…you, too, as living stones, [oikodomeisthe are being built up] into a spiritual house.
In 1 Peter 1, Peter briefly presents the word rhēma of the good news euangelisthen in perspective of eternity (1Peter 1:25).
With that, Peter urges: “So rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:1-3 HCSB).
Next, Peter gives us the picture of being built up as a spiritual house in which we are living stones.
4As you come to him, the living stone who was rejected by people but was chosen and precious in God’s sight, 5you, too, as living stones, [oikodomeisthe are being built up] up into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, so that you may offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus, the Messiah.6This is why it says in Scripture:
- “Look! I am laying a chosen, precious cornerstone in Zion.
- The one who believes in him will never be ashamed.”
7Therefore he is precious to you who believe, but to those who do not believe,
- “The stone that the builders rejected
- has become the cornerstone,
- 8a stone they stumble over
- and a rock they trip on.”
They keep on stumbling because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2:4-8 ISV
Now look at what God has made us
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
- but now you are God’s people;
- you had not received mercy,
- but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
There, Peter sums up our new covenant community identity, applying the honors God promised the children of Israel-if they indeed would obey His voice and keep His covenant (Exodus 19:3-6). As God’s new covenant people, we have that community identity and share it before God.
We are a chosen race.
- We were chosen by the resolution of God before the foundation of the world to be included in the congregation of saints. We are unique race ἔθνος of new creatures created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10) as the offspring of God (Acts 17:24-29) with the same spiritual seed. “having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
We are a royal priesthood
- Yeshua the Messiah has made us to be a Kingdom, priests to his God and Father
4 [John] Yochanan, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne; 5 and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood— 6 and he made us to be a Kingdom basileian, priests to his God and Father—to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen Revelation 1:4-6 WMB
Our duty as part of the priesthood is told by Peter. “You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah” (1 Peter 2:5).
Those spiritual sacrifices are inherent in right living. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness [right conduct]. You were healed by his wounds” (1 Peter 2:24). Yeshua the Messiah is the Emissary and High Priest of our confession (Heb 3:1). He sacrificed His body. Our part in the priesthood is to present our bodies a living sacrifice (Ro 12:1) as well as the sacrifices of our lips (Heb 13:15).
We are a holy nation.
- Holy is used to describe saints (holy ones), made holy by the blood of Jesus.
For the meaning and use of which see HOLY, B, No. 1, is used as a noun in the singular in Phl 4:21, where pas, “every,” is used with it. In the plural, as used of believers, it designates all such and is not applied merely to persons of exceptional holiness, or to those who, having died, were characterized by exceptional acts of “saintliness.” See especially 2Th 1:10, where “His saints” are also described as “them that believed,” i.e., the whole number of the redeemed. They are called “holy ones” in Jud 1:14, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
- Holiness, Holy, Holily:
Akin to A, Nos. 1 and 2, which are from the same root as hagnos (found in hazo, “to venerate”), fundamentally signifies “separated” (among the Greeks, dedicated to the gods), and hence, in Scripture in its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred. Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
originally “a multitude,” denotes a) “a nation” or “people,” e.g., Mat 24:7; Act 10:35; the Jewish people, e.g., Luk 7:5; 23:2; Jhn 11:48, 50-52; Act 10:22; 24:2, 10, 17; in Mat 21:43, the reference is to Israel in its restored condition; Vines Expository Dictionary
We are “a people for His possession.”
God has made us a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that we may proclaim the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Peter plainly tells us how to proclaim the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light in the verses that follow. So let’s let that soak in by reading what he was inspired to write in context.
1 Putting away therefore all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that with it you may grow, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious: 4 coming to him, a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, precious. 5 You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah. 6 Because it is contained in Scripture,
- “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen and precious:
- He who believes in him will not be disappointed.”
For you who believe therefore is the honor, but for those who are disobedient,
- “The stone which the builders rejected
- has become the chief cornerstone,”
- “a stumbling stone and a rock of offense.”
For they stumble at the word, being disobedient, to which also they were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 In the past, you were not a people, but now are God’s people, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
11 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 having good behavior among the nations, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation.
13 Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or to governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and for praise to those who do well. 15 For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God.
7 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
18 Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all respect: not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked. 19 For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience toward God. 20 For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if, when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable with God. 21 For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving you† an example, that you should follow his steps, 22 who didn’t sin, “neither was deceit found in his mouth.” 23 When he was cursed, he didn’t curse back. When he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness. You were healed by his wounds.‡ 25 For you were going astray like sheep; but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2
Scripture is quoted from the World Messianic Bible unless otherwise noted. Emphasis added