A Message Concerning The Believer's Submission

Bible Book: 1 Peter  2 : 1-25
Subject: Submission; Commitment; Dedication

We have already seen that in 1 Peter chapter 1, there is “A Message Concerning The Believer’s Salvation.” In chapter 2 and the first half of chapter 3, there is “A Message Concerning The Believer’s Submission.”

In chapter 2, Peter is dealing with the idea of submission in a practical way.

I. A Series of Practical Comparisons

Peter Presents This Submitted Relationship In A Series Of Practical Comparisons (1 Peter 2:1-10)

A. He Describes Believers As Suckling Babies (vs. 1-3)

1. We Have An Aversion For Wickedness

(1 Peter 2:1) Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

laying aside – Greek 659. apotithemi, ap-ot-eeth'-ay-mee; from G575 and G5087; to put away (lit. or fig.):--cast off, lay apart (aside, down), put away (off).

malice – Greek 2549. kakia, kak-ee'-ah; from G2556; badness, i.e. (subj.) depravity, or (act.) malignity, or (pass.) trouble:--evil, malice (-iousness), naughtiness, wickedness.

guile – Greek 1388. dolos, dol'-os; from an obs. prim. dello (prob. mean. to decoy; comp. G1185); a trick (bait), i.e. (fig.) wile:--craft, deceit, guile, subtilty.

hypocrisies – Greek 5272. hupokrisis, hoop-ok'-ree-sis; from G5271; acting under a feigned part, i.e. (fig.) deceit ("hypocrisy"):--condemnation, dissimulation, hypocrisy.

envies – Greek 5355. phthonos, fthon'-os; prob. akin to the base of G5351; ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy  (spite):--envy.

evil speakings – Greek 2636. katalalia, kat-al-al-ee'-ah; from G2637; defamation:--backbiting, evil speaking.

2. We Have An Appetite For The Word

(1 Peter 2:2-3) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: {3} If so be ye have tasted (eaten or experienced) that the Lord is gracious (employed in goodness and kindness).

sincere – Greek 97. adolos, ad'-ol-os; from G1 (as a neg. particle) and G1388; undeceitful, i.e. (fig.) unadulterated:--sincere.

Barnes’ Notes says…

[If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious] Or rather, as Doddridge renders it, “Since you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” The apostle did not mean to express any doubt on the subject, but to state that, since they had had an experimental acquaintance with the grace of God, they should desire to increase more and more in the knowledge and love of him.

B. He Describes Believers As A Stone Building (vs. 4-8)

1. There Is A Precious Corner In This Temple

precious (vs. 4,6) – Greek 1784. entimos, en'-tee-mos; from G1722 and G5092; valued (fig.):--dear,

more honourable, precious, in reputation.

precious (vs. 7) – Greek 5092. time, tee-may'; from G5099; a value, i.e. money paid, or (concr. and collect.) valuables; by anal. esteem (espec. of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:--honour, precious, price, some.

Barnes’ Notes says…

[A chief cornerstone] The principal stone on which the corner of the edifice rests. A stone is selected for this which is large and solid, and, usually, one which is squared, and worked with care; and as such a stone is commonly laid with solemn ceremonies, so, perhaps, in allusion to this, it is here said by God that he would lay this stone at the foundation. The solemnities attending this were those which accompanied the great work of the Redeemer.

Zion here is put for his empire, kingdom, or church in general on earth. To lay a cornerstone in Zion, means that his kingdom would be founded on a rock, and would be secure amidst all the storms that might beat upon it.

No doubt, Peter is thinking back to the words of Christ as he writes this about the building stone…

(Matthew 16:18) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (petros – a piece of rock), and upon this rock (petra – a mass of rock) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

When it says in verse 6 that “it is contained in the scripture,” it refers to…

(Isaiah 28:16) Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Barnes’ Notes says…

[And a stone of stumbling] A stone over which they, stumble, or against which they impinge. The idea seems to be that of a cornerstone which projects from the building, against which they dash themselves, and by which they are made to fall. The rejection of the Saviour becomes the means of their ruin. They refuse to build on him, and it is as if one should run against a solid projecting cornerstone of a house, that would certainly be the means of their destruction.

2. There Is A Priestly Component In This Temple

(1 Peter 2:5) 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.

See verse 9 where it mentions the “royal priesthood.” First John 2:1 says that “we have an advocate,” an intercessor.

