!! Bible Study !! 1 Peter 1-2 – Pure Milk, Acceptable Offerings, and Living Stones !
Welcome to the THIRD installment of Isaac Hunter’s Online Bible Study, a systematic analysis of the 66 books of the protestant bible.
This is an online class, organized informally and asynchronously. There are no sign-ups needed, no grades to be got, just a clear analysis of the bible and it’s peculiar and fantastically supernatural message for us from outside the bounds of creation and time itself. So, check back in often as new episodes will arrive each week.
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Reading the Text
Since we are starting a new book for this episode, please take some time to read through the entire book of 1 Peter 1-5 before we get started. This is so you can get familiar with the subject matter in question.
Now that you’ve finished reading the entire book, let’s do another supplemental reading of the portion of text we will be dealing with in this session.
Please re-read this portion of text.
The Dispersion & Elect Immigrants
In the first of Peter’s letters, we find the apostle and elder writing to what he described as the “pilgrims of the Dispersion,” or, more specifically, those in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. These regions were at that time fertile grounds for the gospel, representing as a whole, those Jews scattered outside of Israel.
It is to the εκλεκτοίς (G1588) παρεπιδήμοις (G3927) “elect immigrants” according to the “foreknowledge” of God, in sanctification by the Spirit, with the expressed purpose – the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ.
Regeneration, Inheritance, More Precious Faith
It was through God’s mercy that he αναγεννήσας (G313) “begot or regenerated” us to a ελπίδα (G1680) ζώσαν (G2198) “living hope or expectation” through the αναστάσεως (G386) “resurrection” of Jesus Christ (keeping in mind here, the Greek was utterly lost in their sin, and the Jew was dead in the law – but in Christ, both have hope of resurrection).
It is this resurrection that qualifies us for an incorruptible inheritance, awaiting us in heaven; one that is undefiled and does not fade away.
To this day, and in every passing moment, we are being φρούρουμενους (G5432) “kept” by God’s power through faith. This is for the purpose of our salvation, which is now ready and prepared for us, to be revealed in the last day.
Because of this we should greatly rejoice, even though some of us will be subjected to trials, which only tests the δοκίμιον (G1383) “trustworthiness” of your faith, which, when proven genuine, will bring praise, honor and glory at Christ’s return.
But, this faith of ours, it is more precious to us than gold (which only perishes with age). For our faith, be it tested by fire, despite us not having actually seen Christ or his miracles, or his crucifixion, nor his resurrection or ascension, yet we still believe. In this we can truly rejoice. In the end, for it, we will receive salvation.
Prophets, Predictions, and Purification
Peter goes on to say that this peculiar and mysterious σωτηρίας (G4991) “salvation, safety, preservation from harm” was sought after and inquired of by the prophets of old, of which they prophesied, stating that this age of grace would not include them, but us.
They described in various places how the Messiah would suffer and subsequently glorified, and even now grace is a subject much inquired of by angels.
So, because of it’s importance, and we being συγκληρονόμοι (G4789) “co-heirs” with Christ (do you not see the stark and solemn severity of that statement), how so should we be sober, firmly resting our hope on grace?
Grace is but just a hope at this moment, dependent solely and wholly upon the truth of Christ’s resurrection and the reliability of his coming return.
In this, we should embrace grace, conforming to the model God has placed before us (Leviticus 19:2), rather than returning to our former selves, following after the lusts of the flesh. Before we operated from ignorance. But, now, there is no longer such as excuse for us.
Thus, be fearful in your deeds and thoughts and life for the remainder of your stay on earth, for God judges all the same. And, you were not saved by your previous behavior or beliefs, nor where you saved by the culture you inherited from your family or nation. And, salvation is not found in material things, like gold or precious stones, or statues, as is so often insisted.
Rather, Christ (and your salvation) was προεγνωσμένου (G4267) “known beforehand” since before the creation, held as a secret until the last days. For a great expanse of time has passed with nothing revealed, yet, now, Christ is revealed to us, that through him we might believe in God, be granted access to him (from which, in our natural states, we are deplorable and utterly unacceptable in his sight).
But, by obeying the truth we have ηγνικότες (G48) “made clean, purified, morally sanctified” our souls by the love we have for each other.
Because of this, we should all the more love each other with great εκτενώς (G1619) “intensity.”
Pure Milk, Systematic Study, Genuine Faith
We are born through the word of God, which lives in us, αφθάρτου (G862) “incorruptible, that which does not decay,” but, this world in which we live and everything upon it, and all the deeds committed by those living in it, are all like grass and it’s flower. But the Lord is everlasting, and eternal.
So, then we come to Chapter 2, which, of course, Peter did not segment his letter in such fashion.
None-the-less, he continues on the same thought, stating we should then desire the “pure milk” of the word, that we might grow.
It is the wisest that commits to a systematic study of the message given to us in these 66 books. Putting aside the question of what can be considered the Word of God, or with all it’s malignment and arguments from tradition handed down through the past, for there is still great wisdom to be had for the one who is diligent in their study, in the meditation on these mysterious documents.
