges of the believing remnant being founded on the Messiah, the apostle goes farther, and applies to them the declarations of Hosea, which relate to Israel and Judah when re-established in the fullness of blessing in the last days, enjoying those relationships with God into which grace will bring them at that time.

"Ye are," he says, "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a purchased people." These are almost the words of Exodus 19. He goes on: "Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; who formerly had not obtained mercy, but have now obtained it." These are the words of Hosea 2. This sets before us, in the most interesting way, the principle on which the blessing is founded. In Exodus the people were to have this blessing if they exactly obeyed the voice of God. But Israel had not obeyed, had been rebellious and stiffnecked, had gone after strange gods, and rejected the testimony of the Spirit; yet, after their unfaithfulness, God Himself has laid in Zion a Stone, a chief corner-stone, and whosoever believed in Him should not be confounded. It is grace that, when Israel had failed in every respect, and on the ground of obedience had lost everything, God should bestow on them by Jesus, through grace, that which was promised them at first on condition of obedience. In this way all was secured to them.

The question of obedience was settled-on Israel's disobedience-by grace, and by the obedience of Christ, the foundation laid by God in Zion. But this principle of grace abounding over sin-by which is shewn the inability of disobedience to frustrate the purposes of God, for this grace came after the completion of disobedience-this principle, so glorious and so comforting to the convinced sinner, is confirmed in a striking way by the quotation from Hosea. In this passage from the prophet, Israel is presented, not merely as guilty, but as having already undergone judgment. God had declared that He would no more have mercy (with regard to His patience toward the ten tribes); and that Israel was no longer His people (in His judgment on unfaithful Judah). But afterwards, when the judgment had been executed, He returns to His irrevocable purposes of grace, and allures Israel as a forsaken wife, and gives her the valley of Achor-the valley of trouble, in which Achan was stoned, the first judgment on unfaithful Israel after their entrance into the promised land-for a door of hope. For judgment is changed into grace, and God begins all afresh upon a new principle. It was as though Israel had again come up out of Egypt, but upon an entirely new principle. He betroths her to Him for ever, in righteousness, in judgment, in grace, in mercy, and all is blessing. Then He calls her "Ruhama," or, "the object of mercy," and " Ammi," " my people."

These, then, are the expressions which the apostle uses, applying them to the remnant who believed in Jesus, the stumbling-stone to the nation, but the chief corner-stone from God to the believer. Thus the condition is taken away, and instead of a condition we have blessing after disobedience, and after judgment the full and assured grace of God, founded (in its application to believers) on the Person, the obedience, and the work of Christ.

It is affecting to see the expression of this grace in the term " Achor." It was the first judgment on Israel in the land of promise for having profaned themselves with the forbidden thing. And there it is that hope is given: so entirely true is it that grace triumphs over justice. And it is this which has taken place in the most excellent way in Christ. The very judgment of God becomes in Him the door of hope, the guilt and the judgment having alike passed away for ever.

Two parts of the christian life-so far as it is the manifestation of spiritual power-result from this, in the double priesthood; of which the one answers to the present position of Christ on high, and the other anticipatively to the manifestation of His glory on earth-the priesthoods of Aaron, and of Melchisedec. For He is now within the veil according to the type of Aaron; hereafter He will be a priest on His throne-it will be the public manifestation of His glory on earth. Thus the saints exercise " a holy priesthood " (ver. 5) to offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Sweet privilege of the Christian, thus brought as near as possible to God ! He offers-sure of being accepted, for it is by Jesus that he offers them--his sacrifices to God.

This part of the christian life is the first, the most excellent, the most vital, the source of the other (which is its expression here below); the most excellent, because, in its exercise, we are in immediate connection with the divine object of our affections. These spiritual sacrifices are the reflex, by the action of the Holy Ghost, of the grace which we enjoy; that which the heart returns to God, moved by the excellent gifts of which we are the object, and by the love which has given them. The heart (by the power of the Holy Ghost) reflects all that has been revealed to it in grace, worshiping the Author and Giver of all according to the knowledge we have of Himself through this means; the fruits of the heavenly Canaan in which we participate presented as an offering to God; the entrance of the soul into the presence of God to praise and adore Him.

This is the holy priesthood, according to the analogy of the priesthood of Aaron, and of the temple at Jerusalem which God inhabited as His house.

The second priesthood of which the apostle speaks is to shew forth the virtues of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Its description is taken, as we have seen, from Exodus 19. It is a chosen generation, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. I only allude to the Melchisedec priesthood to shew the character of a royal priesthood. Priests, among the Jews, drew near to God. God had formed the people for Himself: they were to shew forth all His virtues, His praises. Christ will do this perfectly in the day of His glory. The Christian is called to do it now in this world. He is to reproduce Christ in this world. It is the second part of his life.

It will be noticed that the first chapter of this epistle presents the Christian as animated by hope, but under trial-the precious trial of faith. The second chapter presents him in his privileges, as of a holy and royal priesthood, by means of faith.

After this (chap. 2:11), the apostle begins his exhortations. Whatever may be the privileges of the Christian, in his position as such, he is always viewed as a pilgrim on the earth; and, as we have seen, the constant government of God is the object which presents itself to the mind of the apostle. But he warns them first, with regard to that which is inward, against those sources from which the corruptions spring, that (in the scene of this government) would dishonour the name of God and even bring in judgment.

Their conversation was to be honest among the Gentiles. Christians bore the name of God. The mind of men, hostile to His name, sought to bring disgrace upon it, by attributing to Christians the evil conduct which they themselves followed without remorse, while at the same time complaining (chap. 4:4) that they would not go with them in the same excesses and disorder. The Christian had only to follow the path of faithfulness to God. In the day when God would visit men these calumniators, with their will broken and their pride subdued by the visitation of God, should be brought to confess-by means of the good works which, in spite of their calumnies, had always reached their consciences-that God had acted in these Christians, that He had been present among them.

After this general exhortation, brief but important to believers, the apostle takes up the relative walk of Christians in a world where on the one hand God watches over all, yet where He permits His own to suffer, whether for righteousness' sake or for the name of Christ, but where they ought never to suffer for having done wrong. The path then of the Christian is marked out. He is subject for the Lord's sake to human ordinances or institutions. He gives honour to all men, and to each in his place, so that no one shall have any reproach to bring against him. He is submissive to his masters, even if they are bad men, and yields to their ill-treatment. Were he subject only to the good and gentle, a worldly slave would do as much; but if, having done well, he suffers and bears it patiently, this is acceptable to God, this is grace. It was thus that Christ acted, and to this we are called. Christ suffered in this way, and never replied by reproaches or threats to those who molested Him, but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously. To Him we belong. He had suffered for our sins, in order that, having been delivered from them, we should live to God. These Christians from among the Jews had been as sheep going astray; [2] they were now brought back to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. But how entirely these exhortations, shew that the Christian is one who is not of this world, but has his own path through it: yet this path was the way of peace in it !

Likewise wives were to be subject to their husbands in all modesty and purity, in order that this testimony to the effect of the word by its fruits might take the place of the word itself, if their husbands would not listen to it. They were to rest, in patience and meekness, on the faithfulness of God, and not be alarmed at seeing the power of the adversaries. (Compare Phil. 1:28)

Husbands were in like manner to dwell with the wife, their affections and relationships being governed by christian knowledge, and not by any human passion; honouring the wife, and walking, with her as being heirs together of the grace of life.

