Realizing how God fits us together encourages us and stimulates kingdom relationships. Here, I use realizing both as comprehending completely and as making what God has done and is doing real in our lives. Peter puts God fitting us together as God making us perfect (1 Pe 5:10), meaning God putting of all of us in right relation and connection.
In 1 Peter 2, Peter shows us several ways God fits us together. God has made us living stones being built up into His spiritual temple. God has fit us in His Chosen race of new creatures created in Christ Jesus, His royal priesthood, His holy nation and made us a people belonging specially to Himself. In these ways, God gives us a shared affinity, a spiritual belonging together as we belong to God.
God fits us together so that we may show forth the perfections of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pe 2:9).
Let’s consider that a bite at a time.
Realizing God has made us living stones being built up into His spiritual temple, to become a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Peter leads up to that prophetic picture of spiritual reality in 1 Peter 1, praising the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for His work of our salvation and eternal glory. In view of that, he calls us to holiness in accord with the word of the Lord.
In that vein Peter begins chapter 2 with this exhortation: “Rid yourselves therefore of all ill-will and all deceitfulness, of insincerity and envy, and of all evil speaking. Thirst, like newly-born infants, for pure milk for the soul, that by it you may grow up to salvation; if you have had any experience of the goodness of the Lord” (1 Pe 2:1-3 WNT).
Now, Peter shows us God builds us as His spiritual temple.
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.
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. 1 Peter 2:4-8 KJV
We come to the Lord, the living Stone who is, Jesus Christ, the Rock of our Salvation, who is precious to us. We partake of the wonderful value of this Stone and will never be disappointed in Him. To those who do not believe, He is the Stone they stumble over and a Rock they fall over. Ref: Is 28:16; Ps 118:22; Is 8:14
God is building us up, like living stones, into His spiritual house. God’s spiritual house is further revealed by Paul.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Eph 2:19-22 KJV
God’s temple building plan even overcame prejudice and animosity between believing Jews and Gentiles, the circumcised and the uncircumcised, and brought them into a spiritual union, as He does with us today (Eph 2:11-18).
God is building us together as a holy priesthood.
Holy means set apart unto God to be holy and to live holy. God has made us holy and consecrated us to Himself in His kingdom. The Greek word hagios is translated holy and, in the plural, saints. In some of the newer Bible versions, hagios is translated: holy ones. Saints is a kingdom word identifying believers made holy by the death of Jesus’ physical body (Col 1:22, Heb 10:10) and cleansed from all sin by His blood (1 Jn 1:7). Because we believe Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice in our behalf, God counts us righteous (Ro 3:21-6). We saints are called to turn away from following our own will and follow Messiah Jesus our King.
Some days, we certainly don’t seem holy. We might be grumpy, grim, and caught in sin. Then, we sure need to see spiritual reality. Since we believe in Messiah Jesus, we are saints in the kingdom. Even if we don’t consider ourselves saints, our Father in heaven does.
Peter put it in perspective: “And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear: knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ: who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Peter 1:17-21 ASV).
Priesthood is first and foremost the privilege of access to God.
In the new covenant, God has made all believers priests and given us the privilege of coming to Him by the Holy Spirit. We can come to Him anytime from anywhere.
Now that we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus, God’s Son, let us cling to what we confess. We have a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way just as we are, only without sin. So let us come boldly to God’s throne of grace to get mercy and find grace to help us when we need it. Heb 4:14-16 AAT
In the old covenant, God only selected one tribe as priests (Num 3). Only the high priest could come into God’s presence once a year the Day of Atonement in the Holy of Holies in the Temple to offer the sacrifices for sin (Lev 16). Priests were only of the house of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi (Heb 5:1). They offered the blood of bulls and goats “which can’t make the worshiper feel perfect in his conscience” (Heb 9:9).
In Christ, our conscience is clear. The blood of Christ is the sacrifice that has cleansed our conscience so we can turn our backs on futile actions like offerings of blood of goats and calves and “instead give ourselves up to the service of the living God” (Heb 9:14b Cassirer).
The spiritual sacrifices we offer as holy priests are our lives and our walk in the Lord.
I appeal to you fellow Christians, by the mercies of God, to give your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, and so worship Him as thinking beings. Don’t live like this world, but let yourselves be transformed by a renewing of your minds so you can test and be sure what God wants, what is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 AAT
There, Paul says a lot in a few words: living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, worship, thinking beings, renewing minds, what God wants, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
In Ephesians, Paul puts sacrifices as doing good works.
He [God] has made us what we are, creating us in Christ Jesus to do good works, in which God long ago planned for us to live. Eph 2:4-10 AAT
God has created us in Christ Jesus to adopt a new life in Christ, the regenerate lifestyle. We are to live as Jesus lived. He had presence, the presence of the Holy Spirit. He walked among the tainted without becoming tainted. People instinctively knew He was a noble person. Those who opposed Him feared Him. Those who were hurting knew He would help them. Those who sought Him knew He loved them. Where He walked, He brought grace and truth. He always did His Fathers will. Now, He leads us in His kingdom, the kingdom of the Son (Col 1:13).
Realizing our new covenant group identity in Christ in three ways of which God has made each of us a part.
But you are a chosen race, a priesthood of kingly lineage [a royal priesthood, priests of a king], a holy nation, a people belonging specially to God, that you may make known [show forth] the perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not found mercy, but now you have. 1 Peter 2:9-10 WNT
God has fit us together as His chosen race.
Chose is defined: “Of God the Father choosing Christians, as those whom he set apart from the irreligious multitude as dear unto himself, and whom he has rendered, through faith in Christ, citizens in the Messianic kingdom: (James 2:5) so that the ground of the choice lies in Christ and his merits only.” Outline of Biblical Usage
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. Eph 1:3-4 NASB
Race is defined by Vincent as: a body with a common life and descent. We are a race of new creatures created (Eph 2:10) in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17). God is our Father (Ro 8:15). We are His children and heirs (Ro 8:17).
God has fit us in His royal priesthood. We are priests of a King. Jesus is our King. He must rule as King until the last enemy is conquered and the last enemy is death (Col 1:13-14; 1 Cor 15:20-28; Heb 10:10; Rev 1:1-6). Each of us is a priest and together we are God’s priesthood.
God has fit us in His holy nation. We are chosen, new creature, citizens of a holy nation. We are. “a people belonging specially to God, that you may make known the perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.” Together, we are God’s holy nation.
God fits us together so that we may show forth the perfection of of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. … to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Eph 1:3-4 … Eph 1:12 NASB
We find the strength of character to be to the praise of His glory when we partake of the divine nature as Peter urges in 2 Peter 1:1-11.
We find the strength by the Spirit of the Lord. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:17-18 KJV).
Paul urges: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Ro 12:2 KJV).
Peter describes in detail how we live showing forth the perfection of of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light in most of the rest of 1 Peter.
- Bill Bremer
- Colorado Springs, CO