In the second chapter of 1 Peter, Peter takes you for a walk down the halls of glory where you see first hand what your identity is when you follow after Christ. When Christ comes to reside within your heart, you become spiritually alive where God becomes active within you. Your thinking, your speech and your conduct align themselves up to God’s standard of living.
You become a living stone for God’s house.
Read 1 Peter 2:4-25 for today’s study time. Peter begins by telling you and I that we come to Christ. What do you learn about Jesus from verse 4?
“You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple.”5
Peter goes even farther to tell you that you are Christ’s holy priest. You also offer spiritual sacrifices to God. When you do this, it pleases Him. The only way you can live this way is through Christ. He became the mediator between sinful man and God; the bridge that connects you to the very presence of God. Christ’s shed blood on the cross removes your guilt and shame, and He presents you before His Father righteous and redeemed; wholly without a blemish or scar.
In turn, you now live for a whole new Kingdom, one that is everlasting. You turn from walking down the dirty, sin-stained paths of this world, and you align yourself on the path that leads you home to heaven. You remove the things that cause you to stumble and become uninterested, and you put on His garments of righteousness like love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; see Galatians 5:22.
What else do you learn about Jesus in verses 6-8?
Notice what verse 6 says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Take a look at Isaiah 28:16 for added insight. Have you ever been mistreated, misjudged, taken for granted, ridiculed, forgotten, or simply ignored? Jesus will never treat you how this world treats you. Never. He has time for you, and His love in boundless.
When you trust Christ, the Holy Spirit will help you to recognize the honor that God has given His Son. You understand who Christ is. He is The Cornerstone of the halls of glory that a believer resides in, even as he walks in his earthly body. God is alive within you, and you are able to give those around you a piece of heaven.
For those who reject Christ, what do you learn from verses 7-8? Life becomes more trying if you choose to be in opposition of God. You will stumble and fall. Why? What else do you learn according to Isaiah 8:11-15?
Every person is called to come out of the darkness, walk in the halls of glory, and obey God’s Word.
In Christ, Peter tells us that we do not live in the dark anymore. “You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.”9 What is the result of your new identity, see verse 9?
“Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”10 Ephesians 5:8 shows you what this looks like. “For once your heart was full of darkness, but now you have the light from the Lord. So, live as people of the light!” What may God be speaking to your heart right now?
Peter continues on with a warning. “Keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very soul.”11 Remember, you are not home yet. This world is not your home anymore. In Christ, you are set apart for greater things, so don’t get captivated by its lures and wiles.
You and I are also called to “be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors.”12 Why would God want you to live this way?
In the United States, COVID-19 has caused believers to struggle with this truth. So many of God’s children have misplaced their identity in Christ. Their freedoms and rights (constitutionally) as an American come first. They have forgotten that at the foot of the cross, where they surrendered themselves, like their rights, their thoughts, their words and deeds, they are now called to put others before themselves. You and I are called to show unbelievers the Light within us. We can’t do that when we are balking at simple things, like wearing a mask for a season. One cannot walk the halls of glory with their flesh still calling the shots. We are not to be stumbling blocks towards those who don’t know God. 1 Corinthians 8:9 says, “But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” We do not want others to lose hope in what God can do for them.
Peter moves onto another trait of righteousness that has been lost by believers, respect. “For the Lord’s sake,” verse 13 says, should be the motive behind every one of your actions. Who are you to respect, see verses 13-14? What is God’s will according to verse 15?
You see in verse 16 how you are free, but you really aren’t by human standards for you are a slave of God. This is a good thing. To be a slave of God, you are living for Him and following His ways. In return, God removes the word “guilty” stamped on your forehead, He cleanses you from all sin, and He resurrects your soul. You are now on a the path to heaven. You have undisturbed access to God Himself. You can run to Him and sit in His lap whenever you want. He listens to you and He gives from the abundance of His goodness. You are never more content and satisfied.
What God asks of you is not hard. In verse 17, God wants you to respect everyone, love other believers, fear Him, and respect those in authority. Peter teaches about slaves in verses 18-20. While slaves aren’t a thing in most parts of the world like it was in biblical times, you can liken it to your boss at work, anyone in a position where they have authority over you.
What is the parameter for living godly according to verse 18? When is God pleased, see verse 19-20? Do you find this hard to believe, hard to live out? Remember, life is unfair, but God is with you and He will help you.
“For God called you to do good.”21 Is this always easy? Nope, it isn’t, but God gave you the perfect example to follow. Who is it?
“Jesus is your example and you must follow in His steps.”21
List out Christ’s traits that you are called to emulate, see verses 22-25. Think about yourself, how far away from Christ’s example are you? You can never measure up, but when you receive and follow Christ whole-heartedly, He fills in the gaps and makes you worthy for His Kingdom. In Christ, you are able to walk the halls of glory simply because He loves you.