Finally, all were to walk in the spirit of peace and gentleness, carrying with them, in their intercourse with others, the blessing of which they were themselves the heirs, the spirit of which they ought consequently to bear ever with them. By following that which is good, by having the tongue governed by the fear of the Lord, by avoiding evil and seeking peace, they would in quietness enjoy the present life under the eye of God. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who, moreover, would harm them, if they followed only that which is good?

This, then, is the government of God, the principle on which He superintends the course of this world. Nevertheless it is not now a direct and immediate government preventing all wrong. The power of evil still acts upon the earth; those who are animated by it shew themselves hostile to the righteous, and act by means of that fear which Satan is able to produce. But by giving the Lord His place in the soul, this fear which the enemy excites has no longer a place there. If the heart is conscious of the presence of God, can that heart tremble at the presence of the enemy? This is the secret of boldness and peace in confessing Christ. Then the instruments of the enemy seek to turn us aside, and to overwhelm us by their pretensions; but the consciousness of God's presence dissipates those pretensions, and destroys all their power. Resting on the strength of His presence, we are ready to answer those who ask the reason of our hope, with meekness and holy reverence remote from all levity. For all this it is necessary to have a good conscience. We may carry a bad conscience to God, that He may pardon and have mercy on us; but if we have a bad conscience, we cannot resist the enemy--we are afraid of him. On the one hand, we fear his malice; on the other, we have lost the consciousness of the presence and the strength of God. When walking before God, we fear nothing; the heart is free: we have not to think of self, we think of God; and the adversaries are ashamed of having falsely accused those whose conduct is unblamable, and against whom nothing can be brought except the calumny of their enemies, which calumnies turn to their own shame.

It may be that God may see it good that we should suffer. If so, it is better that we should suffer for well doing than for evil doing. The apostle gives a touching motive for this: Christ has suffered for sins once for all; let that suffice; let us suffer only for righteousness. To suffer for sin was His task; He accomplished it, and that for ever; put to death, as to His life in the flesh, but quickened according to the power of the divine Spirit.

The passage that follows has occasioned difficulties to the readers of scripture; but it appears to me simple, if we perceive the object of the Spirit of God. The Jews expected a Messiah corporeally present, who should deliver the nation, and exalt the Jews to the summit of earthly glory. But He was not present, we know, in that manner, and the believing Jews had to endure the scorn and the hatred of the unbelieving, on account of their trust in a Messiah who was not present, and who had wrought no deliverance for the people. Believers possessed the salvation of their soul, and they knew Jesus in heaven; but unbelieving men did not care for that. The apostle therefore cites the case of Noah's testimony. The believing Jews were few in number, and Christ was theirs only according to the Spirit. By the power of that Spirit He had been raised up from the dead. It was by the power of the same Spirit that He had gone-without being corporeally present-to preach in Noah. The world was disobedient (like the Jews in the apostle's days), and eight souls only were saved; even as the believers were now but a little flock. But the spirits of the disobedient were now in prison, because they did not obey Christ present among them by His Spirit in Noah. The long-suffering of God waited then, as now, with the Jewish nation; the result would be the same. It has been so.

This interpretation is confirmed (in preference to that which supposes that the Spirit of Christ preached in hades to souls which had been confined there ever since the flood) by the consideration that in Genesis it is said, " My Spirit shall not always strive. with men but their days shall be a hundred and twenty years." That is to say, His Spirit should strive, in the testimony of Noah, during a hundred and twenty years and no longer. Now it would be an extraordinary thing that with those persons only (for he speaks only of them) the Lord should strive in testimony after their death. Moreover, we may observe that, in considering this expression to mean the Spirit of Christ in Noah, we only use a well-known phrase of Peter's; for he it is, as we have seen, who said, " The Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets."

These spirits then are in prison, because they did not hearken to the Spirit of Christ in Noah. (Compare 2 Pet. 2:5-9.) To this the apostle adds, the comparison of baptism to the ark of Noah in the deluge. Noah was saved through the water; we also; for the water of baptism typifies death, as the deluge, so to speak, was the death of the world. Now Christ has passed through death and is risen. We enter into death in baptism; but it is like the ark, because Christ suffered in death for us, and has come out of it in resurrection, as Noah came out of the deluge, to begin, as it were, a new life in a resurrection world. Now Christ, having passed through death, has atoned for sins; and we, by passing through it in spirit, leave all our sins in it, as Christ did in reality for us; for He was raised up without the sins which He expiated on the cross. And they were our sins; and thus, through the resurrection, we have a good conscience. We pass through death in spirit and in figure by baptism. The peace-giving force of the thing is the resurrection of Christ, after He had accomplished expiation; by which resurrection therefore we have a good conscience.

Now this is what the Jews had to learn. The Christ was gone up to heaven, all powers and principalities being made subject to Him. He is at the right hand of God. We have therefore not a Messiah on earth, but a good conscience and a heavenly Christ.


[1] In this passage, so to speak (as in this alone), Peter meets the doctrine of the assembly, and that under the character of a building, not of a body or a bride; that which Christ built, not what was united to Him. So Paul also presents it to us in Ephesians 2:20, 21. In this view, though going on on earth, it is Christ's work and a continuing process; no human instrumentality is referred to: I will build, says Christ; it grows, says Paul; living stones come, says Peter. This must not be confounded with the building into which men may build wood and hay and stubble, as the same thing; though the outward thing which God set up good, left to man's responsibility, as, ever, was soon corrupted. Individuals are built up by grace, and it grows into a holy temple. All this refers to Matthew 16. The responsibility of human service in this respect is found in 1 Corinthians 3, and the assembly is there given in another point of view. The body is another thing altogether, the doctrine is taught in Ephesians 1-4.; 1 Corinthians 12., and other passages.

[2] An allusion, I suppose, to the last verse of Psalm 119.The apostle constantly puts the christian Jews on the ground of the blessed remnant, only making it a soul salvation..

── John DarbySynopsis of 1 Peter


1 Peter 2

Chapter Contents

A temper suitable to the Christian character as born again, is recommended. (1-10) Holy conversation among the Gentiles directed. (11,12) Subjects exhorted to pay all proper obedience to their civil governors. (13-17) Also servants to their masters, and all to be patient, according to the example of the suffering Saviour. (18-25)

Commentary on 1 Peter 2:1-10

(Read 1 Peter 2:1-10)

Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.

Commentary on 1 Peter 2:11,12

(Read 1 Peter 2:11,12)

Even the best of men, the chosen generation, the people of God, need to be exhorted to keep from the worst sins. And fleshly lusts are most destructive to man's soul. It is a sore judgment to be given up to them. There is a day of visitation coming, wherein God may call to repentance by his word and his grace; then many will glorify God, and the holy lives of his people will have promoted the happy change.

Commentary on 1 Peter 2:13-17

(Read 1 Peter 2:13-17)

A Christian conversation must be honest; which it cannot be, if there is not a just and careful discharge of all relative duties: the apostle here treats of these distinctly. Regard to those duties is the will of God, consequently, the Christian's duty, and the way to silence the base slanders of ignorant and foolish men. Christians must endeavour, in all relations, to behave aright, that they do not make their liberty a cloak or covering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; but they must remember that they are servants of God.

