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Rid yourselves. “Since you are children of God, you must remove evil from your lives.” In all centuries, it is important that Christians live holy lives, so that they will not bring disgrace on the Messianic community and the Christ who is their Lord! The four types of evil which Peter names, still are common problems in day-to-day living.
Be like newborn babies. “As newborn babies are always thirsty and eager for milk, so you who are newborn in Christ must always be thirsty and eager for the pure spiritual milk of the Good News! As babies grow to be adults, so you will grow up, and be saved when Christ Comes!”
For the scripture says. Peter quotes Psalms 34:8 Septuagint. “Your thirst for this spiritual milk will be very strong, because you have already tasted the Lord’s kindness in it!” Compare Hebrews 6:4-5.
The living stone. Compare Romans 9:32-33; Mark 12:10-11. Christ is a living stone because he has life (John 1:4), and he gives this life to those who believe in him, and they become living stones (1 Peter 2:5). Christ was rejected by the Jewish leaders, but chosen by God to be the rock foundation (Matthew 16:18) for the spiritual temple (Ephesians 2:19-22).
And let yourselves be used. “Through the living and eternal word of God, you have been born again and have become living stones! You must let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple.” Note the church is built up of living stones. Where you will serve. Each one who has been born again (1 Peter 1:23), man or woman, is a priest to God and has direct access to God through Jesus Christ! Christians offer themselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2), to praise God!
For the scripture says. Isaiah 28:16 Septuagint, paraphrased. God said long ago that Christ would be a Living Stone. Compare Romans 9:33. Cornerstone. This was the most important part of the foundation and tied two walls together. Some see in this Christ joining Jew and Gentile into one group in himself.
For you that believe. “He is very great in value to you who believe in him, because you are honored by being built on him.” See Revelation 3:12. Who do not believe. “For the unbeliever, who rejects Christ, it is the shame written in Psalms 118:22 Septuagint.”
Another scripture says. Isaiah 8:14. Christ is of great value to those who believe. But to the one who rejects Christ, he is a stone they stumble over and fall and are broken to pieces. Compare Matthew 10:34-39; Matthew 21:44 and notes. They stumbled. Those who reject Christ. See Mark 4:17. Such was God’s will for them. God did not decree that they would reject Christ, but he did decree that those who did reject him, would stumble and fall to their punishment.
But you are. “You who do believe have not stumbled or fallen against the stone. The titles of honor given to God’s ancient people belong to you, both Jew and Gentile!” The chosen race. Deuteronomy 7:6. The King’s priests. Exodus 19:6. The holy nation. Exodus 19:6. God’s own people. Isaiah 43:21 Septuagint. Chosen to proclaim. They honor God by proclaiming Him to the world, both in words and in actions! Who called you. God calls everyone through the Good News (John 6:44-45) into his own marvelous light (Acts 26:18).
At one time. “You Gentiles were once alienated and estranged from God because of your idols and your sins, and you knew nothing of God’s mercy. But now through Christ, you have received God’s mercy, which you share together with the Jews.” Compare Romans 9:25; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
As strangers and refugees. “You have no birthright here on this earth, but are only staying here temporarily as you travel to Eternity!” Compare Hebrews 11:13. Do not give in. “Since you are citizens of heaven, and will be here only a short time, do not give in to your bodily passions! If you do, you will not reach your homeland!” See Romans 7:23; but also Colossians 2:20-23.
Should be so good. “Many lies and wild stories will be told about you by the unbelievers. Make sure that your conduct is so good and so ethical, that these charges are proved to be false, and they come to respect your good deeds. Your conduct may win them to Christ, and then they will praise God on the Day of his coming!” [MacKnight understands the Day to be a time of great persecution (see Isaiah 10:3). The Christian’s conduct during times of calamity and crisis has much influence on unbelievers.]
To every human authority. “You must not be like some who despise the government authorities. It is the Lord’s will that you obey the government and be a good citizen (Romans 13:1-8).” To the Emperor. Nero was Emperor as Peter writes this.
And to the governors. “This means that Christians in every country are to obey the laws of these countries in everything not sinful or contrary to God’s command (Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29), without considering whether the religion of the governors and of the country are true or false.” It is a paradox that the same government can serve both God and Satan at the same time (see note on Revelation 13:2).
For God’s will is this. “I assure you that it is God’s will that you submit yourselves to human authority. By doing this you will be able to silence those ignorant men who insult and slander you, and who say you intend to destroy the government.”
Live as free men. MacKnight says: “The Jews boasted in their having been at all times freemen; that is, in having been always governed by their own laws, John 8:33. In this sense, the precept live as freemen, means, live according to the rules of your religion, free from complying with the established idolatry.” To cover up. “Don’t use your freedom as an excuse to cover up your rebellion against the government!” As God’s slaves. “God bought you with the costly sacrifice of Christ! But the fact you belong to Him ought to make you the best citizen of all in everything not contrary to the spirit and the letter of God’s word!”
Respect all men. “Every human being ought to receive your respect! Love your fellow believers in Christ just as Christ loved you! Fear (reverence) God and respect the Emperor. You can do both, as Jesus showed (Matthew 22:21).
You servants. This includes both servants and slaves. Christianity did not change social status, and a servant was still a servant. As a Christian servant, each was to do their best, not only for a good master, but also for one who was harsh! See Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24. [But Christian principles eventually destroyed slavery.]
God will bless you for this. The Christian who does what Peter says, has God’s blessing on his action. If his conscience, taught by God’s word, leads him to suffer even though he does not deserve this, and he bears it patiently because of his love for God, he will be blessed by it.
For what credit? “If you do wrong, and are caught and punished for it, you only get what you deserve! There is no credit in this!” But if you endure. Some were harsh to try to discourage the Christian faith of their servant! To be patient under such circumstances, pleased God.
It was to this. “It is part of being a Christian to suffer for doing good!” Christ himself. “Christ-on-the-cross is our example! If the sinless Christ would suffer for our sins, surely we can endure undeserved suffering, however wrong it may seem to us, because we are not sinless as He is!”
He committed no sin. Note the emphasis on the sinlessness of Christ. Peter uses the same language as Isaiah 53:9 Septuagint. Compare 1 Peter 1:19.
He did not answer back. “Christ was insulted by the Jewish leaders, but he did not answer them back with an insult!” He did not threaten. “When he suffered crucifixion, he did not threaten, even though he could have destroyed his persecutors!” But placed his hopes in God. “He did not take revenge, but turned the whole matter over to God, and forgave his murderers.”
Carried our sins. “He who had no sin, took our sins in his body to the cross!” See 2 Corinthians 5:21. Die to sin. Romans 6:1-7. In this we escape from the power and punishment of sin through God’s act in Christ. Live for righteousness. “We have been set free so that we can make ourselves a living sacrifice in praise and honor to God!” By his wounds. Isaiah 53:5-6. “It is through Christ’s doing and dying that we are accepted as righteous by God!”
You were like sheep. “Sin had made you lose your way, just like sheep do, and you were in danger of being lost completely, or killed by wild animals!” But now. “God acted in Christ to set you free! By coming to him you have been brought back!” To follow. “Christ, who is the Shepherd and Keeper of your souls, will direct you and defend you, as you follow him!” This shows the obligation of every believer in Christ to imitate the example of Christ’s spirit and willingness to suffer.
These files are public domain.
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Peter 2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29