November 20th 1 Peter 2 C. Suffering and Christ’s Suffering Be United
1: Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4: To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 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. 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. 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, 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. 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: 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. 11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 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.
Peter again is addressing the scattered believers in Christ in the Israelite nation. He tells them to put away sin, such as malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking. And he tells them to desire the Word like a new born baby craves for milk, so that they can grow in the faith. He reminds them that Christ is rejected by many in the nation but that they are a sort of ‘spiritual temple’ and a ‘spiritual priesthood’ who offer ‘spiritual sacrifices’, which God finds acceptable. He says that God is going to lay in Sion a chief corner stone, which will be the beginning of the edifice of the Kingdom and that those who believe in him, find him precious. (The chief cornerstone is the first block of the temple to be laid and all other stones are laid in relation to him.) However he also warns that, to those who reject Christ he becomes a stone over which men will fall. Then he reminds them that they as believing Jews are a chosen generation (chosen to hear and accept the Messiah) They are a royal priesthood (Now there was no such thing in OT times as a royal priesthood. But in the Kingdom the Priesthood will be of Royal descent.) They are a holy nation (a nation set apart by God for his glory and purpose) A peculiar people (They are a specific ‘ethic’ group – children of Israel. None of thee things can be said of Christians.) And why has God done all this? That all nations might brings praises to himself, who called them out of darkness into His marvellous light. These strangers were once not a people (That is a specific ethnic group) but now God has been uniting them by the Gospel of the Kingdom, which Peter and the Apostles preached. Previously God was not merciful to them but now they have obtained mercy. Peter them makes a touching appeal - He calls them ‘dearly beloved’. He calls on them to forsake their sins, to repent and return to the LORD. This is the essence of the Glad tidings of the coming kingdom.