Commentary on 1 Peter 2:18-25

(Read 1 Peter 2:18-25)

Servants in those days generally were slaves, and had heathen masters, who often used them cruelly; yet the apostle directs them to be subject to the masters placed over them by Providence, with a fear to dishonour or offend God. And not only to those pleased with reasonable service, but to the severe, and those angry without cause. The sinful misconduct of one relation, does not justify sinful behaviour in the other; the servant is bound to do his duty, though the master may be sinfully froward and perverse. But masters should be meek and gentle to their servants and inferiors. What glory or distinction could it be, for professed Christians to be patient when corrected for their faults? But if when they behaved well they were ill treated by proud and passionate heathen masters, yet bore it without peevish complaints, or purposes of revenge, and persevered in their duty, this would be acceptable to God as a distinguishing effect of his grace, and would be rewarded by him. Christ's death was designed not only for an example of patience under sufferings, but he bore our sins; he bore the punishment of them, and thereby satisfied Divine justice. Hereby he takes them away from us. The fruits of Christ's sufferings are the death of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness; for both which we have an example, and powerful motives, and ability to perform also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. And our justification; Christ was bruised and crucified as a sacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of our souls are cured. Here is man's sin; he goes astray; it is his own act. His misery; he goes astray from the pasture, from the Shepherd, and from the flock, and so exposes himself to dangers without number. Here is the recovery by conversion; they are now returned as the effect of Divine grace. This return is, from all their errors and wanderings, to Christ. Sinners, before their conversion, are always going astray; their life is a continued error.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 Peter


1 Peter 2

Verse 1

[1] Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

Wherefore laying aside — As inconsistent with that pure love.

All dissimulation — Which is the outward expression of guile in the heart.

Verse 2

[2] As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Desire — Always, as earnestly as new born babes do, 1 Peter 1:3.

The milk of the word — That word of God which nourishes the soul as milk does the body, and which is sincere, pure from all guile, so that none are deceived who cleave to it.

That you may grow thereby — In faith, love, holiness, unto the full stature of Christ.

Verse 3

[3] If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Since ye have tasted — Sweetly and experimentally known.

Verse 4

[4] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

To whom coming — By faith.

As unto a living stone — Living from eternity; alive from the dead. There is a wonderful beauty and energy in these expressions, which describe Christ as a spiritual foundation, solid, firm, durable; and believers as a building erected upon it, in preference to that temple which the Jews accounted their highest glory. And St. Peter speaking of him thus, shows he did not judge himself, but Christ, to be the rock on which the church was built.

Rejected indeed by men — Even at this day, not only by Jews, Turks, heathens, infidels; but by all Christians, so called, who live in sin, or who hope to be saved by their own works.

But chosen of God — From all eternity, to be the foundation of his church.

And precious — In himself, in the sight of God, and in the eyes of all believers.

Verse 5

[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 — Believers.

As living stones — Alive to God through him.

Are built up — In union with each other.

A spiritual house — Being spiritual yourselves, and an habitation of God through the Spirit.

An holy priesthood — Consecrated to God, and "holy as he is holy." To offer up - Your souls and bodies, with all your thoughts, words, and actions, as spiritual sacrifices to God.

Verse 6

[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.

He that believeth shall not be confounded — In time or in eternity. Isaiah 28:16.

Verse 7

[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,

To them who believe, he is become the head of the corner — The chief corner stone, on which the whole building rests. Unbelievers too will at length find him such to their sorrow, Matthew 21:44. Psalms 118:22.

Verse 8

[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.

Who stumble, whereunto also they were appointed — They who believe not, stumble, and fall, and perish for ever; God having appointed from all eternity, "he that believeth not shall be damned."

Verse 9

[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:

But ye — Who believe in Christ Are - In a higher sense than ever the Jews were. A chosen or elect race, a royal priesthood - "Kings and priests unto God," Revelation 1:6. As princes, ye have power with God, and victory over sin, the world, and the devil: as priests, ye are consecrated to God, for offering spiritual sacrifices. Ye Christians are as one holy nation, under Christ your King.

A purchased people — Who are his peculiar property.

That ye may show forth — By your whole behaviour, to all mankind.

The virtues — The excellent glory, the mercy, wisdom, and power of him, Christ, who hath called you out of the darkness of ignorance, error, sin, and misery.

Verse 10

[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.

Who in time past were not a people — Much less the people of God; but scattered individuals of many nations. The former part of the verse particularly respects the gentiles; the latter, the Jews.

Verse 11

[11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Here begins the exhortation drawn from the second motive.

Sojourners: pilgrims — The first word properly means, those who are in a strange house; the second, those who are in a strange country. You sojourn in the body; you are pilgrims in this world. Abstain from desires of anything in this house, or in this country.

Verse 12

[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.

Honest — Not barely unblamable, but virtuous in every respect. But our language sinks under the force, beauty, and copiousness of the original expressions.

That they by your good works which they shall behold — See with their own eyes.

May glorify God — By owning his grace in you, and following your example.

In the day of visitation — The time when he shall give them fresh offers of his mercy.

Verse 13

[13] Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man — To every secular power. Instrumentally these are ordained by men; but originally all their power is from God.

Verse 14

[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.

Or to subordinate governors, or magistrates.

Verse 15

[15] For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

The ignorance — Of them who blame you, because they do not know you: a strong motive to pity them.

Verse 16

[16] As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

As free — Yet obeying governors, for God's sake.

Verse 17

[17] Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Honour all men — As being made in the image of God, bought by his Son, and designed for his kingdom.

Honour the king — Pay him all that regard both in affection and action which the laws of God and man require.

Verse 18

[18] Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

Servants — Literally, household servants. With all fear - Of offending them or God.

Not only to the good — Tender, kind.

And gentle — Mild, easily forgiving.

Verse 19

[19] For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

For conscience toward God — From a pure desire of pleasing him.

Grief — Severe treatment.

Verse 21

[21] For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Hereunto are ye — Christians.

Called — To suffer wrongfully.

Leaving you an example — When he went to God.

That ye might follow his steps — Of innocence and patience.

Verses 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:

In all these instances the example of Christ is peculiarly adapted to the state of servants, who easily slide either into sin or guile, reviling their fellowservants, or threatening them, the natural result of anger without power.

He committed himself to him that judgeth righteously — The only solid ground of patience in affliction. Isaiah 53:4,6,7,9.

Verse 24

[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.

Who himself bore our sins — That is, the punishment due to them. In his afflicted, torn, dying body on the tree - The cross, whereon chiefly slaves or servants were wont to suffer.

That we being dead to sin — Wholly delivered both from the guilt and power of it: indeed, without an atonement first made for the guilt, we could never have been delivered from the power.

Might live to righteousness — Which is one only. The sins we had committed, and he bore, were manifold.

