I Peter 2:4-10

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

PRIVILEGES FOR BELIEVERS

INTRODUCTION:

 

In I Peter we have seen a number of truths thus far:

 

            I Peter 1:1-12   – God has saved us.

            I Peter 1:13-16       – We should live holy lives.

            I Peter 1:17-21       – We should have reverence toward God.

            I Peter 1:22-25       – We should love our fellow-believers.

            I Peter 2:1-3           – We should be growing spiritually.

 

In I Peter 2:4-10 , we see a number of privileges which believers have.

We see that believers –

    I.     ARE LIVING STONES JUST AS CHRIST WAS A LIVING STONE – I Peter 2:4-5

 

I Peter 2:4-5 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones. . . .

 

To whom refers to the Lord, i.e. to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Coming suggests because you come or when you come. It is unto the Lord that believers have come.

 

As unto a living stone describes whom, which refers to the Lord. It is literally to whom (i.e. to a living stone) you are coming.

 

As introduces a comparison of the Lord Jesus Christ with a stone. It pictures a stone mason looking at various stones he will use in his building project. He selects some and rejects others. Jesus was disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.

 

Disallowed means rejected, disapproved, or refused as unsuitable, which means that Jesus was rejected as the Messiah by the Jewish leaders.

 

Furthermore, disallowed describes the Lord Jesus Christ as a stone. He was disallowed indeed of men. He was also chosen of God, and He was precious. All three of these terms describe stone.

 

The tense of disallowed indicates that the Jewish leaders had reached a settled conclusion or position regarding Christ. They had rejected Him, and there would be no changing their minds.

 

Indeed is a word which means on the one hand. It is to be connected with the word but, which is used in the sense of but on the other hand. Although on the one hand the Lord Jesus Christ as a living stone was rejected by men, on the other hand He was chosen by God.

 

Of men is by men and indicates those who declared the Lord Jesus Christ to be useless or who rejected Him.

 

Men is the generic term for human beings which includes females as well as males. They rejected Him in the past with the result that He remains rejected by them. They took up a set position against Him and remain entrenched in their position.

 

But suggests but on the other hand. It introduces a statement in contrast to disallowed by men.

 

Chosen of God is chosen by God.

 

Chosen means selected and describes stone. It is the same term translated elect in I Peter 1:2. It is also used of believers in I Peter 2:10 . He was a chosen stone, a select stone. Since the best stone is usually chosen to do a job, He was a choice stone or an excellent stone. God is the One in Whose opinion Jesus was a chosen stone or an excellent stone. No one else’s opinion matters. Whereas men thought He was a worthless stone, God thought He was an excellent stone.

 

And precious indicates that Christ the Living Stone was not only chosen by God but that He was also honored, prized, highly esteemed, held dear, held in reputation, or honorable. Although rejected by men, God regarded Jesus as very valuable.

 

I Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones. . . .

 

In verse 5 believers are said to be living stones just as Christ was said to be a Living Stone in verse 4.

 

Ye is you plural. It refers to believers and is emphatic.

 

Also suggests in addition to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was not the only living stone. Believers are living stones as well.

 

Lively stones are living stones. This is the same terminology used of Christ in verse 4. The fact that they are living stones suggests that it is not literal stones that Peter has in mind but a figurative indication of a building process.

Next, we see that believers –

  II.     ARE A SPIRITUAL HOUSE – I Peter 2:5

 

I Peter 2:5 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house. . . .

 

Are built up a spiritual house indicates an activity that is presently going on. It means are being built up a spiritual house.

 

A spiritual house is a body of believers. It is a spiritual temple. Now this spiritual house is not yet complete. It will be complete at some time in the future when believers will form a body of believers. Meanwhile, the building is in process, and its completion is in prospect. One by one as believers are saved they become part of this spiritual house as individual living stones.

We also see that believers –

 III.     ARE A HOLY PRIESTHOOD – I Peter 2:5

 

I Peter 2:5 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood. . . .

