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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

1 Peter 2

Verses 1-25

Chapter 2

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and all envying, and all evil speakings ( 1 Peter 2:1 ),

Set these things aside, we're to love one another with a pure heart fervently. Set aside the envying, the hypocrisy, the guile, the evil speaking.

And as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby: If so be that you have tasted that the Lord is gracious ( 1 Peter 2:2-3 ).

There are so many people who desire sensationalism. They desire the hot fudge sundaes, and you can see them advertising the spiritual hot fudge sundaes in the paper every Sunday, you know. Come and see; come and taste the hot fudge, you know, delicious, and ours is more exciting than anybody else's. Guaranteed to titillate your sensors, get you excited emotionally; you don't grow by that, though, that's the problem.

You see, it may taste good, it may be exciting to eat, but it isn't nourishing. It doesn't strengthen you. It has very little value when the real testing comes. You'll find yourself weak and anemic. But if you have partaken of the word of God and you know from the word, God is good, God is gracious; then when the trials come, you're strengthened by that word and that knowledge of the goodness and the graciousness of God. So "desire the sincere milk of the word that you might grow thereby." Just like a new baby.

And how I love to see these new babes in Christ. These people have just been born again by the Spirit recently, how I love to see them devouring the word. I get a thrill every time I go by the tape library and I see people carrying bags of tapes in and carrying bags of tapes out. I love it!

Some people came to me this morning. They said they were going to be here tonight, and they said we came from our ranch in Texas. They live twelve miles out of a big metropolis of twelve hundred people. Now in Texas, you know, you can get lost way out there in the country. And these people live way out there, but they said, "We've been feeding off of yours and Chuck Missler's tapes, and we just had to come out here and to see you and just to give you thanks. And we're going to be in Chuck's class on Monday night, too, because we want to thank him". I love it!

The word of God going out, "desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby." It's the word of God that feeds you, that develops spiritual growth. You cannot grow spiritually apart from the word of God. Now I would like to emphasize that. You can only experience spiritual growth through the word. It is the food that feeds the spiritual man and apart from the word of God, you cannot experience real spiritual growth. You can experience spiritual excitement through experiences and sensationalism, but you cannot experience real growth. That takes the word of God.

So "desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow as newborn babes.

If so be, you've tasted that the Lord is gracious. [The Lord] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious ( 1 Peter 2:3-4 ),

It's interesting to me. Here's big old, rough Peter, the fisherman, I mean; he's just as tough as nails, you know, he's ready for anything. Ready for a fight. You want to fight? You know, want to take Jesus? Man, I'll -- he draws a sword, he starts to flail. You know what I mean? He's ready for it, against him all these soldiers. Hey, you'll see it out, you know, tough, rough guy. And what seems to be his favorite word when he gets, you know, he's a marshmallow.

I mean, you come to the things of the Spirit. His favorite word is "precious". Now that's not a word for a big, tough guy, you know, "precious". I love the way the Lord makes marshmallows out of some of these jocks. It's beautiful to me. And so all the way through you find Peter using this word "precious". I think that's precious.

So coming to Jesus,

to whom as we come to Him, as unto the living stones, though disallowed indeed of men, but he is chosen of God, and he is precious ( 1 Peter 2:4 ).

precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Now Jesus is referred to as the stone. In the book of Deuteronomy chapter thirty-two, the song of Moses, God is referred to there as a rock and the gods of the heathen as rock. Their rock is not as our rock, he said. And there are references to God as a rock.

In the book of Daniel, in the vision of, or dream of Nebuchadnezzar, he saw this huge image that represented the kingdoms of men; beginning with the Babylonian kingdom and the succession of kingdoms through the Medo-Persian, Grecian, the Roman, until this final world governing kingdom of ten nations. He watched this great image until there came a rock, not cut with hands, and he saw this great image in its feet so that the whole image crumbled and the rock grew into a mountain that covered the earth.

Now when the Lord explained that dream to Nebuchadnezzar, the rock is the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the rock not cut with hands that will bring an end to the worldly governments and will establish God's kingdom that will cover the earth and never end. When Moses was taking the children of Israel through the wilderness and they cried for water, Moses took his rod and struck the rock according to the commandment of God and water came forth.

