The Kingdom of Heaven is real – it is “now, but not yet”. As citizens of His Kingdom, Peter describes believers as a “royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession”. How does your identity in Christ affect the way you live in His Kingdom?
Read 1 Peter 2:1-10. List the sins you are to ‘get rid of’ in verses 1-2. Discuss as a group the meaning of each one, then read 1 Peter 2:1-3 in The Living Bible (on the back). Did the TLB version change your understanding of any of the sins listed?
How do you rid yourself of these sins? What are some practical ways to fulfill this command?
The word “crave” in 1 Peter 2:2 means a deep longing, similar to Psalm 42:1, ‘A deer panting after water.’ The poetic books of Job and the Psalms have beautiful insight into the Word. List what you learn about the authors’ desire for the Word of God from the following passages:
- Job 23:12
- Psalm 1:1-2
- Psalm 19:7-11
- Psalm 119:72
- Psalm 119: 97
- Psalm 119: 159
- Psalm 119: 174
Describe something you consider to be “spiritual milk” in your life. Is this something you crave?
Verses 4-8 refer to Jesus as the living stone, and cornerstone. There are many references to God as a stone in the Old Testament, some of which Peter quotes. He is the cornerstone/foundation stone (Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16), the stumbling stone (Isaiah 8:14), the supernatural stone (Daniel 2:44-45), and the rock that gave the Israelites water in the wilderness (Exodus 17:6, 1 Corinthians 10:4). Why do you think that the Bible uses the stone/rock imagery to describe God?
Peter describes Jesus as ‘a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense’ (ESV). Why do people stumble or find Jesus offensive?
Re-read 1 Peter 2:9-10 out loud. List the titles and blessings given by God to you. What difference should this make in your life?
1 Peter 2:10 is a quote from Hosea 2:23. What does ‘once you were not a people’ mean?
Reflect on what being “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” means to you. How will you “declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light”?
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to Him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him— 5you 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. 6For 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.” 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8and, “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. 9But 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. 10Once 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. 1 Peter 2:1-10 (NIV)
So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their backs. Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you, put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation; cry for this as a baby cries for his milk. 1 Peter 2:1-3 (TLB)