 

This holy priesthood is composed of believers. The fact that this priesthood is holy indicates that it is dedicated to God or sacred, meaning that it is reserved for God and for His service. In the Old Testament there was a priesthood, and the priests from that priesthood offered up literal sacrifices to God. Since the resurrection of Christ, every believer is a priest before God. This indicates that he may approach God without going through anyone else. This is done through Christ. As believers, we are all individual priests. There is no hierarchy in this priesthood. We are all on the same level.

In addition, we see that believers –

 IV.     OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES WHICH ARE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST – I Peter 2:5

 

I Peter 2:5 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

 

Rather than offering up literal sacrifices as the priests in the Old Testament did, we offer up spiritual sacrifices, such as praise, prayer, thanksgiving, and obedience.

 

These spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

 

Acceptable to God means well-pleasing to God the Father, pleasant to God the Father, or welcome to God the Father.

 

By Jesus Christ means through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has opened the way for the believer to have access to God the Father by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross at Calvary. Apart from Jesus Christ, our spiritual sacrifices would be unacceptable to God the Father.

 

It is reminiscent of Genesis 4 where Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to God. Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted by God but Abel’s was. When viewing the difference between the two sacrifices, it is soon observed that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground. Hebrews 11 indicates that Cain’s offering was an excellent offering, but the Lord rejected it. By contrast Abel brought one that was a blood sacrifice, and it was accepted. It was more excellent than Cain’s sacrifice. This indicates that Cain was trying to approach God on the basis of his own merit by something which he had done; whereas, Abel recognized that he could not approach God on his own merit but only on the basis of a blood sacrifice which was done in anticipation of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on the cross for our sins.

 

In Romans 12:1 we see that the initial sacrifice that a believer is to make is that of his life.

 

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 

Similarly, spiritual sacrifices are mentioned in Hebrews 13:15-16 ,

 

Hebrews 13:15-16 – (15) By him let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (16) But to do good and communicate [i.e. to share] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Furthermore, we see that believers –

   V.     WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME – I Peter 2:6

 

I Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone . . . And he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

 

In verse 6 Peter appeals to Scripture to support his statements regarding the Lord Jesus Christ and believers.

 

Wherefore draws an inference based on verses 4 and 5 and is understood in the sense of therefore or for this reason.

 

Also suggests in addition to. It is not just Peter who is making this statement; it has been made previously in the Scriptures.

 

It is contained in the scripture suggests that it stands in the Scripture or that it says in the Scripture and refers to Isaiah 28:16 .

 

What is found in the Scripture is, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

 

Behold is a word used to gain the reader’s attention. It means look or you see.

 

I lay means I put or I place where I refers to God the Father. It suggests I am laying a stone as a craftsman or bricklayer would lay it. It means I am setting it in its proper place.

 

In Sion (or in Zion) means in Jerusalem.

 

A chief corner stone is a building term which refers to a stone lying at the extreme corner. It might also suggest a capstone.

 

This stone is described as elect. It is the same word used in verse 4 where it is translated chosen of God. It means chosen or select; and since one ordinarily chooses the best stone available, it suggests choice or excellent.

 

Precious is also the same word used to describe stone in verse 4; and it means valuable as it did there. There is no question that Peter was referring to this Old Testament passage of Scripture in describing the Lord Jesus Christ as this living stone which was rejected by men, yet chosen by God and precious. The statement goes on to indicate what the result will be for one who places his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, this Living Stone, this Chief Cornerstone, which God the Father lays.

 

He that believeth on him refers to every individual who places his trust in this Living Stone, this Chief Cornerstone, that God the Father has laid.

 

Shall not be confounded is a very strong and emphatic negative which means shall never be put to shame or shall never be humiliated. The ultimate shame, disappointment, or humiliation that could come to someone who has placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and who has then endured many consequences for his trust would be to find out that Christianity was not true after all, that his faith has been in vain, and that he has suffered so much for nothing. This will never happen. He will never be put to shame in this way. It suggests, therefore, that he will never be disappointed in the Lord or in his salvation. Furthermore, its tense indicates that this action will never even begin to take place. Thus, the believer will never begin to be disappointed in the Lord Jesus Christ or in his having put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will never be embarrassed in any way by the Lord.

Moreover, we see that believers –

 VI.     FIND CHRIST PRECIOUS – I Peter 2:6-7

 

I Peter 2:6-76 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious. . . .

