1 Peter 2v4 (II)

 

“As you come to Him” (2 of 4)

Peter's first letter

 
1 Peter 2:1-5 ESV
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ESV

 
Review
In our previous post we took note that there are two parties involved in this “coming”. There are those who do the coming because Peter says: “As you come” so we’ll need to consider “Those who come”. Now, quite often when we speak of “coming” we’re referring to coming to a place or to a thing or even to an idea but in this instance we see that Peter is speaking of people coming to a person because he says: “As you come to him. There’s a second party involved in this coming and that is the one to whom we come.
Peter is talking about people coming to a person. So, we’ll also need to consider “The one to whom we come”. He tells us more about the person to whom we come as he continues in verse 4 by saying that He is “a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious”. He then goes on to tell us more about the people who come to Him and the result of their coming to Him in verse 5 where he says: “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.
We’ll leave our consideration of what Peter says about those who come and what happens when they come until next time.
It’s my intention to consider the four aspects of Peter’s thought beginning the first aspect:
1. The nature of this coming
2. The One to whom we come
3. Man’s evaluation of Him
4. God’s estimation of Him
Today, we’re going to concentrate on what Peter says about:
 
The one to whom we come
We see what Peter said about the one to whom we come in verse 4. Having said “As you come to him”, before going on to say what happens when you come to Him, he mentions, almost in parenthesis, that the one to whom we come is: “a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious”.
In saying that, Peter clearly had various passages of Old Testament Scripture in mind because he goes on to quote some in the verses that follow. In verse 6 we read: “For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame””. That’s quoting Isaiah 28v16. In verse 7 he quotes: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. That comes from Psalm 118v22. Then, in verse 8 he quotes: “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense”. That comes from Isaiah 8v14.
You can clearly see how those passages have informed what Peter has said about the one to whom we come as being “a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious”. We’ll use three headings in considering those words about the one to whom we come. In those words we see:

  • Peter’s description of Him
  • Man’s evaluation of Him
  • God’s estimation of Him

So, let us move on to consider:
 