Now Paul tells us that that rock that was with them in the wilderness was Christ, that rock smitten; that is, at the cross whereby the water of life flows out unto man. Water was -- they were dying. They were perishing of thirst in the wilderness ready to die, until the water flowed forth out of the rock, the water of life. They drank and they were sustained.

Even so, we perishing in the wilderness of sin, ready to die, Jesus smitten for us, the water of life flows forth and we drink and we are saved. We have life. That's why the second time when they cried to Moses for water and he went in to God and God said, "Speak to the rock and it will bring forth water". But Moses in his anger went out and he said, "Must I smite this rock again to give you water?" And he smote it the second time, and God said, Moses, that was a mistake that you're going to have to pay for.

You see, the rock once smitten never needs to be smitten again. Jesus doesn't have to die again. He doesn't have to be crucified again. Once smitten, all you have to do to receive the water of life is to speak to the Rock. Just call upon Jesus Christ.

So here he says, coming now to this stone, this living stone that was disallowed by the builders; that is, Jesus was rejected by the Jews as the Messiah, but yet He was chosen of God, and precious.

Now you also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house ( 1 Peter 2:5 ),

The church, a spiritual house; you are a holy priesthood. We'll be called a royal priesthood soon. But here,

a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 2:5 ).

Now what are the spiritual sacrifices that we offer up? You remember in the fifty-first psalm, even David had a hint. He said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou wouldest not or thou delightest not in". In another psalm he said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou wouldest not, but a body thou has prepared me", in his Psalm, I think it's 89, in reference to Jesus. But in Psalm 51 , "Sacrifice and offering you take no delight in but the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. And a broken spirit and a contrite heart thou would not despise". So he speaks of a spiritual sacrifice, a broken spirit before the Lord.

Then in the book of Hebrews chapter thirteen, "Let us then offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, even the fruit of our lips unto him" ( Hebrews 13:15 ). So the spiritual sacrifices that we offer to God are our praises unto Him. Coming before Him with a broken heart, offering our praises to God.

As a priest I have access, and that was the thing of the priesthood; he had access to God. And as a priest, a holy priesthood that I have, as a child of God; I can offer spiritual sacrifices. I can come to God and worship Him and praise Him and offer Him these spiritual sacrifices, the fruit of my lips unto Him. "Which sacrifices are acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ." If offered in Jesus' name, if offered through Jesus, they're acceptable.

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect and precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded or confused. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which are disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head cornerstone ( 1 Peter 2:6-7 ).

Now this particular psalm, no doubt, impressed Peter pretty much. Because when Peter was called before the council in the fourth chapter of Acts to answer for the miracle that was done to the lame man at the temple; Peter said, If we are examined today because of the good deed done to this impotent or lame man, judge ye. But we, you know, have done it in the name of Jesus Christ. Be it known unto you, all you that dwell in Jerusalem that by the name of Jesus Christ, this man stands here before you whole. And He is the stone, Peter said, which was set of naught by you builders, but he's the same, has become the chief cornerstone, and neither is there salvation in any other.

Now there is in the psalm this reference and Messianic reference to the Messiah, Psalm 118 , of the stone, which was set of naught by the builders becoming the chief cornerstone, work of the Lord. A prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. A prophecy, that He would be disallowed or rejected by the religious leadership.

But yet, God has ordained that He should be the chief cornerstone, and of course, He is that chief cornerstone upon which the church is built. Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build my church". What rock? Peter's confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God". The church has been built on that chief cornerstone. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

Now there is a story that in the building of Solomon's temple, the stones were all quarried away from the temple site and brought to the temple site. They were quarried and actually chiseled out so that they were built in such an interlocking way and chiseled out to such perfection that they used no mortar. The stones just set on each other without even the use of mortar being hewn out so accurately and carefully. And that as each stone came, those builders would just place it in the building, but no sound of hammer, trowel or whatever went on in the building of the temple. That was all done in the quarry away from the temple. And that story goes, that this one stone came and the builders looked for it on the plans, they couldn't see where it fit in the building and finally, they just tossed the thing over in the bushes. Cast it aside.

