Sunday, October 13, 2019

2019.10.13. The Way Connection Group. 1 Peter 2:1-10.

Name: Jeff Sandberg
Class:  The Way Connection Group     Topic:  1 Peter 2:
Date:   10/06/2019                                                   
Last week, we were reminded of who we are to call on, that the Father is “without respect of persons,” that Christ redeems us with his blood. We were also reminded that Jesus and his mission were pre-arranged, “while we were yet sinners.” As fellow sinners and, especially, fellow believers, we are to love one another fervently.

This week, as we learn that as we love each other by “laying aside…all evil speaking,” we are to grow as Christians desiring “the pure milk of the word.” This “word” teaches us we were chosen by God to “proclaim the praises of Him who has called (us) our of darkness and into His marvelous light,” celebrating the fact that, as believers, we have been given His amazing mercy.

1 Therefore laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 
Therefore. “What’s it “there for?” In other words, taking all the things previously mentioned here’s the next logical step. More specifically, because 1) we were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ and not our own doing, 2) Christ’s mission was foreordained before the world began, 3) we believe in God by and through Christ, 4) we have purified our souls through belief in Christ, 4) we are born again by the word preached and the Word made flesh, 5) and because the Word of the Lord endures forever, we are to desire more of the word preached and the Word made flesh that we grow.

Laying aside. I almost read this as “therefore - AND laying aside all evil speaking…” Eph. 4:22-25. We are laying aside (Eph. 4:22) the former conversation of the old man” to be “renewed in the spirit of (our) mind.” If what came before 1 Peter 2 is true about us as Christians, we are doing this because we are born again, which (Eph. 4:24) “after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Therefore, we put it away. God is three times holy. He cannot have our lying and abominable lips in his presence. Yet, as a Father, he corrects, rebukes, and chastises as a good father does for his own children.

All evil speaking (et al).

Malice: malignity, ill-will, desire to injure.
deceit: probably meaning to decoy;; a trick (bait), i.e. (figuratively) wile:—craft, deceit, guile, subtlety.
Hypocrisy: acting under a feigned part. The act of dissimulating; concealment of reality under a diverse or contrary appearance; feigning; hypocrisy; deceit.
Envy: ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite)
2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 
Vs. 1 & 2 contrast the list of evils in verse 1 with desiring the “pure milk of the word.” Compare this to Ephesians 5:18: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…” In other words, “As opposed to these evils, as newly-born again Christians, desire the Word that you may experience growth and not decay.

Matthew 18:3. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
-The word for little children is first rendered “infant” in the Greek text. In other words, except you be converted and born again, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. So, while we should come to him as young children do to their parents when they are hurt, the picture here is really about being born anew in Christ. And, little children (infants) are usually the ones clamoring for the mother’s breastmilk, not children older than 2 or 3. And yet, as Christians who’ve been born again, we are always to desire the word, not just as new Christians.
3  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 
How does one do this? How have - or do - we taste that the Lord is gracious? First, we believe what he says about himself. Then, we believe what he says about us. Next, we believe what he says about the consequences of us being us. Finally, we believe what he says about how he rescued us anyway. In short, we see our sin, and then we see our savior. In other words, we’re, as Ray Comfort once put it, “convinced of our disease that we might appreciate the cure.”
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
The most interesting thing is that God commands us to come to him.
Isaiah 55:3. “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” I don’t think that’s some empty plea. Just as we’ve spoken, God commands us to enter into his rest, then invites us to enjoy it.
Daniel 2:34. What was the image that God gave Daniel to give to King Neb? “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.”
-Jesus, the living stone, rids the world of false demonstrations of worship and brings his camp under one umbrella of love.

Acts 4:11-12. Quoting Psalm 118:22-23. Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
-Peter continues his interpretation of Psalm 118 to say that, not only is the rejected stone the cornerstone, but also that there isn’t any possibility of eternal life and forgiveness found anywhere else.
5 you also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Now, we are living stones. Didn’t Jesus tell the Jews that the very rocks would cry out if people didn’t? The first image I have is of the memorial stones of Joshua as they crossed the river. The “standings stones.”

