Oak Grove Baptist Church

Striving to become the church of choice for this generation.

  1. Growing Goes Better With Milk (1Pe_2:1-3)
  2. Building with Living Stones (1Pe_2:4-8)
  3. The Truth About Self-Image (1Pe_2:9-10)
  4. Goodness, Freedom, and Servanthood (1Pe_2:11-17)
  5. Called to Be Servants (1Pe_2:18-25)

1 Peter 2:4-8

  1. Building with Living Stones
  1. God Has Called Us To The Life Of Building, Not Destroying.
  1. After Peter Has Instructed Us To Rid Ourselves Of Evil And To Grow Up In Our Salvation,
  1. He Proceeds To Tell Us How To Do That.
  1. After Using The Analogy Of A Baby Who Craves For Milk,
  1. He Now Uses An Analogy Which Is Used Frequently In The New Testament To Illustrate The Personal Growth In One's Spiritual Life,
  2. Or The Building Up Of The Body Of Christ—The Church.
  3. It Is The Analogy Of Building A House.
  1. As You Will Remember, Peter Is Writing Primarily To:
  1. Jewish Christians Who Have Been Dispersed Throughout The World Because Of The Persecution
  2. They Have Been Suffering For Their Christian Faith.
  3. Therefore, Peter's Analogy Is More Specific Than Merely Building A House,
  4. It Is The Building Of God's House—The Temple.
  1. The Original Temple Was Built By King Solomon Under The First Covenant Of God With His Chosen People.
  1. Under The New Covenant, The Spiritual House Or Temple Is Being Built By The Lord Himself.
  1. A Spiritual Temple Requires A Very Specific Kind Of Building Material.
  1. It Is To Be Built Of Living Stones—The Very Lives Of Those Who Have Become Spiritually Alive Through Faith In Jesus Christ. And Such Building Must Begin With Jesus Christ.
  2. Jesus Christ—The Cornerstone (1Pe_2:4-6).
  1. Peter Begins His Teaching On This Important Subject By Referring To Jesus Christ As A "Living Stone" (1Pe_2:4).
  1. The Word For Living Is Záō.
  2. It Is The Same Word Used By Jesus When He Told The Samaritan Woman About Living Water (Joh_4:10)
  3. And When He Told The Jews, "I Am The Living Bread Which Came Down From Heaven.
  4. If Anyone Eats Of This Bread, He Will Live Forever" (Joh_6:51).
  1. Indeed, We Need To Come To Him, The Living Stone, That We Might Have Life Eternal.
  1. In Verse 1Pe_2:6 Peter Also Contends That Jesus Is The Chief Cornerstone As He Quotes From Isa_28:16,
  2. "Behold, I Lay In Zion A Stone For A Foundation."
  3. Paul Agrees With Peter When He Writes,
  4. "[You] Having Been Built On The Foundation Of The Apostles And Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself Being The Chief Cornerstone" (Eph_2:20).
  1. But Many Of Us May Ask, "What Does That Mean?
  1. What Is A Cornerstone?"
  1. Webster's dictionary will help us discover the basic answer by defining cornerstone in the following manner:
  • "A stone which lies at the corner of two walls and serves to unite them; specifically, a stone built into a corner of the foundation of an important edifice as the actual or nominal starting point in the building.
  1. That Is The Role Of Jesus In The Church.
  1. Paul states it in this way,
  • "In whom (Christ) the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit" (Eph_2:21-22).
  1. Jesus is a lively stone and the chief cornerstone who
  • seeks to be the master builder of our lives and who desires to build us together into a holy temple in the Lord—His church.
  1. Jesus Christ is also the elect (eklektós)—chosen by God (1Pe_2:4).
  • Peter refers to the prophecy of Isa_28:16.
  1. Jesus Christ has not become the chief cornerstone by accident nor by His own initiative.
  • He Has Been Chosen By God.
  1. This "chosen one" is also precious to God (1Pe_2:4-6).
  • To be "PRECIOUS" (ÉNTIMOS) is to be held in honor, to be prized.
  • The word is used in the Gospel of Luke to describe the fact that a certain centurion's servant was "Dear" Or "Precious" to him (Luk_7:2).
  1. Jesus is precious to God. He is His only begotten son (Joh_3:16).
  1. The Rejecters—Who Stumble (V. 1Pe_2:7).
  1. Although Chosen By God And Precious To Him,
  1. Jesus Christ Has Been Rejected By Many.
  2. As Jesus Said "That Light Has Come Into The World, And Men Loved Darkness Rather Than Light, Because Their Deeds Were Evil" (Joh_3:19).
  3. Peter Quotes From Psa_118:22, "The Stone Which The Builders Rejected Has Become The Chief Cornerstone" (V. 1Pe_2:7).
  1. People Not Only Reject Christ, But They Stumble Over Him.
  1. He is "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" (1Pe_2:8), states Peter, as he quotes from Isa_8:14.
  2. To every human being, Jesus will either be:
  • The chief cornerstone—the very Lord of his or her life—
  • Or He will be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.
  1. We cannot be neutral concerning Jesus. To ignore Him is to reject Him.