Peter’s description of Him
We’ve recently had the Glastonbury Festival and one of the headline acts were the Rolling Stones. Well, Peter describes the one to whom we come, not as a Rolling Stone but as “a living stone”. That is a very bold and striking metaphor. After all, literal stones are far from living. We use expressions like “stone dead” and “it’s like getting blood from a stone” because you can’t get anything much more lifeless than stone.
Peter didn’t make up this picture or image of a stone for himself.
As we’ve seen from the verses he goes on to quote, he was using an image that is frequently found in the Old Testament scriptures. So, the source of this “stone” image that he’s using isn’t his own imagination but the Word of God. Now, those references that he quotes were generally understood by Jewish scholars and interpreters to be Messianic texts. That is, they took the “stone” that was mentioned to be a reference to the promised Messiah. So, when Peter says “As you come to him, a living stone, he is saying “as you come to the long promised Jewish Messiah”. Now, Peter’s readers had tasted that the Lord Jesus Christ is good and were commanded to desire Him and so continually come to Him. Is Peter right to equate Jesus with this “stone” that represented the promised Messiah?
Well, that’s exactly what Jesus Himself did.
We read earlier from Matthew 21 where we saw the parable that Jesus told about the tenants and the vineyard. It’s surely very clear there that the master who planted the vineyard in that parable represents God. The vineyard that the master planted represented the nation of Israel that God Himself formed to be His chosen people. The various servants who were sent by the master and susbsequently killed by the tenants were the prophets who were sent by God over the years and who were consistently ignored and rejected by Israel. Then, when the master finally sent his own son, the tenants went ahead and killed him too. The master’s son represented Jesus Himself as the Son of God who had been sent to the Jews but was going to be rejected and put to death by them.
At that point Jesus stopped telling the parable and said: “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?” He was quoting Psalm 118v22 and His point was that, in being put to death as He’d mentioned in the parable, He was “The stone that the builders rejected”. He fulfilled that prophecy. Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah who was depicted as “The stone”.
Peter himself had followed the lead of Jesus when he addressed the Sanhedrin when he and John were hauled before them for healing the lame man in the name of Jesus Christ. We’re told in Acts 4v8: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them” and what he went on to say in the power of the Holy Spirit in verses 10 to 11 was: “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved””.
You see, he stated categorically that “This Jesus is the stone” and that is the stone that represented the Messiah in Psalm 118 and elsewhere in the Old Testament. So, the one to whom we come is the promised Messiah.
In those Old Testament verses the Messiah is referred to simply as a stone but Peter has added to that description here in 1 Peter 2 by referring to Him as “a living stone”. What is the significance of that? Well, in Peter’s speech to the Sanhedrin he’d referred to “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead” so we could perhaps take living stone” to be a reference to Jesus having been resurrected. He is risen from the dead and alive forevermore and able to give eternal life.
I’m sure that’s an important part of it but I also think that there’s more that we need to consider. You see, the Old Testament references to Jesus the Messiah as a stone are in the context of building work. In Isaiah 28v16, as quoted by Peter in verse 6, God said: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame”. The stone, the Messiah, is laid as a cornerstone or a foundation stone. Laying a foundation stone is the beginning of building work.
Psalm 118v22, which Peter quotes in verse 7, says: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. You see, it is builders who have rejected this stone. Builders have discarded Him as being of no use for building purposes and yet He “has become the cornerstone” or the foundation stone upon which the whole building rests. So, when the Old Testament spoke of the Messiah as a stone it was in the context of a building. What is that building? Well, Peter is going to speak in verse 5 of those who come to Jesus as being “like living stones” and he will say that they “are being built up as a spiritual house”. The picture is of the building of a temple in which Jesus as a living stone is the chief cornerstone and those who come to Him are also living stones that are built upon Him as the foundation.
Stressing that He is “a living stone” and that those who come to Him and are built upon Him are “living stones” is contrasting this new, living temple with the old, dead temple in Jerusalem that was built from cold, dead stones. It’s emphasising the superiority of the new covenant over the old covenant. The temple of the old covenant was a rigid, physical building that was eventually destroyed but the temple of the new covenant is living and growing. The temple of the old covenant represented the presence of God but He really dwells in the temple of the new covenant.
In the temple of the old covenant sacrifice for sin was depicted by means of animal sacrifices but sacrifice for sin has been offered once and for all in the temple of the new covenant. In the temple of the old covenant an outward form of worship was conducted but God is worshipped in Spirit and in truth in the temple of the new covenant. In the temple of the old covenant people symbolically came to God but people are brought into His very presence in the temple of the new covenant.
So, Peter’s description of Jesus, the one to whom we come, as “a living stone” speaks of Him being the promised Messiah. It speaks of Him being risen from the dead and alive forevermore and able to give life. It speaks of Him being the foundation of a radically new temple of a new covenant that is far superior to the temple of the old covenant.
Next post we will consider: Point 3. Man’s evaluation of Him
~ Steve
 
Dr. Steve Orr
Dr Orr has served the Body of Christ in the United Kingdom for many years and in various capacities (preaching, teaching, etc.,). Steve is a regular contributor to the pages of Christ My Covenant. His insights into the Word of God will serve you in your personal study of God’s Word. Learn of Christ!

To Walk In The Spirit by Ward Brandenstein

[Introduction followed by the Series Index]
 

A. Ward Brandenstein's To Walk In The Spirit

by Ward Brandenstein

Copyright 1996-2013  A. Ward Brandenstein
Used with permission.

