Desire the Pure Milk of the Word
Verse 1 – Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
Verse 2 – as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
Verse 3 – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Grace is the first thing we should learn as new believers; that a God so gracious would forgive and love us, in spite of our sin. So as we fill our spirits up with the gospel, these old characteristics start to disappear.
Once we start to learn from God;’s word what it means to be a Christian, we develop a strong desire to have self-control, by staying in the Word. Then as we see things like envy begin to fall away, we know we are maturing.
Verse 4 – Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
Verse 5 – you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Salvation is often referred to as “coming to Christ” the “corner-stone” of the spiritual house. Some reject Him, some come to the “living stone,” for salvation. This body of believers, the spiritual house is built with “living stones,” living materials. This spiritual temple, not made with perishable materials, like that at Jerusalem, but made with redeemed souls, in which Christ is the head.
To offer up spiritual sacrifices – no more animal sacrifices, but a sacrifice of the heart; the sacrifice of prayer and praise, acceptable only y through Christ as our Intercessor before the throne of God.
Verse 6 – Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Have you ever put your trust in something or someone, and then find out you were wrong to do so? This causes shame or embarrassment. However, God and His Word, can be trusted to their fullest, and you will never fall prey to shame because He does what He says and is who He says He is!
Verse 7 – Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,”
Verse 8 – and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
“But to those who are disobedient” – refuse to be persuaded, to believe. Some of these believe there are many ways to God’ some believe because they think they are a “good person,” that is good enough. However, they still refuse to believe in the only one and true way to God is through Jesus Christ. The gospel offends them, and it therefore becomes a stumbling rock to them! They are blinded to the truth.
Verse 9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him which called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Verse 10 – who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
“Called out of darkness” – darkness is the emblem of ignorance, sin, and misery, and refers to their condition, and ours, before conversion. Those who are brought to the knowledge of the gospel.
A conversion is so great and so rapid, the views and feelings are so different before and after conversion, that it seems like a sudden transition from midnight to noon – darkness to light. In all cases of genuine conversion it is true that each one can say that they have been called from a state in which their mind was dark to one in which it is comparatively clear!
Verse 11 – Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
Verse 12 – having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Christians are identified as sojourners and pilgrims because this world is not our home. “Abstain from fleshly lusts” – these fleshly lusts can be sexual temptations; and be temptations that conquer us. There are all kinds of temptations to make the flesh feel fulfilled. It’s not wrong to want to be happy, but we know what is good for us and what isn’t. The choices we make in this life will affect us in the next.
Peter uses the Gentiles as the evildoers in the next verse, because there were a large number of non-believers that were involved in paganism surrounding the Christians that he was writing to. If we are constantly on guard of our behavior and conduct to honor God, we shouldn’t worry too much about what unbelievers say about us. When they speak lies, others will see that what they’ve accused us of is not true.
Verse 13 – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,
Verse 14 – or to governors as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
The meaning is to every institution of man, those who are in authority – obey the laws of the land unless contrary to God’s laws. If we don’t break the law, then we wont’ be punished by the law.
Verse 15 – For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men –
Verse 16 – as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God.
Those who were converted to the Christian faith, whether from among the Jews or the Gentiles, were made to feel that they were the children of God, and that His law was the supreme rule of their lives. They were not to forget their subjection to civil authority and that liberty was an invaluable blessing. They were free from sin and condemnation.
Verse 17 – Honor all people, love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Verse 18 – Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.
Our demeanor is not to change due to the response of the other person.
Verse 19 – For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
Meaning: Even if we suffer at the hands of someone being harsh, we still do what’s right because we love God. He will make it right.
Verse 20 – For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
The idea is, that if a person was justly punished, (meaning they deserved it) and take it patiently, there would be no honor in it. On the other hand, if someone who is unjustly punished for no wrong doing, then it is honor in God’s sight.
Verse 21 – For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
Verse 22 – “Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth,”
Verse 23 – who, when He reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Verse 24 – who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we have died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you ere healed.
Peter said all that , to show Christians: That because Christ suffered for the sins of others, who had no sin Himself, we will also suffer unjustly in this world at the hands of others, so let Christ be an example as to how we conduct ourselves when we are harshly treated.
“By whose stripes” – Christ took the scourging, beatings, and humiliation for us on account of our sin.
“Ye were healed” – Sin is often spoken of as a disease, and redemption from it as a restoration from it.
Verse 25 – For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Like sheep with no shepherd, we all had wandered away from the flock, and were following our own paths before coming to Christ. We were without a protector and were exposed to every kind of danger.
But once we became born-again, we return to the true flock and now have the great Protector and Shepherd of our souls living on the inside of us.