Have you ever noticed how our American society feels quite comfortable with us talking about God but becomes exceedingly uncomfortable at the mention of Jesus?

Over the years, I have been invited to speak to many service clubs and civic organizations.

Usually, my host has asked me not to mention the name of Jesus "because there are some here who would be offended."

  1. Indeed, The Light Of The World Has Come Into The Darkness, And The Darkness Continues To Resist.
  1. That is the reason for the stumbling.
  2. Peter states, "They stumble, being disobedient to the word" (1Pe_2:8).
  3. When we disobey the Word of the Lord, when we reject Jesus Christ who is God's one gift of grace to save us from our sins and the darkness of sin,
  4. we will certainly stumble and fall.
  1. Peter Concludes By Saying, "To which they also were appointed" (1Pe_2:8).
  1. Once again, we come to a passage in which it is difficult to distinguish between the sovereignty of God and man's free will.
  1. However, it is not difficult to understand that God has known from the beginning who would believe in Him and who would reject Him.
  2. Those who disobey God are destined to stumble and fall.
  1. The Accepters—Who Are Living Stones (1Pe_2:5-6).
  1. However, Peter's Instructions And Encouragement are being directed primarily to the "ACCEPTERS," not to the "REJECTERS."
  2. He writes, "You Also, As Living Stones, Are Being Built Into A Spiritual House."
  3. As we have seen, this "Spiritual House" is the church of Jesus Christ.
  1. It Is Fitting For Peter To Use The Analogy Of The Living Stones Since Jesus Had Called Him Cephas, Which Means "A Stone" (Joh_1:42).
    1. And it was to Peter that Jesus said, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Mat_16:18).
    2. And Peter Was The Human Instrument, THE ROCK, that Jesus used to lay the foundation for His church.
    3. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and
  • Preached in the streets of Jerusalem on the day of the birth of the church
  • With some Three Thousand Coming To Faith in Christ on that very day (Act_2:1-41).
  1. Jesus Christ, "The Living Stone," Invites Us To Become "Living Stones"
  1. so that He might use us to build His church.
  2. We cannot live in spiritual isolation.
  3. We must be available to Him and to each other so that our Lord can use our lives to build the kingdom of Christ.
  1. Also, Peter States That We Are Being Built Into "A Holy Priest-Hood" (1Pe_2:5).
  1. Within the first covenant, the priesthood belonged to the sons of Aaron and the tribe of Levi.
  • These Priests Had At Least Three Distinctives.
  1. First, they had direct access to God.
  • At appointed times they went into the Holy of Holies to communicate with God.
  1. Second, the priests represented the people of Israel to God.
  2. And, third, they brought offerings to God for the people.
  3. It was an honor to be chosen as a priest within the first covenant.
  1. Within The Second Covenant, States Peter, All Believers Are Being Built Into A Holy Priesthood.
  1. The New Covenant provides for a priesthood of all believers.
  2. We no longer need others to represent us to God.
  3. We have direct access to Him through Jesus Christ (Heb_10:1-25).
  1. Thus, we are those who should be offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1Pe_2:5).
  1. This should be a vital part of Christian lifestyle.
  2. The writer of Hebrews declares, "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name" (Heb_13:15).
  3. It is always appropriate to praise God, and the sacrifice of praise is always acceptable to Him.
  1. Peter Summarizes This Exciting Teaching In Verses 1Pe_2:5-6 :
  1. If we allow Christ to build us up into a spiritual house as living stones,
  • And If We Allow Him To Build Us Into A Holy Priesthood,
  • And If We Continue To Offer Up Spiritual Sacrifices Which Are Acceptable To God Through Jesus Christ,
  • And If We Believe On Him, We Will By No Means Be Put To Shame.
  1. Sin always brings ultimate shame,
  • But The Life Of Obedience Will Assure Us That We Will Never Stumble Nor Ever Be Put To Shame.
  • Instead, We Are Becoming A Part Of A Spiritual Temple Which Is Eternal.