 
CMC Editor’s Comment: It is our honor and joy to have gained the permission of A. Ward Brandenstein to bring to you his published work “To Walk In The Spirit: Essential Truths for Christian Living” as a series of articles (blog posts) to the readers of CMC. It is our prayer that you will be most benefited by the labors of Ward Brandenstein in the months to come. May your walk in Christ be joy! – Moe Bergeron
..
Author’s Introduction
The purpose of this work is to enable a person to understand who he is once he comes to Christ, how he is to walk in the Spirit, and the accompanying characteristics that will be experienced as he walks in the Spirit!  There is freedom from living a guilt-ridden life once a person learns his true identity in Christ.  Sadly, there are too few Christians who learn this fact early in their Christian experience, and, it is safe to say, many never do.  As a result they live in a frustrated, defeated condition as they endeavor to prove they are worthy of acceptance based on their performance.  Mankind is conditioned to strive for performance-based acceptance by the world system around him and by his own prideful tendency that he can attain anything if he strives hard enough.
Along with guilt are various kinds of fears. There is the fear that one is not “measuring up” in trying futilely to work one’s way to heaven, as well as one’s having the fear of death.  Fear can manifest itself in more subtle forms of fear, such as pride, self-realization, anger, joking about everything to disguise fear, criticism, cynicism, all in an increasing array of socially correct or socially incorrect manifestations. The Scriptures teach that perfect love casts out fear, I Jn. 4:18.  The converse principle might be, fear hinders perfect love.  Fear can paralyze a person both intellectually and emotionally.
Fear can be an ally or an enemy.  Unhealthful fear and those symptoms mentioned above serve as signals of a much deeper cause.  It would not be wise to work only with the symptoms and be ignorant about the source, which is spiritual.  Man is spiritually dead by birth.  True and lasting healing comes through a right relationship to Jesus Christ, through the knowledge of the believer’s identity in Christ, and the subsequent control by the Holy Spirit as the believer walkin the Spirit.
When the believer learns that his identity in Christ is the result of what God has provided for him, the person can focus his life and energy on the kind of walk he is to enjoy free of fear, guilt, and other symptoms of sin, through walking in godly wisdom.  The believer will not know how to “walk in the Spirit” until he knows who he is in Christ because of who Christ is in him; then he will be able to learn to “walk in the Spirit”.  His “walk” expresses his identity, the outworking of who he is, whether consciously or unconsciously.  He wrongly tends to focus on what he is supposed to be doing, and forms his identity from how well or how poorly he does.  Instead, he needs to know who he is in Christ and learn what to do in conduct and behavior as Christ’s life is lived out in him!
 
..
Preface
There are three objectives that the author had in mind as he compiled this treatise:

First, to keep the presentation complete and self-explanatory, so that any person will be able to understand what God has given for successful spiritual life and growth, through knowledge of God’s Word, the Bible.

Secondly, to present the material in a manner so that the theologian will find it informative, and consistent with established theological principles.

Thirdly, to maintain a flow or growth in the development of the presentation from the foundational sections near the beginning to the conclusion, with each section being essential to the building of truths and to the understanding of the reader, with the reader’s greatest help to be reached in the later section on walking in the Spirit.  Because of the importance of the material regarding one’s walk in the Spirit, the reader will be helped greatly by previewing the section, How To Walk in the Spirit, p. 167, before starting any detailed reading from the beginning.

He and his are used generically to include both men and women.  For pronouns referring to God and Christ, upper case letters have been added by the author.
I thank our Heavenly Father, wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the blessed Holy Spirit for the insights given to me in understanding these Biblical truths which I trust will be a blessing and help to the reader as he or she opens his or her heart and mind in searching and studying the Scriptures.

                       Ward Brandenstein, Author

 
Scripture verses, unless otherwise noted as KJV, are from the Authorized King James Version with obsolete words updated, as quoted from The New Scofield Reference Bible.  Copyright © 1967 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Reprinted by permission. 
..
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part I – Where Did We Come From?

Chapter 1 – Life In Adam

A Note Of Explanation
The Origin Of Fear And Stress

Chapter 2 – The Principle Of Headship: In Christ Or In Adam

Life In Adam
Sin’s Progression
The Principle Of Sin And Death
Jesus – The Sinless One Made To Be Sin For Us
Jesus – God’s Perfect Sacrifice For Sin
The First Adam – The Last Adam
(Resurrection-the Key)
Contrast – In Adam – In Christ: The Truth Applied
Life In Christ
How Life In Christ Is Received
What Life In Christ Means
Eternal Life
Spiritual Life
Heavenly Life

.. 

Part II. Who Are We?

Chapter 3 – Who I Am In Christ Because Of Who Christ Is In Me (Identification)
Fifty Marvelous Facts Of Salvation!