And when the temple was complete, they were missing this chief cornerstone. So they sent to the quarry, All right, we're ready now for the ceremony; we want to put in the cornerstone, and all, and get this thing out. Where is this cornerstone? And the quarry foreman sent back and said, I sent it to you already. It's been marked off on my inventory. They said, Well, it's not here, we don't have any. He said, Well I've already sent it. It's already gone, you know. And so some fellow went over in the bushes and found this stone that they had thrown away. And they realized, Wow, this is the chief cornerstone of the whole building; the one that's been rejected.

And so an interesting prophecy, then, that experience. The prophecy of what would happen with the temple, became the fulfillment with Jesus. The stone disallowed by the builders, but yet has become the chief cornerstone. And as Peter said, There's not salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. So the twofold effect, though; He is made the head of the corner but yet He is,

A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, unto those which stumble ( 1 Peter 2:8 )

Jesus is a cornerstone, the foundation upon which the church is built, but yet He is also a stumbling stone. The Jews stumble over Him because of the crucifixion. They could not understand the Messiah being crucified and so they stumbled over this stone. He became a rock of offence to them.

Paul speaks of Christ crucified, to the Jews foolishness -- I mean to the Greeks foolishness, but to the Jews an offence; "but unto us which are saved the power of God" ( 1 Corinthians 1:18 ). And so he is a "rock of offence even to them which stumble."

at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed ( 1 Peter 2:8 ).

Now again, the idea of God's fore-ordination and election and they were appointed unto this disobedience.

But ye are a chosen generation ( 1 Peter 2:9 ),

Jesus said, "I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should be my disciples" ( John 15:16 ). You are,

a royal priesthood, you are a holy nation, you are a people destined for a possession ( 1 Peter 2:9 )

That "peculiar people" is a poor translation. You go around with your eyes crossed and tongue hanging out, you know, peculiar people. It's a bad translation. You are a people destined for a possession. The word in the Greek is possession. You're a people of the possession. You are to possess the kingdom, destined to possess the kingdom of God.

that you should show forth the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvellous light ( 1 Peter 2:9 ):

And so the purpose of God, that you should show forth the praises of God through your life because God has called you out of darkness. When Jesus called Paul to go forth and preach the Gospel, as he is relating his experience of conversion unto King Agrippa, and he tells him of that call of God upon his heart; it was to open the eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, that they might receive the forgiveness of sins and the inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in Jesus. Turn them, you have been delivered from the power of darkness. You've been redeemed from the power of darkness and brought into the glorious kingdom of light.

Wherein in times past you were not the people of God, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now you've obtained mercy ( 1 Peter 2:10 ).

Time passed. You weren't one of God's chosen, now you are. You hadn't received the mercy, now you have.

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims ( 1 Peter 2:11 ),

Now he's talking about your relationship to the Lord. The Bible says "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. He that hath the love of the world in his heart hath not the love of the Father. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life, is not of God" ( 1 John 2:16 ), but it is a part of the whole worldly system. You are not of the world. You're a stranger. You're a pilgrim. As a stranger and a pilgrim,

abstain from the fleshly lusts ( 1 Peter 2:11 ),

"All that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes," "abstain from these fleshly lusts,"

which war against your soul ( 1 Peter 2:11 );

They would destroy you.

Having your manner of life honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation ( 1 Peter 2:12 ).

So live a life that is a witness before the world. They may say ugly things to you. They may sneer at you. They may mock you. But let your life be a witness that when the Lord raptures you, they're going to say, Wow, that guy was right, you know. He was really a neat guy, you know, he was all right. He did the right thing, you know, oh man. So, they will.

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake ( 1 Peter 2:13 ):

Now again, as a witness, as a testimony. There are some laws that are hard to live with, but as a Christian, submit yourself to them.

whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God ( 1 Peter 2:13-15 ),

That you submit to the ordinances of man. That's God's will for you.

that with your well doing you might put to silence the ignorance of foolish men ( 1 Peter 2:15 ):

So really, the position that the Jehovah Witnesses take in not saluting the flag and consciencious subjectors, and so forth, is really not a scriptural position. We are to submit to the ordinances of man, to every ordinance, for the Lord's sake, even though we may grind at it, for the Lord's sake. It's God's will that we not be an offence. We might put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

As free ( 1 Peter 2:16 ),

I'm free to do it.

but not using your liberty as a cloak of malicious maliciousness ( 1 Peter 2:16 ),

Now coming back to Christmas celebration, I'm free to do it; I'm free not to do it. That's to me the glorious thing. A Christmas tree, I'm free to have one, I'm free not to have one. Don't get hung up in a legal kind of a thing. God doesn't want a legal relationship with you; He wants a loving relationship with you. And so I'm free, but yet be careful that you don't use your freedom just to cover your own maliciousness.