  1. Growing Goes Better With Milk (1Pe_2:1-3)
  2. Building with Living Stones (1Pe_2:4-8)
  3. The Truth About Self-Image (1Pe_2:9-10)
  4. Goodness, Freedom, and Servanthood (1Pe_2:11-17)
  5. Called to Be Servants (1Pe_2:18-25)

1 Peter 2:9-10

  1. The Truth About Self-Image
  1. No society in history has motivated its people to be more concerned about "self-image" than has contemporary American society. We have been led to believe that if our self-image is adequate, the remaining areas of our lives will become well-adjusted and successful.
  2. This contention has resulted in a literal flood of books and magazine articles on the subject of self-image. One of the most popular teachings was called transactional psychology. Its major premise declared, "I'm O.K. and you're O.K."
  3. The Scripture also speaks to the challenge of self-image. It declares that our basic problem with a poor self-image is spiritual. Peter speaks very specifically about the need. Although he does not label it as "self-image," he teaches that the solution to enjoying an adequate self-image is in living a life that is authentic in order for the communication of self to be adequate.
  4. As I mentioned previously, early in my ministry I had the privilege of ministering for several years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. You can imagine that those were days of great growth and learning.
  5. In a memorable meeting of the Billy Graham team, one of the team members shared a spiritual insight I have never forgotten. The topic of discussion was the "image" of Dr. Graham and his ministry. He summarized the subject by declaring, "Our need is not to create any kind of image for this ministry. It is our task to simply and honestly communicate the image God has created for Dr. Graham and his ministry!"
  6. That is exactly what Peter is saying about self-image. We cannot create a self-image which does not authentically communicate what we really are or what our lifestyle actually is. We must communicate the real person and the actual lifestyle. If the self-image is to be good, the life and the lifestyle must be good. Anything less than that would be deception and hypocrisy. Peter reveals four specific characteristics of the Christian's life that should be lived and appreciated. In turn, they will make major positive contributions to our lifestyle.
    1. We are a chosen people (v. 1Pe_2:9). Within the kingdom of our Lord, there is that wonderful mystery regarding whether we have chosen the Lord or He has chosen us. Anyone who has studied the subject carefully in the Scriptures realizes that both are true.
  7. For example, in 1Pe_1:2, Peter has reminded us that we are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father." He proceeds to teach us to be holy in all our conduct, "as He who has called you is holy" (1Pe_1:15). Indeed, God has called us and elected us to be His chosen people. We are members of His body—the church. He is the Head, and we are the various parts of His body.
  8. Peter's primary audience was comprised of Jewish Christians who knew a great deal about the covenant which God made with the children of Israel through Moses. "If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine" (Exo_19:5).
  9. Think of it. God has extended that covenant to all who will follow Jesus as Lord. We, through faith in Christ, are God's chosen people. As we sing in an old gospel hymn, "I'm a child of the King!" What that should do for our self-image!
    1. We are a "royal priesthood" (1Pe_1:9). Whenever the church has been spiritually alive and vital, there has been a rediscovery of one of the basic premises of the New Covenant—that is the priesthood of believers. Under the first covenant, there were the sons of Aaron and then the tribe of Levi to whom God entrusted the privilege of being His priests.
  10. In the "New Covenant" through Jesus Christ, He invites all of us to be members of His royal priesthood. All of us have been called to ministry (Eph_4:11-13). All of us have both the joy and the responsibility of serving Christ and each other.
  11. As we have seen earlier, within the first covenant the priests were given three major functions which have been passed on to all Christian believers. First, we have direct access to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus is our high priest, and we need none other (Heb_4:14, Heb_5:6). Second, God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us (Rom_8:26). Third, the priest would bring offerings to God for the people. Now, we can bring those offerings directly to God.
  12. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that the offerings which are most acceptable to God are those of praise and service. "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb_13:15-16).
    1. We are citizens of a "holy nation" (1Pe_2:9). From the very beginning of his first epistle, Peter is reminding his readers that we are citizens of a holy nation. He refers to Christians as "pilgrims [strangers, aliens] scattered throughout the world" (1Pe_1:1). He also refers to believers as those who are "staying here" (1Pe_1:17).
  13. To belong to Christ is to belong to His kingdom. Most of you who are reading this commentary are citizens of one of the nations of the world such as the United States of America, Canada, or India.
  14. But Peter is writing about a spiritual citizenship that transcends all geographical borders or political differences. If we belong to Christ, we are citizens of His holy nation which is eternal. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (Eph_2:19).
    1. We are "His own special people" (1Pe_2:9-10). Peter reminds us of the awesome and wonderful truth that once we were not a people, but now we are the people of God (1Pe_2:10). This marvelous fact has not come to reality by mere chance; it has been the plan of God for ages.
  15. Paul shares this fact in Rom_9:25 when he quotes from the prophet Hosea, "I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved" (Hos_2:23). And, in the following verse, Rom_9:26, he quotes Isaiah, "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people.' There they shall be called sons of the living God" (Hos_1:10).
  16. Paul shares that same truth in 2Co_6:16-17 as he quotes from Lev_26:12, Jer_32:38, and Eze_37:27. In addition, the writer of Hebrews communicates about the wonderful fact that those who were not the people of God in the first covenant have become the people of God through the New Covenant (Heb_8:7-13; Jer_31:31-34).
  17. In summary, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God's own special people who were once not a people but are now the people of God. That description should enhance the self-image of all of God's people. The key to a good self-image is found in the image of what we are in Jesus Christ. It is His image that is available to us as we trust in Christ Jesus. As the apostle Paul wrote, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal_2:20).
  18. As a result of becoming the people of God, we should be proclaiming or communicating the praises of God who has called us into His marvelous light (1Pe_2:9). And we, who had not obtained mercy, have now obtained mercy (1Pe_2:10). What marvelous contributions to a healthy and good self-image.