Verse 25

[25] For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

The bishop — The kind observer, inspector, or overseer of your souls.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 Peter


Chapter 2. Duty of the Living Stone

Leave an example
Follow His Steps

I. The Growth of Life

  1. Rid of All Malice
  2. Crave Spiritual Milk
  3. Grow Up in Salvation

II. Built into a Spiritual House

  1. Precious Living Stones
  2. Royal Priesthood
  3. Declare the Praises

III. Principles of Daily Life

  1. Live Good Lives
  2. Law-abiding and God-fearing
  3. Submission to Masters

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

Chapter Two General Review
1) To note what is necessary in order to grow spiritually
2) To reflect upon our privilege and duties as God's special people,
   living as sojourners and pilgrims in a world not our home
3) To review our duty to submit to governmental authorities, and to make
   application of the instructions to slaves in our lives as employees
Having described how they were born again by the incorruptible Word of
God, Peter admonishes his readers to put aside sinful attitudes and to
grow spiritually with an infant-like longing for the Word (1-3).
He then depicts Jesus as a living stone, and Christians as living
stones.  The latter are being built up as a spiritual house and holy
priesthood in order to offer spiritual sacrifices through Christ.  As
foretold in the Scriptures, Jesus is the chief cornerstone that is
precious to those who believe, while a stone of stumbling to those who
are disobedient.  Christians are called on to proclaim the praises of
God as they are now a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, His own special people who have now obtained mercy (4-10).
As the people of God, Christians are sojourners and pilgrims in this
world.  Their duties as such involve abstaining from fleshly lusts, and
keeping their conduct honorable among the Gentiles (nations) through
good works designed to glorify God.  They are to honor and submit to
governmental authorities, and honor all people while loving the brethren
and fearing God (11-17).
Christian slaves are told to submit to their masters, even when they are
harsh and cause them to suffer grief wrongly.  Peter reveals that such
submission is commendable before God and follows the example of Jesus
whose own suffering delivered us from sin (18-25).
      1. All malice, all deceit
      2. Hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking
   B. WHAT TO DESIRE (2-3)
      1. The pure milk of the word
         a. As newborn babes
         b. That you may grow thereby
      2. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious
      1. Coming to Christ as to a living stone
         a. Who was rejected by men
         b. Who is chosen by God and precious
      2. We as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house
         a. To be a holy priesthood
         b. To offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
            Jesus Christ
      3. Christ is the precious cornerstone
         a. As foretold in Isaiah 28:16
            1) God would lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect,
            2) He who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame
            3) Precious to those who believe
         b. As foretold in Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14
            1) A stone rejected by the builders, which has become the
               chief cornerstone
            2) A stone of stumbling and rock of offense to those who are
            3) To which they were appointed
   B. AS PEOPLE OF GOD (9-10)
      1. They are now:
         a. A chosen generation
         b. A royal priesthood
         c. A holy nation
         d. His own special people
      2. They are now:
         a. To proclaim the praises of God, who called them:
            1) Out of darkness
            2) Into His marvelous light
         b. The people of God, who once were not the people of God
            1) Who had not obtained mercy
            2) But now have obtained mercy
   A. AS SOJOURNERS (11-12)
      1. To abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul
      2. To have conduct honorable among the Gentiles
         a. That when they speak against you as evildoers
         b. They may glorify God in the day of visitation
         c. Because of your good works they observe
   B. AS CITIZENS (13-17)
      1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake
         a. To the king as supreme
         b. To governors as those sent by the king
            1) For the punishment of evildoers
            2) For the praise of those who do good
      2. For this is the will of God, as bondservants of God
         a. That by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of
            foolish men
         b. As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice
      3. Therefore:
         a. Honor all
         b. Love the brotherhood
         c. Fear God
         d. Honor the king
   C. AS SERVANTS (18-25)
      1. Submissive to your masters with all fear
         a. Not only to the good and gentle
         b. But also to the harsh
      2. For this is commendable before God
         a. If because of conscience before God one endures grief,
            suffering wrongfully
         b. What credit is there when beaten for your faults, you take
            it patiently?
         c. If when you do good and suffer, yet take it patiently, that
            is commendable
      3. For we were called to Follow in the steps of Jesus our example
         a. Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth
            (Isaiah 53:9)
            1) When He was reviled, did not revile in return
            2) When He suffered, He did not threaten
            3) He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously
         b. Who bore our sins in His own body on the tree
            1) That we, having died to sins, might live for
            2) By whose stripes you were healed
            3) You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned
               to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - A call to spiritual growth (1-3)
   - Our privilege in Christ (4-10)
   - Our duties in Christ (11-25)
2) What must we lay aside to grow spiritually? (1)
   - All malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking
3) How should we long for the Word if we want to grow spiritually? (2)
   - As newborn babes desire milk
4) What should motivate us to desire the Word with such longing? (3)
   - If we have already tasted that the Lord is gracious
5) What kind of stone is used to describe Jesus? (4)
   - A living stone
   - Rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious
6) What two metaphors are used to describe Christians? (5)
   - Living stones, being built up as a spiritual house
   - A holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices to God through
7) What prophecy foretells the laying of a chief cornerstone in Zion?
   - Isaiah 28:16
8) What is Jesus to those who believe in Him?  To those who do not
   believe? (6-8)
   - The chief cornerstone, elect, precious
   - A stone of stumbling, a rock of offense
9) What is the appointed end of those who do not believe and are
   disobedient? (8)
   - They stumble
10) How are Christians described by Peter? What is their duty? Why?
   - A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own
     special people
   - To proclaim the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into
     His marvelous light
   - They are now the people of God who have obtained mercy
11) What is our duty as sojourners and pilgrims in this world? Why?
   - Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul
   - Conduct ourselves honorably among the Gentiles
   - That they might glorify God in the day of visitation because of our
     good works
12) What is our duty toward the governments of men?  Why? (13-15)
   - Submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake
   - That by doing good we might silence the ignorance of foolish men
13) How are we use our freedom in Christ? (16)
   - Not as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God
14) What four admonitions summarize our duties to others? (17)
   - Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king
15) What is the duty of servants to their masters? (18)
   - Be submissive with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but
     also to the harsh
16) What is commendable before God? (19-20)
   - To endure grief, suffering wrongfully though doing good, because of
     conscience toward God
17) To what have we been called? (21)
   - To follow in the steps of Christ, who suffered for us and left us
     an example
18) How did Jesus suffer wrongly and bear it patiently? (22-23)
   - He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth
   - When reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did
     not threaten
   - He committed Himself to God who judges righteously
20) What good did Jesus accomplish by suffering such abuse? (24-25)
   - He bore our sins in His own body on the tree
   - Making it possible for us to die to sin and live for righteousness
     (by His strips we were healed)
   - Like sheep gone astray, we have now returned to the Shepherd and
     Overseer of our souls


