Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
August 16, 2009
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 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.
6 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.
7 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,
8 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.
9 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:
10 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.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious,
5 ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 Because it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame.
7 For you therefore that believe is the preciousness: but for such as disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner;
8 and, A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; for they stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
10 who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
- I. Therefore.
- II. The Pre-condition(s) [See Notes for 07/19<025> and 07/26<026>].
- III. The Major Imperative. [See Notes for 08/02<027> and 08/09<028>].
- IV. The Primary Consideration.
- A. Being willing to "grow" in "deliverance" involves a very practical grasp of what is involved because the "growing" may not, itself, be accomplished by pleasant means.
- B. What is "involved" is, for Peter, being developed into "an holy priesthood".
- 1. The AV's translation "a spiritual house, an holy priesthood" wherein the "holy priesthood" is treated as an equivalent of the "spiritual house" reflects the omission in the Textus Receptus of the preposition "for", or "unto".
- 2. The ASV's translation "to be a holy priesthood" reveals Peter's understanding of the purpose of the "spiritual house". The "living stones" are intended to be "priests".
- C. The process of being developed in such a manner is declared.
- 1. First, one must be "born again" (1:23) so that one's "soul" can be "purified" of its varied and ineffectual impulses (1:22).
- 2. Then, one must actually apply the "purification" in tangible ways (2:1). This means getting rid of the impulses of what the AV calls "malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speakings".
- 3. Then, one's focus must center upon the "genuine milk" as the primary tool of growth.
- 4. Then, one's understanding must include the divine objective in God's "kindness".
- a. This "kindness" is fundamentally "purposeful". It is not necessarily "appealing" (those to whom Paul wrote Romans 2:4 actually "despised" it), though this is its effective bottom line. No one will be drawn to something that is fundamentally distasteful unless they see it as effective in regard to something they really want.
- b. Peter lays out his concept of the divine objective in the above-mentioned "priesthood".
- 5. Then, one must approach the objective in harmony with the process.
- a. He says the process involves "coming to One Who is a living stone".
- 1) This raises a very large and significant issue: why a "stone" metaphor?
- 2) In John's view of the Throne-Sitter in Revelation 4:3 (a text that is fundamental to the entire message of the Book of the Revelation) consists of "stone" imagery. In addition, the final abode of the saints (the New Jerusalem) is presented as like a "stone" (Revelation 21:11) and its foundations are all "stones" with the names of the twelve apostles upon them (Revelation 21:14). So, the "stone" imagery is no small metaphor.
- 3) Seeing Jesus as a "living stone" is critical because He is the One to whom we come.
- b. He says, further, that the ones "coming" are "living stones".