Setting

In the first chapter of the epistle, Peter calls the believers’ attention to the great salvation they have received and exhorts them to conduct themselves in a manner that is worthy of God’s grace. In this passage, which is a key passage in the epistle, we will learn of the special relationship that God has with the believers through Jesus Christ. Knowing how precious Christ is and how nobel our identity is motivates us to a new life and continual spiritual growth.

Key Verse

(2:9)

Did You Know...?

1. Chief Cornerstone (2:6): “The cornerstone, which determined the design and orientation of the building, was the most significant stone in the structure.” [ref] “At great cost and care the corner foundation stone was obtained, moved, and laid. Hillyer mentions one stone in a quarry that was sixty-nine feet by twelve feet by thirteen feet (“‘Rock-Sone’ Imagery,” p. 66, n.34)” [ref]

Outline

  • Newborn Babes
    (2:1-3)
  • Living Stones
    (2:4-8)
  • Chosen People
    (2:9-10)

Segment Analysis

  • 2:1-3

    1.

    How does this paragraph relate to the previous passage (1:13-25)?

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    The previous passage calls us to a life of holiness, reverent fear, and love. Therefore, as this passage teaches us, we need to first lay aside all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, knowing that these are contrary to a Christian lifestyle. The previous passage ends with the discussion on the enduring word of God. This passage contains the imperative to desire the word of God.

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  • 2a.

    How does God’s word make us grow? What are the signs of spiritual growth?

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    God’s word lets us know God more and more so we can become spiritually mature, discerning what is best, rejecting all evil, and living to please God (2Tim 3:16-17; Ps 119:104).

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  • 2b.

    When was the last time you had the desire and hunger for the word of God and grew as a result of feeding on God’s word?

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  • 3a.

    What does it mean to have tasted that the Lord is gracious?

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    Tasting that the Lord is gracious means experiencing the goodness of the Lord through trusting in Him (Ps 34:8).

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  • 3b.

    How is this relevant to the desire for the milk of the word?

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    Our experience of the Lord’s goodness will spur us to know the Lord more by learning His word.

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  • 2:4-8

    4.

    What kind of stone is meant when Peter calls Christ the living stone in verse 4?

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    The stone that is used as an image of Christ is a foundation stone (6; cf. Isa 28:16)

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  • 5a.

    How do we, the living stones, relate to Christ, the living stone?

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    Christ is the foundation of our faith and the One whom we can trust. Believers are built on Christ in the same way a house is built on its foundation (1Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20).

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  • 5b.

    How are we “being built up” (5)?

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    Through the continuing work of God in our lives and the nurturing of God’s workers, we become spiritually mature and fit for service (1Cor 3:9; Eph 4:12-13). Not only does each believer become strong and fit for service, all believers are joined together in unity to form God’s temple, the place of God’s dwelling (Eph 2:22; 4:16).

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  • 6a.

    How does the analogy of the spiritual house and holy priesthood aptly describe believers? What is the purpose of the spiritual house and holy priesthood?

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    The function of the community of believers is to let God dwell among them and to dedicate itself to God as a fragrant offering (cf. Eph 2:22; 5:25-27).

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  • 6b.

    What does this purpose teach us about how to conduct our lives?

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    God should be the center of our lives and we must offer our bodies to conform to God’s will, thereby becoming a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord (Rom 12:1-2; 1Cor 6:18-20).

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  • 7a.

    What are the two kinds of responses to God’s chosen and precious stone?

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    The disobedient reject it but the believers accept it as precious.

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  • 7b.

    What are the results of these responses?

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    Those who reject the chief cornerstone stumble over it and will be destroyed (1Pet 2:8; Mt 21:42-44). Those who believe in Christ “will by no means be put to shame” (1Pet 2:6), for “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Joel 2:32; Rom 10:13).

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  • 2:9-10

    8.

    What thought is behind the words “chosen,” “royal,” “holy,” “special”?

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    As God’s elect, we are noble in God’s eyes and dear to His heart.

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  • 9.

    In what ways are Christians royal priests? What kind of sacrifices should we offer up to God (5)?

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    Being royal priests, it is our responsibility to
    1. offer spiritual sacrifices continually, such as sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, contrition, leading others to Christ, and a life pleasing to the Lord (Ps 27:6; 50:14, 23; 51:17; Rom 12:1; 15:16; Php 2:17; 2Tim 4:6; Heb 13:15)
    2. intercede for all people (1Tim 2:1).
    3. proclaim the praises of God and His salvation (1Pet 2:9; Rom 10:15).
    4. teach others the commands of Christ (Mt 28:20).

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  • 10.

    How should believers live as citizens of a holy nation?

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    We need to separate ourselves from the sinful and godless patterns of this world. Our conduct must reflect the nature of God (2Cor 6:14-18; Eph 4:21-24; 2Pet 1:4)

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  • 11a.

    We are God’s own special people. In what ways has God demonstrated to you that you are special?

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    cf. Deut 32:9-10; Jer 31:3; Jn 15:13-16; Rom 8:28-39; Eph 1:3-14.

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  • 11b.

    How does it help you in your daily walk to know that you are special to God?

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  • 12.

    According to Peter, what is the purpose of God’s calling?

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    God has chosen us so we may “ proclaim the praises of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (9). As God’s elect, our goal in life is to make God’s salvation grace known to the world and to glorify Him with our lives.

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  • 13.

    How does verse 10 sum up and reinforce the teachings of the passage?

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    This verse, which recalls Hosea 1:6-9 and 2:23, reminds us of the “before and after” of our calling. Although we are undeserving of God’s mercy, He has chosen us and given us the special privilege to be His children. This is the central message of Peter’s teachings in this passage: God is gracious to us and we are special to Him. Now that we have become the people of God, we must forsake our former life of sin and unbelief. Now that we have received mercy, let us walk in the light, offering ourselves as a pleasing sacrifice to God.

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