Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
August 30, 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 [See Notes for 07/26/09<026>].
- 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 [See Notes for 08/16<029>].
- V. The Biblical Evidence.
- A. Peter does not use the typical "it stands written" terminology. Instead, he creates a picture of a doctrine that is "surrounded" by "the writings".
- B. Peter's first appeal to "the writings" is found in Isaiah 28:16.
- 1. The immediate context of Isaiah's proclamation is his hearers' "covenant with death" wherein they had "made lies our refuge". The focus in the previous verses is upon the covenant with death and the refuge of lies and the focus in the following verses is "hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies" and "your covenant of death ... shall not stand." Clearly, the "precious corner stone" that establishes the "sure foundation" for those who believe is designed to address the prophesied, disastrous purge that is to come.
- a. The immediately arresting issue is the insertion of the "corner stone", the "foundation", the "measuring line", and the "plumment weight" (all of these are terms involved in the building of a structure). Why this imagery in this place?
- 1) Isaiah 8:14-15 identify the "rock" thesis as, for those who believe, "a sanctuary", and, for the rest, "a stone to strike, and a rock to stumble over...".
- 2) Psalm 118:22 is found in a "psalm of ascent" that was to be sung as the worshipers were going in procession to the Temple (Ryrie's Study Bible; note on Psalm 118). It clearly picks up the "corner stone" thesis, but it is tied to the exhortation, "Open to me the gates of righteousness...", that could hardly refer to anything other than the gates to the "walled city" (Note Isaiah 26:1-4 where we are told that "in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock") wherein the Temple sat.
- 3) Given Peter's prior declaration that believers are living stones being used in the building of a "spiritual house" wherein "spiritual sacrifices" are to be presented to God, it can hardly be doubted that his "building" imagery is rooted in "Temple" realities so that the Chief Corner Stone is the fundamental foundation for legitimate "worship" (where "worship" is seen as the offering of acceptable sacrifices to God). This makes the issue of "how God is to be worshiped" the core issue.
- b. Peter, clearly, wished his readers to come as babes to the "kind" Lord so that they could be turned into legitimate priests (2:3-5).
- 2. This first appeal to a concept "surrounded" by Scripture consists of God's declaration that He was going to "place in Zion" a "stone".
- a. This "stone" is first identified as a "cornerstone".
- b. Then it is identified as "elected" (chosen for some reason within the Chooser).
- c. Then it is identified as "highly valued" (Note Luke 7:2).
- 3. This first appeal makes a promise: the one who believes upon Him shall not be shamed.
- a. The issue of "belief" always, fundamentally, introduces a "methodological" issue: "Love" looks for a "way" to accomplish its objectives and "Faith" addresses that "way".
- b. The issue of "shamed" is the issue of having pursued a certain course in a certain "way" with the view upon whether the course/way will prove ultimately acceptable. This means that we are invariably dealing with "how" one is to turn into a legitimate worshiper of God as the fundamental methodology of entering into a Life-Relationship with Him.