1 Peter 2 - Outlines of 1 & 2 Peter (Book Notes menu page)
III. Suffering and the Suffering of Christ (ch.2-4)
A. Produces Separation (ch.2) -
  1. God's children belong to Him, for ever (v.1-10).
  2. God's children live for Him, in the present (v.11-25).
B. Produces Christian Conduct (ch.3)
C. Produces Obedience to the Will of God (ch.4)
2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile,
and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
2:3 If so be
{since} ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.
Wherefore...- ie., in keeping with your new birth by the Word of God,
as evidenced by your obedience to the Truth, and sincere love of the brethren (1Pet 1:22,23).
laying aside...- (cp. Eph 4:22-25; 1Cor 5:7,8)
  • all malice - congealed anger, an unforgiving spirit, ill-will, a desire to injure another.
  • all guile - deceitfulness, fleshly cleverness. (eg., Acts 5:1-4)
  • hypocrisies - pretentiousness.
  • envies - cp. Php 1:15; Jam 4:4,5
  • evil speakings - defamation, slander, backbiting.
We are to separate from all evil which would corrupt our relationships with our brothers.
These things flow from the flesh, the 'corruptible seed.'
But the believer's new life flows from the Word of God (1Pet 1:23).
  -- Contrast the issues of the fleshly nature (v.1), with the maturing new nature (2Pet 1:4-7).
desire the sincere {ie., pure, unadulterated} milk of the Word.-
We are to separate unto the Word of God.
     A baby is born with an appetite for milk. The new believer also hungers for spiritual nourishment. This appetite must not be neglected but fed and encouraged. A maturing believer will have a growing appetite for, and understanding of, the Word.
     The disregard of God's Word leads to spiritual malnutrition, immaturity and disciplinary famine. cp. 1Cor 3:2,3; Heb 5:12-14; Amos 8:11-13
if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.- Psa 34:8
The believer's desire for the Word is linked to his desire to know the Lord. "They are both precious to the renewed heart, for the Word reveals Him and His fulness to the soul." [GWms]
2:4 To whom {ie., to the Lord (v.3)} coming, [as unto] a living stone,
disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious,
2:5 Ye also, as lively
{ie., living} stones, are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture,
{Isa 28:16}
Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:
and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious:
but unto them which be disobedient,
the stone which the builders disallowed,
the same is made the head of the corner,
2:8 And a stone
{GK= lithos} of stumbling, and a rock {GK= petra} of offence,
[even to them] which stumble at the word,
being disobedient
{ie., unpersuadable, cp. noun form trans. 'unbelief' in Rom 11:30,32; Heb 4:6,11}:
whereunto also they were appointed.
{cp. Rom 9:21-24}
We are separated unto Christ, the 'Stone' rejected by others.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Stone {Rock}. cp. Deu 32:3,4; 1Cor 10:4
A. He is the chief cornerstone. v.5,6; Isa 28:16; 1Cor 3:11
  • The 'spiritual house' (ie., the Church of true believers)...
    • is built upon Him. Mat 16:16-18
      (Not Peter, but the One whom Peter confessed. Eph 2:19-22)
    • is built up of believers, who are 'living stones,' since His life is in them.
      Yet, every believer is inferior to Him.
      Peter's words, here, show that he understood his place as a 'little stone' built upon Christ, the foundation Rock. (See Note at Mat 16:16-18)
  • He is 'precious' {of great value} to those who believe in Him. v.7
B. He is the Stone disallowed {rejected} of men. v.4,7; Psa 118:22
   Unbelievers disregard Him as...
2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
2:10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God:
which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
We are separated unto relationship with, and service to, the Lord (in contrast to the 'disobedient,' v.8).
'Born-again' believers (v.2) are...
  1. a chosen generation - The Bible speaks of two groups of 'chosen' people:
    • Israel- Verses 9,10 quote from Ex 19:5,6, which, as originally spoken,
      was a conditional promise to Israel ("if ye will obey... then..."). Because of unbelief, Israel did not fulfill their part, and was temporarily set aside. But their status as a 'chosen people' has not been revoked (Rom 11:29). Temporarily, they have become 'not my people.' But a remnant will be restored (cp. Rom 9:23-27 which quotes Hosea 1:10; 2:23).
    • the Church- From the time of Christ's death and resurrection onward,
      while the nation of Israel remains in unbelief, God has been calling out (from among both Jews and Gentiles) those who trust in Christ. Eph 2:11-22; cp. Joh 15:16
  2. a royal priesthood -
    • Israel (ie., all 12 tribes) was to have been a kingdom of priests. Ex 19:2-6
      But due to national sin, God gave the priesthood exclusively to the tribe of Levi.
         That priesthood rejected the Messiah at His first coming. Today, their 'house' (Temple) is desolate, and there is no active priesthood in the OT sense (Mat 23:37-39). However, in the earthly Kingdom of the Messiah, Israel will be restored to the priesthood. cp. Isa 61:6
    • In the Church, every believer in Christ is a priest (Rev 1:6; 5:10)...
      1. who has access to God, through our High Priest's blood on the Mercy Seat.