The Living And Abiding Word (1:22-2:3)
1. As Christians, we are but pilgrims in this world;  our lives are but
   a sojourn toward our true home which is in heaven
   a. But as we travel through this life, we are not left without a
      "spiritual roadmap"
   b. To guide us on our journey, God in His grace has given us His
      wonderful Word, contained in the pages of what we call the Bible
2. What is sad is the fact...
   a. That many people go through their lives and never seriously
      consult this book which can direct them to heaven
   b. That even many Christians go through life ignorant of much of its
3. I am hoping that in the course of this lesson...
   a. I can awaken any such people to the value of the wonderful Word
      of God
   b. And that I can impress upon you the importance and necessity of 
      reading the Word of God on a daily basis
[In an effort to do so, I encourage you to open your Bibles to 1 Pe 1:
22-2:3, where we read of the nature of God's Word (read).
Within this passage of scripture, we can glean various attributes 
possessed by the Word of God that make it so wonderful.  Consider, 
      1. Verses 23-25 stress this point:
         a. "not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible"
         b. "which lives abides forever"
         c. "the Word of the Lord endures forever"
      2. Jesus has also spoken of the indestructibility of the Word of
         God - Mt 24:35
      3. History has borne out the fact that despite man's efforts to 
         destroy and do away with it, the Bible continues to endure 
         a. The efforts of Diocletian
            1) In 303 A.D. he proclaimed an edict requiring Christians
               and their sacred scriptures to be destroyed
            2) But within 25 years, the succeeding emperor ordered that
               50 copies be made and distributed at government expense!
         b. The claims of Voltaire, the French atheist (who died in 
            1) He boasted that within 100 hundred years of his 
               lifetime, Christianity would be swept from the earth
            2) But only fifty years after his death, his own printing
               press and house were being used by the Geneva Bible 
               Society to produce stacks of Bibles!
      4. How true, then, is the statement of Isaiah as quoted by Peter 
         in 1 Pe 1:24-25
      1. There is a law of science known as the Law of Biogenesis which
         states that "life begets life"
      2. Because the Word of God is what it is, it is able to produce
         spiritual life!  What is it?
         a. It is "incorruptible" seed which "lives and abides forever"
            - 1 Pe 1:23
         b. It is "living and powerful" - He 4:12
         c. As Jesus said: "...The words that I speak to you are 
            spirit, and they are life." - cf. Jn 6:63
      3. When a person receives the Word of God and obeys it, he or she
         is truly born again! - cf. Ja 1:18
      1. Notice carefully:  "Since you have purified your souls in 
         obeying the truth..." - 1 Pe 1:22
      2. By obeying the truth (the Word of God), our souls are purified
         - cf. Jn 17:17
      3. That is because the truth contains the gospel, which when 
         believed and obeyed, results in the remission of sins by the 
         blood of Christ!
      1. "...desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow 
         thereby," - 1 Pe 2:2
      2. Spiritual growth as a Christian is totally dependent upon the
         Word of God!
[Do you see why the Word of God is too wonderful to neglect? There is 
no way you can destroy it, and if you desire to be born again and grow
spiritually, it is impossible without the incorruptible seed of the 
Word of God!
Now if we desire to allow the Word of God produce in our lives its 
desired effect (spiritual life and spiritual growth), there are at 
least two things mentioned by Peter which are essential...]
      1. Just as when we prepare the ground for planting a garden
         a. We cleanse the ground of all insects and weeds
         b. So that seeds can grow unhindered
      2. Likewise, there are things Peter says we must lay aside...
         a. MALICE - an evil disposition, malignant spirit, a desire to
            injure another
         b. GUILE - that is, craftiness 
         c. HYPOCRISY - deceptive and deceitful actions and attitudes
         d. ENVY - feelings of unhappiness because another has that 
            which one desires for oneself
         e. EVIL SPEAKING - slanderous and defamatory statements about
         -- For the Word of God to flourish in our lives, we must rid 
            ourselves of these things
      3. Note also that these attributes must be rid of, if we are to 
         be able to "love one another fervently" (as commanded in 1 Pe
      1. Peter illustrates the proper desire...
         a. We are to be like "newborn babes" who desire milk - 1 Pe 2:
         b. Just as babies "long" for milk, we are to "long" for the 
            Word of God
      2. Do our present attitudes toward the Word of God indicate such 
         a. Do we demand regular feeding upon the Word of God?
         b. If we feasted upon food as often as we feasted upon the 
            Word of God, would we survive physically? - cf. Mt 4:4; 
            Ps 119:165; Jer 15:16
      3. Failure to have this longing for the Word of God is a main 
         reason for the lack of spiritual growth in many today
         a. It is why many do not overcome sin in their lives - cf. 
            1 Jn 2:14
         b. It is why many never become the godly men and women you 
            would expect of Christians who have been such for 5,10,15
            years or more
      4. A question I often raise:
         a. If we do not read, study and meditate upon the Bible 
         b. If we go year after year, failing to read through the Bible
            on a regular basis...
         -- Can it be said that we have the proper desire for the Word
            of God?
1. The Word of God is too wonderful for Christians to neglect! Yet I 
   dare to say that there has been a wholesale neglect of the Word of
   God among Christians in the Lord's church today
2. "If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious", as Peter
   says, if you have been born again by the Word of God, then I plead
   with you to make Bible reading an intricate part of your daily life!
If you have not even obeyed the gospel, why not do so this very day?
For the wonderful Word of which we have been speaking is contained
within the gospel (cf. 1 Pe 1:25b; Mk 16:15-16).
Yes, be born again through obedience to the Word of God (cf. 1 Pe 1:
22-23), and begin a life where you can continue to grow, feeding upon
"The Living And Abiding Word!"


Jesus:  Cornerstone, Or Stumblingstone? (2:4-10)
1. When the infant Jesus was being presented to the Lord at the temple,
   an interesting statement was made concerning Him by Simeon:
   "Behold, this Child in destined for the fall and rising of many
   in Israel..." (Lk 2:34)
2. In other words, Jesus was destined to have different effects on 
   different people...
   a. To some, He would be the cause of their rising
   b. For others, He would be their down fall
3. In 1 Peter 2:4-10, the apostle Peter expands upon this same theme...
   a. To some people, Jesus serves as a "cornerstone"
   b. To others, He is a "stumblingstone".
[What's the difference? Well...]
      1. Which was rejected by men
         a. As stated by John in Jn 1:10-11
         b. Instead, they crucified Him
      2. And yet, He was chosen by God, considered to be precious
         a. As foretold in Ps 118:22, God has taken that which was 
            rejected by men and made it the "cornerstone"
         b. The cornerstone of what?
      1. Upon which we are being built
      2. The same thought or illustration is used by the apostle Paul
         - 1 Co 3:9-11, 16-17; Ep 2:19-22
      3. As this spiritual house built upon Christ, we fulfill certain 
         a. We serve as a holy priesthood, offering spiritual 
            sacrifices to God, e.g.:
            1) Our bodies - Ro 12:1-2
            2) Our praise - He 13:15
            3) Our doing good and sharing - He 13:16
            4) Even our deaths - 2 Ti 4:6-8
         b. We therefore serve as God's special people (9-10)
            1) With a special task of proclaiming the praises of God
            2) For by His grace...
               a) We have been called out of darkness into His 
                  marvelous light
               b) We who were not a people, are now the people of God
               c) We have obtained mercy!
      LIVES - MT 7:24-27
      1. By following His teachings, we are able to establish our lives
         on solid ground
      2. And this enables us to withstand the "storms" of life
[So in more ways than one, Jesus is truly a "cornerstone" to those who
believe in Him and follow Him.
But what about those who do not believe in Jesus, who do not make Him 
the "cornerstone" of their lives?]
      1. Either Jesus is the cornerstone...
         a. Upon which we are being built as stones in His temple (the
         b. Upon which we are building our lives by following His 
      2. Or He will be the "stumblingstone" over which we will meet our
      1. Was foretold by Isaiah, who Peter quotes - cf. Isa 8:13-15
      2. We saw that Simeon also foresaw the same thing when Jesus was
         presented in the temple as a newborn - Lk 2:34
      3. Even Jesus saw Himself as this stumblingstone - Mt 21:42-44
      1. Cf. Ro 9:30-33; 1 Co 1:23
      2. Jesus was a stumbling block to many of the Jews because...
         a. They thought that they could attain righteousness by
            keeping the Law
         b. They could not accept the need for a suffering Messiah to
            atone for their sins!
      1. Pride prevents them from accepting Jesus on His terms!
      2. They think that they can please God and go to heaven on the 
         basis of their good deeds
      3. Therefore, they are unwilling...
         a. To confess their sinfulness, and their need for Jesus 
         b. To turn their lives over to Jesus, and to do His Will
      1. For such doom has been appointed by God - 1 Pe 2:8
      2. Such is logically necessary, for without Christ...
         a. We will die in our own sins - cf. Jn 8:24
         b. Righteous punishment can only follow - cf. Re 20:11-15
1. We often sing "Jesus, Rock of Ages," for truly Jesus is like a rock.
   But what kind of rock is He to us?
2. If we are willing to believe and obey Jesus, He can be the
   a. Upon which we can be added as part of His church, the spiritual
   b. Upon which can build our lives so as to have a full and
      meaningful life
3. But if we disbelieve and are disobedient. then by necessity Jesus
   will be our STUMBLINGSTONE...
   a. Over which we will fall
   b. Under which we will be broken and be ground to powder
There is no middle ground. What will Jesus be for you?  Are you
obedient to His Word?


