1 Peter Chapter Two, A Call To
In our study of 1 Peter chapter two, we look at the calling on our
lives to be holy due to our relationship with Jesus Christ. We will look at what the
call is and how we can apply it to everyday situations.
1 Peter 2:1 - 3
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy,
envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that
by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is
Peter starts us off here by telling us to remember what we learned
in the first chapter.
We are to remember that because we
have the hope that we studied in that chapter, we are to get rid of the sin in our
lives. We are also reminded from the last chapter that we are given the power to
overcome our flesh through the gift of the Holy Spirit. He also tells us to crave pure
spiritual food which means not only get rid of the bad but to replace it with the good
things which come from God. We also have the promise that, when we do that, we will
"grow up" in our salvation. The more you obey God the easier it will get to listen and
1 Peter 2:4 & 5
As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by
God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual
house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
This passage speaks of the transformation of worship from a
building to a daily walk. The temple was made out of stone and many stones were stacked
on top of each other to create the walls. Here, we see that we are a spiritual house of
worship to God. When we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit, we became a house of God
and He dwells within us every day.
Unlike the Temple, we do not need priests to go to God on our behalf as we have God
living in us as the temple. In the old Temple, animal sacrifices were offered as the
temporary payment for sin but, through Jesus Christ, our sins are paid for forever. We
no longer have to offer sacrifices to be saved but instead we offer spiritual sacrifices
which are acceptable to God because of Jesus. These spiritual sacrifices can be simply
putting God first in our lives and that means listening to him and doing what He asks of
1 Peter 2:6
For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and
precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'
Here, Peter quotes from the book of Isaiah the prophet. Isaiah told of the
day that Jesus would
come and the fact that, when we trust in Him, we will be saved and lifted up. He uses
building terms as the people of Isaiah's day could understand building the physical
temple. The promise of this verse is for us today as well in that we will not be put to
shame when we trust in Jesus as the Cornerstone of our relationship with God.
1 Peter 2:7 & 8
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do
not believe, 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,' and, 'A stone
that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.' They stumble because they
disobey the message-which is also what they were destined for.
This passage refers to a tradition about the building of the Temple
and we must remember that God had instructed the builders that they were not to shape
the stone at the site.
It is said that, when the Temple was being built, they brought a large stone up the
mount from the quarry to the site. The stone would not fit anywhere and so they set it
aside (rejected it). When all of the other stones were put into their places, there was
a large hole left at the top corner of the Temple. They retrieved the stone that they
had set aside and it was a perfect fit to the spot at the top corner of the Temple. This
final stone is called the capstone or the cornerstone.
We can see in this tradition, as well as in this passage, a beautiful picture of Jesus
and the salvation He offers as He became the Temple. In the last part of this passage,
it tells of the rejection of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. It tells of how Christ can
either be a stepping stone for you from where you are to a right relationship with God
or cause you to stumble if you reject God's grace through Jesus. Many stumble because it
is 'too easy" and we as people want to contribute something to our salvation but we must
simply accept the gift and trust in Jesus.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of
darkness into his wonderful light.
WOW! What a wonderful basket of gifts from God are contained in
this one verse. We are a "chosen people" and He picked us even when we were enemies of
God and going our own way. It is only by His grace and mercy and nothing of ourselves.
We are a "royal priesthood" and have access to God because of our right relationship
with Him through Jesus Christ. This allows us to serve Him with the authority of God. We
are a "holy nation" and we are called to be different (set apart) because we are His. We
are a "people belonging to God" as we were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. Since
we are His, He will take care of us and we know that we are His because of the Holy
Spirit living inside of us. We also see our purpose in all of this which is to "declare
the praises of him" and that includes every aspect and event of our lives.
1 Peter 2:10
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once
you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
There is a very key truth in this verse but it is easily missed.
The verse speaks of the fact that we were not always God's people because of sin and our
will to do our own thing. But, we have received mercy through Jesus Christ and our
relationship has been restored. We are now known as "the people of God" and a key word
is "the". Today, there are many who are trying to make peace with different "religions"
and are even going so far as to deny Jesus as the Son of God. This verse can remind us
that there is only one way to be "the people of God" and that is through His Son.
Anything other than that is quite simply a lie from the devil and his demons.
1 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to
abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
In this verse, Peter calls us to be holy and reminds us that this
world is not our home. As aliens and strangers, we are called to be different and he
reminds us that these sinful desires are battling against our soul. Each and every day,
our flesh will try to get us to go one way but the Holy Spirit that is alive in us will
try to get us to go God's way. As we grow in our Christian walk, we will be led more by
the Spirit and be more conformed to the likeness of Christ.
1 Peter 2:12
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you
of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits
Here, we see another reason for the call to holiness and that is to
be a witness to those around us who do not know Jesus. We are called to "Live such good
lives" (be holy) so that people around us cannot help but see God at work.
