1. The apostle Peter wrote two of the New Testament "epistles" [letters]. 2. In his first letter, Peter: a. wrote to Christians who were facing great trials (1:6-7; 4:12) b. identified the actual enemy of Christians (5:8) c. showed how Satan is to be resisted (5:9) d. recorded information, instructions, and admonitions designed to help Christians remain faithful to the Lord. 3. This lesson is a study of the information presented in 1 Peter 2:1-12. Discussion: I. (vs.1-3) PETER SHOWED HOW CHRISTIANS ARE TO GROW
A. Vs.1 begins with "wherefore," indicating that the following statements are based on information presented earlier. 1. (1:13-16) Christians are to be holy because God is holy. 2. (1:17-21) Christians have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. 3. (1:22-25) Christians have been purified as a result of being born again by God's Word. B. Peter continued by showing Christians how to grow. 1. (vs.1) The first step is to lay aside "all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings [slander]." 2. These sins prohibit: a. the love that the Lord requires of His followers (1:22) b. spiritual growth. 3. (vs.2) Having laid aside these sins, Christians are to "desire the sincere milk of the word" as "newborn babes." a. We are born again "by the word of God" (1:23). b. God's Word also enables us to grow. 4. (vs.3) These principles apply to those who "have tasted that the Lord is gracious." II. (vs.4-10) PETER SHOWED HOW CHRISTIANS ARE TO SERVE AS PRIESTS
A. In his discussion, Peter referred to Christ as a "stone." 1. (vs.4) Christ is "a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious." 2. (vs.6) The fact that Christ is the "chief corner stone" was prophesied in Isaiah 28:16. 3. Those who: a. believe on Him will find Him to be precious and will not be disappointed (vs.6b-7a) b. disobey Him will find Him to be "a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence" (vs.7b-8; Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42-44). B. Peter described Christians as: 1. "lively stones" who make up "a spiritual house" (vs.5a) 2. "a holy priesthood" responsible for offering spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God by Christ (vs.5b) 3. "a chosen generation" (vs.9a) 4. "a royal priesthood" (vs.9b) 5. "a holy nation" (vs.9c) 6. "a peculiar people" (vs.9d) 7. God's people who have obtained mercy and who show forth His praises (vs.9e-10). C. Regardless of how men reacted to Jesus, He is the chief corner stone -- regardless of how men may react to His followers, we are to be living stones as well as holy and royal priests. III. (vs.11-12) PETER SHOWED HOW CHRISTIANS ARE TO BEHAVE BEFORE UNBELIEVERS
A. (vs.11) "As strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." B. (vs.12) Christians are to be honest before unbelievers, doing good works (Matthew 5:13-16).