1 Peter 2

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs.

1 Peter 2

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The living Stone and a chosen people
4 As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:

‘See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.’

7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,’

8 and,

‘A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.’

They stumble because they disobey the message – which is also what they were destined for.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Living godly lives in a pagan society
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 ‘He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.’

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ 25 For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.


Peter is likely writing this letter from Rome where Christians are being tortured and killed for their faith and he’s writing to an oppressed and exiled church being scattered throughout the Mediterranean and Asia Minor (modern day Turkey).

His aim is to encourage Christians who are experiencing the agonising ache of separation from one another, the anxiety that comes with transition and change, and the feeling of loss of purpose.
I wonder if you’ve ever felt like that yourself?
It seems to me that these are very normal Christian, not least, human responses to suffering. Who am I? Who do I belong to? What is my purpose in the world?
Living stones.
Paul uses the image of a body made up of many parts to describe the church and Peter uses the image of stones to make up a temple. It’s easy to lose the significance of the temple and the priesthood. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in AD70 by the Romans and you’ll have no doubt got used to the idea that God is freely available at any time. We can worship, pray and expect to meet God personally. This wasn’t the case in first century Palestine, pre-Jesus. People knew that God lives in his house, the temple (Psalm 26).
The temple is the meeting point of heaven and earth.
If you wanted to encounter God – go to the temple in Jerusalem.
If you wanted to worship God – bring a sacrifice of praise to the temple.
If you wanted the forgiveness of sins – go to the high priest in the temple.
If you wanted healing – go to the place where God’s presence dwells, in the temple.
Fast-forward to the New Testament and Jesus redefines the Temple saying: I am the temple! (John 2). And he began to do templey/priesty things.
Heaven started breaking out around Jesus, not the old building.
People brought their sick relatives to Jesus.
A woman poured expensive oil over Jesus’ head as an act of worship.
Jesus forgave people’s sins. In fact he goes a step further dying as the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices doing what all the previous temple sacrifices could never do.
The temple is the meeting point of heaven and earth, and is being worked out through the life of Jesus.
Peter is going out of his way to remind his readers that what they believe about themselves is a fulfilment of all that has gone before.
And he builds on this logic and saying: “You are a temple of the Holy Spirit, God dwells in you!
Therefore expect heaven to break out around you.
This is your true identity. With all authority and power, you heal the sick, you proclaim the forgiveness of sins, you offer praise and worship to God. This is who you are. This is fixed. This does not fluctuate with your circumstance, this has been won for you.
Meditate on this reality today.

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