1 Peter 2:1-3

What Christian Living Is All About

Scripture Outline

  1. Growing Goes Better With Milk (1Pe_2:1-3)
  2. Building with Living Stones (1Pe_2:4-8)
  3. The Truth About Self-Image (1Pe_2:9-10)
  4. Goodness, Freedom, and Servanthood (1Pe_2:11-17)
  5. Called to Be Servants (1Pe_2:18-25)

Christianity is not only to be believed; it must also be lived. Life begins with birth, and in the first chapter of this epistle, Peter has reminded us of the reality of the new birth—of being born again not of corruptible or temporary seed, but of incorruptible or eternal seed. God invites us to be born anew of the Spirit so that we might have life eternal (Joh_3:1-17).

Birth must be followed by nurture. And just as a natural baby requires milk in order to be nourished and to grow, so must a spiritual baby have the milk of God's Word in order to be nourished and to grow up in Christ. That is a contention which Peter makes so directly and plainly that none of us can miss it!

  1. Growing Goes Better with Milk

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "Most people are bothered by those passages in the Bible which they cannot understand; but as for me, I always notice that the passages in the Scripture which trouble me the most are those which I do understand." His statement is a commentary of this passage. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Peter invites us to take three specific steps.

1. Lay aside all evil (1Pe_2:1). James shares the same counsel as Peter when he writes, "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness" (Jas_1:21). True repentance must always begin with putting off evil and turning from it. The verb used by both Peter and James is apotı́thēmi which means "to get rid of" or "to cast it off."

That is the way we should always approach evil. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb_12:1). In order to repent, we must turn from every form of sin.

