Scriptures

Discussions From 1 Peter 2

Introduction

Lesson 3: ‘The Living Stone’

‘Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you 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. For 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.’ Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and, ‘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. But 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. Once 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. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.’ 1 Peter 2:1-12

Discussion questions

What is the cornerstone of a building designed to do?

A Continual Spiritual Growth

1. What kinds of sins are listed by Peter in 1 Peter 2:1?

Colossians 3:1-10 ‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.’

Matthew 15:18-19 ‘But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.’

2. What remedy for sin is suggested in 1 Peter 2:2?

Acts 17:11 ‘Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.’

2 Timothy 2:15 ‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.’

Psalm 119:97 ‘Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.’

2 Peter 3:18 ‘But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.’

Hebrews 4:12 ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’

3. Why is the study of God’s word so vital to spiritual growth?

1 Corinthians 3:13 ‘Their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.’

Hebrews 5:11-14 ‘We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.’

Christ, The Living Stone

1. What is the building process described in 1 Peter 2:4+5?

1 Corinthians 3:9 ‘For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.’

1 Corinthians 3:11 ‘For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.’

1 Corinthians 3:16 ‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?’

1 Timothy 3:15 ‘If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.’

2. Why are the prophecies quoted in 1 Peter 2:6-8 important?

3. What four reasons do Christians have for praising God in 1 Peter 2:9-10?

Ephesians 2:11-18 ‘Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.’

4. How are Christians ‘aliens and strangers’ in this world?

Philippians 3:20 ‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.’

Hebrews 11:16 ‘Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.’

5. What effect will our living the Christian life have on others?

Matthew 5:16 ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’

Are you proud to be a Christian? Do you crave the word of God daily? Do you feel special to God? Are you allowing others to see Jesus in your life?

Lesson 4: ‘Leaving You an Example’

‘Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor. Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.’ 1 Peter 2:13-25

Discussion questions

Have you ever been punished for something you didn’t do? What was your reaction to that punishment?

Obeying the Law

1. Why does a Christian submit to the authority of the government?

Romans 13:1-7 ‘Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.’

2. What is a government’s function or obligation?

3. What is the desired result for the Christian’s obedience to the law?

4. Discuss the six directives of 1 Peter 2:16-17.

Commendable Suffering

1. What is the slave’s ‘employee’s’ responsibility to his master ‘employer’?

2. Why is it ‘commendable’ to undergo unjust suffering?

3. Is there any virtue in deserving punishment?

Christ, The Perfect Example

1. How is Jesus described in 1 Peter 2:21+22?

2. How did Jesus respond to suffering?

3. What is the Christian’s responsibility in view of Christ’s sacrifice?

How to you respond to suffering? Do you follow the example of Jesus?

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DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Matthew 28:20

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