1 Peter 2:13 & 14
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted
among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent
by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
As Christians, we are to be model citizens of our countries even
though this is not our home. We are called to obey the laws of our land "for the Lord's
sake". Jesus himself, when confronted by the authorities, submitted to them even to the
point of death. Jesus even asked the Father to forgive them because they didn't know
what they were doing. Just as Jesus prayed for the authorities, we should as well and we
should pray that they would gain wisdom from God. Those who seek positions of authority
should note that they will be held accountable for the manner in which they lead.
1 Peter 2:15
For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the
ignorant talk of foolish men.
Actions speak louder than words sometimes and Peter gives us the
reason for us to be good citizens. At times, people may laugh at you or say false things
about you but, by focusing on glorifying God with our actions, they will be
1 Peter 2:16
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for
evil; live as servants of God.
Once again, Peter issues the call for us to be holy. We are free to
do everything in Christ but we do not do things that dishonor the name of Jesus. He
tells us to live as servants (bond slaves) of God. Remember that a bond slave only does
the will of his master and, in this case, the master is God.
1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers,
fear God, honor the king.
Peter gives us guidance on our relationships. We notice that we are
to respect all people and this goes back to the first chapter of Genesis where we are
told that man was made in the image of God. Because all people are made in God's image,
we are to respect them. We are told to love believers and that love is putting them
ahead of ourselves as that is the example that Jesus gave us. Finally, we are to honor
and respect the authority of the government and sometimes this is tough but we must rest
in the fact that God is in control.
1 Peter 2:18 & 19
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not
only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is
commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious
At first glance, our reaction to this passage is probably "I am not
a slave and so this doesn't apply to me" but in fact it does. Most of us have a job
where we receive pay for a service that we perform for our boss. The only difference
between slavery and a job working for someone else is in the method of payment. The
master of a slave was obligated to take care of the slave's physical needs while, in the
case of a job, the boss (master) is obligated to give the employee (slave) money to
provide for their own needs. Therefore, whether you have a kind, compassionate,
Christian boss or one that is only concerned about himself, we are to voluntarily submit
to their authority and honor them. If the master is unjust and you suffer, God will call
the master to answer for their actions. You will be commended for your obedience to
1 Peter 2:20
But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing
wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is
commendable before God.
One of the Hebrew names that describes God is El Tsaddik and it
reminds us that God is just and right. Punishment for doing something wrong is commonly
called discipline and punishment for doing good things is commonly called persecution.
Discipline is, in fact, an act of love and is meant to better the person that is
receiving the punishment. A good way to describe it is training and it is the basis for
the word "disciple" which Jesus told us to go and make in the Great Commission.
Persecution is the opposite and is given to stop someone from doing something good. For
example, in many countries, it is illegal to share the Bible with others and if you do
so you can be punished (persecuted). Standing firm in the face of this punishment
(persecution) brings glory to God and can even bring others to faith in God. That is
commendable before God. Do you have a personal
story of standing up in the face of persecution? If so, you can share that and
help others to stand in the same situation.
1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving
you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
If I was to describe what it means to me to be a Christian, this is
the verse I would use. It is so simple to understand but a challenge to live. We are
simply to stand up and follow the example of Jesus Christ in all of our thoughts and
actions because He paid the price for us. We are His bondslaves and He is the most
terrific Master that anyone could have.
1 Peter 2:22 & 23
'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When
they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no
threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Here, Peter quotes from Isaiah 53:9 which told of the sinless
sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus was innocent of all and yet, when He suffered, He did not
condemn but continued to put his trust in God to judge. A Hebrew name that describes God
is El Tsaddik which means the just and right. Jesus knew that and trusted the Father to
deal with His accusers. In fact, Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive them. That
is tough to do but Jesus has given us the example of what to do and how to act when we
are persecuted or wronged in any way by others. We can remember that, as Jesus was
sinless, He suffered for no reason and did so in a manner that glorified God. We should
do so as well.
1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might
die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
Peter reminds us that Jesus submitted even to the point of giving
up His life for those that hated Him and treated Him badly. Because He took away our
sins and paid for them, we are healed and can have a right relationship with God. Peter
also reminds us that because of that we can and should "die to sins and live for
righteousness". To "live for righteousness" is where your every thought and action is
based on the will of God and His Word. God also gave us the power to do so through the
gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 2:25
For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to
the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Without proper guidance, sheep will just wander off and perish. It
is not that they are that stupid, it is simply that they focus on what is directly in
front of them and miss the larger picture.
But, when properly guided, they can be very productive and the same things are true of
Left to our own, we can see the effects of sin all around us and the death that goes
with it but, when properly guided by God through the Holy Spirit, we all can be
productive for the kingdom. If you are ready to answer the call to be holy, you can
start by pressing the reset button on your life and coming back to the Shepherd.