Wiersbe said…

In the Old Testament period, God’s people had a priesthood; but today, God’s people are a priesthood. Each individual believer has the privilege of coming into the presence of God (Hebrews 10:19-25). We do not come to God through any person on earth, but only through the one Mediator, Jesus Christ (1Timothy 2:1-8). Because He is alive in glory, interceding for us, we can minister as holy priests.

C. He Describes Believers As A Special Bunch (vs. 9-10)

1. Notice The Titles That He Mentions

(1 Peter 2:9) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Compare this to…

(Exodus 19:5-6) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: {6} And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Marvin Vincent said about some of these terms in 1 Peter 2:9…

Generation (genos). Better, the English Revised Version (1885), “race:” a body with common life and descent. Nation (ethnos). People (laos). The distinction between these three words cannot be closely pressed. Race emphasizes the idea of “descent; nation, of community.” Laos, “people,” occurring very often in the Septuagint, is used there mostly of the Israelites, the chosen people. The same use is also frequent in the New Testament; but it is employed in a more general sense, as by Luke 2:10. It would seem that this idea, however, in its metaphorical and Christian application, the “chosen Israel” of God, directed Peter’s choice of the word, since he adds, “a people for God’s own possession.” Peculiar (eis peripoieesin). Literally, “a people for acquisition.” The English Revised Version (1885), “a people for God’s own possession.” Wycliffe, “a people of purchasing.” Cranmer, “a people which are won.”

Shew forth (exangeileete). Only here in New Testament. “Proclaim, tell abroad.” The praises (tas aretas). Literally, “the virtues.” So the English Revised Version (1885), “excellencies.” (From Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament)

It was A.T. Roberson who said…

?The official in Christian churches is ?presbuteros ?= ?episkopos?, not ?hiereus?. We are all ? hiereis ?(priests). Compare 1 Peter 2:5. … The old rendering, “a peculiar people,” had this idea of possession, for “peculiar” is from pecus (Latin for flock).

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says…

Royal - kingly. Believers, like Christ, the antitypical Melchisedek, are a body of priest-kings. Israel spiritually was designed to be the same among the nations of the earth. The full realization of this, both to the literal and the spiritual Israel, is as yet future (Isaiah 61:6; 66:21). (See also Revelation 1:6)

A chosen generation – We are the body, the race, with common life and descent selected by God. A royal priesthood – We are a kingdom of priests.

An holy nation – We are a community that is set apart; a saintly, consecrated tribe. A peculiar people – We are the special flock that belongs to God.

To “shew forth” means to tell it out and proclaim it abroad. And “the praises” means the excellencies, and the virtues, and the moral worth, and the valor.

darkness – Greek 4655. skotos, skot'-os; from the base of G4639 (shadiness or darkness of error); shadiness, i.e. obscurity.

marvelous – Greek 2298. thaumastos, thow-mas-tos'; from G2296; wondered at, i.e. (by impl.) wonderful:--marvel (-lous).

light – Greek 5457. phos, foce; from an obsol. phao (to shine or make manifest, espec. by rays; comp. G5316, G5346); luminousness (in the widest application, nat. or artificial, abstr. or concr., lit. or fig.):--fire, light.

2. Notice The Transformation That He Mentions

(1 Peter 2:10) 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.

people – Greek NT:2992. laos; the people whom God has chosen for himself, selected as peculiarly his own. (From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

obtained mercy – Greek 1653. eleeo, el-eh-eh'-o; from G1656; to compassionate (by word or deed, spec. by divine grace):--have compassion (pity on), have (obtain, receive, shew) mercy (on).

II. A Series Of Practical Contexts

Peter Presents This Submitted Relationship In A Series Of Practical Contexts (1 Peter 2:11-25)

A. We Are Strangers In The World (vs. 11-14)

This is the recurring idea that we are in the world, but we are not of the world (1:1,17).

1. When It Comes To The Gentiles, We Are Honest Christians

(1 Peter 2:11-12) Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; {12} Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that,  whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

honest – Greek 2570. kalos, kal-os'; of uncert. affin.; prop. beautiful, but chiefly (fig.) good (lit. or mor.),

i.e. valuable or virtuous (for appearance or use, and thus distinguished from G18, which is prop. intrinsic):--X better, fair, good (-ly), honest, meet, well, worthy.

