1 Peter, Bible Studies

The Living Stone and Living Stones (2:4-10)

Here in this section we see that all believers are those that make up the house of God, and that our cornerstone is Jesus Christ.  The building is not the church, but the presence of the Lord lives inside all of us that are believers.  We also see that we are called to be part of the Holy Priesthood.  Therefore, we all are set out to teach, preach, and share God’s Word.  It is not the pastor’s job or for Super-Christians to share Jesus, it is for all Christians.

So if we all are called to be a Holy Priest, what separates me from you all?  Have you ever thought about that?  What separates you from your pastor?  Well basically, what separates pastors from other people in the church is a calling by God to lead that particular people.  Pastor, means shepherd.  So since I am a Youth Pastor, that means I am a shepherd of Youth.  My job is to care for you as a shepherd would take care of his sheep.  I am to teach you all the scriptures, equip you to be able to share and teach others, answer any of the questions that you have, correct you if I see you wondering off into something that you do not need to go, and help you mature into God fearing men and women that desire to glorify God above else so that you might get the most joy out of this life and the next.  Simply I am to feed you God’s Word, lead you by example, protect you from false worldviews and doctrines, and to provide a safe place for you to grow and ask questions about God.

So basically, the only thing that is different from me and you is my spiritual gift of teaching that has been affirmed by not just this local body of believers, but by the Church in Louisville that ordained me and the Seminary that gave me a degree.  So there is nothing mystical that causes pastors to be different from anyone else.  Therefore, since we all are part of the same body and the Holy Spirit is just as powerful in your life as he is in mine, that He can use anyone of you all to do great things for your good and His glory.

Here we see that God will honor and vindicate believers on the last day just as he honored and vindicated Jesus.  However, unbelievers have rejected Jesus as the cornerstone.  Therefore, will trip over that stone and be judged on the last day.

Here we see that Peter returns to the theme that Jesus is rejected by human beings, but the theme of God’s exaltation is also implied since unbelievers will stumble and be destroyed because of their rejection of Jesus.  Their stumbling and disobedience have also been ordained by God.  Peter adds this theme to remind the readers that God controls all that will come to pass, that even their enemies are under his control.

Why did Peter emphasize the theme of God’s sovereignty here?  He did so to comfort us, assuring us that the evil in the world is not exempt from God’s control.  God still reigns, even over those who oppose him and all of us.  God and Satan are not dual powers fighting it out to see who has more control.  God created Satan and although Satan rebelled, God still maintains control over him.  Therefore, knowing that God is always in control it does not mean that we will not suffer, but that we can trust Him when we do.

Peter also introduced to us the theme of election in our first lesson and he returns to it again here.  God promises to accomplish a second exodus for his people in bringing them out of Babylon.  Peter saw these promises as fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and God’s elect nation is no longer just Israel, but embraces the church of Jesus Christ, which is composed of both Jews and Gentiles.

A good way to understand this difficult doctrine of election is to think of it in terms of adoption because this is essentially, what it is.  We were once Children of sin, slaves to our own fleshly desires and God came and rescued us from our sins and adopted us into his royal family.  (Schreiner, 2003)

Just like how a baby is adopted into a new family, we are adopted into God’s family.  A baby cannot do anything to earn its new parents affection, nor would it want to because if that baby had earned favor with its parents then it would have to wonder for the rest of its life if it would ever lose favor.  But just like how parents adopt the child that God has placed in their life and love it unconditionally so does God do to all those that have been born again.  You never have to worry about not being good enough for God, because it was not because you were good that He adopted you.  Therefore, God sends the Holy Spirit to equip us to be like him, not because we earned Him, but because He loves us.  (Moore, 2009)