1 Peter 2:2-12,
Grow up into salvation
This passage begins with the picture of a baby and a bottle of milk, but its message is to grow up into spiritual maturity and completeness.
A second picture in this passage is a construction project. We do not want to be a building half-built. We are to become everything God has called us to be – complete and mature.
We are emphasizing the theme of shame/unashamed in our study of 1 Peter. This epistle addresses Christians who were experiencing the shame of social rejection because of their faith. That social rejection would eventually increase to a fiery trial of physical persecution. (4:12). A strong, mature, complete faith would be necessary to the spiritual survival of those exiled from the secular community as a result of spiritual commitments.
To help them remain unashamed of their faith in the face of cultural rejection, Peter reminds Christians that Christ himself was rejected. (vs. 7). Yet, as Jesus was the chosen one of God (a meaning of the title “Christ”), so were Christians to find their consolation from being rejected by men in their being chosen by God (vs. 4). This recalls the irony of the description of the addressees of this letter in 1:1, “elect exiles.”
Once saved, Christians are to “grow up into salvation.” (vs. 2). Once chosen as a living stone in the building or temple of God they are to be “built up” (vs. 5) as a spiritual house.
Peter’s Marks of Maturity
- As a brick fills its spot in a structure, a mature Christian finds and fulfills his or her kingdom niche, vs. 4-6.
- A mature Christian walks with honor and purpose through life, not stumbling around in unbelief, vs. 7-8.
- Mature Christians know to whom they belong and are confident in their relationship with God, vs. 9.
- Mature Christians stay aware of their challenges and temptations, vs. 11.
- Mature Christians execute their purpose of bringing glory to God through honorable conduct. vs. 12.
The sojourners and exiles (vs. 11) who were living among the Gentiles (vs. 12) were to neither be ashamed of their commitment to Jesus, nor bring shame to the cause of Jesus. Instead, they were to pursue maturity with continued spiritual growth. The covenant promise to them was, “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (vs. 6).
For enlightenment and discussion:
1 Peter 2:2-12 is rich in Old Testament background and language. The quotations from Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22, and Isaiah 8:14 are directly quoted in 1 Peter 1:6-9. Also compare 1 Peter 2:3 with Psalm 34:8; 1 Peter 1:9 with Exodus 19:5-6; and, 1 Peter 1:10 with Hosea 1:23.
In your life how have you “tasted that the Lord is good”? 2:3
are these phrases good descriptions of Christians:
people for his own possession?
Why and how does an unbelieving culture speak against Christians as evildoers? vs. 12.
We probably understand what it means to not bring shame on the Lord or his kingdom. What does it mean that “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame”? vs. 6.