1 Peter 2

Greetings!  Once again, the Bible is pretty clear on what the Christian life should look like.  Does Peter, via inspiration from the Holy Spirit, say to get rid of some malice and some deceit and some slander?  No.  He says we should rid ourselves of all those things.  It is easy?  No.  But we don’t have to do it on our own.  He tells us the solution: Crave pure spiritual milk so we can grow in our salvation.  As Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 

1 Peter 2 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 good.

That reminds me of Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

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 Jesus Christ. 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.”

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.

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. 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.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 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 us.

The “aliens and strangers” theme is continued from chapter 1.  Our eternal home will be on a re-created earth.  This “world” – the way it is now – is not our home.  As Peter notes, our sinful, worldly desires war with our souls.  He notes that by living like authentic Christians we will be a witness to others.

The following is one of the passages pointing out that God lets governments have responsibility for managing countries.  Of course, we must follow God’s law when man’s law is in disagreement with it.   

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. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

In the next passage, the Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that “The Greek word for slaves here is not douloi, the common term for slaves but oiketai, which refers to household or domestic servants.”  Slaves and servants made up a huge percentage of the population in the Roman world.  It is not the type of slavery we had in the United States, so the passage should never be used as a justification for taking slaves. 

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 of God. 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. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “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. 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. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

The last paragraph sums up well what Jesus did for us: He took our punishment in our place and by doing so He healed us.  Believers were like sheep without a shepherd, but now we are reconciled with God. 

Please feel free to post any comments or questions.  Next up: 1 Peter 3.

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