 

Precious is also the same word used to describe stone in verse 4; and it means valuable or precious as it did there.

 

In verses 7 and 8 a contrast is seen between the way Christ is viewed by believers and the way He is viewed by unbelievers. Believers see Him as precious and as the Chief Cornerstone; whereas, unbelievers see Him as useless and to be rejected.

 

Unto you refers to Peter’s readers, and you is further described by which believe. You is also applicable by extension to all believers everywhere.

 

Therefore indicates that an inference is being drawn and is understood in the sense of accordingly, consequently, then, or so. This inference is based upon what is written in verse 6 that God the Father is laying in Zion a Chief Cornerstone Who is elect and precious, and that the one believing on Him will not be ashamed.

 

The inference drawn is that unto you which believe he [i.e. Christ] is precious.

 

It means that He is an object of value. To believers the Lord Jesus Christ is a highly prized object or a highly valued object.

 

Although believers find Christ precious, unbelievers are offended by Him. We see this in I Peter 2:7-8 .

 

I Peter 2:7-8 7 . . . But unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

 

The second half of verse 7 is in contrast to the first half as is indicated by but.

 

Unto them which be disobedient is in contrast to unto them which believe.

 

Which be disobedient is who disobey. In Christianity the supreme act of disobedience is unbelief in the gospel message. Hence, disobey is frequently used in the sense of disbelief or to be unbelievers as it is here.

 

Whereas Christ is precious to those who are believers, to those who are unbelievers He is the stone which the builders disallowed, a quotation from Psalms 118:22 .

 

Psalms 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

 

Disallowed means rejected or declared useless. It pictures a craftsman building a building and selecting certain stones for use in the building while rejecting others. It pictures Christ as being among the stones rejected by the builders. Whereas He is the Chief Cornerstone as far as the believers are concerned, as far as unbelievers are concerned He is worthless and to be rejected.

 

The same is made the head of the corner also refers to Christ.

 

The same means this One.

 

Is made is became or has become, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

And the head of the corner is simply a head of a corner, which means a cornerstone. The emphasis here is upon His quality as a cornerstone, which suggests that He is the most important stone. Although believers recognize this, unbelievers rejected Him. In spite of their objections, however, Jesus became the Chief Cornerstone.

 

I Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

 

He became a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. This phrase is quoted from Isaiah 8:14 .

 

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin [i.e. a trap] and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

 

A stone of stumbling is a stone of offence. It is pictured as a stone over which someone trips, thereby falling. When used figuratively of Christ, it pictures unbelievers tripping or falling over Him.

 

A rock of offence is another phrase meaning basically the same thing. Rock means stone. A stone and a rock will result in someone’s falling. The suggestion is that the stone becomes a rock of offence to the unbeliever. It is something which distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever. Whereas the Lord Jesus Christ is precious to the believer, He gives offence to the unbeliever.

 

Those to whom Christ becomes a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence are described by the words even to them which stumble at the word being disobedient.

 

Stumble is the verb form of the noun translated stumbling in this verse. It literally means strike, beat against, or stumble. When used figuratively as it is in this verse, it means to take offense at, feel repugnance for, or reject. Its tense indicates that this action is continuous rather than a one-time matter.

 

What they are stumbling at, or what they are offended with, is the word, i.e. with the gospel message.

 

Being disobedient indicates the way in which they treat the Word of God or the gospel message. It is a word which means disobey, and in the New Testament the supreme act of disobedience is disbelieving the gospel. Being disobedient is best understood in the sense they stumble because they are unbelievers.

 

Whereunto is unto which and refers to their stumbling rather than to their being disobedient.

 

Also suggests in addition to.

 

They were appointed suggests they were set or they were placed. The point is not that they were appointed to become unbelievers. It is rather that, because they were unbelievers, they were appointed to stumble over the Lord Jesus Christ. It indicates the result of their lack of belief, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

 

It must be pointed out that nothing is stated regarding the time of this appointment. Therefore, one should not automatically assume that it occurred in eternity past in the counsels of God. It is more in harmony with Scripture to assume that it occurred during this lifetime as a result of their rejection of the gospel message.