Say, Well, I'm free in Jesus' name. You're not really free to live after the flesh or the lust of your flesh; you're free not to live after the lust of your flesh. That's a freedom the world doesn't have; they're bound by their flesh. They're slaves to their flesh. But freedom that we have in Christ is that we don't have to live after our flesh anymore. Thank God. What a glorious freedom. So don't use that freedom just as a cover. Well, I'm free in Jesus. I'm not under law, under grace I'm free. Don't use that as a cloak for maliciousness.

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king ( 1 Peter 2:17 ).

Now specifically,

Servants, be subject to your masters with all reverence; not only to the good and the gentle, but also to the mean ones. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience towards God endures grief, suffering wrongfully ( 1 Peter 2:18-19 ).

Because of my conscience towards God, I've been wrongfully accused and I suffer the grief of being wrongfully accused. That's thankworthy, that's praiseworthy. That's grace. Actually the word is "this is grace", if a man for conscience toward God endures grief, though he has been persecuted wrongfully.

For what glory is it, if, when you are buffeted for your faults ( 1 Peter 2:20 ),

And servants were often buffeted by their masters. You make a mistake and he'd come and cuff you, you know, serve some temperamental master, yell and cuff you every time you did something wrong. You are a servant. Well, a lot of times you know you walk away, and boy, if I had a chance, man, I'd really nail you one, you know. You go mumbling under your breath of revenge and everything else. But "what glory is it, if, when you are buffeted for your faults." Say you've done something stupid and you get cuffed and you take it well; so what? You had it coming.

but if, when you have done well, you suffer, and you take it patiently ( 1 Peter 2:20 ),

This proves something.

this is acceptable with God ( 1 Peter 2:20 ).

Suffering wrongfully. How we hate to do this, don't we? If we get punished when we are actually innocent, man, how we cry. I mean, I've had that happen to me. My father was, had a short fuse. I mean, he was very quick to react. He was a reactor. He was a responder and then he would think later.

And my youngest brother would take advantage of this. Now he came along some seven years after me so he's just a little kid. We all loved him. I'm serious. I mean, my brother Bill, I loved him dearly. But he knew that being the little brother, he was sort of a Joseph in the family come lately. My dad said to my mom, If you will give me a redheaded freckle-face boy; buy you a Cadillac car. Well, he was born and he had red hair and of course, he developed freckles as he grew up. My mom never did get a Cadillac, but you know, promised her anything but give her our page. He did give her perfume. But my youngest brother would start screaming and my dad would come out, feeling off his belt and he'd belt my other brother and I. And after belting us, then he'd say, What happened?

Well, my youngest brother, he'd just look at us and laugh. He'd say, I'm going to get you guys in trouble, you know. If you know we had done something he didn't like, okay, I'm going to get you and he'd start screaming. Dad would come up, give up the belting and then he'd say, All right, what happened? What happened? Well, we didn't do anything, you know. Why was he screaming? And then he'd find out and well, I'm sorry, you know, but. And boy, I mean, we would really make my dad suffer for that kind of stuff; you know, we were punished unjustly. Oh man, we would get all righteous indignation and just, you know, you did that. But you know, in reality, I did so many things I should have gotten belted for and he never found out. But I always figured I was still on the plus side, you know.

Now Peter is saying, Look, if you deserve a spanking and you get one, and you take it patiently, so what? You had it coming. But if you don't deserve and yet you get a spanking and you take it patiently, hey, then that's acceptable. For God's sake you accepted graciously persecution or buffeting or things that come your way where you are really innocent. You don't have it coming. Rather than getting all upset and threatening and everything else, taking it patiently.