Spiritual Sacrifices Acceptable To God (2:5)
1. An important principle taught in the New Testament is that of "The
   Priesthood Of All Believers."
   a. It is true that under the Law of Moses there was a distinction 
      made between priests the common people
   b. Even today, many religions professing to be "Christian" have 
      developed a clergy-laity distinction
   c. But the New Testament teaches otherwise - Re 1:5-6; 1 Pe 2:9
2. The fact is, in Christ we are ALL "clergy"
   a. I used to say that we had no clergy in the church, but in reality
      we have no "laity"
   b. Does this mean we are all free to use "clergy-parking"?  I'll let
      you discuss that with the security guards at the hospitals! 
3. As "a royal priesthood", our responsibilities are described in 1 Pe
   a. "to offer up spiritual sacrifices"
   b. "sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ"
4. My goal in this lesson...
   a. Is to make sure that we understand our duties as "a holy 
   b. And to encourage us to carry them out faithfully
[Let's take a closer look at the idea of "spiritual sacrifices"...]
      1. Our bodies, as "living sacrifices" - Ro 12:1-2
      2. A lifestyle characterized by sacrificial love - Ep 5:1-2
      3. Praise and thanksgiving, which we do in prayer and song - He
      4. Doing good and sharing with others - He 13:16; Ph 4:15-18
      5. Even in the way we die for the Lord! - Ph 1:20; 2:17; 2 Ti 4:6
      1. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were offered for one of two 
         a. For those OUT of fellowship with God, to restore them back
            to the Lord
         b. For those IN fellowship with God, to express thanksgiving, 
            praise, love and devotion
      2. But in the New Testament...
         a. Only Jesus can provide the sacrifice needed to restore us 
            back to God - He 10:11-18
         b. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that our 
            sacrifices are not to "remove sin" or in any other way to 
            try to "earn our way" into heaven!
      3. Rather, to express thanksgiving and praise, love and devotion,
         for the goodness and mercy God has shown to us!
[Such is the nature of the "spiritual sacrifices" we offer to God.  But
as our text says, they must be "acceptable to God".
We can learn some valuable lessons from the Book of Malachi about what
constitutes "acceptable sacrifices"...]
      1. Otherwise we despise the Name of God by offering "defiled 
      2. Would we render the same kind of service to our employers,
      3. If not, God would rather someone "shut the doors" or let 
         someone else serve Him - cf. Mal 1:9-11
      1. Lack of zeal is evidence of lack of sincerity!
      2. Lack of both results in offering "blemished sacrifices", which
         brings a curse from Him who deserves proper reverence - Mal
      3. How does this apply to our spiritual sacrifices?
         a. Like singing praises?
         b. Like doing good to others?
      1. The priests of Malachi's day had been quick to divorce their
      2. Even Peter taught that our treatment of wives would have a
         bearing on the effectiveness of our prayers - 1 Pe 3:7
      3. This can be applied to many other things as well - cf. Ps 41:
1. Some in Malachi's day did not think it of any value to serve the
   Lord faithfully - Mal 3:13-15
2. But others heeded his words, and it is touching to read what was
   said about them - Mal 3:16-18
3. Shall we be among those who serve God?  May we never forget that in
   the sight of God we are to be "a royal priesthood", called to offer
   "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ"!
May God help us to truly be one of His "jewels"!


A Plea To Pilgrims (2:11-12)
1. Having said that as Christians we are...
   a. "a chosen generation"
   b. "a royal priesthood"
   c. "a holy nation"
   d. God's "own special people"
   ...Peter makes a heart-felt plea concerning our conduct before those
      in the world - 1 Pe 2:11-12
2. As we consider this "plea to pilgrims", remember that Peter is 
   speaking by inspiration; i.e., it is actually GOD who is making this
[Before we examine the plea itself, let's notice some things mentioned
in the passage that serve as...]
      1. Beloved by whom?
         a. By Peter, of course - 1 Pe 2:12; cf. also 1 Pe 4:12
         b. By Paul, James, John, & Jude, all of whom used this same 
            term of endearment
         c. But most of all, we are beloved of God and Jesus! - cf. Ro
            1:7; Co 3:12
      2. It is out such human and divine love that this plea is made
      1. You have not yet reached your heavenly home
      2. As we will see later, failure to heed the plea will mean you 
         will never reach it!
      3. In view of that real possibility, we find this plea made even
         in form of "begging"!
      1. A war in which "fleshly lusts" wage war against the "soul"
      2. The outcome of this "war" will determine whether or not we 
         will reach our heavenly home
      1. Some of which who often speak evil of you (even as they did of
      2. But by heeding this plea, it is possible to cause those very 
         ones who speak evil of you to glorify God in "the day of 
         a. This "day of visitation" might refer to the Day of Judgment
         b. In my opinion, it refers to the "day" when God's grace is 
            shown through a presentation of the gospel to them - cf.
            Lk 19:44
         c. In either case, we have an opportunity to bring glory to 
            God by the way we heed this plea
[In view of these four reasons, then, God through Peter is making a 
heart-felt plea.  What is this plea?
It contains two parts, which we shall now look at closely...]
      1. The word "abstain" means "to hold one's self constantly back"
      2. From what are we to abstain?
         a. "Fleshly lusts", some of which are defined by Paul in Ga
         b. Notice that they involve more than just "sexual" sins (such
            as fornication)
         c. They also include sins of the "emotions" (hatred, outbursts
            of wrath, jealousies, envy, etc.)
      3. Why must we "hold ourselves constantly back" from these 
         a. According to Peter, they "wage war against the soul"
         b. According to Paul, they can keep us out of the kingdom of 
            God! - cf. Ga 5:21
         c. So if we want to succeed in our spiritual "pilgrimage" and
            reach our heavenly destination, we must heed this "plea to 
      4. How can one abstain from fleshly lusts?  In his epistles, Paul
         explains how...
         a. Keep your mind on the things of the Spirit, and not on the 
            things of the flesh - Ro 8:5-6
         b. Grow in Christ, and don't provide opportunities for the 
            fulfillment of fleshly lusts - Ro 13:13-14
         c. Should such opportunities arise, flee them (remember Joseph
            and Potiphar's wife?), and pursue after that which is good 
            - cf. 2 Ti 2:22
   [By following Paul's advice, we can win the "war" between the flesh
   and soul, and successfully complete our pilgrimage!
   But abstaining from fleshly lusts is not the only thing expected of
   God's pilgrims...]
      1. The word "honorable" ("honest", KJV) in the Greek is "kalos"
         a. It means that which is good, beautiful, harmonious, and 
         b. I.e., our conduct is to be something beautiful and 
            refreshing to behold
      2. We can have conduct that is "honorable"...
         a. If on the one hand, we abstain from "fleshly lusts"
         b. And on the other hand, we do "good works" ("good" is the 
            same word in the Greek as "honorable")
      3. We have seen what are "fleshly lusts", what "good works" can 
         we do that are beautiful to behold?
         a. We can see to the needs of those who are poor, fatherless, 
            widowed, sick, and otherwise afflicted - cf. Ja 1:27
         b. We can demonstrate love and hospitality to brethren, 
            friends, neighbors, even strangers - He 13:1-3
         c. We can react kindly to those who despise us, speak evil of
            us, and mistreat us - Lk 6:27-31
      4. The effect of such conduct is that it will likely prompt 
         others to glorify God!
         a. As Jesus taught us in Mt 5:16
         b. Even those who at the present may speak against us as 
            evildoers! - 1 Pe 2:12
1. By heeding this "plea to pilgrims" as found in 1 Pe 2:11-12, it is 
   possible to accomplish several things at the same time...
   a. We can save ourselves
   b. We can glorify God
   c. We might even help save those who presently speak evil of us!
2. As the "people of God" who have "obtained mercy" (1 Pe 2:10), can 
   we do any less?
   a. Abstain, then, from those fleshly lusts which wage war against 
      the soul!
   b. Conduct yourselves, then, in ways that are honorable and a thing
      of beauty for others to behold!
   -- In so doing, you will ensure the successful completion of your 
      spiritual pilgrimage!
Speaking of the mercy of God, have you received the mercy that comes 
through the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit"? 
- cf. Ti 3:4-7