        Heb 10:19-22; cp. Ex 25:22
      2. who is to offer spiritual sacrifices (v.5), including...
  3. an holy nation {GK=ethnos, race} - Our citizenship is in heaven (Php 3:20),
    our Life is in Christ (Col 3:1-4), who is our Righteousness and Sanctification (1Cor 1:30),
    and who progressively sanctifies us, by His Spirit and Word (1Pet 1:2,15,16).
  4. a peculiar people (ie., a people for His own possession) - Joh 6:37; 17:6
    See Eph 1:14, where this word for 'peculiar' {GK=peripoiesis} is translated: "purchased possession." cp. 1Cor 6:20; 7:23; Eph 1:7; Titus 2:14; Heb 13:12-14
       In time past, not my people - Christ, in mercy, calls His own out...
2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims,
{cp. 1Pet 1:1; Php 3:20,21; Heb 11:13-16}
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; {cp. Rom 8:13; Gal 5:17}
2:12 Having your conversation
{ie., manner of life}
honest among the Gentiles
{GK=ethnos, 'the nations' of the world (versus 'the holy nation', v.9)}:
that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers
{translated 'malefactor,' in Joh 18:30},
they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold,
glorify God in the day of visitation.
Dearly beloved...- This is the first of 8 times, in his two short epistles,
that Peter addresses his readers as 'beloved.'
     The apostle was not merely expressing his own affection, for these were "beloved of God," because they were His very own purchased possessions (v.9; Rom 1:7; 2The 2:13).
     "Beloved of God..." What comfort to strangers and pilgrims in a hostile land...
     What privilege and responsibily: to represent the One, who loved me and gave Himself for me, before those who do not yet know God's love toward them.
The believer priest is to ''show forth the praises of God'' (v.9) before the unbelieving world...
A. by good works. cp. v.12; Mat 5:16; Titus 2:7,8
  • Unbelievers may oppose your stand for Christ now,
    but in the 'day of visitation' {GK=episkope, inspection}, when God examines the lives of men, they will have nothing to speak against you, and perhaps some of them will praise God because the testimony of your life led them to the Savior.
  • The ''day of visitation'' may also apply to the context of governmental justice (v.12-16).
    ''If so, the passage may be thus read: 'Whereas they (your accusers) accuse you as evil-doers, they (the magistrates) may on the evidence of your good works which will be placed before them, pronounce you innocent; and their verdict will, in effect, glorify God and nullify the ignorant accusations of malicious and foolish accusers.'' [GWms]
2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance {ie., institution} of man for the Lord's sake:
whether it be to the king, as supreme;
2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him
{ie., by the Lord}
for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
2:15 For so is the will of God,
that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
2:16 As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke
{cloak} of maliciousness,
but as the servants of God.
The believer priest is to represent God before the unbelieving world...
B. by submission to the rules and rulers of human government. cp. v.13-16
2:17 Honour {GK=timao, respect} all [men].
{GK=agapao, love with costly love} the brotherhood {ie., believers}.
Fear God.
{cp. 1Pet 1:17}
{GK=timao, respect} the king. {Respect the position, even when it is ill filled.}
2:18 Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear;
not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward
{GK=skolios, crooked, perverse}.
2:19 For this [is] thankworthy,
if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
{thankworthy- GK=charis, grace, that which pleases God, that which reveals God's grace}
2:20 For what glory {ie., praise} [is it],
if, when ye be buffeted
{lit., struck with fists} for your faults,
ye shall take it patiently?
but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently,
this [is] acceptable
{GK=charis} with God. {cp. Mat 26:67; 1Cor 4:11}
The believer priest is to represent God before the unbelieving world...
C. by submission to your place in society, and by showing respect to all men,
even though they mistreat you. cp. Mat 5:11,12; Luk 6:35,36; Eph 6:5-8
2:21 For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
{cp. Isa 53:9}
2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again;
when he suffered, he threatened not;
{cp. Isa 53:7}
but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:
2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
{cp. 1Pet 3:18}
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes ye were healed.
{ie., cured of sin; cp. Isa 53:4,5; Luk 4:18}
2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray;
{cp. Isa 53:6; Eze 34:6}
but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
The believer priest is to represent God before the unbelieving world...
D. as a follower of Christ. (This is the basis for points A., B., C., above.)
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example...-
Christ did far more, for us, than set an example.
He, alone, accomplished our redemption and sanctification, by His death and resurrection.
The example is in the way He submitted Himself completely to the Father's Will (cp. v.15), and committed the outcome to the Father (v.23).
hereunto were ye called... that ye should follow in His steps.-
  • 'Follow' {GK=epakoloutheo, to follow closely} as sheep ought to follow their Shepherd.
    Joh 10:27; Psa 63:8
  • We are ''elected by God to act toward revilers as Christ acted (v.23).'' [GWms]
    He willingly suffered, at our hands, in order to show God's Grace to sinners (cp. v.19,20).
  • Christ followed the steps prescribed for Him in prophecy.
       (See the references from Isaiah 53, with the Bible text at v.21-25, above.)
    In doing so...

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