The Story: What did you expect? Peter reaches back to the prophets to remind his readers that what they were experiencing in the way of persecution was just part of the Gospel. In chapter 1 he based the Gospel on the Old Testament; here in chapter 2 he does the same. The Gospel brings rejection, opposition, and suffering – like the suffering of Jesus – to those who take their stand on that precious Rock of offense. But standing there, though the world scorn and mock us, we will never be put to shame because we are standing in the grace and favor of God! That makes the rejected Stone of Christ most precious to us, for we know Him to be the true Cornerstone of the new temple the Spirit is constructing of His Church. Those who stumble at Christ are disobedient to His Word; this is precisely as God has ordained. Nothing the unbelieving world can do to us, as living stones being built together on the sure Foundation of the Rock of offense, is outside the will or power of God. We just need to keep focused on the Lord and grounded in His Word in order to now how to make the most of these times of trial for the continuation and expansion of the divine economy.
The Structure: The Gospel is no novelty, Peter is at pains to demonstrate. The Gospel is grounded in the Old Testament. But if we want the Gospel and the eternal life it brings, we have to embrace the whole Gospel, as revealed by the prophets and the apostles. And that can include some things which, while not necessarily pleasant, are nonetheless part of our journey in the Lord for now. So we should not try to avoid such trials; rather, let us get more of the grace of the Gospel so that we can bear up and grow through them.
Since Christ is “precious”, we should be sharing Him with others. Since He is a “Rock of offense”, we should expect some people to be put off by our sharing. So how do we reconcile these two facts?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “The Power of Grace: 1 Peter 2.1-12,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.