Pilgrims And The Governments Of Men (2:13-17)
1. Throughout our study in 1st Peter, we have noticed that as
   "pilgrims" those who are Christians have many blessings and
2. For example, in our previous study we saw that as "pilgrims and
   sojourners" we are to have our conduct honorable among those with 
   whom we live
3. But what about our responsibilities to those governments of men 
   under which we live?
4. When our true citizenship is in heaven, do we have any 
   responsibilities to the countries on earth?
[Peter addresses this very question in 1 Pe 2:13-17...]
      1. The word "submit"...
         a. Means "be subject to," signifying "to place one's self 
            under subjection; to render one's self subordinate"
         b. This will not be the only time in this epistle that 
            Christians will be told to be submissive - cf. 1 Pe 2:18; 
            3:1; 5:5
      2. In this case, we are told to submit "to every ordinance of 
         a. The word "ordinance" literally means "a creation"
            1) The Greeks and Romans were accustomed to describe the 
               appointment of officers as the "creation" of them
            2) Therefore, the expression "ordinance" actually refers...
               a) Not to a particular law passed by government
               b) But to the civil government or institution itself
            3) Cf. the NASV, "to every human institution"
         b. Note also, we are to submit to EVERY human institution
            1) Whether it be a monarchy, democracy, or totalitarian 
            2) The responsibility of pilgrims is still the same:  
      1. We are to be subject to the governing authorities ("higher 
         powers", KJV) - Ro 13:1
      2. We MUST be subject, and show such submission by paying taxes
         and customs, and showing respect and honor to our officials - 
         Ro 13:5-7
[Our responsibility as pilgrims to the governments of men under which 
we live is quite simple:  submit to them.
But submission is not always an easy thing to do.  What reasons do 
Peter and Paul give that might motivate us to submit to our governments
as we should?]
      1. First and foremost, "this is the will of God" - 1 Pe 2:15a
         a. Cf. also, "for the Lord's sake" - 1 Pe 2:13
         b. That ought to suffice for all true servants of God
         c. But Peter does explain why this is the Lord's will...
      2. That we may "put to silence the ignorance of foolish men" 
         - 1 Pe 2:15b
         a. Because of their allegiance to a heavenly King, Christians
            are often falsely accused of sedition or treason - e.g., 
            Ac 17:5-8
         b. By doing good (e.g., submitting to the governing 
            authorities), we can "silence" (lit., muzzle) such ignorant
      1. Governing authorities that exist have been appointed by God! 
         - Ro 13:1
         a. This truth is emphasized in the book of Daniel - cf. Dan
            2:20-21; 4:17,25a,32a
         b. Even those that are evil, which God uses for His divine 
            purposes and then replaces - cf. Exo 9:16 (Egypt); Isa 
            10:5-12 (Assyria)
      2. This being the case, to resist the government means to resist
         God Himself! - Ro 13:2-4
[So lest we find ourselves resisting against God Himself, let God's 
"pilgrims" freely submit to the powers ruling over them.  In so doing,
we will also silence those who might falsely accuse us of wrong-doing.
But is the principle of submission to government without exception?  Is
there ever a time when Christians are justified in refusing to obey 
governmental authorities?  From Peter himself, we learn...]
      1. Consider the government and conditions under which Peter and
         Paul wrote:
         a. The government was totalitarian, with Nero as ruler, an 
            evil, despotic emperor
         b. Under his reign, Christians suffered greatly - cf. 1 Pe 4:
            12-13; 5:8-9
         c. Eventually, even Peter himself was crucified, and Paul was
      2. Under such oppressive governments, our responsibilities remain
         a. We are to submit
         b. We are to pray for our rulers, that peace may prevail - cf.
            1 Ti 2:1-2
         c. Who knows?  Perhaps God who "removes kings and raises up 
            kings" will answer our prayers and give us rulers who are 
            good and just!
      1. As illustrated by Peter and the rest of the apostles - cf. Ac 
         4:18-20; 5:27-29
      2. Only when government tries to force us to disobey God, must we
         then disobey the government
      3. Even then, it is only the particular laws designed to force us
         to disobey God that we have a right to break;  we have no 
         authority to break other laws in protest
      4. Rather, we are charged to pray for those in authority, and 
         submit to them in all other areas
1. Such is our responsibility as pilgrims under whatever government  we
   may find ourselves as we sojourn here on earth
   a. Even though we have liberty and freedom in Christ, we should use 
      that freedom in serving the Lord - cf. 1 Pe 2:16
   b. As we do so, we will show honor and respect to those in authority
      - cf. 1 Pe 2:17
2. Of course, we who live in countries that allow freedom of religion 
   should be especially quick to show our respect and submission, and 
   to thank God daily for this wonderful privilege!
Speaking of freedom of religion, are we taking advantage of such 
freedom by rendering obedience to God?  Perhaps there are those who 
have not yet done so... - cf. He 5:9


