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Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
1 Peter 2

 

 

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Verses 1-12

1 Peter 2:1. Wherefore laying aside all malice,

This is one of the old corruptible things, so put it away from you

1 Peter 2:1. And all guile,

All crafty tricks, all falsehood, exaggeration, double meanings to your words, and the like,-

1.And hypocrisies, and envies,

All hatred of those who are either better or better off than you are,-

1 Peter 2:1. And all evil speaking,

Thus the tongue expresses what the heart feels. Laying all these evil things aside, you will prove that you have been born again, born of the incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever.

1 Peter 2:2. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

You are in the family of God, but you are only babes in it yet; you have to grow to the stature of men in Christ Jesus, so “desire the sincere (unadulterated) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” There is no other way of growing.

1 Peter 2:3-4. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone,-

So that “the Lord” here meant is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is truly “a living stone,”-

1 Peter 2:4. Disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,-

When men disallow Christ, it is a matter of small account to us, as for what they have to say, it is less than nothing and vanity. Like the wild bluster of the winds, let it bluster until it has blown itself out. Christ is “disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,”-

1 Peter 2:5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priest-hood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

See what Jesus Christ has made of you who believe in him; by the incorruptible blood and the incorruptible seed, he has brought you into a heavenly priesthood, and you are today to stand at the spiritual altar, and “to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Will you not pray, will you not praise, will you not love? These are sacrifices with which God is well pleased.

1 Peter 2:6-7. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.

Is he not? Then, enjoy his preciousness all of you who truly believe in him. Precious Christ, precious to all his people, precious to me!

1 Peter 2:7-8. But unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

When Peter wrote these verses, he must have thought of his own name. He was called a stone or a rock; and once he was to his Master “a rock of offence” when he stumbled at Christ’s word, and began even to rebuke his Lord, but he was forgiven and saved, so now he gives a warning to others lest they should still more grievously sin by making Christ himself to be to them “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.”

1 Peter 2:9. But ye are a chosen generation,-

Hear this, ye believers, drink in this precious truth. See God’s election, making you to be a people born of the Holy Ghost: “a chosen generation,”-

1 Peter 2:9. A royal priesthood,-

This is a wonderful combination, kings and priests at the same time; all honours meet on you through divine grace: “a royal priesthood,”-

1 Peter 2:9. An holy nation, a peculiar people;-

You have national privileges. God reckons you not as a mob or a herd of men, but as a nation, and a nation with this peculiar hall-mark upon you, that you are “a holy nation.” This is the true token of your nationality that you are “holiness unto the Lord,” “a peculiar people” belonging to God alone, marked off from the rest of mankind as peculiarly his. You are not, and you are not to be as other men are, you are “a peculiar people.” Your road is not the broad one where the many go, it is the narrow one which the few find, your happiness is not worldly pleasure, but pleasures at the right hand of God which are for evermore, You are “a peculiar people”;-

1 Peter 2:9. That ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:-

You are to be advertisers of the praises or virtues of Christ, not only to know them, and to be glad to know them, but to make them known to others. Beloved, how far are you doing this? I put the question personally to each one of you, for you were chosen by God on purpose that you “should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”:-

1 Peter 2:10. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:-

In time long past, who ever heard of the Britons, or of the Anglo-Saxons? We were not a people, but we “are now the people of God”:-

1 Peter 2:10. Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

We may well leap for joy, we who once had not obtained mercy. We sinned against the Lord, but he was long-suffering, and now we have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,-

For you belong not to the corruptible world, you are of an incorruptible race: “I beseech you as strangers and pilgrim,”-

1 Peter 2:11-12. Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul: having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,-

Which they are sure to do. The better you are, the more will they censure you. This is the only homage that evil can pay to good, to fall foul of it, and misrepresent it: “ that whereas they speak against you as evildoers,”-

1 Peter 2:12. They may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. through the efficacy of his great atoning sacrifice. God grant it, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

This exposition consisted of readings from 1 Peter 1:17-25; and 1 Peter 2:1-12.


Verses 1-25

1 Peter 2:1-2. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: Have we not constantly declared that our faith, if true, is always practical?

Here, again, we have the precepts of God’s Word. Here we are told that there is much for us to lay aside, as if it were natural to us in every case, and must, therefore, be carefully laid aside. “Malice” — we are all inclined to return evil for evil: the Christian must not do so. “All guile” —everything like craft and cunning — this is unbecoming in a Christian. “Hypocrisy” — seeming to be what we are not; all sorts of mere seeming we must lay aside. “And envy” — how easy it is for us to envy one man his wealth, or another his health, or another his talents; but “all envy” the Christian must have done with. “And evil speaking” — it is painful to reflect how much of evil speaking there is among persons who we still hope are good people. They are very fond of repeating stories to the disadvantage of their fellow-Christians. Now, whether you are the author of it or not, do not be the retailer of it, for we are told here to lay aside all evil speaking. But then the religion of Jesus Christ does not consist in negatives: it is not merely what we are to lay aside; there is something to be taken up. We are told that as we are born again we are to consider ourselves as new-born babes, and are to desire the unadulterated milk of God’s Word, that we may grow thereby. It is not enough to be alive: we should desire to grow. To be saved is a great blessing; we ought not, however, to be contented with being barely saved: we should seek after the graces of the Spirit and the excellent work of God within us.

