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1Peter 2:6-12

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 10, 2019

Video:  I See You

Could we have all the Veterans stand?  Let’s pray for our brave brothers and sisters


From Rome, the apostle Peter writes this letter to the Jew and Gentile believers that are living throughout the province known as Asia Minor, or, modern Turkey.

It is AD 64.  Caesar Nero is beginning to unleash his persecution of Christian back in Rome, where Peter is.

The believers in Rome faced torture, being burned alive, and death by animals in the Coliseum.

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The main themes that we will see woven through this tapestry of difficulty are:

Suffering -

Submission – an unusual response to suffering, learning to “yield” to God rather than “fight” the problem.

Relational Evangelism – the way we go through our difficulties and yet still cling to God can be a light to those who are going through dark times of their own.

Last week in 1Peter 2:4-5 Daniel Grant introduced us to the concept that we are “living stones” being built up into a building, a temple if you will.

(1 Peter 2:4–5 NKJV) —4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Paul also talked about us being “God’s building” (1Cor. 3:9), being built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, and to the people gathered as the church …
(1 Corinthians 3:16 NKJV) Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

So continuing with this idea of us being built into a place that is centered on the worship of God…

2:6-10 Chosen

: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 by no means be put to shame.”

containedperiecho – to surround, encompass; to contain: of the subject-matter, contents, of a writing

present active indicative

ZionSion – Zion, the hill on which the temple stood, also used as a reference to Jerusalem.

chief cornerstoneakrogoniaios (“farthest” + “corner”) – placed at an extreme corner, the corner foundation stone

electeklektos – picked out, chosen

preciousentimos – held in honor, prized, precious

will by no means – translates the double negative (οὐ μὴ) with the subjunctive

be put to shamekataischuno (“according to” + “shame”) – to dishonor, disgrace; to put to shame, make ashamed; to be ashamed, blush with shame

aorist passive subjunctive

:6 I lay in Zion

Peter is roughly quoting Isaiah 28:16.

If you look the verse up you will see it doesn’t match exactly.  That’s because Peter is quoting from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew text, while our Bibles are translated straight from the Hebrew (which is slightly different).

He is not quoting exactly, he misses a phrase and switches a word or two, but he has most of it in place.
(Isaiah 28:16 NKJV) Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.
Peter is quoting from the Septuagint, so his quote differs a little from our translations that come from the Hebrew Masoretic text.

:6 A chief cornerstone, elect, precious

Jesus is more important than any other stone in the living Temple of God, He is the “chief cornerstone”.

He is “elect” in that He was chosen before the foundation of the world.

He is “precious”, more valuable than anything else in the universe.

:6 he who believes on Him

Isaiah and Peter are encouraging those who have made a choice of putting their lives into Jesus’ hands.

The one who trusts… will not regret it.

You will find that though life may be hard at times, you may find that some of your friends and family will ridicule you or call you names … but if your trust is in Jesus, then on that day that we all stand before God, we will have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about at all.

:7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”

:7 you who believe … disobedient

In the Greek, these two words are pretty much opposites.

We could say, “to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who don’t believe…

In the text the two words are right next to each other, showing the contrast.

who believepisteuo – to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

present active participle

disobedientapeitheo – not to allow one’s self to be persuaded; to refuse or withhold belief; to refuse belief and obedience; not to comply with

present active participle

precioustime – a valuing by which the price is fixed; of the price itself; honor which belongs or is shown to one.  This is the root of the word that is translated “precious” in 2:4,6.

rejectedapodokimazo – to disapprove, reject, repudiate.  The same word as translated “disallowed” in 2:4.

aorist active indicative

Has becomeginomai – to become

aorist passive indicative

chiefkephale – the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.; metaph. anything  supreme, chief, prominent

cornerstonegonia – corner

:7 The stone which the builders rejected

Peter is now quoting the Psalmist:

(Psalm 118:22 NKJV) The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.

There is an old Jewish tradition about the building of the temple by Solomon.

The stones used to build Solomon’s temple were not cut at the temple site, but at the stone quarry. There was to be no sound of cutting tools on the temple sight. After a stone was cut to specifications, it would be sent to the temple, where it would be placed into the building according to the plans.
Everything worked well until one particular stone arrived, and the builders couldn’t figure out where it went, so they tossed it aside.
Much later, the builders began to wonder when the quarry was going to send the most important stone, the corner stone.  All the other stones were in place except for it.
The quarry answered that they had already sent it a long time ago. That’s when they realized that the stone they had tossed aside was in fact the most important of them all, the corner stone.

In Luke 20:17, Jesus tells us that He is the stone that the Jews rejected, but He is the chief cornerstone.

