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If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
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.
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.
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:2 sincere. That is, “pure.”

2:2 of the word. “Of the word” here is one word, logikos in the Greek, translated “reasonable” in its only other occurrence (Romans 12:1). As babes need milk for food to begin physical growth, so babes in Christ need “pure, reasonable [or logical] spiritual milk” if they are to grow spiritually, and this is only to be obtained from God’s Word. They were “born again” through the Word (I Peter 1:23), and now must grow through the Word. As they grow, however, they must soon begin also to partake of the “strong meat” of the “word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

2:3 If so be. This little phrase (Greek ei per) occurs four times in Scripture, seemingly expressing certain conditions, but actually leading to great assurances. See also Romans 8:9, 17; and I Corinthians 15:15.

2:4 living stone. As not just the foundation rock (I Corinthians 3:11), but also as a living stone that could bring life and sustenance, Christ is the fulfillment of the type suggested by the rock smitten in the wilderness, which thenceforth brought life-sustaining water to God’s people (see Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:8; I Corinthians 10:4).

2:4 chosen of God. The Greek word here for “chosen” (also in I Peter 2:9) is the same as that for “elect” in I Peter 1:2 and 2:6. Thus, the “elect of God” are those “chosen by God.” Note also John 15:16 and Ephesians 1:4.

2:5 spiritual house. Believers are placed, as living stones quickened by Christ, into the spiritual temple of God (see Ephesians 2:19-22).

2:5 priesthood. Christ is High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), but we also are called on to exercise what has come to be called “the priesthood of the believer,” offering up spiritual sacrifices consisting of our own dedicated bodies (Romans 12:1), prayers of praise, thanksgiving and intercession (Hebrews 13:15), and material gifts for the full-time servants of God (Philippians 4:18).

2:5 spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God. Since the one sacrifice of Christ has completely eliminated the need for repeated animal sacrifices, those sacrifices that are now “acceptable” to God include the presentation of our own bodies as a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), the “sacrifice of praise” offered continually, doing good, and “communicating” (that is, sharing what we have with others), “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16).

2:6 chief corner stone. Note that Peter here recognizes that Christ, not himself, is the foundation stone of the church (as some have misinterpreted the teaching of Matthew 16:18). He is quoting from Isaiah 28:16, showing that this Messianic prophecy was fulfilled in Christ. The Lord Jesus also called His words the true foundation (Matthew 7:24-27) and Paul confirmed that there is no other foundation (I Corinthians 3:11). Isaiah had also stressed that “in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength,” or “the Rock of ages” (Isaiah 26:4).

2:6 be confounded. “Make haste” in Isaiah 28:16 is interpreted by Peter as “be confounded,” meaning “be ashamed.”

2:7 head of the corner. The reference here is to Psalm 118:22, which in turn was referring to the tradition that, when Solomon’s temple was being built, the odd-shaped stone which seemed not to fit anywhere turned out to be the chief cornerstone, designed for the very apex of the temple. The stones had all been precisely cut deep in the quarry, so that no noise of construction could be heard while the temple was growing (see I Kings 5:17; 6:7). In analogous fashion, each believer is being laid quietly as a living stone in the great spiritual temple. But the unique stone of the pinnacle corner is Christ Himself, who is also the temple’s foundation. He is both underneath all, upholding us, and above all, crowning us as our glorious Head.

2:8 rock of offence. In the meantime, until He is made the head stone (Zechariah 4:7), Christ is just a stumbling stone on the ground, as it were, getting in the way of everyone who would pass by. Peter here quotes Isaiah 8:14, to which Jesus also referred in the same vein (Matthew 21:42-44). But note also Daniel 2:34 and Jeremiah 13:16.

2:9 generation. This is not the usual word for “generation,” being so translated here only. The Greek word (genos) means “kindred,” or simply “kind.” Christians, in effect, are a distinct “kind” of human being, almost like a separate genetic variety, and they have been specially “chosen” or “elected” by God for His own very specific purposes.

2:9 priesthood. In this high calling, Christians, like Christ Himself, are both “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6), a royal priesthood.

2:9 peculiar people. “Peculiar” in this sense means a special possession. The Greek word means “purchased,” and is translated “purchased possession” in Ephesians 1:14. A closely related word is used in Acts 20:28, where Christ is said to have “purchased” the church with His own blood. We have been redeemed by His precious blood (I Peter 1:19), and therefore belong wholly to Christ.

2:11 as strangers and pilgrims. In effect, Christians are aliens from another world and foreigners from another land. Our citizenship is in heaven (see note on Philippians 3:20), and we are ambassadors for Christ in this earthly country (II Corinthians 5:20). Note also Hebrews 11:13.

2:12 behold. This unique word for “behold” is used only by Peter (see also I Peter 3:2). Its noun form is translated “eye-witnesses” in II Peter 1:16. Its thrust is to “inspect carefully.” Unbelievers do critically observe the behavior of Christians, making it doubly important that we “walk circumspectly.”

2:12 day of visitation. Interestingly, “visitation” (used also with this meaning in Luke 19:44) is actually the same as “bishoprick” (Acts 1:20). A bishop is an “overseer,” and the idea here evidently is that of God coming as an overseer to diligently inspect the actions of both believers and unbelievers.

2:13 ordinance of man. The phrase “ordinance of man” means, literally, “human creation.” Since only God really creates, we must regard human ordinances as divine ordinances and submit to them as unto God, unless they contradict God’s written Word. Note Romans 13:1.

2:15 ignorance. The Greek word here for “ignorance” is agnosia, from which we get our word “agnostic.”

2:18 froward. That is, “contrary” (opposite of to-ward).

2:19 thankworthy. Both “thankworthy” in I Peter 2:19 and “acceptable” in I Peter 2:20 are translations of the same Greek word (charis), which is the usual word for “grace.” Solely because of His grace, Christ suffered for our sins, and took it patiently when He was buffeted for our faults, thus leaving us an example (I Peter 2:21) of the grace we also should show under such circumstances.

2:21 follow his steps. Following His steps, we should “walk as He walked” (I John 2:6), even to the cross, if that should be His will. We should also love as He loved (John 13:35) and think as He thought (Philippians 2:5).

2:22 did no sin. In order to die for our sins, the Lord Jesus could do no sin of His own, and Peter, His close friend, assures us He did not. John, the beloved disciple, testified that “in Him is no sin” (I John 3:5), and Paul, the prince of theologians, says that He “knew no sin” (II Corinthians 5:21). Judas, who betrayed Him, admitted that “I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4). Pilate, who judged and condemned Him, said: “I find in Him no fault at all” (John 18:38), and the centurion who crucified Him said: “Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47).

2:24 bare. “Bare” is the same word as “offer up” in I Peter 2:5.

2:24 live unto righteousness. Peter thus draws the same inference as Paul on the relation of the death of Christ for our sins to our death to our sins. See, for example, Galatians 2:19-20; Romans 6:11-13.

2:24 healed. See Isaiah 53:5 and the note on Matthew 8:17.

2:25 returned. “Returned” is the same as “converted.”

2:25 Shepherd and Bishop. For “Shepherd and Bishop,” read “Guide and Guardian.”

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