You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. -1Peter 2:4-5a
Isn't it interesting how Peter refers to both Jesus and his followers as stones. Albeit not dead inanimate ones but rocks that have come alive and are vibrant with life. I wonder if Peter is making a not so subtle reference to when Jesus spoke of building his church on the rock? Perhaps he was helping us to see that Jesus (not Peter) is that spiritual cornerstone?
I love the imagery of God building a spiritual temple. It reminds me of how Paul speaks to us in his writings of being the body of Christ. We are needed members of the Kingdom of God. Each of us has a place in the living body and building of Christ. We are his hands and feet to the world. And a place where the Spirit of God is made manifest on earth.
Help us to stay connected to the Cornerstone Lord. Teach us to be living stones that bring honor to you.
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. -1Peter 2:1-3 NIV
The word translated "tasted" here is the Greek word geuomai. There seems to be such an experiential sense in the word. Who among us have not experienced envy, hypocrisy or deceit. These leave a bad taste in us. Conversely, there are things that leave us with a sweet taste. Forgiveness, for example, is pure unadulterated sweetness for our soul.
This is why Peter instructs us to "crave pure spiritual milk". When we experience the Lord we grow. We become sweet with the love of God. We reject maliciousness, deceitfulness and all manner of hypocrisy. Paul seems echo this when he speaks us becoming "the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."
Create in me a craving for your nourishment Lord. Help me to desire you that I might grow up in your salvation.
You have purified your souls by obeying the truth in order to show sincere mutual love. So love one another earnestly from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. -1Peter 1:22-23 NET
Psuché is the Greek word that is translated here as soul. The word represents the breath of life and the seat of affections and will. It is what makes me "me". When Peter writes of a purified soul he teaches us about how acts of love can cleanse us when they are done in obedience to to Christ. I believe that this is the impact that faith can have on the soul.
Yet there is a greater impact. An eternal impact. When Peter speaks to us about being born anew he speaks about a soul that has been transformed from mortal to immortal. From perishable to imperishable. Once destined for death. Now destined to eternity. Such is a life that has been born from above. Not only a cleaner soul but one destined for heaven.
Help us Lord to be loving, living and enduring ambassadors of your eternal kingdom.
Through him you now trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith
and hope are in God. -1Peter 1:21 NET
Trusting and believing in God is a gift of the Holy Spirit. No one has done anything to earn those gifts. They come through Jesus when we say yes to his invitation. Consequentially our lives reflect the love and grace of God flowing through us. He lives through us when we are moved by compassion. When we sacrifice for others the Spirit flows through us.
Consequently, a life lived through him is one that is filled with the hope of new life. Knowing that the Spirit lives through me encourages me so much. In depressing times he speaks to and through me with such kind words. Because he lives through us, we are able to love as he loves. We are not left to do it alone. Through him we now trust in God.
Live through me today dear Spirit of God. Cause us to trust in you and help us love those who you love.
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was manifested in these last times for your sake. -1Peter 1:20
The Greek word phaneroó communicates the sense of something that was unknown that is now known. Something hidden that was revealed. In a very real sense this is what the life of Jesus Christ was all about. He manifested the very image and character of God. He told the disciples that they saw the Father when they saw the Son.
Yet many hang on to the imagery of the warrior God that is often embraced by people who lived before Jesus. It is why so many Jews had a hard time accepting Jesus as the Messiah. Their image of God was one who raised up warriors to defeat their enemies. How could they accept a Messiah who commanded them to love their enemies?
Help me Lord to rid my self of false images of you and to fully embrace the one manifested by Jesus in the gospels.
You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed —
not by perishable things like silver or gold, but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and
spotless lamb, namely Christ. -1 Peter 1:18-19 NET
The word ransom communicates a troubling picture of a child being kidnapped and held hostage as parents are forced to pay a ransom for their life. I think that the image works religiously if we see it as a metaphor in which we are held hostage by sin and ransomed by God himself on the cross. Jesus exchanged his earthly life for our freedom.
We who were once kidnapped and held hostage by sin are now free. Fleshly desires and empty living have lost their power over us. Like the kidnapped child we have been returned to the One who loves us and sacrifices greatly for us. It is an inspiring thought. Knowing what our spotless Lamb of God has done for us motivates me to sacrifice for others.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us. Teach us to live as ransomed children.
Since you call on a Father who judges each person's work impartially, live out your time as foreigners
here in reverent fear. -1Peter 1:17 NIV
Impartial. Not a word that any of us really understand. Our opinions, dare I say judgment, is tainted by our experiences and the experiences of others. Not one of us is impartial. So, in a very real sense, we do not understand anything about the word. Even so, we sometimes wax poetic about how God is impartial even though we think him partial to us.
Interesting how Peter uses the word in the context of living our lives out before God. The idea that God is impartial is an important one when I consider who God is and the example that he sets for us in Jesus Christ. I am inspired to live in obedience to God because I know him to be impartial. His love for the world encompasses a breathtaking impartiality.
I am opinionated Lord. I show partiality every day. Help me to be more like you. Teach me to be impartial.
But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct [be set apart from the world by your godly character and moral courage]; because it is written, “You shall be holy (set apart), for I am holy.” -1Peter:1:15-16 AMP
I love the word holy. Not as some unattainable goal but as a reminder that we are different because we have been born of the Spirit. Commensurate with this second birth is the idea that we have been set apart. Not as something better. But as something different. Not better rule followers. Better lovers. People filled with divine life and compassion.
In a real sense our lives are like that of Jesus himself. There was always something different about him. In mission, he was set apart. In character, he was love incarnate. In dying, he showed us forgiveness like no other. The life of Jesus explicitly shows us what it means to be holy. How could it not? He was born to show us what God is like.
Again I surrender Lord. To your will I lay down my own will. Empower holiness in me. That I might be like Jesus.
So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. -1Peter 1:13-14 NLT
I have not heard the word backslide lately but it seems to be descriptive of the sentiment offered in verse 14. It is so easy to forget who we are and slide back into old habits. It is why Peter writes to us about preparing our minds. Exercising self-control requires the discipline that comes with preparation. A life of godly obedience does not happen by accident.
Yet apart from preparation, a godly life requires a hope that looks forward to a day when Jesus is revealed. A life of obedience is anchored in the hope that we will see Jesus. Either at the end of our life or at the end of the age. It is why we endure sufferings. Why we fight to overcome temptation. Our desire is to please him and not ourselves.
Breath on us Spirit of the Living God. That we might find the hope to prepare and the discipline to obey.
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you in regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who brought you the good news through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. These are things that even the angels desire to look into. -1Peter 1:12 ISV
I have been around spiritual gifts since the 70s. I first remember hearing prophetic words spoken in church in 1977. Yet I have never thought about what Peter writes here. Mostly folks who speak prophetically have a sense that they are serving God as they exercise this spiritual gift. Most of them believing that they are obeying God and doing his will.
Yet there is a beautiful truth that is offered by the above verse. In reality serving God always involves serving others. In his first epistle John tells us that we show our love for God by loving one another. The exercise of spiritual gifts is an extension of God's love. They are meant to encourage and comfort. These divine gifts have always been gifts of service.
Help me to develop a heart of service Lord. Use the gifts you have put in me to serve others.