Saturday 24 January 2015

Bible Book:
1 Peter

“Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (v. 5)

1 Peter 2:1-10 Saturday 24 January 2015

Psalm: Psalm 88


In 1 Peter 1:3, the author wrote about being givena "new birth" into a living hope. That image is taken up in today'spassage and the newly baptized, who have turned away from evil(verse 1) are encouraged, 'like newborn infants', to "long for thepure, spiritual milk" so that, by it, they may "grow intosalvation" (verse 2). Verse 3 is an allusion to Psalm34:8: "O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are thosewho take refuge in him."

In the second part of the passage, the new life is exploredusing two more metaphors: a new building (verse 4-8) and a newpeople (verses 9-10), both of which emphasise the corporatedimension of the Christian faith. In the first, the readers, whoare pictured as "living stones" (v. 5), are encouraged to come toJesus Christ, "a living stone" (v. 4) who was rejected by mortalsbut precious to God, to be built into a spiritual house. Thequotations from the Old Testament in verses 6-8 are from Isaiah28:16, Psalm 118:22, and Isaiah8:14 respectively.

The second metaphor also draws on verses and passages from theOld Testament: for the phrases "chosen race" and "God's own people"in verse 9, see Isaiah 43:20-21; and for 'royal priesthood' and'holy nation', see Exodus 19:6. Verse 10 evokes verses from Hosea(Hosea 1:9-10; 2:23) to emphasise both theradical change in those who have been given a new birth and thatthey are a people.

To Ponder

  • In The Methodist Worship Book, candidates for Baptism andConfirmation, and parents and godparents of young children areasked, "Do you turn away from evil and all that denies God?" Whatexamples would you give to someone asking what that entails?
  • The candidates, parents and godparents are also asked, "Do youturn to God, trusting in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and inthe Holy Spirit as Helper and Guide?" What you do think that meansin practice?
  • How do you understand the balance between the personal andcorporate aspects of Christian faith?
  • How well do the metaphors of the new building and the newpeople speak in contemporary society?


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