Do you realize how many of our problems would be resolved if we took that counsel seriously? If we would only flee from sin, our lives would be so much more full and blessed. Sin deprives us of God's best, and yet often we play games with sin. We try to get as close as possible without being burned. But sin is never without consequence. What we sow, we reap. "For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal_6:8).

The kinds of sin which we should lay aside or cast off include "malice" (kakía) which denotes depravity and wickedness, "all guile" (dólos) which means "deceit," and "hypocrisy" (hupókrisis) which depicts play acting. We should also lay aside "envy" (phthónos) which is "jealousy" or "ill will," and all "evil speaking" (katalaliá) which can be correctly translated much more strongly as "a defamation of character" or "slander of every kind."

All of these forms of sin deal with that which is untrue. Sin is always deceitful and untrue. God is the source of all truth and Satan is the source of untruth. From the time he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden, Satan has shared lies, deception, and half-truths with mankind. If we are to enjoy the life of truth and love and fullness, we must cast off all the evil. The way that God liberates us from evil desire is to give us a vivid image of what Christ can do in our lives. The closer we come to Christ, the more He replaces our desires with His.

2. "Desire the pure milk of the word" (1Pe_2:2). To "desire" is epipothéÉ which means "to long for" or "to crave." As we turn away from evil, we must take the second step of repentance; we must turn to God. In fact, we must not only turn to God, but we must do so with resolution and aggressiveness (Heb_12:2).

The word epipothéō is used by the apostle Paul in Rom_1:11 when he writes, "I long to see you" and when he writes to young Timothy, I am "greatly desiring to see you" (2Ti_1:4). There is the sense of deeply longing, even as a baby deeply longs or craves for milk.

That desire which God wants us to have should be for the pure milk of His Word. The word "pure" is ádolos which means "unadulterated," "undeceitful," or "sincere." In other words, the pure milk of God's Word is truth as opposed to the evil or non-truth which we are to put off. As newborn babes, we should have that craving desire for the pure milk of God's Word.

Paul refers to the Word of God as nourishing milk in his letter to the church at Corinth when he writes, "I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it" (1Co_3:2). As babies need physical milk, so spiritual babies need spiritual milk so that they may grow up to maturity and begin to need and enjoy the nourishment of solid spiritual food.

3. "That you may grow thereby" (1Pe_2:2). God is concerned that we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ—that we no longer be spiritual babes or children tossed about with every wind of doctrine. Instead, that we may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head—Christ. And that we grow to become more and more like Him, measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph_4:13-16).

That is what Peter is addressing. He wants us to "grow up" spiritually. The verb which Peter uses for grow is auxánō which he also uses in his second letter when he concludes, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe_3:18). It is interesting to note that it was this verb which John the Baptist used when he said, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (Joh_3:30).

As Peter speaks about growing, he also speaks about tasting. Before one can crave or deeply desire spiritual milk, he or she must first taste and see that the Lord is gracious. Tasting precedes craving (1Pe_2:3).

Recently I was visiting with a missionary statesman who is a third generation missionary. He was born in the Orient and has spent most of his life in cultures where Christianity is very much a minority faith. During several decades of missionary service, he has discovered a marvelous and effective approach to those who are agnostic or opposed to Christ.

He simply encourages them to "taste" of the Word of God and what He has told them about Himself in Jesus Christ. His approach is very honest and logical. Before you reject Jesus Christ, you should at least explore His teachings and take a little taste of Him. Only then can you know whether He tastes good or bad. Only then can you authentically decide to follow Him or reject Him.

The results to this evangelistic approach have been most encouraging. In short, just as Peter is teaching, when we taste of the things of the Lord, we find that they are good and satisfying. Tasting leads to the deep desiring and craving for the pure milk of God's Word.

Conference Call Instructions

Bible Study Conference Call

Welcome, to the Oak Grove Baptist Church Weekly Bible Study Conference Call.

You can join the conference by dialing: (404) 891-6338 after prompted enter the conference ID# (which is the church telephone number) (770)775-4749. When prompted give your name and remain on the line for the conference to begin. The conference will begin when the host joins the conference and when two or more participants are online, please be patient while listening to the music.