1 Peter 2:3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Have you tasted this? Oh! search yourselves and see, and, if ye have, then prove it by the laying aside of the evil, and the thirsting after the good.

1 Peter 2:4-5. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, And precious. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

The priesthood, among believers, does not belong to here and there one, but to the whole company of believers. As many as love the Saviour are priests and kings unto God, and they should regard their whole life as the exercise of this priesthood. When we assert that no platt is holy above another, we do not thereby desecrate any place, but rather consecrate all places. We believe every day to be holy, every hour to be holy, every place and occupation to be holy to holy men, and we should so live as evermore to exercise this consecrated priesthood.

1 Peter 2:6-8. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

of which we can only say, with Augustine, “Oh! the depth,” and leave that mystery to be explained to us hereafter.

1 Peter 2:9-10. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

How good it is to look back to the hole of the pit whence we were digged!

What if today the sovereign grace of God has made us royal priests, yet let us remember that in past times we were not a people, “But are now the people of God.” “Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Yes, I think no exercise will be more profitable by way of expressing our gratitude than the remembering what we used to be before the hand of God was laid upon us in love; for if all of us did not run to an excess of riot in our outward lives, yet some of us did; and others who were kept from gross outward sins had, nevertheless, a very sink of corruption within our nature. We felt that when the Spirit of God convinced us of sin we could truly say: —

“Depths of mercy, could there be,

Mercy yet reserved for me?”

And having obtained mercy, we will never cease to bless the name of God.

1 Peter 2:11-14. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain frown fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Christians should be good citizens. Though in one respect they are not citizens of this world, yet as they find themselves in it they should seek the good of those among whom they dwell, and be patterns of order.

1 Peter 2:15-17. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Even if they are beggars, they are men: honour them. There is God’s image, though marred and defiled, in every man; and because he is a man, honour him — pity him. Look down upon him never with contempt, but always feel that there is an immortal spark, even within that mass of filth. If the man be cast into all manner of beggary and wickedness, “Honour all men Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King.” The same verse that says, “Honour the King,” however, says, “Honour all men,” and while we, therefore, have due respect to rank, yet a man is a man, and we “Honour all men.”

1 Peter 2:18-20. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

I have known some that could not do that, however. If they were only spoken to very gently, they were in a tiff directly. “But if, when ye do well, ye bear it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” Here is something more than human nature can bear. Now grace comes in to help. “This is acceptable with God.”

1 Peter 2:21. For even hereunto were ye called:

Called, you see, to be buffeted when you don’t, deserve it.

1 Peter 2:21-23. Because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Herein is he a pattern of patience to all his people.

1 Peter 2:24-25. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed, For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.


Verses 18-25

Peter is very practical in his Epistles. In the early days of the faith, Christians occupied a far more difficult and dangerous position than they do today. They were few in number, and greatly despised. All manner of crimes were falsely alleged against them; they were accused of things too vile for me to mention. The apostle, in writing to these Christians, begs them so to behave that they should commend the gospel of Christ. Very many of them were servants or slaves; so the apostle says to these lowly followers of Christ, “Here are your duties”: —

1 Peter 2:18-20. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

A sense of injustice stings a man; he does not like to lose his rights, or to be buffeted when he has done no ill; but the Spirit of Christ teaches us to “endure grief, suffering wrongfully,” — to bear still, and still to bear. We are to be like the anvil; let others strike us if they will, but we shall wear out the hammers if we only know how to stand still and bear all that is put upon us.

1 Peter 2:21-23. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

There was no reason why he should be made to suffer, for he had done no wrong. He was buffeted for no fault of his own, yet how patiently he endured it all! He did not even open his mouth to murmur or complain; but he handed the whole matter over to the Supreme Court of Appeal: “to him that judgeth righteously.” It will be wise for us also to feel that we can afford to wait, knowing that our Avenger liveth, and that, in his own good time, he will rectify all wrongs, and justify his people against all their accusers. It is sweet, for the dear love of Jesus, to put up with a thousand things which, otherwise, we should resent. “But,” says one, “if you tread on a worm, it will turn.” Perhaps it will, but a Christian is not a worm; he is a being of a nobler order than that, and he does not go for his example to reptiles; he looks up to Christ, and follows his steps.

1 Peter 2:24-25. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Wherefore, since you have been brought back by the rich grace of God, continue to bear and forbear, that you may be the means of bringing others back. That is Peter’s counsel to servants, or slaves, as most of them were.

This exposition consisted of readings from 1 Peter 2:18-25; and 1 Peter 3:1-17.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 1 Peter 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/1-peter-2.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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