“…are built up…” We are both the temple of the Holy Spirit and a holy priesthood. How fascinating! 

Eph. 2:20-22.
19  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the entire building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit. 

Revelation speaks 3 times of his “called out ones” being set apart as priests. Altogether, the wording or phrase surrounding the priesthood of believers is mentioned 7 times in Sacred Scripture.

Note that this is not a rebuilding of the old Jerusalem temple where animal sacrifices are offered. We, the people of the body, are being built up as a SPIRITUAL house, a holy priesthood (almost a follow-up description), to offer up SPIRITUAL sacrifices. What might this be? The Psalms describe some of those as the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Romans 12 says we offer our bodies as LIVING SACRIFICES, as opposed to dying to cover the sins of others.

Philippians 2:14-17. What is the living sacrifice here? The sharing forth of the word of life!

Hebrews 13;15-16 put all of this together when it says, “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.16 But do not forget to do good and to share, because with such sacrifices God is well pleased
6 Therefore it is also contained in the scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
John MacArthur comments: “Three OT passages employing the “stone” metaphor are used by Peter to show that Christ’s position as the chief cornerstone of the new spiritual house was foreordained by God. That same stone is also going to be the stumbling stone that brings down the unbelieving in judgment (cf. Matt. 21:42, 44).”

Two views of the stone: For the unbeliever, the stone can either be a means of judgment if the gospel is rejected. Contrarily, for a Christian, a means of life if our faith is built “upon the rock.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected, has become the head cornerstone,”
Jesus is, in a sense, like a precious stone. Think of the list of precious stones that make up the gates of heaven listed in Scripture. They are all wonderfully beautiful. Even so, none are so precious as our Savior, Jesus, who willingly took on flesh, dwelt among us, died, was buried, and then rose on the 3rd day for us, for our sins, for our forgiveness. What love!
8 and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,” which is to those who stumble at the word, being disobedient, to which they are also appointed.
What did Jesus say about this? Many are offended at him. People want to kill him because He declared that their works were evil.

John 7:7. “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”

What was Mary told in Luke 2:34-35? Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” While we won’t experience the exact same kind of suffering that Jesus did, we are to experience some form of it because of our association with Jesus.

Paul further defines for us in 1 Corinthians the stumbling this initially brings to his chosen people, Israel, and the unbelieving Greeks/Gentiles. 
1 Corinthians 1:18-25. 18 Because, the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who perish, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. 19 Because it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”  20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 Because since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. 22  Because, Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;  23  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  25 Because, the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 
Here, Peter restates that we are not only a holy priesthood but a royal one. Why the differentiation? There is no difference. We are (v5) set apart by (v9) the King of Kings. 

The idea of the royal priesthood is taken from Exodus 19:5-6, where it is said: “Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

In this verse, we also find Peter confirming what we earlier found in the Psalms, as we “may proclaim the praises of Him who has called [us] our of darkness (sin) and into his marvelous light (purity, forgiveness, eternal life, etc). 

10 who once were not a people, but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 
Hosea, anyone?

“…who had not obtained mercy…” In other words, we had not obtained it, as if we had any power to do so. 

Romans 11:6-7.
6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks after, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 
SUMMARY:  Write 4 or more sentences describing specific learning from these notes.
  1. Instead of wallowing in “former ignorances,” as born-again Christians, we are to drink of the pure milk of the word, and do it often!
  2. Even though babes in Christ, we have been chosen by God to serve him as living sacrifices, Jesus being the cornerstone of the building. Just as the all other stones of a physical structure run in reference to this stones, our lives must run in reference to that of Christ and his commands to us.
  3. As priests ourselves, we no longer need an earthly mediator between us and God because Jesus has made the final sacrifice on our behalf and acts as our Mediator
  4. And, as priests, we are to offer the spiritual salve of the gospel to all. We must convince the lost of the disease of sin that they will appreciate the cure. May the Holy Spirit so saturate us that we spill over with the Love of Christ to all we come in contact with.