This, of course, is only true if you have a genuine faith in Christ. Otherwise, the message of the bible is lost on you and is considered foolishness and returned unfruitful (1 Corithians 2:14).
Peter quotes Psalm 34:8. Have you, indeed, tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Sure Foundation, Living Stones, Chosen Generation
But, if we have, and if we’ve built our faith upon the sure foundation of the word of God, then we should put off all these evil things like malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and speaking ill.
For, we are like Christ (Psalms 118:22-23), and are λίθοι (G3037) ζώντες (G2198) “living stones,” having become (are becoming/will become) these living stones, being built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.
The purpose, of course, Peter tells us, that we become this called out group, so that we might offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God. Much in the same way that Abel did (Genesis 4:4), but did not for Cain’s offering (Genesis 4:5). For, if now, we were to attempt to bring an offering to the Lord, it would certainly be rejected as was Cain’s. But, when Christ brings the offering to God on our behalf, then that will be accepted, as was Abel’s.
Peter then quotes Isaiah 28:16, citing a “chief cornerstone, elect, precious, that he who believes on him will by no means be put to shame.” (See also Ephesians 2:20).
Christ is precious to those who believe. But, to the disobedient, to the unbelievers, he is the stone prophesied in Psalms 118:22, that the builders rejected, a stumbling block and rock of offense. But, Peter says they were destined to disbelief. It is their lot in disobedience to the word of God, which is the witness and light to the world.
Those who believe, though, they are a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people.”
Called, Pilgrims, Liberty
Think, for a moment, the ramifications of this statement. Of what we are, if we simply believe in the resurrection of Christ. How blessed we are. How fortunate. How lucky.
For we are called us out of the darkness into the light. For he called us out of the darkness and into the light. We are now the people of God, obtaining mercy, when before, we were not.
We are sojourners and pilgrims, no longer citizens of this world, no longer natives of this planet, or even of this realm of existence. No. We are now citizens of heaven, of a priestly kingdom.
Because of this, we should conduct ourselves honorably, abstaining from the lusts of the flesh, so that the only criticism the unbelieving world can rally against us is our faith in Christ.
When he returns, all will be accounted for. And, we should stand blameless before God, bringing only glory to him from what we have both done and said, having followed the laws of man for the Lord’s sake, to silence His detractors.
Don’t get me wrong. We are free to do as we like in the Lord, for nothing that we do, no sin that we commit from here on out, can or will exclude us from our heavenly destiny in Christ. For, how many of our sins did Christ die for on the Cross? All of them. Yet, we do not abuse such liberties, utilizing it as a cloak for vice, but we operate our lives and the hidden thoughts of our mind as if we were slaves.
Suffering Wrong, Sheep Gone Astray
We are to, therefore, honor all people, love believers, fear God, honor the kind. Slaves should be submissive irregardless of their master’s disposition.
If we suffer wrongly, then we should suffer and do good all the more. For, if we do good and suffer for it, we are commended by the one who sees all things. For, this is our purpose and calling, to suffer alongside Christ, if we be called to do so.
Peter quotes Isaiah 53:9, which is one of the most eloquent chapters in the bible, depicting Christ’s gospel.
And an apt description, for we, too – like sheep – have gone astray.
Until the next study.
Answer the following questions below, then submit them using the Assignment Submission form at the bottom of this page.
- What is regeneration and resurrection and why are they critical to salvation?
What is prepared for us and now waiting for us, to be revealed at the last day?
What did the Prophets of the Old Testament inquire about? What did they predict?
Why is grace only a hope at this moment? What is the critical requirement that makes good on the promise of grace?
What can we not count on to save us? What should we count on for our salvation?
What does Peter promise as the reward of systematic study of the bible?
Read Isaiah 53. What do you think about the claims of Christ now?
The Best English Translation
Simply stated, there is not one. As much as we might like one English translation over the other, the reality is, there is no translation that is necessarily or altogether superior to another. In fact, using a single native language translation is a dangerous habit to get into as you study the bible, simply because there are none that are 100% accurate.
The old adage applies. Trust but verify. It’s no different in this instance, either.
The best advice I can provide, when you are doing your studies, is to utilize multiple native language translations simultaneously.
It’s okay to have your favorites. I certainly do. For many years now, I’ve used the NKJV in my devotional reading and everyday study. But, I also have the WEB, the NIV, and the LITV readily available at any moment.
I settled into using the NKJV after an exhaustive analysis of the KJV-only controversy. Before that, I used the NIV exclusively (having purchased one after my frustration with trying to understand the KJV). I came away from this controversial study wanting a base text that contained the Majority Text in the main text, with Critical notes in the margin (this is opposite in the NIV). I found this with the NKJV. It is highly readable, and widely available.
Shortly afterward, I started using digital study tools exclusively, and brought together a plurality of English translations so that I no longer relied on a single, faulted one. This has been invaluable.
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Assignment Submission Form
Submit your answers to the Assignment Questions using this handy submission form below. Please include the questions with your answers. All submissions will be personally responded to. Some will be shared in future studies.