Commendable Conduct Before God (2:18-25)
1. Our last study introduced the importance of submission to human 
   institutions that rule over us - 1 Pe 2:13-17
2. Now in verses 18-25, Peter addresses those who were servants, 
   emphasizing again the principle of submission (READ)
3. In the course of his instructions, Peter mentions conduct that is 
   considered "commendable" before God...
   a. In the NKJV, the word "commendable" is used twice - 1 Pe 2:19,20
   b. The NASV translates it as "finds favor" 
4. In this study, we shall consider...
   a. What is commendable conduct before God
   b. Why it is considered commendable
   c. How we can be sure to have this commendable conduct before God
[First of all, then...]
      1. Consider the example given by Peter...
         a. A servant is trying to serve his master well
         b. For some reason, however, his master mistreats him
         c. The servant "finds favor" in God's sight if he patiently 
            and submissively endures the mistreatment!
      2. To put it in other words:
         a. When you are doing that which is good...
         b. And despite it you are being mistreated...
         c. But you endure the unjust treatment patiently...
         d. Your patient forbearance is commendable in the sight of 
      3. Note carefully:
         a. It is not simply suffering patiently that is commendable
         b. But suffering patiently when you did good, and yet are 
            abused for it - 1 Pe 2:20
      1. No! Consider 1 Pe 3:13-14,17, where Peter speaks to brethren
         in general
      2. In writing to servants, then, Peter is applying a general 
         truth to a specific application
      3. It is therefore applicable to any situation where we are told 
         to submit...
         a. E.g., in our relationship to government - 1 Pe 2:13
         b. E.g., in a wife's relationship to her husband - 1 Pe 3:1
         c. E.g., in our relationship to one another - cf. Ep 5:21
[So whenever we do good and suffer for it, to endure that suffering 
patiently is "commendable conduct before God."
But that is hard!  It is our natural inclination to resist and defend 
ourselves when we are "in the right" and being mistreated.  Indeed, we 
want to "stand up for our rights."
To appreciate why patiently enduring suffering while doing good is 
commendable before God, let's address the question...]
      1. Consider 1 Pe 2:21-23
         a. Christians are called to follow the example of Jesus
         b. Just as He suffered patiently when mistreated without 
            cause, so should we!
      2. We have therefore been called to respond to ill treatment with
         good treatment - cf. 1 Pe 3:9; Lk 6:27-36
      1. See what Jesus accomplished by His patient forbearance to 
         mistreatment done to Him! - cf. 1 Pe 2:24-25
         a. The forgiveness of our sins!
         b. The restoration of straying sheep back to their Shepherd!
      2. By following the example of Jesus, we can have an effect for 
         good also
         a. Returning good for evil, we are more likely to overcome 
            evil - Ro 12:19-21
         b. In this way we are more likely to change those who 
            persecute us
         c. For they are often ashamed when they see how we patiently 
            endure their mistreatment by doing good
[Just as we were moved by the sacrificial death of Jesus for our sins, 
so we might best move others to change their evil ways by patiently 
doing good even when they mistreat us.  That is why we have been called
to follow the example of Jesus!
Finally, here are some suggestions to the question...]
      1. So Peter commanded later in this epistle - 1 Pe 4:12-14; cf.
         also Ac 5:41
      2. Just as Christ did in His sermon on the mount - Mt 5:10-12
      3. Knowing that we are blessed in the sight of God, and have 
         joined a great group of prophets, apostles, and disciples in 
         suffering for Christ, can help us to have the proper attitude
         (one of joy, not vengeance)
      4. Even if those mistreating us do not know that we are 
         Christians, if our response is governed by Christ's teachings,
         we can still have satisfaction in knowing that God is pleased!
      1. When we suffer mistreatment by others, Satan is behind it all
         - cf. 1 Pe 5:8-9
      2. He would love to hinder the cause of Christ by having us 
         retaliate just as people in the world would, proving that 
         Christians are no different than sinners of the world
      3. Don't let him win!
      1. When mistreated for doing good, just do more good! - cf. 1 Pe
         3:9; Ro 12:20-21
      2. For "endure" (1 Pe 2:19) means "to bear from underneath, i.e.
         (fig.) to undergo hardship", thus to bear up under pressure
      3. There is nothing noble (commendable) about stopping when "the 
         going gets tough"; but when "the tough get going", and going 
         about doing good, now THAT is commendable!
   D. "RELY" ON GOD...
      1. Suffering patiently when mistreated for doing good does not 
         always bring immediate satisfaction
      2. We must therefore trust in God, believing that His will is 
      3. So just as Jesus "committed Himself to Him judges righteously"
         (1 Pe 2:23), so should we - 1 Pe 4:19
      4. And if our Christ-like behavior does not change the behavior 
         of those who mistreat us, God will one day do what is right 
         - cf. Ro 12:19; 2 Th 1:6
1. Hopefully by following the "four R's" (rejoice, resist, respond, 
   rely) we can follow in the steps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus 
2. If so, then we can be sure to have "commendable conduct before God"!
We have made reference to what Jesus accomplished by suffering for us, 
how He bore our sins on the tree (1 Pe 2:24).  Peter also says Jesus
did this "that we, having died to sins might live for righteousness".
Have you "died to sins"?  Do you even know how that it is accomplished?
The answer is found in Romans 6:1-8...


--《Executable Outlines


Duty of the living stone

Leave an example

Follow His steps


I.  The growth of life

1.    Rid of all malice

2.    Crave spiritual milk

3.    Grow up in salvation

II.Built into a spiritual house

1.    Precious living stones

2.    Royal priesthood

3.    Declare the praises

III.       Principles of daily life

1.    Live good lives

2.    Law-abiding and God-fearing

3.    Submission to masters

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


A Precious Threefold Link

I Peter’s Precept—that ye may grow (v.2)

II God’s Purpose—that ye should show (v.9)

III Paul’s Prayer—that ye may know (Eph.1.18)

── W.T.R.


‘As’ in 1 Peter 2

I As Nowborn Babes—in God’s family (v.2)

II As Living Stones—in God’s house (v.5)

III As Stranger Pilgrims—in God’s world (v.11)

IV As God’s Servants—with God’s freedom (v.16)

V As Wandering Sheep—returned to God’s fold (v.25)

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons


A Spiritual House and a Spiritual Priesthood (v.9)

I. A spiritual House and its Construction

   1. Its Basis—the living Word of God (1.23)

   2. Its Bond—all united to a living Head in Heaven (v.4)

   3. Its Building—living stones built up (v.5)

II. A Spiritual Hierarchy and its Comptosition—

   1. Holy Priests (v.5)

   2. Royal Priests (v.9)

III. A Spiritual Sanctuary and its Consecration—‘to God by Jesus Christ’ (v.5)

IV. Spiritual Sacrifices and their Costliness

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons


The Priesthood of All Believers

I. An Holy Priesthood—

   1. Founded on Christ, the chief corner stone (v.6)

   2. Feeding on the Word of God (v.2)

   3. Freed from all malice and guile (v.1)

   4. Furnished with acceptable offerings for God (v.5)

II. A Royal Priesthood (v.9)—

   1.Chosen by God

   2. Called into God’s marvelous light

   3. Sanctified—set apart for God

   4. Showing the graces of Christ

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons


Christ Our Example

Christ—leaving us an example—Greek ‘Hupogrammos’, the headline of a copy book, a different word from that used in John 13.15. where the word is ‘Hupodeigma’, a Demonstration lesson.

   1. To the individual Believer He has left an Example, a Headline to copy;

   2. To the Church He has given an Example, a Demonstration lesson of love (John13.15)

He has left us an Example—

I. in His Actions—Who did no sin (v.22)

II. in His Affirmations—No guile found in His mouth (v.22)

III. in His Attitude—reviled not again—Nonretaliation (v.23)

IV. in His Appeal—to Him that judgeth righteously (v.23)

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons


Christ and His People

I. The Man on earth—His Example—Follow His steps (v.21)

II. The Man on the cross—His Expiation—Healed by His stripes (v.23)

III. The Man on the Throne—His Exaltation—upheld by His strength (v.23)

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons


Four Blessed Statements Concerning Jesus

I. In His Nature—Sinless (v.22)

II. In His Life—blameless (v.23)

III. In His Death—Vicarous (v.24)

IV. In His Resurrection—Victorious (v.25)

── T.B.