Fact 1 – Accepted
Fact 2 – Adopted
Fact 3 – Baptized In The Spirit
Fact 4 – Blessed With All Spiritual Blessings
Fact 5 – Born Again
Fact 6 – Called Of God
Fact 7 – Children Of God
Fact 8 – Children Of The Light And Of The Day
Fact 9 – Chosen Generation, A People Of His Own
Fact 10 – Cleansed
Fact 11 – Complete In Christ
Fact 12 – Dead To Sin
Fact 13 – Dead To The Law
Fact 14 – Delivered From The Power Of Darkness
Fact 15 – Eternal Or Everlasting Life
Fact 16 – Forgiven All Trespasses
Fact 17 – Given A New, Pure Heart
Fact 18 – Glorified
Fact 19 – God’s Building
Fact 20 – God’s Elect; Chosen Of God
Fact 21 – God’s Inheritance
Fact 22 – Having Access To God
Fact 23 – Having Liberty
Fact 24 – Heirs Of God, Joint-Heirs With Christ
Fact 25 – Holy Nation
Fact 26 – Indwelt By God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Fact 27 – Justified
Fact 28 – Kept By God
Fact 29 – Light In The Lord
Fact 30 – Member In Christ’s Body
Fact 31 – New Creation
Fact 32 – Partaker Of The Divine Nature
Fact 33 – Perfected Forever
Fact 34 – Placed In Christ
Fact 35 – Predestined To Conformity To Christ
Fact 36 – Predestined To An Inheritance
Fact 37 – Presented To Christ As A Gift By The Father
Fact 38 – Reconciled
Fact 39 – Redeemed
Fact 40 – Royal Priesthood
Fact 41 – Sanctified (Saint)
Fact 42 – Saved, Salvation
Fact 43 – Sealed By The Spirit; Having The Earnest Of The Spirit
Fact 44 – Sheep Of The Good Shepherd, Great Shepherd; God’s Flock
Fact 45 – Son Of Obedience
Fact 46 – Sons Of God
Fact 47 – Spiritual Household Member
Fact 48 – Temple Of The Holy Spirit
Fact 49 – Translated Into The Kingdom Of God’s Dear Son
Fact 50 – United With Christ In Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension (Identification)

..

Part III. Where Are We Going?

Chapter 4 – From Here To Eternity

My Conduct Here Will Affect My Outcome In Glory

How One’s Lifetime Relates To Eternity For The Child Of God

..

Part IV. What Are We To Do?

Chapter 5 – Living The Christian Life

The Christian Life Is A Walk

How To Walk In The Spirit
Reckon And Yield

Walking Depends On Growing
Scriptures Regarding The Walk Of The Believer In Christ

The Walk Is One Of Obedience

Abide (remain)
Be Steadfast
Stand Fast
Be Filled With The Spirit

The Christian Life Is A Race To Be Run
The Christian Life Is A Warfare
The World

The World Is Not A Friend Of God’s People
Believers Are To Separate From The World As To Their Walk
The World Is Under God’s Judgment Now
The World’s Regard For God Is Enmity

The Flesh
The Devil

Who Satan Is
How The Believer Is To Overcome The Devil

The Christian Life Is Fruitful
The Christian Life Is A Life Of Peace
The Christian Life Is A Rest
The Christian Life Is A Life Of Prayer

When Are We To Pray?

For Whom Do We Pray?
Where Are We To Pray?
Why Are We To Pray?
To Whom Are We To Pray?
How Are We To Pray?

Patterns For Praying

For One Who Needs To Receive Christ As Saviour
For A Believer Who Realizes His Identification With Christ
For Christians To Confess Acts Of Sin To Restore Broken Fellowship With God
For The Believer’s Deliverance From Oppression
For The Believer To Walk In The Holy Spirit
Four Elements Of Prayer For Believers

..

Epilogue

Appendix A – The lineage of jesus
Appendix B – Contrasting genealogical listings from adam to christ
Appendix C – Suggested new testament chronological order
Appendix D – Baptism

Bibliography

 
..
Our Author
Ward Brandenstein
Believers in Christ are commanded in the Bible to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). In an effort to clarify how a person can know how to do this, the book, To Walk in the Spirit, has been written by Rev. Ward Brandenstein, Pastor and Bible teacher.
He has been sharing the principles contained in this book for over thirty-five years to believers of various ages who have been blessed by using these spiritual truths of our identification with Christ and walking in the Spirit. His training in counselling and in two separate theology courses, along with much personal study in the Word, have enabled him to provide Biblical preventative counselling in his Bible classes, in his seminars, and in his book.
Pastor Brandenstein resides in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries. He has served during his active full-time ministries in New York State, Detroit area, Springfield, Missouri, and in the Phoenix area in independent Baptist churches and in Community Churches. His wife, Rose Ann, is a graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn U.) in Bible, and of Missouri State University in music education, a pianist and professional organist. She works closely by his side as his secretary, editor, and helpmeet. They have two adult sons and six grandchildren.
Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.