Concerning “the day of visitation,” Barnes’ Notes says…

The prevailing use of the word in the New Testament would seem to lead us to suppose that the “visitation” referred to was designed to confer favors rather than to inflict punishment, and indeed the word seems to have somewhat of a technical character, and to have been familiarly used by Christians to denote God’s coming to people to bless them; to pour out his Spirit upon them; to revive religion. This seems to me to be its meaning here; and, if so, the sense is, that when God appeared among people to accompany the preaching of the gospel with saving power, the result of the observed conduct of Christians would be to lead those around them to honor him by giving up their hearts to Him; that is, their consistent lives would be the means of the revival and extension of true religion.

2. When It Comes To The Government, We Are Honorable Citizens

(1 Peter 2:13-14) Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; {14} 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.

B. We Are Servants In The Work (vs. 15-18)

1. Peter Refers To The Liberated Servant

(1 Peter 2:15-17) For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: {16} As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. {17} Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

2. Peter Refers To The Literal Servant

(1 Peter 2:18) Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

In verse 16, the word “servants” is the Greek word doulos, which means a slave or a bond-servant and it is used in a figurative way. But in verse 18, the word “servants” is the Greek word oiketes, which means a menial domestic or a household servant and it is used in a literal way.

subject – Greek 5293. hupotasso, hoop-ot-as'-so; from G5259 and G5021; to subordinate; to obey:-- be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

fear – Greek 5401. phobos, fob'-os; from a prim. phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright:--be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror. In this verse it suggests the idea of reverence.

good – Greek 18. agathos, ag-ath-os'; a prim. word; "good" (in any sense, often as noun):--benefit, good (-s, things), well.

gentle – Greek 1933. epieikes, ep-ee-i-kace'; from G1909 and G1503; appropriate, i.e. (by impl.) mild:--gentle, moderation, patient.

forward – Greek 4646. skolios, skol-ee-os'; from the base of G4628; warped, i.e. winding; fig. perverse:--crooked, froward, untoward.

We serve not only those who act beneficially and appropriately, but we serve those who have “attitude scoliosis” and are crooked.

C. We Are Sufferers In The Way (vs. 19-25)

1. He Mentions The Experience Of The Christian’s Suffering

(1 Peter 2:19-21) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully (unjustly). {20} 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. {21} For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

thankworthy – Greek 5485. charis, khar'-ece; from G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstr. or concr.; lit., fig. or spiritual; espec. the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):--acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

The word “thankworthy” in verse 19 is the same as the word “acceptable” in verse 20.

The suggestion here is that suffering for doing right is worthy of God showing that person favor.

conscience – Greek 4893. suneidesis, soon-i'-day-sis; from a prol. form of G4894; co-perception, i.e. moral consciousness:--conscience.

endure – Greek 5297. hupophero, hoop-of-er'-o; from G5259 and G5342; to bear from underneath,

i.e. (fig.) to undergo hardship:--bear, endure.

grief – Greek 3077. lupe, loo'-pay; appar. a prim. word; sadness:--grief, grievous, + grudgingly, heaviness, sorrow.

buffeted – Greek 2852. kolaphizo, kol-af-id'-zo; from a der. of the base of G2849; to rap with the fist:-- buffet.

patiently (vs. 20) – Greek 5278. hupomeno, hoop-om-en'-o; from G5259 and G3306; to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; fig. to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere:--abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

2. He Mentions The Example Of Christ’s Suffering

(1 Peter 2:21-25) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: {23} Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: {24} 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. {25} For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

example – Greek 5261. hupogrammos, hoop-og-ram-mos'; from a comp. of G5259 and G1125; an underwriting, i.e. copy for imitation (fig.):--example.

Like writing letters on the chalkboard so children can follow the pattern and write it accordingly. reviled – Greek 3058. loidoreo, loy-dor-eh'-o; from G3060; to reproach, i.e. vilify:--revile.

reviled … again – Greek 486. antiloidoreo, an-tee-loy-dor-eh'-o; from G473 and G3058; to rail in reply:--revile again.

suffered – Greek 3958. pascho, pas'-kho; includ. the forms (patho, path'-o) and (pentho, pen'-tho), used only in certain tenses for it; appar. a prim. verb; to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful):--feel, passion, suffer, vex.

threatened – Greek 546. apeileo, ap-i-leh'-o; of uncert. der.; to menace; by impl. to forbid:--threaten. Wiersbe said…

In the Old Testament, the sheep died for the shepherd, but at Calvary, the Shepherd died for the sheep (John 10). Every lost sinner is like a sheep gone astray: ignorant, lost, wandering, in danger, away from the place of safety, and unable to help himself. The Shepherd went out to search for the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7). He died for the sheep!