BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday December 16, 2012
LIVING IN A NEW HOUSEHOLD
(Growing into the fullness of our salvation)
1 Peter 2:1-10
The Christian journey into maturation demands that we remove ourselves from the sinful lifestyle that once fascinated, and had power over us. We must grow up in our newly found salvation in order to present ourselves as living stones, which can be used in the spiritual temple, that is, CHRIST JESUS.
In our new chosen lifestyle and walk with CHRIST, we are led out of the darkness of sin, and into the light of right living by GOD’s HOLY SPIRIT. Behavior-wise, we become aliens to this earth, and, become citizens of Heaven, who, by our good examples, will be able to influence the unbeliever with our GODly deeds, choices, and decisions. In other words, we become a light to the world that can lead others to salvation in CHRIST JESUS. It becomes our responsibility to prove to the world, through our own behavior, that Christianity really does produce the best men and women.
In 1 Peter 2, verse 1, the apostle Peter lists five sins of attitude and speech that fuel division between those who profess to be Christians in the “church house”. These common sin issues in the church include;
· (1) “Malice” – In the Greek “kakian” – “a wicked ill-will”.
· (2) “Deceit” – In the Greek “dolon” – “a deliberate dishonesty”
· (3) “Hypocrisy” – In the Greek “hupokrisis” (hoop-ok-ree-sis) – “pretending to be
Something, or someone that you are not”
· (4) “Envy” – In the Greek “phthonos” (fthon-os) – “resentful discontent”
· (5) “slander” – In the Greek “katalalias” – “lies that debase or misrepresent someone
else’s character or reputation”
Peter then urges these new Christians to rid themselves of their malicious behavior and deceit, and stop, just pretending to be good. In order to achieve these improvements, they are encouraged to allow themselves a chance to be nourished and transformed by the word of GOD, which is the only thing that can change any person.
In verses 4-7, the word Peter uses several times in the original Greek for “stone” is “lithos” (lee-thos). Lithos was the primary material used in the construction of buildings in the first century. It was a rock that was pre-shaped or finished for a specific purpose in the building plans. Here in these verses, Peter depicts the stone as a “gem of great value”. Here the term is used symbolically to depict the Old Testament thought that described the coming MESSIAH. In verse 4, the concept of the “living stone” reminds us of the resurrection of CHRIST, which demonstrates to us, most clearly, the power that is manifested in JESUS as being the SON of the LIVING GOD.
We, as Christians, were all urged to come to CHRIST by someone who believed, and then, we too, came to believe and understand over time, that JESUS is the “LIVING CORNERSTONE” of GOD’s temple. Those of us who choose JESUS, are, ourselves, transformed by GOD, into “living stones” that can be used in HIS spiritual temple plans. Anyone who comes to believe in CHRIST will never be disappointed. And, even though JESUS will continue to be rejected by most people, even in the Church, HE is, and will always remain, precious to GOD, and, precious to those who really do believe in their hearts. And to those who really do believe, JESUS is living power. It is only to those who do not believe, that JESUS becomes, merely, a stumbling block.
As believers in CHRIST, Christians are called to a holy and royal priesthood. However, that does not so much make us to be “mediators for CHRIST”, as it makes us “worshipers of GOD”, who, are called to make spiritual sacrifices, through a behavior, and examples, that will be acceptable to GOD (1 Peter 2:5).
JESUS CHRIST has been shaped and finished by HIS FATHER GOD for a specific purpose, and HE, in turn, was sent by GOD to do the same for us. Those of us who believe in JESUS, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, gain the privilege and responsibility of becoming GOD’s true and holy nation. JESUS CHRIST, the ONE WHO is truly precious, pure, and perfect, is also everlasting. Through HIS vicarious sacrifice, HE has afforded us the opportunity to become likewise, through GOD’s wonderful grace, mercy, and justification.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website