1 Peter 2: Condemning or Edifying?

In the past few weeks we have rekindled our regular weekly Bible study with another couple (friends are always welcome to join us) and have moved from James into 1 Peter. This week we are embarking on the first twelve verses of chapter 2. Thinking there is so much here to digest, rather than do a whole chapter this week (which we usually do) it might be advantageous to concentrate on a few select verses. That said, I could spend some time parked on just a few verses and think about what it means to refer to our Lord as the ‘cornerstone.’

4 So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and precious in God’s sight, 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it says in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and whoever believes in him will never be put to shame.” 7 So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy. -1 Peter 2: 4-10 (NET2)

There is a great deal to unpack right there and pray about applying in our lives as Christians. A cornerstone is a square cut piece of stone used in ancient times in a corner to unite two walls at their intersection. It was critical to the structure, which would not have held together without a sufficient one in pace. It is fitting that Christ should be compared to such a thing in its functionality, as He holds the Church together. As believers, we become ‘stones’ in our own right and are accountable for edifying each other and presenting to a lost world a unified Gospel message. In our attitudes toward each other, it would be good to bear that in mind and remember that we are no more worthy of salvation than the next guy. We have it because we accepted the gift of God’s grace, not because we are without sin or perhaps ‘sinned less’ than somebody else. Quite often, I can lose sight of that fact and begin judging others for things they have done or are doing that may not even be as bad as some of what I have done. it is important that I see that and follow the advice laid out in 1 John 1:9: But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (NET2)


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