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ left us the example ( 1 Peter 2:21 ),

He also suffered for us. And in His suffering He left the example for us.

that we should follow his steps: [for you see] He did no sin, neither was any guile in his mouth: And when he was reviled, He didn't revile back at them again ( 1 Peter 2:21-23 );

"As the lamb before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth" ( Isaiah 53:7 ).

when he suffered, he did not threaten ( 1 Peter 2:23 );

I'll get even with you. You wait till the day of judgment, you'll fry, man, you know. He didn't threaten.

but He committed himself to him that judges righteously ( 1 Peter 2:23 ):

And this is the thing. When things come our way, we can't understand, just commit your life to God. Well Lord, it's all in Your hands. And don't get all threatening and I'll get even and all this kind of stuff. Just commit it all to God.

Jesus said, If you love those that love you; so what? The heathens do that. You should love those that hate you. Then that really proves that God's love dwells in you. So if you're persecuted, you got it coming; then so what? But if you don't and you take it well, if you learn to just commit your life to God, Well, it's all in the Lord's hand. Oh but that isn't fair. That's not right. I know it isn't but yet, you know, God's taking care of it. God will take care of it. And if we'll learn to just commit our ways completely to God, then God will take care of it.

Now if you are out to defend yourself, then God will let you. But if you will learn to just commit the thing to God, say, "Well, the Lord will take care of it, it doesn't matter. The Lord's going to handle it"; then the Lord will handle it. He will take care of it. And so learn to just really commit your life to Him. As Peter will tell us in the next chapter or two, "If you suffer according to the will of God just commit the keeping of your soul to him as a faithful creator" ( 1 Peter 4:19 ).

Jesus is our example. He suffered wrongfully at the hands of man. We should follow in His steps. He didn't pour out guile from His mouth when they were doing these things. In fact, what did He say as they were nailing Him to the tree? He said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do" ( Luke 23:34 ). That's your example. "Pray for those," Jesus said, "who despitefully use you" ( Matthew 5:44 ). And so you are the servant of God. "He threatened not but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously." "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" ( Luke 23:46 ).

Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree ( 1 Peter 2:24 ),

It was your sins that Jesus was bearing there. He was suffering wrongfully. He had not sin; it was for your sins that He suffered. Bearing your sins in His body on the tree,

that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed ( 1 Peter 2:24 ).

I think that it is wrong to limit that healing to just spiritual healing as some seek to do. I think that it is broader than that.

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and the overseer of your souls ( 1 Peter 2:25 ).

So he is quoting actually freely from Isaiah, fifty-third chapter, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we've turned every one to our own way; God laid on him the iniquities of us all" ( Isaiah 53:6 ). "Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. We being dead to sins should live unto righteousness by whose stripes you are healed." "For we were as sheep going astray. All we like sheep have gone astray but God laid on Him the iniquities of us all."

So we have this glorious salvation, the hope, the living hope of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, fades not away. We rejoice with a joy unspeakable in full of glory because we are heirs of eternal life through Jesus Christ. And we are going to inherit that eternal kingdom and we will live and reign with Him, world without end.

Oh, what a blessed hope and what a glorious future awaits every child of God as we wait for our King to come and manifest Himself. What good words of exhortation. Go back this next week and read the first two chapters again. Let it soak in. Let the richness of it just feed your spirit, that you might grow and become strong.

Father, thank You for Your good Word. May Your Holy Spirit now apply the truth in our daily lives. Help us, Lord, as we live in the world not to partake of the world. Help us, Lord, not to live after the flesh but to live after the Spirit, knowing that we are dead to the flesh to the old life. May we be alive unto You in and through Jesus Christ. Oh Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth. Thy glory fills the heavens and they fill our hearts and our lives tonight. May we live to the praise of Thy glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.

So much food and all to be found there, I feel like -- I like to just start all over right now and go back through these first two chapters again. Just to, you know, suck out more of the richness that is there. But we'll leave that for you to do on your own. Go back and review it. "Desire the sincere milk of the word that you might grow thereby."

God bless you, give you a very fulfilling week as you walk in fellowship with Him. Anointed by the Spirit of God, may you live after the Spirit, that new life of the Spirit that is yours through Christ, being born again by the Spirit to this living hope, to this inheritance that is yours through faith. God bless you and keep you in His love, in Jesus' name. "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Peter 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.