In Luke 20, Jesus applied this verse from Psalm 118 to Himself.  He told a story about ungrateful tenant farmers who wouldn’t pay their rent.  When the landlord finally sent his son to collect, they killed the son. 

(Luke 20:17 NKJV) Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’?

:8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

stumblingproskomma – a stumbling block; an obstacle in the way which if one strikes his foot against he stumbles or falls; that over which a soul stumbles i.e. by which is caused to sin

offenseskandalon – the movable stick or trigger of a trap, a trap stick; a trap, snare; any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, (a stumbling block, occasion of stumbling) i.e. a rock which is a cause of stumbling

they stumbleproskopto – to strike against; of those who strike against a stone or other obstacle in the path, to stumble; to strike one’s foot against a stone

being disobedientapeitheo – not to allow one’s self to be persuaded; to refuse or withhold belief; to refuse belief and obedience; not to comply with

appointedtithemi – to set, put, place; to make; to set, fix establish; ordain

:8 A stone of stumbling

Here Peter is quoting from Isaiah 8:14-15

(Isaiah 8:14–15 NKJV) —14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.”

For those who don’t believe, who reject Jesus, He isn’t “precious”, but something that they will trip over.

:7 to you who believe, He is precious


Believe and Follow

Keep in mind who Peter is writing to and when he is writing.
He’s reminding his readers that even Jesus was rejected and persecuted.
He’s going to be telling them in just a few paragraphs…

(1 Peter 2:21–23 NKJV) —21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

When you are going through a difficult time, when we as a church are going through a difficult time, we need to remember that Jesus also went through great difficulties.

He understands what you are going through.

He is also the one who said,

(Matthew 16:24 NKJV) “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Peter’s example at his death.
Church history tells us that during Nero’s reign as emperor of Rome, Peter had been visiting in Rome when he heard that there was a warrant out for his arrest.  The believers in the church persuaded Peter to leave the city and flee.  Tradition has it that Peter met Jesus outside the city, and Jesus was going back into the city carrying the cross.  Peter asked him “Quo Vadis”, which is Latin for “Where are you going?”  Jesus told Peter that He was going into the city to be crucified again.  Peter turned around and went back to the city where he was arrested and condemned to death.  When he was about to be crucified, Peter did not feel himself worthy of being crucified in the same way that his Master was and asked to be crucified upside down.

Peter understood what it was to follow Jesus.

:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

generationgenos – kindred; offspring; family; stock, tribe, nation; i.e. nationality or descent from a particular people; the aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, kind, sort

choseneklektos – picked out, chosen

specialperipoiesis – a preserving, a preservation; possession, one’s own property; an obtaining.  NAS – “a people of God’s own possession”.

praises arete – a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action; virtue, moral goodness; any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity.  NAS – “the excellencies

proclaimexaggello – to tell out or forth; to declare abroad, divulge, publish; to make known by praising or proclaiming, to celebrate

aorist active subjunctive

marvelousthaumastos – wonderful, marvelous; worthy of pious admiration, admirable, excellent

Peter uses several phrases that were used in the Old Testament to describe the nation of Israel.

:9 a chosen generation

Isaiah wrote that the Jews were “chosen” (Is. 43:20)

(Isaiah 43:20 NKJV) The beast of the field will honor Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen.

:9 a royal priesthood, a holy nation

Moses wrote that Israel was a “kingdom of priests” and a “holy nation” (Ex. 19:6)

(Exodus 19:6 NKJV) And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

:9 His own special people

I like the Old King James here where it says we are a “peculiar people”.  That’s probably more true than we’re willing to admit.

(1 Peter 2:9 AV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

The Greek word for “special” (περιποίησις) has the idea of “preserving” and is translated “saving” in Heb. 10:39.

(Hebrews 10:39 NKJV) But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
We are a “saved” people.

You might make a point that Peter is talking only about Jews up to this point, but the next verse changes that.

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

:10 who once were not a people…

This is a quote from the book of Hosea.

Hosea was that prophet who had been told to marry a prostitute named Gomer.  (I’m not sure which was worse, her profession or her name)
In Hosea 1-2, Hosea gave some strange names to his kids. He called one daughter “LoRuhamah” (no mercy), and one son (LoAmmi) (not my people)
(Hosea 1:6 NKJV) And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.
(Hosea 1:9 NKJV) Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.
Later, he changes their names to “Mercy” and “My People”.
(Hosea 2:23 NKJV) Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ”

Paul quotes from Hosea to say that this was speaking about the Gentiles one day coming to know God.

(Romans 9:25 NKJV) As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.”

