1 Peter 1:22–2:10 (NKJV)
Peter follows up his discussion of the need to gird up your mind, living in holiness and fear, with a new line of teaching on the seed, which is the word of God. In this passage, he addresses the attitude of the believer toward the truth of God’s word. He teaches a strict belief in the word, and the actions that should accompany such adherence. He calls believers to be “living stones” in the house that God is building.
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.”
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.1 Peter 1:22-2:3
This first section speaks of the purified soul which obeys the truth through the Spirit. The redeemed soul will love others in the body fervently with a pure heart. A soul born again will behave differently, because the born again soul is born of an incorruptible seed through the word of God, eternal, infallible, and immutable. The corruptible seed was germinated in disease and death. The incorruptible seed germinates in eternal life and joy. The well-known passage from Isaiah 40:6-8 comes next, which says that all flesh is temporary, like grass or flowers, and its glory fades away. However, the WORD OF THE LORD endures forever! This is the word of the gospel, preached to generations throughout time since the resurrection.
In light of this truth, this powerful gospel of life, the far-reaching transformational power of the WORD, believers should lay aside sinful activities and attitudes, such as malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking. These actions are counter to the nature of the eternal word. They do not demonstrate the nature of the regenerated soul. The way to exhibit the nature of the redeemed is to come before Him as a newborn babe, desiring the pure milk of the word so that you may grow up into the man or woman God called you to be. If you have tasted that the Lord is gracious, then drink the milk of the word and become and mature soldier of the WORD.
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 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. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
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,”
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.1 Peter 2:4-10
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 who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
This latter section of the passage speaks to the believer becoming a “living stone.” We have just discussed a living hope earlier in 1 Peter, and now are introduced to the idea of a living stone. The believer should be a building block of the church, chosen by God (although rejected by men) to be part of a spiritual house. He goes further to describe believers as being part of a holy priesthood, offering constant spiritual sacrifices to God through Christ. He quotes Isaiah 28:16, speaking of the chief cornerstone laid in Zion, the stone rejected by builders, a stumbling stone or rock of offense to those who oppose Him. This stone is Jesus Christ, and is the foundation stone of the church. The church is built upon Him, and anyone who lays another stone does so in error. Those who oppose Him are disobedient to the precious word of God and are stumbling, without true direction in life.
But(what a turn of thought this smallish word produces), God has called those who believe and follow Him as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special people. We are chosen by God for a purpose. We are kingly priests who minister in His name and will one day rule and reign with Him for a thousand years on earth. We are a holy nation, sanctified for a holy purpose. We are a special people to God (peculiar people in the KJV), different and holy for the purposes of God on earth. God calls us to proclaim His praises, as He has called us out of the darkness of sin and into the light of His truth and holiness. Once we were strangers, vagabonds, sinners, but we are now His people through the grace wrought by the blood of Jesus. We were destined for destruction and punishment, but God forgave us and extended mercy that we might be saved. Since God has redeemed us, saved us, and called us, let us walk through this world as living stones, declaring His praises and building His church to the glory of God. He is God, the living God, the life-giving God, and we are living stones in the house of God. Live out your calling and be blessed!