We also see that believers –

VII.     ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION – I Peter 2:9

 

I Peter 2:9 9 But ye are a chosen generation. . . .

 

Whereas Christ is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to unbelievers, such is not the case with believers.

 

But introduces a statement in contrast between what Peter has stated in verse 8 and what is being stated in verse 9.

 

Ye is you plural, is used for emphasis, and refers to believers.

 

A chosen generation means a select people. Chosen is the same word translated elect in I Peter 1:2 and chosen in I Peter 2:4 . The word translated generation is not limited to a group of people who would live during a time span of about thirty years. It is a nation or a people and refers to believers.

We also see that believers –

VIII.   ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD – I Peter 2:9

 

I Peter 2:9 9 But ye are . . . a royal priesthood. . . .

 

Royal suggests kingly. It means of royal rank or in royal service.

 

Here, it is a priesthood. This again indicates that believers are individual priests before God; and, as such, they collectively form a priesthood. All believers are included in this group; none are excluded. Consequently, there is no special group of priests who represent believers before the Lord. Instead, all believers are individual priests, and each one represents himself before the Lord.

 

A royal priesthood suggests that each believer is a king priest like Melchisedek was; whereas, the Levitical priests were not kings, but only priests.

In addition, we see that believers –

 IX.     ARE A HOLY NATION – I Peter 2:9

 

I Peter 2:9 9 But ye are . . . an holy nation. . . .

 

Holy means dedicated to God or sacred and suggests consecrated to God. It means that believers are set apart for God’s use.

 

Nation is another term for people. We are a people set apart for God’s use.

Furthermore, we see that believers –

   X.     ARE A PECULIAR PEOPLE – I Peter 2:9

 

I Peter 2:9 9 But ye are . . . a peculiar people. . . .

 

A peculiar people does not mean that we are odd; rather, it means that we are a people for possession, a people for God’s peculiar possession. In other words, we are a special people for Him in a way that others are not.

Moreover, we see that believers –

 XI.     HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF SHOWING THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO HAS CALLED US OUT OF SPIRITUAL DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT – I Peter 2:9

 

I Peter 2:9 9 . . . that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

 

That is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

 

Ye should shew forth is you should proclaim or you should report.

 

The praises of him who hath called you refers to the praises of God the Father. Things that we do and say should bring praise to Him.

 

The praises speaks of the excellencies, the gracious dealings, or the glorious attributes of God.

 

God the Father has called believers out of darkness. This suggests that at one time they were in darkness but that they were removed from this darkness and are no longer in it. Here, it is used of spiritual darkness or of spiritual ignorance.

 

He has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

 

Marvellous means wonderful or remarkable; and just as darkness was used of spiritual darkness, so light is used of spiritual light. As a result, believers are no longer in a position of spiritual ignorance; instead, they are in a position where they know what is happening spiritually. Their spiritual understanding has been illumined.

Finally, we see that believers –

XII.     ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD – I Peter 2:10

 

I Peter 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.

 

Verse 10 continues the description of the believers begun in verse 9.

 

Which refers back to ye and is understood in the sense of who.

 

In time past is formerly or once.

 

It means that at some time or other in the past believers were not a people.

 

People is the same term used in the previous verse where it was said that they were a peculiar people.

 

Now is used in contrast to in time past and means at the present time. Whereas they were not previously a people, now they are the people of God. Formerly, they were not God’s people. Now, they are God’s people.

 

They are further described by which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

 

Which is who and refers to these believers. Prior to their becoming believers, they had not obtained mercy. When they became believers, they obtained mercy.

 

The tense of had not obtained mercy indicates an action completed in past time with its result continuing on. The suggestion is that they were without mercy and that they were treated as such.

 

But now have obtained mercy indicates that a change has taken place. Whereas, in the past they were under the wrath of God as unbelievers, they have now become believers; and as a consequence, they have obtained mercy.

CONCLUSION:

 

Indeed, we as believers have many privileges. We have looked at just a few of them in this message.

 

Therefore, because of the many privileges we have as believers, we should determine to live our lives 100% for the Lord.

 

I am reminded of II Corinthians 5:15 .

 

II Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.