This verse lets us know that Peter wasn’t just talking to the Jewish believers, but the Gentile believers as well.

:9 proclaim the praises of Him …


Speak the right message

I’m afraid that sometimes we Christians are better known for what we’re “against” than what we are “for”.
Video: Marx brothers – Horse feathers - I’m against it
If you notice back in verse 9, we aren’t supposed to be proclaiming what we’re against, but the praises of the One who we’re for.
We are to proclaim the praises of Jesus who has changed our lives.

He has called us out of the darkness of the world and taken us into His marvelous light.

Jesus said,
(Matthew 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Some Christians make it seem that God is lucky to have them.  They make it sound as their lives are as super as …Chuck Norris.
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We aren’t “chosen” because we are better than others.
We are a people who have been shown mercy.
We need to be sure we are pointing people to Jesus, the one who died on a cross, paying a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.
We are a people who have received mercy.
In the original 1959 movie “Ben-Hur”, Judah ben Hur was forced into slavery, when he meets a stranger on the road…
Video:  Ben-Hur – meeting Jesus

That’s our message.  We were slaves to this world when we met Jesus, and He has taken us from darkness into light.

2:11-12 Pilgrims

:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

Belovedagapetos – beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love

I begparakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort; to beg, entreat, beseech

present active indicative

sojournersparoikos (“besides” + “house”) – dwelling near, neighboring; in the NT, a stranger, a foreigner, one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship

pilgrimsparepidemos – one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives; a stranger; sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner; in the NT metaph. in reference to heaven as the native country, one who sojourns on earth

abstainapechomai – to hold one’s self off, refrain, abstain

Present middle infinitive

fleshlysarkikos – fleshly, carnal

lustsepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

warstrateuomai – to make a military expedition, to lead soldiers to war or to battle, (spoken of a commander); to do military duty, be on active service, be a soldier; to fight

present middle indicative

:11 as sojourners and pilgrims

These words might have sounded familiar to the Jews who were scattered around the world.

They were known as the “dispersion” (1Pet. 1:1).

But Peter has more than this in mind.


Out of place

None of us believers should feel comfortable in this “world”.
We are citizens of a different country.
(Philippians 3:20 NKJV) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Right now Caleb is traveling through another country.  His passport says he is a citizen of the United States, he is not a citizen of the country he’s traveling through.
In April of 1947, our nation was filled with racism.  Jackie Robinson was the first man to break the “color line” when he began to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He was every bit “out of place” in white baseball.  Some teams threatened to boycott their games with the Dodgers.  In some cities he wasn’t allowed to stay at the hotel that the rest of the players were staying at.
While he faced horrendous racism, he knew that he represented a whole lot of people, and he was careful how he responded.
Video:  42 – Get Me Up

We too need to be careful about our response to those who would try to take advantage of us.

We may be tempted to respond in anger, but people are watching us.

:11 abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul

For believers, a critical issue is these “fleshly lusts”.

Some of us immediately jump to think about sexual sins, which are a part of these “lusts”, but there’s a whole lot more involved.
(Galatians 5:19–21 NLT) —19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.
We tend to focus on “sexual immorality”, but we excuse “hostility, quarreling, jealousy…”
We need to abstain from all these things.

:12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

conductanastrophe – manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment

honorable kalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

they speak againstkatalaleo – to speak against one, to criminate, traduce

present active indicative

evildoerskakopoios – an evil doer, malefactor

good kalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable.  Same word translated “honest” in this verse.

they observe epopteuo – to be an overseer; to look upon, view attentively; to watch

present active participle

visitationepiskope – investigation, inspection, visitation; that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad

(1 Peter 2:12 NLT) Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

:12 glorify God in the day of visitation

What is the “day of visitation”?

It may be the day when Jesus returns.
It may be the day when that person finds themselves face to face with God. 
Will they have turned to God because of your words and your life’s example?

:12 having your conduct honorable


Your response speaks loudly

People will say all kinds of bad things against you.
It might be because of their wrong impression of Christianity.
It might be because Satan has stirred them up to oppose what God is doing in your life.
Hopefully it is not because you are indeed a jerk.
How you respond is everything.
When Jackie Robinson was brought up to play in the major leagues by Branch Rickey, he was warned about how his conduct would affect the future of baseball.

Video:  42 – Fine Gentleman and Great Baseball Player

Remember that our letter was written to a suffering people.
Some of us are going through things that we “suffer”.
We will be seeing many lessons through 1Peter on how we should conduct ourselves when life is hard.  Let me just give you a peek at one of the big lessons up ahead…
(1 Peter 4:19 NKJV) Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.